Bernhard Kempa

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Bernhard Kempa in August 2011 at the Schlecker Cup
Bernhard Kempa at the 1952 World Field Handball Championship
Kempa (left) at the championship game against THW Kiel in 1957

Bernhard Kempa (born November 19, 1920 in Opole , Upper Silesia ; † July 20, 2017 in Bad Boll ) was a German handball player and coach . In 1952 and 1955 he was world champion in field handball as a national player .


Kempa started playing handball in his hometown at the age of 14. After the Second World War , Kempa lived in Munich, where he initially played for TSV 1860 Munich . In 1947 he moved to Göppingen and played for Frisch Auf Göppingen , where the first successes began in 1948. The sporting year 1954 was the most successful in the history of the Frisch Auf club so far and brought the nationwide breakthrough: The new Württemberg champion was also the first South German champion in the hall, so Göppingen was qualified for the final round of the German handball championship. Kempa as a player-coach succeeded there with his young team ("Kempa-Buben") in the final, the big surprise: The series champion of the past four years, the SV Police Hamburg , was defeated and Frisch Auf was German handball champion in the hall. In the summer of the same year, the backcourt player repeated this in field handball , which was much more popular at the time , and Göppingen became double champion.

In the next few years Göppingen shaped handball in Germany, to which Bernhard Kempa contributed significantly as the outstanding player. By the end of his career as a player in 1957, Kempa won the championship in Göppingen once more in the hall (1955) and on the field (1957). As a Göppingen trainer, he succeeded in this five times in indoor handball (1958–1961, 1970). In addition, Frisch Auf was the first German club to win an international title under Kempa with the European Cup in 1960 .

He went down in the history books of the sport of handball with his Kempa trick , a throw combination in which a player is played while jumping into the circle; the player jumping into the circle catches the ball in the air and throws it onto the goal while the jump is still in progress.

The sporting goods brand Kempa , under which the manufacturer Uhlsport sells handball-related sporting goods, is also named after Kempa .

In addition to skiing and table tennis (he took part in the Württemberg championships with his brother in 1948), his hobbies also included tennis, which made him world and European senior champions. After falling down at the age of 90, he had to give up playing tennis.

Kempa was last seriously ill as a dialysis patient and lived in Bad Boll in the Göppingen district , where he died in July 2017 at the age of 96.


In 2011, Bernhard Kempa was inducted into the Hall of Fame of German Sports . He was awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf twice, was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon and received the Merit Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg .

Bernhard Kempa Prize

Since 2008, the handball association of Württemberg has been awarding the Bernhard Kempa Prize, with which special services to the sport of handball in Württemberg are recognized. The first prize winner was Heiner Brand . In 2014 Joachim Deckarm received an award.



  • Thomas Kießling, Michael Tilp: Monsieur Handball. Bernhard Kempa, the exciting story of the handball legend. Tilp, Eislingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-00-023365-4 .

Web links

Commons : Bernhard Kempa  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Handball legend Bernhard Kempa is dead ( memento from January 9, 2018 in the Internet Archive ),, July 21, 2017, accessed on July 21, 2017.
  2. Handball legend Bernhard Kempa is dead , , July 21, 2017.
  3. Obituary for "Monsieur Handball": Bernhard Kempa died , accessed on July 22, 2017.
  4. Erik Eggers (Ed.): Handball . Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-89533-465-0 , p. 125.
  5. Erik Eggers (Ed.): Handball . Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-89533-465-0 , p. 132.
  6. DTS magazine , 1948/7 page 3
  7. Inventor of the "Kempa trick": handball legend Bernhard Kempa has died , , July 21, 2017
  8. ^ Mourning for Bernhard Kempa - the "Monsieur Handball". In: Südwestpresse . July 21, 2017, accessed March 14, 2020 .
  9. Handball legend Bernhard Kempa is dead ., July 21, 2017.
  10. Special merit for sport., June 24, 2016, accessed on August 7, 2019.