Sport in the GDR

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Peace Race led since 1952 by East Germany and was accompanied by a great public and media interest.

The sport in the GDR was state-directed and encouraged. It took place primarily under the umbrella of the German Gymnastics and Sports Association (DTSB). The GDR tried by top results in competitive sports to gain international prestige. There were sports clubs for the high-performance sector and sports associations, for example company sports associations (BSG), sports associations (SG) and school sports associations (SSG), which were always assigned to a state sponsor. In addition, there were motorsport communities and motorsport clubs in the ADMV , the GST for sports with a possible military connection (e.g. gliding) and numerous children's and youth sports schools founded specifically to promote competitive sports as well as the German University for Physical Culture (DHfK) in Leipzig, the headquarters of the state-run forced doping system . Independent clubs with legal capacity only existed in GDR sport in 1990.

School and mass sports

Ulbricht at the III. German gymnastics and sports festival in Leipzig 1959
Nordic combined at the IX. Children's and youth spartakiad 1983 in Oberhof
Road bike race Berlin - Leipzig 1988
Wave pool of the SEZ in Berlin 1981

The promotion of physical culture as well as school and popular sports was prescribed in the constitution . In this sense, the labor law of the GDR stipulated that workers were to be released to participate in the preparation and implementation of sporting events if this activity was not possible outside of working hours. Sports accidents were also treated on an equal footing with work-related accidents in terms of their legal consequences.

The GDR government tried to participate in the tradition of the workers' sports movement. Walter Ulbricht himself followed his slogan, issued in 1959, “ Everyone in every place - exercise once a week ”. He participated as a gymnast at sports festivals or had himself filmed for GDR television while skiing or table tennis.

A large part of those who did sports outside of competitive sports were organized into company sports associations (BSG) within the framework of the German Gymnastics and Sports Association. The sponsoring company had to finance the activities of its BSG. The company sports communities were divided into sections for the individual sports. Membership in a sports community was not tied to the activity in a specific sponsoring company, but could be chosen freely according to the range of sports.

Despite the extensive state support for competitive sport (around 1.2 billion marks per year at the end of the 1980s), sport was subject to economic restrictions. In the Federal Republic of Germany, swimming pools, gyms and sports fields were scarce in terms of demand and stock, and some were in poor condition; there were bottlenecks in sports equipment and materials. In some cases, scarce sports materials were only available to a limited extent from the sports associations. In 1989 there were 262 sports stadiums, 1175 sports fields, 3924 sports halls, 2139 sports halls, 212 indoor swimming pools, 1449 outdoor pools, 1298 tennis courts and 1800 bowling facilities in the GDR.

For recreational sports, after two years of construction, the Sport and Recreation Center (SEZ) was opened in Berlin in 1981 , which at the time was unparalleled in its diversity and size. The SEZ was a magnet for visitors and included a pool area with seven pools including a wave pool, several sports and event halls, bowling alleys and fitness studios.

A large number of sporting competitions were held at school, district, district and national level. The most important event of this kind were the children and youth spartakiads held from 1965 based on the Soviet model . These were not only held in the widespread sports, but also in non-Olympic and fringe sports such as fistball , billiards and equestrian sports . The Spartakiads were organized annually at the municipal / city and district level, and every two years at the district and state level by the DTSB and FDJ's own committees . In 1983, 997,000 children and young people took part in the Kreisspartakiaden in summer sports and 30,600 in winter sports. With Bummi-Spartakiaden (for kindergarten children) and senior Spartakiaden, this system was also extended to other age groups.

All of the larger companies organized company sports festivals for their workers and their relatives, and regular sports were also promoted. At the company sports festivals, athletic disciplines were mostly offered, but depending on the circumstances, other sports such as bowling or archery were also offered. At the district level, the district sports festivals of the working people were organized, which included various types of sport and for which preliminary rounds were also held. However, interest in this decreased significantly in the 1980s.

The talent search for top-class sport resulted in an almost complete screening system that included all schools and sometimes even kindergartens in order to find children for the supported sports. The children's interest in a particular sport was less important than their physical requirements and perspectives.

Physical education in the school consisted of two to three hours a week. Physical education was also compulsory for all students at colleges and universities.

The school sport contained military elements such as F1 and club throwing, for which the throwing devices were in the form of hand grenades. The Society for Sport and Technology (GST) organized military sports, military camps and military spartakiads as mandatory pre-military training for all students and apprentices. The GST had "technical" sports such as motor sports as its work area and offered the only opportunity to legally practice certain sports (such as gliding and motor flying, shooting and diving).

Motivation to do sports through the media

The media tried to encourage and guide the population of the GDR to do sports. To this end, for example, the television program Medicine according to notes was broadcast on weekdays and the weekly radio program “Hehehe - Sport an der Spree” with Heinz Florian Oertel as the presenter.

The print media also tried to motivate people more to regular and health-promoting sporting activity, such as the nationwide campaign "Your heart for sport - strong as a tree" , in which three trees were printed in the daily newspapers on which for "strength" , “Endurance” and “Agility” had to be marked as many sheets as each sporting activity was carried out. The campaign received around half a million entries from spring 1986 to summer 1987.

For children, the television broadcast was from 1964 a week " Join, take care to better take care " with the presenter Gerhard "Adi" Adolph broadcast. In the show, teams from schools in different cities competed against each other in sporty relay games. The series was designed as a tournament. In the final, the teams fought for a challenge cup from the GDR's NOK . The series was stopped in 1991 with the shutdown of the DFF .

Well-known events

A large number of popular sports events with regional coverage were organized in the GDR.

Popular sports events known throughout Germany were:

Sports badge of the GDR for children in silver and bronze from the 1980s

Sports badge

The sports badge was awarded in the GDR from 1950. The performance requirements were graded according to age groups and had to be met within 24 months, especially in the disciplines of swimming, running, jumping, throwing, pushing and gymnastics. The gradation of the sports badge in gold, silver and bronze was associated with different levels of performance.

Sports classification

For the sport classification, sport-specific performances had to be fulfilled. There were levels of performance class III to I and the master class ( master of sports ). The sports classification existed for different sports including non-competitive sports such as hiking and rock climbing.

The honorary title of Honored Master of Sport was awarded for special sporting achievements as well as for coaches, sport scientists and sport officials.

Level 1 and 2 swimming badges

Swimming badge

The swimming badge was awarded in three stages in the GDR and primarily served as evidence of swimming performance for children and young people. To meet the requirements of levels 1 and 2, stretches had to be swum without time limit. For level 3, a minimum time had to be achieved according to age.

Frequently practiced sports

According to a study from 1986, the students involved in sports were divided into a variety of sports, with the most frequently practiced sports coinciding with the curriculum sports of both sexes. The distribution of the most popular sports was as follows.

rank Girl POS Girls vocational school Boys POS Boys vocational school
1 16% athletics 12% volleyball 22% Soccer 29% Soccer
2 9% do gymnastics 9% athletics 11% athletics 7% volleyball
3 9% Handball 9% gymnastics 8th % Handball 6% Handball
4th 8th % gymnastics 7% Handball 4% volleyball 5% athletics
5 5% volleyball 5% swim 4% Judo 5% Table tennis
6th 5% swim 4% Table tennis 4% swim 3% Judo
7th 3% Table tennis 3% do gymnastics 4% Table tennis 2% Bowling

For the distribution of organized sportspeople among the types of sport, see Deutscher Turn- und Sportbund: Section " Distribution of members among the types of sport" .

Elite sport

Waldemar Cierpinski in his first Olympic victory in the 1976 marathon in Montreal
Landessportbund LSB - Saxony - GDR - plaque of honor
Gustav-Adolf "Täve" Schur with his trainer Herbert Weisbrodt in 1957

To control competitive sports , the sports associations of the GDR had founded numerous sports clubs as performance centers from 1954 . The promotion of top-class sport was initially based on the principles of the USSR, but it soon developed its own training science that focused more on the peculiarities of genetic predisposition. The GDR athletes, who were specially sponsored in the performance centers, set a disproportionate number of European and world records in many sports compared to the country's population , especially swimming, ice and winter sports, cycling, athletics and weightlifting . With in preparation for the 1972 Olympic Games combined performance sports decision of 1969, the promotion of top sport was further focused on the disciplines as medal pregnant were (. Eg swimming, cycling, rowing). Through this resolution, the expenditure for competitive sports was increased overall and at the same time sports such as basketball, hockey, water polo, alpine skiing and modern pentathlon were removed from the funding of top-class sports. The cuts for the sports associations affected by the cuts were substantial. The competitive athletes of the affected sports were integrated into the popular sports communities and were then largely excluded from participating in all international competitions in which Western athletes took part. In the 1950s, the GDR was actively involved in automobile racing.In later years, you could mainly take part in motorcross and rally rides, such as the international six-day drive with MZ and Simson motorcycles or, for example, in the Poland and Acropolis rallies with the Wartburg 353 from VEB Automobilwerk Eisenach have achieved successes.

The success of the GDR athletes was based on the restrictive system of talent selection, the interplay of pressure and rewards exerted on athletes and coaches, and the sophisticated sports science structure to which the widespread use of doping substances belonged, called "supporting means" in internal use were.

The GDR promoted top-class sport so intensively, among other things, to strengthen the self-confidence of the GDR residents through the successes, to gain international prestige and to demonstrate the superiority of socialism; Top athletes should also be "diplomats in tracksuits". Sports soldiers also played a role in top-class GDR sport . In the sports clubs of the Army Sports Association Forward ( NVA ) and the Sports Association Dynamo ( VP , MfS ), top athletes trained under professional conditions.

Sponsoring was largely unknown in the GDR. However, there were numerous company sports associations that were financed and promoted by the local companies, factories and combines, even in smaller towns. One of the few exceptions to sponsorship was cycling, where Italian and English help had to be used. Companies like Colnago and Reynolds sponsored the GDR team, just like professional teams are supported today, Campagnolo supported GDR athletes because of their successes until after the fall of the Wall . At the end of the 1980s, the Adidas company equipped national teams of the GDR (including athletics, cycling) with clothing.

In many sports, competitive athletes were formally employed by a company and sometimes actually did their jobs out of season. Most of the time this position was only proforma. Former competitive athletes made the transition to a normal job easier. The prices for top performance and medal wins were generally not comparable with West German standards.

International championships

203 Olympia - Gold Medals were awarded to the German Democratic Republic, a total of 755 Olympic medals. 768 world champions and 747 European champions are GDR athletes.

From 1956 to 1964, GDR athletes took part in the Olympic Games as part of an all-German team . This appeared under the Olympic flag with Beethoven's joy, beautiful sparks of the gods as a hymn. By resolution of the IOC , the GDR was allowed to send its own Olympic team for the first time under the name East Germany in 1968 , but as before under a common flag (black, red and gold with the Olympic rings printed on them) and the winning anthem with the German team. From 1972 the GDR athletes started with the GDR flag and anthem .

Medal table of the GDR at the Olympic Games

Summer games Winter games
year place gold silver bronze Overall rank place gold silver bronze Overall rank
1956 Melbourne 1 4th 2 Cortina d'Ampezzo 1 0 5
1960 Rome 3 9 7th Squaw Valley 2 1 0
1964 Tokyo 3 11 5 innsbruck 2 2 0
1968 Mexico city 9 9 7th 5 Grenoble 1 2 2 10
1972 Munich 20th 23 23 3 Sapporo 4th 3 7th 2
1976 Montréal 40 25th 25th 2 innsbruck 7th 5 7th 2
1980 Moscow 47 37 42 2 Lake Placid 9 7th 7th 2
1984 los Angeles (boycotted by the GDR) Sarajevo 9 9 6th 1
1988 Seoul 37 35 30th 2 Calgary 9 10 6th 2

From 1956 to 1964, athletes from the GDR and the Federal Republic competed within a joint, all-German Olympic team.

Joint team successes with the Federal Republic (included in the medal table):

  • 1956: Bronze medal in the team competition in road cycling
  • 1960: Gold medal in the kayak relay
  • 1960: Two bronze medals in the women's swimming relay
  • 1964: Three silver medals in the men's swimming relay
  • 1964: Two bronze medals, in the team rankings in men's gymnastics and in military riding

The sport in the dispute for the recognition of the GDR

The GDR team with its own flag at the opening ceremony of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich

The GDR saw the opportunity to gain international prestige in the field of sport. The German side tried to counteract this intention through various measures. As part of the Hallstein Doctrine , after 1955 the federal government exerted political pressure on the West German sports federations to enforce the German claim to sole representation in international sports relations as well.

After friction between East and West German bodies about membership in the IOC and international sports associations, as well as about the establishment of an all-German Olympic team , the introduction of the hammer and circle emblem on the GDR state flag on October 1, 1959, a new point of contention arose. According to a GDR ordinance of October 1, 1959, the GDR state flag was to be hoisted at all international sporting events with the participation of GDR athletes.

On November 4, 1959, the Federal Ministry of the Interior issued guidelines against “showing the Soviet zone flag , according to which showing the GDR flag was a “disruption of the constitutional order and thus of the public order” . German athletes were urged to avoid the GDR flag.

Relationship in top sport between GDR and FRG

According to Justus Johannes Meyer, the systemic conflict between the FRG and the GDR was transferred “into the international and bilateral sporting relations of the two countries”. The GDR sharply criticized, among other things, the fact that with Carl Diem , Guido von Mengden and Karl Ritter von Halt, Nazi-burdened men as functionaries occupied influential positions in the emerging German sport.

The GDR transferred its Germany and foreign policy, on the one hand to gain state recognition and on the other hand to assert a claim to reunification, to sport policy. In 1951, German sports policy tried to prevent the National Olympic Committee of the GDR from being accepted into the International Olympic Committee, as Karl Ritter von Halt believes that it is "politically patronized and not independent", "as stipulated by the rules of the IOC" . The GDR demanded the "formation of an all-German National Olympic Committee in which and in which the members of the National Olympic Committee of the GDR participate equally".

At the Olympic Winter Games in 1952 a German team took part, which consisted exclusively of West German athletes, at the Summer Games in Helsinki in 1952 a West German team and a team from Saarland.

At an IOC meeting in June 1955, the delegations of the two German states voted for a joint German team for the 1956 Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo (Winter Games) and Melbourne (Summer Games), at the same meeting the GDR's NOK was provisionally in admitted to the IOC.

According to Meyers, the West German Hallstein Doctrine, which was based, among other things, on the Federal Republic's claim to sole representation, presented the Federal Republic “in the field of sport in which a strict East-West separation had not taken place (in contrast to world politics) a dilemma from which there was no way out for the time being. "

All-German teams also took part in the Games in Squaw Valley and Rome in 1960.

At the ice hockey world championship in Geneva in March 1961 , separate teams from the FRG and GDR entered the race. On the advice of the Foreign Office , the team from the Federal Republic of Germany did not play against the team from the GDR, because otherwise they would have had to pay their respects if the anthem and the flag of the GDR had been defeated. The thus failed game was rated 5-0 in favor of the GDR and the team from the Federal Republic ended up in the last place in their group. The non-appearance of the FRG team was classified as an "affront to the host" at the international level.

Three days after the construction of the Berlin Wall began , the West German NOK Presidium and the DSB Executive Board adopted the so-called Düsseldorf resolutions on August 16, 1961 , according to which sports events with GDR sports groups were no longer permitted in the Federal Republic. West German athletes were also prohibited from taking part in national or international competitions in the GDR. In addition, in September 1961, at the insistence of the Federal Government, an entry ban for GDR athletes in the NATO countries came into force, which lasted until 1964/65. The entry ban for GDR athletes was rejected by the national sports associations of the western countries and did not prevent the athletes from the western states from continuing to start competitions in the GDR with full ceremonial.

At the ice hockey world championship in the USA in 1962 , the GDR team was refused entry, whereupon the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia showed solidarity with the GDR and did not compete. When the GDR athletes were refused entry at the Alpine World Ski Championships in France in the same year , the International Ski Federation (FIS) initially withdrew their World Championship status from the competitions.

At the Olympic Games in Innsbruck and Tokyo in 1964 all-German teams took part again.

The unsuccessful isolation efforts ultimately paid off for the GDR when the GDR's NOK received full recognition and the right to its own Olympic team in 1965 with only five dissenting votes from the 59 IOC members who voted. The Federal Republic then gave up the blockade of German-German sports traffic.

In 1968 the GDR's NOK was also granted the right to fly its own flag. At the Olympic Games in Grenoble and Mexico City in 1968, separate German teams competed, but still under the Olympic flag and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as the anthem. After the GDR had received the right to fly its own flag, the Federal Government was faced with the prospect of using the GDR's flag and anthem at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich (the decision to assign the Games to Munich was made in April 1966) To have to accept if she did not want to give up the games, for which the cities of Montreal, Moscow and Leipzig were already being discussed as alternatives. On December 18, 1968, the then federal government decided to comply with the IOC's request and to ensure that the Olympic protocol was implemented at the 1972 Munich Games.

In talks between Manfred Ewald (President of the DTSB) and Willi Daume (President of the National Olympic Committee for Germany ) in 1970, Ewald accused the FRG, among other things, of a "sole agency policy in sport", of discrimination against GDR sport and of breaking off sporting relationships . Daume defended himself that the NOK and the German Sports Association had respected the rules of the International Olympic Committee and rejected the accusation of “improper political interference”. He lamented an "agitation campaign against West German sport and the Olympic Games in Munich" on the part of the GDR. Disputes between the two German states at the sports policy level were also the GDR accusation against the FRG of poaching athletes.

In 1973 the GDR accused the Federal Republic of Germany of abusing the Olympic Games for “imperialist interests” and of “subordinating them to their anti-human goals”. In addition, competitive sports in the FRG had a "main opposition to the GDR", "a pronounced enemy image of the GDR had been created," said Helge Kildal , Bringfried Staps  and Rudolf Volkert , accusing West  German competitive sports of a 1973 in the magazine Theory and Practice of Competitive Sports published article. According to Kildal, Staps and Volkert, the “ideological work in the field of competitive sport in the FRG” was in particular characterized by “anti-communism and nationalism”. In the run-up to the Olympic Games, according to the authors, BRD athletes were “not prepared for the Games in the spirit of the Olympic idea, but ostensibly raised to hate their athletic opponents”. According to Kildal, Staps and Volkert, the focus was on generating feelings of hatred “towards the athletes of the GDR and other socialist countries”. As early as 1969, the Federal Government, in the person of Interior Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, emphasized the political importance of the Olympic Games in Munich and spoke of a “form of self-expression by the people”, while Manfred Wörner from the CDU / CSU parliamentary group had stated “that in In today's society, in today's world, the performance of a people, not only the athletic performance, is also measured by the number of medals that a people, a state wins at the Olympic Games. ”Therefore it is absolutely necessary“ at the Olympic Games Playing in Munich to achieve the appropriate success. "

The successes of GDR athletes and, according to the sports scientists Hans Schuster and Gerhard Oehmigen, "superior political and moral demeanor" had left a lasting impression, "not least in the consciousness of the population of the FRG", they stated in their analysis of the 1972 Olympic Games. The 1972 Munich Games were later classified by Sven Felix Kellerhoff as the “high point in German-German sports competition during the Cold War”. The West German discus thrower Klaus-Peter Hennig later explained from an athlete's point of view that at the 1972 Games “we wanted to show it to the GDR in our own country”. Schuster and Oehmigen assessed the fact that an independent GDR team took part in the Munich Games as the “result of a tenacious and energetic struggle for international equality that lasted two decades”. The GDR demonstrated its sovereignty for the first time at summer games “in that country of all places”, “which has always been at the forefront of the enemies of the GDR and has thwarted equal recognition with all available means,” judged the two GDR sports scientists. The sport of the Federal Republic of Germany had at the games of the XX. The Olympics in Munich and Kiel met expectations, stated the federal government in its sports report published in September 1973. From a West German point of view, Munich should, according to an analysis published in 2004 by Hans-Dieter Krebs , “strengthen the self-confidence of Germans and make the division more bearable, especially in view of the first appearance of an independent GDR team”.

In addition to the comparisons at the Olympic Games, great importance is attached to the game between the national football teams of the GDR and the host FRG at the 1974 World Cup. The game was described by Thomas Blees in his 1999 book “90 Minutes Class Struggle. The international football match between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR on June 22, 1974 ”is classified as“ a sport-political dispute in the 25th year of the existence of the two German states ”. In a documentary by Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg from 2004, the encounter is rated as “a football game, symbolically exaggerated as a battle of the systems”.

According to the West German sports scientist Arnd Krüger, the GDR used "sport as a means of foreign policy". Krüger classified the relationship between sport and politics in the GDR as "aligning sport and sports organizations with communist strategy and tactics". Helmut Digel wrote in his 1980 essay "Sports reporting in the GDR - a model?", GDR journalists regarded "primarily 'revanchists' in the Federal Republic of Germany" as "class opponents in sport". This dispute was due to a party order. The GDR regarded sport in the FRG Digels as "a bourgeois West German sport ideology in which sport only serves to distract the masses and to do business". Digel called "international appreciation and recognition" as a function of GDR sport. According to him, this was done, among other things, by emphasizing “the statehood of the GDR” and “demarcating it from the Federal Republic of Germany”. With regard to a comparison of competitive sport in West Germany with that in the GDR, the then Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said in a speech in 1975 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the German Sports Confederation: "It would be bad if we understandably wish not to let our sporting activities subvert to bring our sport along the path of an ideology that would ultimately lead us away from our free-democratic principles. ”The number of medals says nothing“ about freedom in a society ”, says Schmidt, and neither about“ about justice in of a society, by the way nothing about the prosperity of a society. "

In 1984, Hans-Dieter Krebs in his article "Ten years of contractual sporting relations between the two German states" assessed the chances of a mutual rapprochement between the FRG and the GDR in sport as low. In an article published in 1997 in the journal Contributions to Sports History , Heinz Schwidtmann  and Margot Budzisch judged the historiography of GDR and FRG sport that both were “largely determined by the Cold War, by more or less correct or incorrect enemy images intentional and unwanted ideological orientations and certainly also through various unscientific aspects ”.

According to the sociologist Kurt Weis , the GDR sport influenced the FRG, among other things, in the respect that the FRG “owes its top-class sports sponsorship in part to the fact” that the GDR was the leading sports nation and sporting world power, which was much smaller in population. "

According to an assessment made in 2002 by the West German sports scientist Reinhard Daugs , the success of the GDR sport “secretly fascinated the West, made jealous and angry at the same time”, since, according to Daugs, “the GDR with its great successes at world championships and the Olympic Games evidently gained international political recognition and experienced appreciation, which from the perspective of the old Federal Republic one absolutely wanted to prevent "and" because the own social and sports system was simply not capable of comparable successes. "Especially at the sports-political level, there was the dream in the Federal Republic of "To copy the elite sports subsystem of the otherwise little loved GDR and to let it come into effect within the liberal, democratic and federalist social system of the Federal Republic," said Daugs.

State compulsory doping

For athletic success, officials, doctors and trainers also accepted permanent health problems for the athletes. After the German reunification , details about doping became known. GDR competitive athletes were sometimes doped by trainers and sports doctors without their knowledge as part of the state-organized doping program under the name State Plan Topic 14.25 . The anabolic Oral-Turinabol manufactured by VEB Jenapharm was used particularly frequently . Underage athletes were also doped without their knowledge using the “legend administration of vitamins”. A total of between 10,000 and 12,000 athletes were affected by doping.

The government invested around five million marks annually in doping research. The leading research institute for physical culture and sport (FKS) with 600 employees . This operated 21 doping research projects in the Olympic cycle from 1984 to 1988 alone. Hans Schuster, long-time director of the FKS, estimated "that without the administration of anabolic steroids, the international top position [could not have been] maintained".

Manfred Höppner , Deputy Head of the Sports Medical Service of the GDR (SMD), summed up the "status of the use of supportive means" in 1977 as follows:

“The main part of the preparations used so far are the anabolic hormones, also known as anabolic steroids. They were used in competitive sport in the GDR since 1966. In particular, to a greater extent during the preparations for the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. Currently, they are used in all Olympic sports with the exception of sailing and gymnastics (female) for almost all cadres of cadres I and II or A and B, ie for all national team cadres Sports associations applied. [...] In sports with measurable performance, this fact can be clearly demonstrated by meters, seconds or kilograms. [...] The previous use of anabolic hormones has led to irreversible damage in numerous women, especially in swimming. For example masculinization symptoms such as increase in body hair, voice changes and instinctual disorders. "

- Meeting report IM Technik (Manfred Höppner) from March 3, 1977, BStU MfS ZA A 637/79.

Victims of GDR state doping have an above-average frequency of cancer and heart muscle diseases as well as liver and skeletal damage. Doping recipients also have an increased risk of miscarriage. Andreas Krieger had a sex reassignment operation performed after excessive hormone administration. Sports scientists reckon with up to two percent of doping-related deaths and with late effects in at least 1000 doped GDR competitive athletes. A doping victim assistance law passed in 2002 awarded 194 doping victims compensation in the amount of 10,438 euros. In 2006, 167 victims received a one-off payment of 9250 euros. The Doping Victims Aid is committed to the concerns of the victims .

In 2000 received Manfred Ewald and Manfred Hoeppner imprisonment to probation in the amount of 22 and 18 months for twenty-fold aid for personal injury by doping in underage athletes. Lothar Kipke , the GDR swimming association doctor , received a 15-month suspended sentence. As a rule, however, participation in the GDR state doping had no legal consequences or the proceedings were discontinued because they were insignificant in return for monetary payments. Even after 1990, trainers and physicians involved in the GDR compulsory doping system were active in German competitive sports. Occasionally, athletes like Gesine Tettenborn had their doping records struck from the list of the best.

Sportsmen escape

Various GDR athletes used their travel opportunities to leave the GDR permanently. In the period from 1952 to 1989 the Ministry for State Security (MfS) counted 615 so-called “sports traitors”. In the event of a successful escape, the MfS tried to persuade the athletes to return through threats or with the help of relatives. If this did not succeed, the athletes were discredited in the state-controlled press and occasionally deleted from official lists of best or medals or retouched from team photos.

The end of the GDR sports system

The later world champion Franziska van Almsick with her medals at the XII. Children's and Youth Spartakiad 1989

In July 1990, in the course of German reunification, organizational measures were introduced to transfer top-class sport from the GDR to the federal German sports apparatus. The decline of the top-class sports system in the GDR without the accompanying social framework was foreseeable. The efforts of the federal government and the West German DSB for recreational and popular sport in the accession area were also limited. Popular sport was not taken into account in the unification agreement for the amalgamation of the two German states, although the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia and the East German DTSB had drawn up proposals for it.

At the European Athletics Championships in Split in August / September 1990, the GDR underpinned its reputation as a sports nation one last time, while the athletes from the Federal Republic had to endure the malice of the local press because of their disappointing performance. A few days later, on September 7, the West German NOK President Willi Daume emphasized after a “sports summit” with Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl that top-class sport had been the GDR's figurehead and that a collapse of the same would be “politically unjustifiable” . The popular sport was not addressed at this "sport summit" with the reference that this was a matter for the federal states.

From September 1990 regional sports associations were founded in the future federal states. The DTSB formally dissolved on December 5, 1990. The German University of Physical Culture , which was decisive for the development of GDR sport , was also closed on December 11, 1990 because of its classification as a “stronghold of anabolic steroids”.

In the new all-German sports association structure, the West German officials retained their positions unchanged. The GDR swimming president Wilfried Windolf was offered a position as the fourth deputy without voting rights for the all-German association.

With the reshaping of the sports system in the ex-GDR, the systematic talent search, which was previously carried out as the first stage of support in the training centers of the cities and districts, also eroded. After opening, the children's and youth sports schools continued to have an uninterrupted influx of students interested in sports, although this consisted of a decreasing number of talented individuals. The abolition of the stipulated sports canon also resulted in a reduction in personnel in the individual sports. Another disadvantage was that, under the new social framework conditions, a boarding school for the children was simply no longer affordable for many parents.

In the popular sports sector, the company sports associations were dissolved or converted into clubs after the sponsoring companies had ended the financing or were liquidated themselves. Many volunteers and people involved in sports were also confronted with professional changes in the period that followed, which led to a decline in popular sports activities.

After the end of the GDR and its sponsorship of sports, with the gradual retirement of the athletes who had been seen as talents in the GDR, the number of all-German medals at the Summer Olympics fell significantly:

  • 1992 : 82 medals, of which 33 gold, 21 silver, 28 bronze (3rd overall)
  • 1996 : 65 medals, of which 20 gold, 18 silver, 27 bronze (3rd overall)
  • 2000 : 56 medals, including 13 gold, 17 silver, 26 bronze (5th overall)
  • 2004 : 48 medals, including 14 gold, 16 silver, 18 bronze (6th overall)
  • 2008 : 41 medals, of which 16 gold, 10 silver, 15 bronze (5th overall)
  • 2012 : 44 medals, including 11 gold, 19 silver, 14 bronze (6th overall)

In Article 39 of the Unification Treaty it was stated that top-level sport and its development in the area of ​​the former GDR “will continue to be promoted as far as it has proven itself”. In this context, the Research Institute for Body Culture and Sport (FKS), the doping control laboratory in Kreischa and the Research and Development Center for Sports Equipment (FES) were "continued as facilities in unified Germany to the necessary extent or incorporated into existing facilities".

See also



Web links

Commons : Sport in the GDR  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. See Egon Culmbacher

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Constitution of the German Democratic Republic of April 6, 1968 (in the version of October 7, 1974), Art. 25, Paragraph 3: For the full expression of the socialist personality [...] the participation of the citizens [. ..] in physical culture and sport promoted by the state and society. as well as Art. 35 Para. 2: This right [to the protection of health] is guaranteed [...] through the promotion of physical culture, school and popular sport .
  2. Labor Code of the GDR §182
  3. Labor Code of the GDR §220
  4. See Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg: 60x Germany - The GDR does gymnastics in Leipzig , viewed on February 17, 2011.
  5. Jutta Braun: "Everyone in every place - sport once a week" - triumph and illusion of GDR sport. In: Thomas Großbölting (Ed.): Friedensstaat, Leseland, Sportnation? GDR legends put to the test. Berlin 2009, p. 182f.
  6. ^ Statistical yearbook 1990 of the GDR. ReWi, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-329-00609-9 .
  7. [1]
  8. Statistical Yearbook 1989 of the GDR. Staatsverlag der DDR, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-329-00457-6 .
  9. Klaus Henning: Popular sports campaigns and constructs. In: Jochen Hinsching: Everyday sport in the GDR. Meyer & Meyer, Aachen 1998, ISBN 3-89124-462-2 .
  10. The sports teacher of the nation portrait of Gerhard Adolph on
  11. Wolfram Crasselt: On children's and youth sports - realities, wishes and tendencies. Research results and deductions from the research project "Physical Development of the Young Generation" at the German University for Physical Culture. Leipzig 1990.
  12. ^ Arnd Krüger : High-performance sport - The high-performance sport in the early GDR. In: W. Buss, C. Becker et al. (Ed.): Sport in the Soviet Zone and the early GDR. Genesis - structures - conditions. Hofmann, Schorndorf 2001, pp. 535-556.
  13. See resolution of the Presidium of the DTSB of April 22, 1969: The further development of competitive sport up to the 1972 Olympic Games. SAPMO DY 30 / JIV / 2/2/1223. Doc. In: Giselher Spitzer, Hans Joachim Teichler, Klaus Reinartz: Key documents on GDR sport - an overview of sport history in original sources. Aachen 1998, pp. 154–174, as well as: Resolution of the Politburo of March 19, 1969: Baseline of the development of competitive sport in the GDR up to 1980. SAPMO DY 30 / JIV2 / 3/159. Doc. In: Hans Joachim Teichler: The Sport Resolutions of the Politburo - A Study on the Relationship between SED and Sport with an overall list and documentation of selected resolutions. Cologne 2002, pp. 561-568.
  14. ^ Günther Wonneberger: The effects of the competitive sports decision of 1969 on basketball in Leipzig. In: Giselher Spitzer, Harald Braun (Ed.): The divided German sport. Federal Institute for Sport Science, Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-89001-307-4 .
  15. ^ Technical review of automobile racing in 1954 in the German Democratic Republic. In: Automotive Technology . 12/1954, pp. 365-375.
  16. ^ Technical review of automobile racing in 1955 in the German Democratic Republic. In: Automotive Technology. 12/1955, pp. 433-442.
  17. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. The Chronicle III. Mexico City 1968 - Los Angeles 1984. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-328-00741-5 , p. 28.
  18. ^ Günter letter: Sport and politics in divided Germany . In: Historisch-Politische Mitteilungen, Volume 8, July 2001, p. 118.
  19. ^ Gunter Holzweißig: Diplomacy in a tracksuit. Oldenbourg, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-486-50971-3 , p. 35.
  20. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010, p. 69 .
  21. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010, p. 64 .
  22. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010, p. 83 .
  23. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010, p. 85 .
  24. Friedrich Mevert: Sports Political Documents, Part 10: 1951: No all-German team for Oslo and Helsinki 1952 . In: DOSB press . No. 45 , November 4, 2008, p. 36 .
  25. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010, p. 91 .
  26. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010, p. 111, 112 .
  27. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010, p. 120 .
  28. ^ Gunter Holzweißig: Diplomacy in a tracksuit. Oldenbourg, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-486-50971-3 , p. 37.
  29. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010, p. 151 .
  30. ^ Gunter Holzweißig: Diplomacy in a tracksuit. Oldenbourg, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-486-50971-3 , p. 37f.
  31. ^ Gustav-Adolf Schur: Täve: The autobiography. Neues Leben, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-355-01783-1 , p. 170.
  32. ^ Gunter Holzweißig: Diplomacy in a tracksuit. Oldenbourg, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-486-50971-3 , p. 38.
  33. ^ Mario Keßler: Olympia between sport and politics. In: Federal Center for Political Education. Retrieved February 10, 2019 .
  34. ^ A b Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg 2010.
  35. ^ Gunter Holzweißig: Diplomacy in a tracksuit. Oldenbourg, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-486-50971-3 , p. 41f.
  36. ^ A b Hans Schuster, Gerhard Oehmigen: On the sport-political assessment of the 1972 Summer Olympics . In: Theory and Practice of Competitive Sports . tape 11 (1973) 6/7 , 1973, pp. 3-9 .
  37. Helge Kildal, Bringfried Staps, Rudolf Volkert: To some ideological foundations of competitive sport in the imperialist FRG . In: Theory and Practice of Competitive Sports . 11 (1973) Beiheft 2, 1973, p. 3-16 .
  38. Justus Johannes Meyer: Political Games - The German-German disputes on the way to the XX. 1972 Summer Olympics and the Munich Games . Hamburg, S. 283 .
  39. Lorenz Peiffer: The Olympic Summer Games '72 in Munich. Sporty system comparison on the ground of the class enemy . In: Michael Krüger (Ed.): Olympic Games: Balance and Perspectives in the 21st Century . 2001, ISBN 3-8258-5615-1 , pp. 106 .
  40. ^ Sven Felix Kellerhoff: Doping & Propaganda: How the GDR overtook the FRG in terms of sport . November 27, 2009 ( [accessed February 10, 2019]).
  41. Klaus-Peter Hennig: The Dilemma of German Sports . In: doping. The anti-doping magazine for competitive athletes, clubs and associations . tape 2/2017 . INGER Verlagsgesellschaft GmbH, Osnabrück 2017, p. 61 .
  42. Sports report of the federal government. (PDF) In: September 26, 1973, Retrieved February 10, 2019 .
  43. Hans-Dieter Krebs: Munich 1972: Monument and Legacy. (PDF) In: Willi Daume. Olympic dimensions. A symposium. Federal Institute for Sport Science, 2004, accessed on February 10, 2019 .
  44. Thomas Blees: 90 minutes of class struggle. The football game between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR on June 22, 1974 . Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verl., 1999, ISBN 3-596-14286-5 ( [accessed on February 9, 2019]).
  45. ^ GDR: BRD - A football game in the cold war (documentary RBB 2004). In: Retrieved February 9, 2019 .
  46. ^ Arnd Krüger: Berlin's shadow over Munich . In: Zeitschrift competitive sport . tape 2 (1972) 4 . Leipzig 1972, p. 251-258 .
  47. ^ Helmut Digel: Sports reporting in the GDR - a model? In: Zeitschrift competitive sport . tape 6 (1980) . Leipzig 1980, p. 510-521 .
  48. ^ Stenographic report, 219th meeting. (PDF) In: German Bundestag. January 30, 1976, Retrieved February 9, 2019 .
  49. ^ - marriage of convenience in German sport. In: Deutschlandfunk. Retrieved February 9, 2019 .
  50. Hans-Dieter Krebs: Ten years of contractual sports relationships between the two German states . In: Germany Archives: Journal for United Germany . tape 17 , no. 4 , 1984, ISSN  0012-1428 , pp. 346–348 ( [accessed February 9, 2019]).
  51. MARGOT BUDZISCH and HEINZ SCHWIDTMANN: Questions and questions. (PDF) In: Contributions to the history of sports issue 5/1997. 1997, accessed on February 9, 2019 .
  52. Kurt Weis: Sociology of Sports: Theoretical approaches, research results and research perspectives . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 1995, ISBN 3-531-12292-4 , pp. 132 .
  53. Reinhard Daugs: 10 years of IAT - A central institute in the field of tension between sports policy and sports science . Ed .: Institute for Applied Training Science, Information / Documentation Department. Leipzig 2002.
  54. See MDR: GDR operation Jenapharm intensely involved in doping  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  Accessed July 11, 2010.
  55. meeting report IMS Rolf of 13 January 1977 BStU Stasi Leipzig AIM 5330/92.
  56. Cf. Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk : "I have a disabled child" - GDR doping and the consequences , ARD Kontraste broadcast of June 8, 2000.
  57. a b Cf. Uwe Müller, Grit Hartmann: Forgive and forget! Cadres, informers and accomplices - the dangerous legacy of the SED dictatorship. Berlin 2009, pp. 203-222.
  58. ^ IMS Hans, report by Lieutenant Colonel Radeke of May 7, 1975, ZERV archive, quoted in n. Jutta Braun: "Anyone anywhere - once a week sport" - triumph and illusion of GDR sport. In: Thomas Großbölting (Ed.): Friedensstaat, Leseland, Sportnation? GDR legends put to the test. Berlin 2009, p. 188.
  59. Cf. Udo Scheer : Take that, it's good for you - Ines Geipel accuses: doping in the GDR . In: The world. September 1, 2001, accessed July 11, 2010.
  60. ^ Battle lines criss-cross - Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the victims of doping in the GDR are still fighting for recognition. In: Der Spiegel. 30/2010, p. 102.
  61. ^ ARD Sport: Doping in the GDR , viewed on July 11, 2010.
  62. ^ Ines Geipel : Lost games: Journal of a doping process. Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-88747-160-1 , p. 152.
  63. The process . In: Spiegel Online . July 18, 2000.
  64. See Welt Online from September 14, 2010: GDR functionary Köhler mocks doping victims .
  65. Doping: Former GDR sprinter cancels records . In: Der Spiegel. 4/2010, accessed on September 12, 2010.
  66. Jutta Braun: "Everyone in every place - sport once a week" - triumph and illusion of GDR sport. In: Thomas Großbölting (Ed.): Friedensstaat, Leseland, Sportnation? - GDR legends put to the test. Berlin 2009, pp. 184f.
  67. Sportecho ignores Berndt. No list place. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. August 9, 1988.
  68. ^ Arnd Krüger : Pop the Magic Dragon. In: International Journal of Comparative Physical Education and Sport. 12.2 (1990), pp. 4-8.
  69. Martin Einsiedler: Die Deutsche Sporteinheit: An investigation of the sport-political transformation and unification processes in the years 1989/90. Dissertation . University of Potsdam, 2009, ISBN 978-3-89899-641-9 , pp. 162ff.
  70. Lothar Grimm: The double Germans on the target level for the sports association - the western and eastern press in comparison. In: Arnd Krüger, Swantje Scharenberg : How the media prepare sport - selected aspects of sport journalism . (= Articles and sources on sport and society. Volume 5). Tischler, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-922654-35-5 , pp. 203-216.
  71. Federal Chancellor Kohl pledges help without giving any figures. In: Frankfurter Rundschau. September 8, 1990, quoted from Martin Einsiedler: Die Deutsche Sporteinheit: An investigation of the sport-political transformation and unification processes in the years 1989/90. Dissertation . University of Potsdam, 2009, ISBN 978-3-89899-641-9 , p. 167.
  72. ^ Kaderschmiede The German University for Physical Culture in Leipzig: Doping and the end , MDR
  73. The yellow of the egg. In: Der Spiegel. October 1, 1990.
  74. ^ René Wiese: Kaderschmieden des Sportwunderlandes: The children and youth sport schools of the GDR. Dissertation. University of Potsdam, 2012, ISBN 978-3-942468-04-6 , p. 525.