The members in the front rows of the Olympiastadion meeting room stood up in unison and raised their arms to shout what is already the cheer of the fans, also the rallying cry of the fans to cheer on their team. “Ha, ho, he, Hertha!” they intoned loudly. As if they were on the curve of the stadium, as if it were game day. The tune spread throughout the venue and Kay Bernstein, 41, took it as her own as she had done so many other times, since he was a recognized ultra of the team. Now, however, he is the president of Hertha Berlin, chosen at the polls by taking 1,670 votes out of 3,016 cast. Absolute majority and victory over constructor Marvin Brumme (26 votes) and Foxes handball president Frank Steffel (1,280).
Bernstein, who was born in Marienberg in 1980 and who came to Berlin with his family eight years later, set foot in the Olympiastadion for the first time in 1994. He soon approached the animation curve and joined the ultra group Harlquins ’98 to end up being one of the prominent members, because for years he carried the megaphone to liven up the roost. But also the skirmishes, because he was expelled from the stadium up to three times and in one of them he was detained by the police because he was considered the instigator of throwing objects onto the field that ended up injuring a worker. “As a fan I was active, I organized myself at the national level and worked for our curve for eight years, I gave everything for Hertha,” explained the now businessman with a communications company and another construction company (he studied industrial mechanics), married and with a daughter, with a Porsche behind the wheel.
They are not the best times for the Berlin club, a team from the capital that has not gone from an elevator in the Bundesliga in the last decade. Although it has heraldry because it won the German league in 1930 and 1931, and the League Cup in 2001 and 2002, it has never celebrated anything in Europe. But Bernstein always had Hertha in his heart, as his offices in Neukölln explain, because when you enter the building you can see the great Berlin bear painted on the wall. Above, in red letters: Berliner Original. And one floor above, the year of the club’s foundation (1892) and a large blue and white flag are serigraphed.
Now, in any case, he will sit in the presidential chair of the stadium because he succeeds Werner Gegenbauer, who resigned at the end of May after 14 years in office, after the setbacks of last season, saving the team in the second leg of the playoffs after beating Hamburg. “Thank you for his trust. Thank you for his responsibility. Our Hertha is in intensive care, but we can heal him from within. That only works together. Each one of you can help us to recover our blue and white soul. Thanks. YHa, ho, he, Hertha!”, Closed the ultra who will wear a suit and tie in the box, although always with the Hertha shield on his chest.
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