Fritz Duras

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Fritz Duras (born April 19, 1896 in Bonn , † March 19, 1965 in Genoa , Italy ) was a doctor , sports medicine specialist and sports scientist . Persecuted in Germany for his Jewish origins, he became the founder of sports science in Australia .


When Fritz Levi, the son of a Jewish lawyer, was born, he took on his mother's maiden name after his father's death, and after graduating from high school at the Königlich-Prussisches Gymnasium Bonn (now Beethoven-Gymnasium Bonn ) he volunteered in the Prussian Army in 1915 he received the Iron Cross and was promoted to lieutenant in 1918 . After the end of the war he studied medicine at the University of Freiburg , where he passed the state examination in 1922, worked in various functions in the university clinic and received his doctorate in 1926 (dissertation: studies on the angle of inclination of the heart ). The basis for this was his studies in university sports ( results of the medical student examination at the University of Freiburg i. Br. In the winter semester 1925/26, compared with the results of the winter semester 1924/25 and the summer semester 1925 ), which is why he began to teach in this field. From 1929 to 1933 he became the director of the Institute for Sports Medicine and deepened the Freiburg-based close connection between the clinic and sport. During his studies he was a successful ski jumper .

In 1933 he had to leave the civil service due to the anti-Semitic provisions in the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service. He first settled as a general practitioner in Todtnauberg ( Black Forest ), which he knew well from ski jumping, before he was able to move to England with the help of the Academic Assistance Council . Here he improved his English and accepted the offer to lead the first (and only) one-year PE teacher course at the University of Melbourne (Australia) in 1937 and teach essential parts of it himself. He had transferred the curriculum from corresponding training courses in Germany and tailored it to his needs, so that sports medicine and sports history were the main theoretical fields. The position was funded by the Carnegie Foundation for two years . In 1939 he was given a permanent position as Senior Lecturer and extended the training to two years. In 1945 he passed the exams for Master of Education , in 1954 promoted to professor .

In 1956 he organized the science congress on the occasion of the Summer Olympics , to which 350 participants came from all five continents. They decided to found a world association for sports science and commissioned Duras to prepare it. He became the first president of the World Council on Sports Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE / CIEPPS). In the same year, a change in the law also recognized foreign equivalent qualifications in Australia, so that he was allowed to practice as a doctor again. On the occasion of the Olympic Games, the University of Melbourne built the Beaurepaire Center for Sport and Sport Science , of which he was director until his retirement in 1962. During a trip to Europe he died on the train outside Genoa and was buried in Freiburg.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Angelika Uhlmann: The sports physician Fritz Duras (1896-1965) - German pioneer of "physical education" in Australia, in: Emigrantenschicksale. Influence of Jewish emigrants on social policy and science in the receiving countries, ed. by A. Scholz and C.-P. Heidel, Frankfurt / Main 2004, pp. 201-218.
  2. ^ Arnd Krüger : Gymnastics and gymnastics lessons at the time of the Weimar Republic. Basis of today's misery in school sports? In: Arnd Krüger & Dieter Niedlich (eds.): Causes of the school sport misery in Germany: Festschrift for Konrad Paschen. Arena Publications, London 1979, ISBN 0-902175-37-8 , pp. 13-31.
  3. ^ Gertrude F. Kentish: Fritz Duras, the Father of Physical Education in Australia. Canberra: Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 1984. ISBN 0-909120-37-4