Workers' gymnastics and sports association
The Arbeiter-Turn- und Sportbund ( ATSB ) was a German sports association of the labor movement , which emerged in 1919 from the Arbeiterturnerbund .
Made in 1919
The Workers 'Gymnastics Association (ATB), which was founded in Gera in 1893 , was renamed the Workers' Gymnastics and Sports Association (ATSB) in 1919 . The new name highlights the increasing sporting and modernization of the ATB and an opening towards sports games and athletics . This can be understood on the one hand as a reaction to the changing zeitgeist of the youth and on the other hand to the dwindling number of members before 1914, which can be attributed to a consequent rejection of competitions. As a result of this rejection, many performance-oriented athletes and track and field athletes probably preferred civil clubs and the German Gymnastics Association (DT). Both institutions recorded high growth rates in the last pre-war years. After the end of the First World War and a reorientation, the ATB had to counteract this development. With the full recognition of football as a fully fledged sport, the ATSB also demonstrated that it was unwilling to let the German Football Association ( DFB ) monopolize this attractive sport. The ATSB benefited from the fact that it could fall back on the established organizational structures of the ATB.
The ATSB was divided into seven districts with a focus on central Germany. Around 1914 about 1.4 million people were members of the ATB, which made it the world's largest organization for physical exercise . Furthermore, the ATSB took over the members ' newspaper of the ATB, the Arbeiter-Turnzeitung (ATZ), which was also founded in Gera. Since the founding of the ATZ, this has reached ever increasing circulation figures, which should reach its peak of 119,000 copies in 1913. In addition to ATZ, ATSB also took over the business of Arbeiter-Turnverlag, founded in 1907 .
Weimar Period (1919–1933)
Despite its belated modernization, the ATSB grew to become the largest organization of the Social Workers' Sports International (SASI), which in 1928 had around 2.2 million members. This enabled the ATSB to develop its own federal school in Leipzig in 1926 . About a third of the construction costs of 1.25 million Reichsmarks were covered by donations from federal members in 1925 and 1926. The rest was financed by grants from the German Reich, the State of Saxony , the cities of Leipzig and Berlin, as well as funds from the Arbeiter-Turnverlag. Until the federal school opened, the ATSB had made pragmatic use of civic sports facilities, despite the ideological gap. In the new federal school, the ATSB expanded its teaching and advanced training system. A variety of teaching materials published by Arbeiter-Turnverlag support this. The focus in these working materials was on culture and education-oriented questions, the approaches of which should be explicitly pursued by the members. In addition, the Federal School in Leipzig was an educational institution that was recognized beyond workers' sports. In the period from 1926 to 1933, a total of 62 two-week courses with 1,800 participants, 68 one-week courses with 1,875 participants and 72 three-week courses with 2,474 participants took place. In addition to intellectual and sports-technical training, the ATSB attracted public attention through national festivals (1922 in Leipzig, 1929 in Nuremberg ) and workers' Olympics (1925 in Frankfurt am Main , 1931 in Vienna ). Athletes from eleven nations took part in the 1st Federal Festival in Leipzig . In contrast to the civil sports associations and the DT , the ATSB resumed its international cooperation immediately after the First World War.
Despite these successes, the ATSB was only able to implement its socialist educational ideas, which it decided at the association level, only rarely at the club level and in competitive sports. The performance principle became the guiding component of the organization. The only exception was the water division. The principle of conviviality continued to dominate here.
Politically, the ATSB openly supported the Social Democratic Party ( SPD ). As a result, the ATSB took action against communists within its own ranks . This led to the exclusion of around 32,000 members of the Communist Party by 1932.
Period of National Socialism (1933–1945)
The political break-up of the ATSB began when the National Socialists came to power in 1933. Most of the clubs were forcibly dissolved, and assets and sports equipment were confiscated. Nevertheless, the members mostly tried to keep in contact with each other and looked for opportunities to continue doing sports together. Workers' sports clubs seldom even succeeded in joining civil sports associations. The Reich Sports Leader issued directives that were supposed to prevent the mass transfer of workers' athletes to clubs of civil sport and the DT . According to this, the members were only allowed to join the associations of the German Reich Association for Physical Exercise (DRL) individually after providing two guarantors and a written declaration of loyalty .
Some of the federal management of the ATSB emigrated to the Soviet Union , such as Karl Bühren or Max Schulze. The rest of them were arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo for half a year in 1936 . Furthermore, no evidence of coordinated resistance on the part of the ATSB leadership can be provided. If worker athletes were active in the resistance, it was mostly their individual decision that moved them to take this step. In contrast, the communist organization of workers' sports , the Kampfgemeinschaft für Rote Sporteinheit (KG), operated underground and founded several illegal imperial lines, which were exposed and smashed by the Gestapo.
The federal school of the ATSB in Leipzig was occupied by the SA of the NSDAP on March 23, 1933 . The attempt to convert the federal school into an SA sports school failed. The state of Saxony confiscated the federal school and established the Institute for Physical Exercise at the University of Leipzig under the direction of Hermann Altrock . In addition to the federal school, the funds from the ATSB were also confiscated. At the ATSB Bundestag in 1930, the federal assets of the ATSB were estimated at 25,696,058 Reichsmarks. This included 2139 sports fields, 342 practice halls, 367 club houses, 101 boathouses, 128 bathing facilities, 16 ski jumps and 1510 changing rooms and equipment rooms.
Development after 1945
Due to the historical circumstances, the development of the ATSB after 1945 in divided Germany was different.
Development in the west
After the end of the war, former professional associations, workers 'cyclists , friends of nature and the Workers' Samaritan Association were formed in the western occupation zones . However, the ATSB was not re-established directly after 1945. The reasons and causes for this have been dealt with in the literature.
Nevertheless, some former worker athletes such as Oscar Drees were involved in the social democratic orientation of the German Sports Confederation (DSB; since 2006 DOSB ). The values and traditions of workers' sport, such as the promotion of popular and recreational sport as well as sport with disabled people, are further pursued at the DOSB. What the SPD presented and demanded as a social offensive in sport at the sports congress in 1978 is now standard practice at the DOSB. Today, sport is understood as a means of integrating the socially disadvantaged, the physically handicapped, foreigners, resettlers and asylum seekers. Until 2007, the Friedrich Wildung plaque commemorated the longstanding chairman of the ATSB . The DOSB bestowed this award on socially particularly active clubs or sports groups. Due to a debate about Carl Diem's Nazi past , the DOSB decided to part with all named awards.
The 10th district of the ATSB was only created in southwest Germany, with the restitution of the district's own assets being the main focus. It still exists today and upholds the traditions of workers' sport.
Development in the east
In the Soviet occupation zone , the SED prevented the ATSB from being re-established. The state sport of the GDR claimed to continue the tradition of workers' sport. But the strong focus on high-performance sport and the rejection of the democratic constitutional state were in contradiction to important principles of the majority of historical workers' sport.
Re-establishment after 1990
On November 16, 1992, the ATSB was re-established in Bonn and added to the register of associations in 1993. The content and direction of the organization were set out in paragraph 2 of the statutes. In this regard, a usage concept for the former federal school of the Workers' Gymnastics and Sports Association was developed at the University of Potsdam in 2001 . However, both the recovery of the federal school in Leipzig and an application for restitution to the state of Saxony, which included a settlement of the property issue, failed.
On April 4, 2008, the ATSB was dissolved again after the last talks with the City of Leipzig and the State of Saxony failed.
- Hans Schuster : The struggle of the Workers' Gymnastics Federation for the recruitment and proletarian education of the youth before the first imperialist world war: 1893 - 1914 ; University of Leipzig, 1956.
- Franz Nitsch: Why was there no workers' sports movement after 1945? A source-critical contribution to the organization of sport after World War II. In: Sports Science. (6) 2,1976, pp. 172-200.
- Rudolf Oswald: Ideology and Practice of the Football Section in the Workers 'Gymnastics and Sports Association 1919-1933, in: Yearbook for Research on the History of the Workers' Movement , Volume II / 2013.
- Hans Joachim Teichler: Workers' gymnastics and sports movement. In: Peter Röthig, Robert Prohl et al. (Eds.): Sportwissenschaftliches Lexikon. 7th edition. 2003, ISBN 3-7780-4497-4 , pp. 47-50.
- Hans Joachim Teichler : "Fresh, free, strong and loyal": From the Workers 'Gymnastics Association to the Workers', Gymnastics and Sports Association. In: DTB (Ed.): 200 years of gymnastics. 200 years of social responsibility. Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-929371-21-5 , pp. 100-107.
- Hans Joachim Teichler: History of the ATB / ATSB 1892-2008. In: Anja Kruke (Ed.): Arbeiter-Turn- und Sportbund (1893 - 2009). Bonn 2012, ISBN 978-3-86872-808-8 , pp. 387-405.
- Workers' football in Berlin and Brandenburg 1910–1933. 1st edition. Arete Verlag, Hildesheim 2015, ISBN 978-3-942468-49-7 (with contributions by Rolf Frommhagen, Werner Skrentny and others).
- ↑ On football in the ATB cf. Rudolf Oswald: Ideology and Practice of the Football Section in the Workers 'Gymnastics and Sports Association 1919–1933, in: Yearbook for Research on the History of the Workers' Movement , Volume II / 2013. Arnd Krüger : The German way of worker sports, in: Arnd Krüger, James Riordan (Ed.): The Story of Worker Sport. Champaign, Ill .: Human Kinetics 1996, 1-25. ISBN 0-87322-874-X .
- ↑ Hans Joachim Teichler: Fresh, free, strong and loyal: From the workers 'gymnastics union to the workers', gymnastics and sports union. In: DTB (Ed.): 200 years of gymnastics. 200 years of social responsibility. Frankfurt am Main 2011, pp. 100-102.
- ↑ Hans Joachim Teichler: Workers' gymnastics and sports movement. In: Peter Röthig / Robert Prohl et al. (Hrsg.): Sportwissenschaftliches Lexikon. 7th edition. 2003, p. 47.
- ^ Lothar Skorning : The struggle of the revolutionary workers 'athletes for the implementation of the proletarian class policy in the Workers' Gymnastics and Sports Federation (ATSB) in the first years of the period of relative stabilization of capitalism (1923/24 to 1926/27). Doctoral thesis, Leipzig, 1963
- ↑ Hans Joachim Teichler: Fresh, free, strong and loyal: From the workers 'gymnastics union to the workers', gymnastics and sports union. In: DTB (Ed.): 200 years of gymnastics. 200 years of social responsibility. Frankfurt am Main 2011, pp. 103-105.
- ↑ Hans Joachim Teichler: Fresh, free, strong and loyal: From the workers 'gymnastics union to the workers', gymnastics and sports union. In: DTB (Ed.): 200 years of gymnastics. 200 years of social responsibility. Frankfurt am Main 2011, pp. 104-105.
- ↑ Hans Joachim Teichler: Fresh, free, strong and loyal: From the workers 'gymnastics union to the workers', gymnastics and sports union. In: DTB (Ed.): 200 years of gymnastics. 200 years of social responsibility. Frankfurt am Main 2011, p. 106.
- ↑ Hans Joachim Teichler: Fresh, free, strong and loyal: From the workers 'gymnastics union to the workers', gymnastics and sports union. In: DTB (Ed.): 200 years of gymnastics. 200 years of social responsibility. Frankfurt am Main 2011, pp. 105-106.
- ^ Hans Joachim Teichler: Workers' gymnastics and sports movement, in: Peter Röthig / Robert Prohl et al. (Ed.): Sportwissenschaftliches Lexikon. 7th edition. 2003, p. 49.