The club was established on 1 November 1954 as the multi-sport Sportclub Empor Rostock. The football squad, however, could not be recruited from local Betriebssportgemeinschaften like the squad of the handball section, so a transfer of BSG Empor Lauter's squad from Lauter to Rostock was considered. The area around Lauter, near the Czech border, was well represented in East German football by competitive sides including Wismut Aue, Fortschritt Meerane and Motor Zwickau, so politician Karl Mewis ordered the reassignment of the footballers of Empor Lauter, over the futile protests of the team's local supporters, to Rostock. This was not an uncommon occurrence in East German football, as clubs were regularly renamed, re-structured, dismantled or shuffled from city to city at the direction of well-placed communist officials.
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