Walther Bensemann

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Walther Bensemann 1896

Walther Bensemann (born January 13, 1873 in Berlin ; † November 12, 1934 in Montreux , Switzerland ) was one of the most important pioneers of football in Germany .

From 1889 he was a co-founder of several football clubs in the south of the German Empire , organized the first international meetings of German national teams in December 1898, the so-called " Ur-Länderspiele ", was involved in the founding of the German Football Association in 1900 as a representative of several clubs ( DFB) and founded the first German soccer magazine Kicker in 1920 . Bensemann, of Jewish descent, emigrated to Switzerland at the end of March 1933 and died there the following year.

Bense man was as a student at an English private school in Switzerland with the mainland Europe still relatively unknown and in the German Reich frowned upon as "English fad" and "Fußlümmelei" and mocked sport come into contact and began the last decade of the 19th century a Missionary work that saw football as a pacifist idea and as a means of international understanding .


The first club founding as a student

Bensemann came from a Jewish banking family in Berlin. The first name “Walter” is entered in his birth certificate from the Berlin-Mitte district court, and he later added the “h” in his first name on his own initiative. According to this document, his mother was “Eugenie, geb. Marckwald ”and his father“ Berthold Bensemann, banker, belonging to the religious community of Jews ”. Beyond that, little is known about his family; Bensemann never said anything about them, nor about his Jewish origins; he only mentioned distant relatives of British descent in passing.

The 14-year-old student Walther Bensemann in Montreux around 1887

Probably at the age of about 10, around 1883, he attended a (probably English) private school in Montreux , Switzerland . It was here that he first came into contact with football, a sport from England. Alongside the Netherlands and Denmark, Switzerland was one of the first countries in continental Europe to spread football. The French-speaking part of the country in particular was populated by numerous British pensioners, business people and boarding school students. It was the latter that introduced the British sports of cricket, rugby and association football as early as the late 1850s. Walther Bensemann therefore soon came into contact with these sports. At the age of 14, in 1887, he and his classmates founded a football club, the Montreux Football Club, which he called himself “secretary”. This association continued to exist after Bensemann's departure. In 1904 it merged with FC Narcisse to form FC Montreux-Narcisse, after further mergers the club was called Montreux-Sports from 1920 .

His parents moved to Karlsruhe , probably in autumn 1889 , and Walther Bensemann was a student there at the Grand Ducal Lyceum, today's Bismarck High School . Nothing is known about the reasons or the exact time of the move. According to his Abitur certificate, he started school in the lower prima of the Karlsruhe grammar school in September 1889. He immediately began to get his classmates excited about football, which is still almost unknown here. Bensemann later wrote about the sporting situation there on September 21, 1929 in an article in the Baden press : “40 years ago lawn sport was still something unknown in Karlsruhe. There was neither football nor hockey nor athletics. The only sport that was practiced at this time was swimming in Maxau or the military swimming school. ”In September 1889, he founded the International Football Club (IFC), the first club in southern Germany to play according to“ Association ”rules. Bensemann later recalled this foundation:

“In September 1889 I had a soccer ball from Switzerland; the ball was inflated in the morning in front of the school and in the 10 o'clock break a window in the high school had to believe it. [...] Director Wendt sent us to the small parade ground called Engländerplatz. Two years earlier, some English people and high school students had played rugby here. A few days after moving we founded the 'Karlsruher Football Club', which at first only consisted of Pennals, but which was soon joined by around 15 to 20 Englishmen. "

After internal disputes, Bensemann left the IFC two years later and founded the Karlsruher FV (KFV) on November 17, 1891 . This club played an important role in German football for the next 20 years and, as its climax, won the German championship title in 1910 . For March 1892 a game against his former club, the IFC, is documented, which the KFV won 1-0.

Years of traveling through southern Germany

Walther Bensemann completed his Abitur in 1892. His diploma showed good grades in languages ​​and humanities subjects, but a four in mathematics and even a five in physics. He then began studying English and French philology . As a student, Walther Bensemann began his “wandering years” through southern Germany. Like a missionary, he also went from town to town when it came to football, to initiate or support the founding of clubs. However, his studies - he was enrolled at the universities of Lausanne, Strasbourg, Freiburg and Marburg - was comparatively unsuccessful. For the year 1893, for example, there is evidence of a reprimand from the University of Freiburg for seducing students into football and alcohol. He eventually finished his studies without taking an exam.

The Karlsruhe and other "kickers"

The team of the Karlsruher Kickers 1895. Sitting in the middle Walther Bensemann (with ball). This photo graced the front page of the first Kicker issue 25 years later, on July 14, 1920 .

In Karlsruhe in 1893 he left the KFV, which had grown to 100 members. The occasion was the initiative of the teacher training candidate and KFV member August Marx, who demanded no more competitions and only playing football on working days. Bensemann then founded a new club, the Karlsruher Kickers, with some like-minded people who also did not want to follow these guidelines . The Kickers squad , which Bensemann wanted to build up into an elite team based on the example of the English Corinthians , consisted of former KFV players and a number of Bensemann acquaintances from southern Germany. In the first year of its existence, the Kickers only did not finish one of 28 games as a winner. The self-imposed claim to become the “champion team of the continent” could not be fulfilled, however, Bensemann's efforts to achieve international encounters were still unsuccessful at that time. In the end, the Karlsruher Kickers remained only a short-lived association and dissolved again in 1895.

In that time the German Empire belonging Strasbourg he had - according to its own description - also in 1893 the Strasbourg Football Club (of 1900 than Strasbourg FV South German champion) founded and here the 16-year-old Ivo Schricker met, he also Games of Karlsruher Kickers could win. From this acquaintance, an intense friendship soon developed, which would later play an important role for Bensemann.

During this time, Bensemann was involved in further founding football clubs, including in Baden-Baden, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Gießen, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Marburg, Munich and Saarburg. From today's point of view, the most prominent start-ups in which he was significantly involved were those of the Frankfurter Kickers (1899 or 1900), one of the predecessor clubs of Eintracht Frankfurt , and the football department of MTV Munich (1897 or 1898), from which FC Bayern Munich emerged. Bensemann himself never explicitly mentioned the last two cases; he was evidently anxious to push the founding of the association, but to leave the organization to the local activists. The journalist Ulrich Matheja describes his work in Frankfurt as follows:

“Frankfurt football received further impulses from Walther Bensemann, who had already naturalized football in other southern German cities on his numerous trips. Bensemann […] had already played football with students from the Klinger and Adlerflychtschule on the 'Hundswiese' in 1896. During his second stay in Frankfurt in 1899 he was seen more and more often on the 'Hundswiese'. As in Karlsruhe and Strasbourg, the not incapable Bensemann spared neither expense nor effort in Frankfurt to equip his protégés with all the necessary football equipment. The chic equipment turned out to be an effective means of recruiting members: Soon you could see more and more young people in the white blouses with red eagles and black trousers from the 'Frankfurter Kickers'. "

The name "Kickers" probably goes back to the name of the Karlsruhe association founded by Bensemann a few years earlier. Other club foundations in southern Germany at this time, such as the Stuttgarter Kickers (1899) and the Offenbacher Kickers (1901), also adopted this name as the club name.

International encounters

At a time when it was not possible to hold national championship rounds in southern Germany due to the relatively large distances between the early football strongholds, Bensemann was already making intensive efforts to organize international matches. As early as 1893 he invited English and French teams to play against South German national teams; for political and financial reasons, however, they did not materialize. A Paris newspaper interpreted his request, intended as an act of international understanding, to play a friendly match in Strasbourg, even as a provocation: "When we come to Strasbourg, we will come with our cannons." After all, the first one came in the same year, 1893 international competition of a South German selection that played against Villa Longchamp Lausanne .

Also in 1893 Bensemann was involved in the founding of the South German Football Association in Baden-Baden, the first South German football association and the first association outside Berlin. However, this association disintegrated after only two years due to internal disputes, without even having held a championship round; the number of clubs was still too small at that time and the distance between the cities too great.

When Bensemann received a letter from Baron de Coubertin in 1894 in which he introduced the idea of ​​the Olympic Games to him, he tried to prepare for a German national team; however, the Olympic football tournament did not take place in 1896. On the other hand, he was successful in arranging friendly matches, for example the Berlin champions BTuFC Viktoria visited Karlsruhe on New Year's Day 1895 (and won against the Karlsruher Kickers 5-1 and 6-0). After the Kickers broke up in 1895, Bensemann played again for the Karlsruher FV. In footballing terms, he was not characterized by exceptional talent, but what he lacked in technical skills, he made up for in his height and energetic commitment. However, his playing career was largely unspectacular.

The German selection, which took part in the first two " original international games " in Paris in December 1898 . Walther Bensemann in the back row in white trousers.

Bensemann saw the idea of fair play and tolerance realized in football and viewed it as a means of international understanding . Therefore, he organized games between club and national teams from different countries throughout his life. One of the highlights of these efforts was the organization of the five so-called original international matches . These games by German national teams, which, as they were not organized by recognized national associations, are not included in the official statistics of the DFB , took place between 1899 and 1901 against French and English teams. In December 1898, Bensemann took a German selection he had compiled - which consisted mainly of Berlin players, supplemented by footballers from Hamburg, Strasbourg and Karlsruhe - to Paris. The two games played there against White Rovers Paris , for which nine Englishmen competed, and a city selection from the French metropolis won Bensemann's team, in which he played in the position of runner, with 7-0 and 2-1 goals respectively.

Almost a year later, in November 1899, at Bensemann's initiative, an English national team, officially sent by the English Association (FA), and German national teams met for the first time. The games, two of which took place in Berlin, one in Prague and one in Karlsruhe and which ended with heavy defeats (2:13, 2:10, 0: 8 and 0: 7), were the cause of violent press feuds between the functionaries of German regional associations and the eloquent Bensemann. For the “offense” of having initiated these encounters, he was finally excluded for several years from the southern German football association, which he himself had co-founded two years earlier. By the English FA, however, he was awarded the golden badge of honor for his efforts.

Association foundations

After the unsuccessful experiment of the South German Football Union a few years earlier, the Association of South German Football Associations (VSFV), which was led by KFV board member Friedrich Wilhelm Nohe as President and Walther Bensemann as Vice President, was able to hold a South German championship for the first time in 1898/99 , in whose final Freiburg FC beat 1. FC Pforzheim . The foundation of the VSFV and other supraregional associations also had the background that the Berlin-based German Football and Cricket Association was at times the only football association and claimed sole representation for football throughout the German Empire. Bensemann was excluded from the VSFV in 1899 for the reasons mentioned.

In January 1900 the German Football Association (DFB) was finally brought into being as a nationwide umbrella organization. As a representative of several Karlsruhe and Mannheim clubs - he had co-founded the Mannheim Football Association the year before - Bensemann was also involved in the founding meeting of the German Football Association . According to the founding protocol, it was Bensemann who suggested the name of the association. However, his efforts to get the DFB to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris that year failed.

Teacher in Switzerland, Great Britain and Germany

Bensemann did not apply for an association function. Also because he was worried about money at that time, he worked as a teacher from 1900. His first job took him to Lancy near Geneva, where he worked as boarding school prefect and physical education teacher at the boarding school Chateau de Lancy . He let his students practice soccer every day and in June 1900 led a selection of players from Stellula, Lancy, Châteleine and Yverdon to Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Heidelberg and Mannheim, where soccer and tennis competitions were also held.

In 1901 he went to Great Britain to work there as a prefect and teacher. From 1901 to 1902 he taught modern languages ​​at the Dollar Academy in Scotland, then he was a teacher at Denstone College in Staffordshire until 1905 , in the following four years at schools in Harrow , Bedford ( Elstow School ), Croydon and Cheltenham . From 1910 he taught at the Birkenhead School in Liverpool. He maintained contact with his homeland, but only traveled to the continent occasionally. For example, when the German national soccer team played their first international match against Switzerland in 1908 , he was present in Basel, but not in an official capacity. There were many indications that he had settled for a life in England.

During a stay at home in the summer of 1914, he was surprised by the outbreak of World War I at the beginning of August and was unable to return to England. During the war he was employed at the Adam Institute in Würzburg (Easter 1915 to autumn 1917) and in Godesberg (as a foreign language teacher at the Evangelical Pedagogical Center).

In 1920 he wrote about his feelings during the war: “I felt him twice: there were years of mourning for my own countrymen, whose Phyrrhic victories could not conceal the end from me; Years of mourning for dear colleagues, dear students from my […] work in England. ”As a consequence, Bensemann rejected narrow-minded national thinking:“ The place of birth of a person matters as little as the point from where he enters the Hades is driving. "

Bensemann remained connected to football during his years as a teacher. After he left Germany immediately after the establishment of the DFB, he kept in touch with personal acquaintances and football in southern Germany through private visits, tours with student teams and temporarily longer stays in Karlsruhe. On the occasion of these visits he occasionally wrote match reports for the illustrated sports newspaper . He was also present at the first official international match of the German national team in Basel against Switzerland and ensured a sociable supporting program.

Bensemann as a publicist and journalist

Publications before 1920

As early as the 1890s, Bensemann had occasionally written articles and reports for daily newspapers and sports magazines - which were still rare and often short-lived at that time. Initial efforts to see his pioneering footballing deeds published in the local press were unsuccessful: when he declared his Karlsruher Kickers to be the “championship team of the continent”, the Badische Presse dated April 4, 1894, was only able to get a short message: “The Footballclub Kickers in Karlsruhe won the continental championship in the soccer competition. ”Bensemann was not discouraged by this and continued to try to use the press for propaganda purposes. Starting in 1894, he regularly promoted the idea of ​​international encounters for the specialist magazine Spiel und Sport, and in 1898/99 he also spoke out in the dispute over the “original international games” in Paris and against England. A contribution in the Frankfurter Zeitung at the beginning of January 1896 , which spoke out in favor of participating in the Olympic Games, is also attributed to him. After 1900, when Bensemann lived in England, he occasionally wrote match reports on the occasion of short visits to Germany, which were printed in the Süddeutsche Illustrierte Sportzeitung . In 1909 an article by Bensemann on German-English football relations appeared there, and in 1910 an article on the social role of football in England was published in Swiss sport .

Accordingly, Bensemann had obviously already taken a liking to journalistic activity before he moved to Munich in the summer of 1919, after the end of the Soviet Republic, and at the beginning of March 1920 joined the editorial team of the sports newspaper Fußball , which had been published by Eugen Seybold since 1911 . This magazine, which, like the Berliner Turf Sport , which had existed since 1902, also functioned as an association organ, was one of the first two football journals that were economically viable and were able to establish themselves in the long term. After a few weeks it became clear that the collaboration between Bensemann and Seybold was not working, so that their paths soon parted again.

Foundation and development of the kicker

Title page of the first kicker from July 14, 1920.

Bensemann then decided to found his own magazine. In terms of regular reporting and contributions, he was able to rely on a large circle of friends and colleagues, but Bensemann was dependent on support for funding. Through the mediation of his circle of friends, Eduard Reuss, the owner of the Reuss & Itta printing company in Constance , was found, an entrepreneur who was willing to print a newspaper for Bensemann every week without Bensemann being able to offer him financial security. In addition, he made three rooms available to him above the print shop.

The first issue of the football magazine Kicker finally appeared on July 14, 1920 and comprised 20 pages. In the beginning, the publication of the weekly newspaper was a chaotically administered and financially distressed undertaking. Bensemann only had a few hundred Reichsmarks of start-up capital and no entrepreneurial and little journalistic experience. In terms of content, the contributions were largely regional and limited to southern and southwestern Germany in the early days. Well-founded international reports, which Bensemann obtained from his numerous international acquaintances, as well as the columnar leading articles written by Bensemann himself , which he himself called "glosses" and which usually comprised two pages, created a profile and a stir .

The paper moved to Stuttgart in October 1921, but the financial situation did not improve here either. In November 1922, Bensemann was compelled to take on the Swiss Albert Mayer and the Dutch William Boa temporarily as investors in the company. His connections also led to the fact that the kicker rose to the official organ of the South German Football Association in 1924. In March 1925, the paper relocated again after Bensemann had found a new partner in Ludwigshafen am Rhein with the Julius Waldkirch & Co. GmbH publishing house . But this location did not prove itself either, on October 1, 1926, the kicker finally moved to Nuremberg , where the editorial staff of the magazine, which after a checkered history now appears under the name kicker sportmagazin , is still based today.

From 1926 until his emigration in 1933, Bensemann lived in Nuremberg in the prestigious Grand Hotel Fürstenhof , with whose owner he was friends, and where he regularly invited people to speak to German and international football players. From now on, the "Kicker" was produced in the Franz Wilmy printing works on the area later known as Augustinerhof ; its owner, Max Wilmy, also became a co-owner of the magazine, as did the South German Football Association.

The frequent relocation of the editorial staff was mainly due to ongoing economic difficulties. Although demand had risen sharply in parallel with the development of football, which in the Weimar Republic now reached broad sections of the population due to social legislation and the expansion of the infrastructure, the market for specialist football magazines was highly competitive. The kickers struggled in the late 1920s with the football and the Berlin Football Week for dominance in this segment, also other sports also like boxing, athletics and cycling were booming at that time enormously, and each soon had its own technical body. Bensemann was one of the most famous authors alongside Ernst Werner , head of the football week and Willy Meisl , head of sports at the Berliner Vossische Zeitung , but the circulation of Kicker always lagged behind that of the Munich rival newspaper , Fußball : in 1933 the ratio was 20,000 to 30,000 copies. Only after Bensemann's successor had adjusted to the contemporary journalistic mainstream in terms of content and style did the kicker in 1939 surpass the soccer magazine with 100,000 issues compared to only 40,000 .

Bensemann's "glosses" and controversies

In his “glosses”, Bensemann combined news, comments, travel reports, his own memories and subjective impressions, polemics and satires without adhering to formal requirements, and thus quickly developed his own style. He saw himself not only as a reporter and commentator, but also as an actor in international football, pursued clear concerns and used his position as a respected football pioneer and publicist as well as the numerous international contacts that he has made over the course of his more than 30 years of activity surrendered to this sport.

In the early days of table football, Bensemann often contrasted the Germans, who appeared limited and clumsy at the international level, with the sophisticated and sovereign English or Swiss, and criticized and caricatured the national narrow-mindedness that hindered German football. He was fiercely attacked by national circles for this, and his harsh attacks sometimes damaged his company, so that over time he became more cautious in his statements. Bensemann never spared criticism of the national behavior and arrogance of the DFB and especially of Felix Linnemann , who was responsible for international encounters there and was president from 1925.

The "kicker" 50/1924 welcomed the Swiss national team to the international match in Stuttgart.

His pacifist and cross-border sports idea, the contribution to international understanding through sports encounters, was Bensemann's most important model. When he saw it endangered by nationalistic tendencies, he wrote in the 16/1923 edition of Kicker : "The hatred of Germany [...] arises from an antipathy to schoolmaster-level instructions." From 1925 onwards, alongside Linnemann, Guido in particular formed a journalistic counterpart to Bensemann von Mengden , the editor of the West German association organ football and athletics (FuL), which propagated a German national course.

Bensemann's criticism intensified after the DFB decided at its association meeting in Hanover in 1925 to forbid encounters with professional teams from Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria, which were then the strongest football teams on the continent, in order to uphold the amateur ideal. Bensemann also rejected the introduction of profit in Germany, but more for pragmatic considerations than for ideological reasons: he feared that the clubs would not be able to cope economically with the introduction of profit in post-war Germany. Nevertheless, he described the renunciation of international encounters as monstrous, tactless and arrogant. During his work as a kicker publisher, he was constantly striving to organize international meetings and initiatives. He placed English coaches in German clubs, organized international football matches at club level and donated a "Peace Cup" for the first game between a German team and one from Alsace, which is now part of France again.

Emigration and death

Internationally, Bensemann reached the height of his reputation in 1932. On the occasion of the FIFA congress in Stockholm, in which he personally attended, the host Swedish association president Anton Johanson described the kicker as the best sports paper on the continent, and two close friends of Bensemann were elected to high offices: Ivo Schricker became general secretary and Peco Bauwens a member of the executive -Board of the World Football Association. In Germany, however, with his internationalist attitude, he was increasingly on the defensive. And not only the smear campaign of the striker against the "Club" coach Jenő Konrád , which had driven him to emigrate, should have made it clear to him what future Jewish citizens in Germany could expect. In addition, he was in poor health and financially.

On March 28, 1933, his last comment was published in Kicker . In it, he announced that he would undergo a lengthy cure on “orders from the doctors”. At the same time, there is an incidental note that the sports press now has a "more referring than critical task". Bensemann, who had been critical of the press policy of the new rulers and to whom the National Socialists had already signaled that he was undesirable, left for Switzerland around March 30th.

Only a few days later, on April 9th, the major southern German sports clubs published a declaration in advance obedience, in which they assured that they would “support the measures of the National Socialist government with all their might”, “especially in relation to the issue of removing the Jews from the sports clubs ”. In addition to the Karlsruher FV, which Bensemann had founded, the signatories included 1. FC Nürnberg, with which he had cultivated particularly intensive contacts in previous years, as well as Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Bayern, whose predecessor clubs were co-founded by Bensemann. A little later a similar declaration was issued by the German Football Association. Bensemann's successor as the kicker boss, Hanns Jakob Müllenbach (1903–1944), who had accompanied him from 1920 to the development of the paper, first as a student and then as a companion, had a little later in an article about “ Asphalt literati ” that “the German beings were so vilified [and] in some cases, however, had now fled. ”The kicker finally announced on May 30th without further comment that Walther Bensemann had left the editorial team.

In Switzerland, Bensemann probably first lived with Ivo Schricker in Zurich, who held the office of Secretary General of FIFA there , and then with Albert Mayer in Montreux. Bensemann had been on friendly terms with the Mayer family since he met Albert's father Roman as a pupil. Albert Mayer was a jeweler, temporarily mayor of Montreux and an athlete, sports journalist and as president of FC Montreux, founded by Bensemann, and later as a member of the IOC sports official. He had already supported Bensemann in the founding phase of Kicker by joining as a partner in 1922 during a financial crisis.

The last public appearances of Bensemann are attested for June 1934, when he attended the World Cup tournament in Italy at the invitation of FIFA , and for October of the same year at the international match between Switzerland and Czechoslovakia in Geneva. On November 12th, Bensemann died in Montreux, presumably of a heart condition.

Bensemann had no offspring, he never married and there is no evidence of a love relationship. Suspicions were raised from those around him that he was homosexual . Private letters were only found sporadically, there is no personal legacy, diaries or the like. According to contemporaries, he was a good host and entertainer, but also had very melancholy features. Since there are no sources with regard to his private life apart from individual personal assessments, these aspects must remain unexplained, although they may have played a not insignificant role for his personality.

A cousin of Walther Bensemann was the first administrator of Burgenland Robert Davy .

After Bensemann's death

The kicker announced the day after Bensemann's death in a short message: "Walther Bensemann, the co-founder of our newspaper, died on November 12th and will be buried on November 14th in Montreux (Switzerland)." Bensemann, who was still before his death Having seen his former companions vilify his work, Otto Nerz , who had been a columnist for Kicker in the 1920s and enjoyed the publisher's goodwill as a Reich coach from 1926 to 1933, was spared. Nine years after Bensemann's death, Nerz wrote in a Berlin newspaper about the time of the Weimar Republic: “The best jobs at the big newspaper publishers were in Jewish hands. From their desks the journalists pursued a purely Jewish policy. They supported the decomposing work of their racial comrades in the associations and clubs and put the sports management under pressure when they were not willing. ”On the evening after Bensemann's funeral, Albert Mayer, Ivo Schricker and other friends of the deceased decided to start an international football tournament to call and dedicate to Walther Bensemann. In 1937 the first “Tournoi international de Football Juniors pro memoria Walther Bensemann” took place in Geneva. Well-known clubs from Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, France and Italy took part. Further tournaments followed in Strasbourg in 1938 and in Zurich in 1939. Due to the Second World War , the idea was not taken up again until 1946; in Germany it was held for the first time in Karlsruhe in 1951. The European football association UEFA supported this tournament, the title of which was supplemented by his name after the death of Ivo Schricker in 1962. It took place for the last time in 1991, carried out by the Karlsruhe FV, and was no longer continued because UEFA withdrew its financial guarantee.

After the war, Bensemann's achievements were also put in a different light in terms of journalism and society. In 1953, Kicker editor Friedebert Becker referred to him as the "father of higher German sports journalism". Sports journalist Richard Kirn later wrote that Bensemann's glosses were "the most important thing that a German sports journalist has ever written". However, the journalist Martin Schuck is of the opinion that the attempts to "recall Walther Bensemann back to the memory of German football" were only occasionally and hesitantly carried out for a long time and met with little response from the DFB and the kicker . It was only through the establishment of the German Academy for Football Culture in 2004, which two years later initiated a German Football Culture Prize, whose honorary prize bears the name of Walther Bensemann, that it was properly recognized. The prize is given to people who have done something special for football in the interests of international understanding.

In May 2018 a memorial plaque was erected on Engländerplatz in Karlsruhe in honor of Bensemann.


  • Walther Bensemann, Fritz Frommel: German Combat Games Berlin 1922 . Dr. Fritz Frommel Verlag, Stuttgart 1922.


  • Bernd-M. Beyer: Walther Bensemann. Cosmopolitan of football, founder of "Kicker". Hentrich & Hentrich Verlag, Berlin Leipzig 2019, ISBN 978-3-95565-337-8 .
  • Bernd-M. Beyer: The man who brought football to Germany. The life of Walther Bensemann. A biographical novel . Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-89533-408-1 , Erw. Neuausg .: Göttingen: Verl. Die Werkstatt, 2014, ISBN 978-3-7307-0093-8 .
  • Bernd-M. Beyer (Ed.): "The King of All Sports". Walther Bensemann's football glosses . Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-89533-603-4 .
  • Ernst Otto Bräunche: Walther Bensemann and the beginnings of football in Karlsruhe , In: Ernst Otto Bräunche, Stadtarchiv Karlsruhe (Hrsg.): Sport in Karlsruhe - from the beginnings to today . Info-Verlag, Karlsruhe 2006, ISBN 3-88190-440-9 , pp. 170-174.
  • Heiner Gillmeister: The First European Soccer Match . In: The Sports Historian. The Journal of the British Society of Sports History , 17.2 (November 1997), pp. 1-13. ( online ; PDF; 440 kB)
  • Heiner Gillmeister: The First European Soccer Match . In: The Sports Historian . 18.1 (May 1998), pp. 152-158. (Comments on the above article; online ; PDF; 33 kB)
  • Heiner Gillmeister, Jewish football and Olympic pioneers at the turn of the 20th century . In: Ellen Bertke, et al. (Ed.): Olympically moved. Festschrift for the 60th birthday of Prof. Dr. Manfred Lammer . Institute for Sports History and Carl and Liselott, Diem Archive of the DSHS, Cologne 2003, pp. 85–98.
  • Heiner Gillmeister: Jewish Soccer Pioneers at the Turn of the Century . In: Stadium. International Journal of the History of Sport , 33.2 (2007), pp. 171-183.

Web links

Commons : Walther Bensemann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. 1920 - Bensemann: The man who brings football to Germany. Retrieved on July 14, 2020 (German).
  2. Der Kicker , No. 25/1922.
  3. a b c Bernd-M. Beyer: Walther Bensemann - an international pioneer . In: Dietrich-Schulze-Harmeling (Hrsg.): Star of David and leather ball. The history of the Jews in German and international football . Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-89533-407-3 , pp. 82-100.
  4. a b Beyer: The man who brought football to Germany , Göttingen 2003, pp. 537–542 (chapter "Biographical data")
  5. Quoted from Beyer: The man who brought football to Germany , Göttingen 2003, p. 472.
  6. Quoted from Josef Frey: 90 years of the Karlsruhe football club. Festschrift of the Karlsruher FV, Karlsruhe 1981, p. 7.
  7. ^ Gillmeister: The First European Soccer Match ; P. 3 f.
  8. Bräunche: Sport in Karlsruhe. From the beginning until today , Karlsruhe 2006, p. 170 f.
  9. So at least Bensemann's account. In fact, the Strasbourg FV was founded on May 19, 1890 by schoolchildren and students. What is certain, however, is that the association only experienced a decisive upswing when Bensemann joined and became involved.
  10. Ulrich Matheja: Schlappekicker and Himmelsstürmer. The story of Eintracht Frankfurt . Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-89533-538-9 , p. 13.
  11. ^ The legacy of football pioneer Walther Bensemann. In: Kicker. Retrieved on August 11, 2020 (German).
  12. Hardy Green , Lorenz Knieriem: Encyclopedia of German League Football. Volume 8: Player Lexicon 1890–1963. Agon-Sportverlag, Kassel 2006, ISBN 3-89784-148-7 , p. 26.
  13. Walther Bensemann in Kicker 11/1920, quoted from Beyer: Walther Bensemann - An international pioneer ; Göttingen 2003, p. 87.
  14. Quoted from Beyer, Der König aller Sports , p. 14.
  15. The authorship was given as “football club Karlsruher Kickers”, the content and diction clearly indicate Bensemann.
  16. ^ A b Erik Eggers: The history of sports journalism in Germany. Part I: From the gymnastics press in the 19th century to the synchronized sports press in the “Third Reich”. In: Thomas Schierl (Ed.): Handbook Media, Communication and Sport. Hofmann, Schorndorf 2007, ISBN 978-3-7780-4590-9 , pp. 10-24.
  17. The hotel not far from Nuremberg Central Station still exists today under the name Le Méridien Grand Hotel .
  18. Beyer: The King of All Sports , Göttingen 2008, p. 19.
  19. Der Kicker , No. 13/1933.
  20. The resolution was signed by 14 of the 16 finalists at the South German Championship 1932/33 . Only FSV Mainz 05 and Wormatia Worms did not follow this declaration. Source: Nils Havemann: Football under the swastika . Federal Agency for Political Education, Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-89331-644-2 , p. 158.
  21. Der Kicker , No. 15/1933.
  22. according to other sources of a stroke
  23. Beyer: The man who brought football to Germany , Göttingen 2003, p. 466.
  24. ^ Benjamin Davy: Thoughts on Internationalism and Planning . In: Liverpool University Press (Ed.): The Town Planning Review . tape 89 , no. 4 , July 1, 2018.
  25. Quoted from Hardy Grüne: Encyclopedia of German League Football. Volume 1: From the Crown Prince to the Bundesliga. 1890 to 1963. German championship, Gauliga, Oberliga. Numbers, pictures, stories. Agon-Sportverlag, Kassel 1996, ISBN 3-928562-85-1 , p. 13.
  26. Quoted from Jürgen Leinemann: Sepp Herberger. One life, one legend . Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-499-60700-X , p. 266.
  27. A detailed account of the history of the memorial tournament can be found in the commemorative publication 90 Years of Karlsruhe Football Club . Karlsruher FV (Ed.), Karlsruhe 1981, pp. 263-292.
  28. Beyer: The King of All Sports , Göttingen 2008, p. 22.
  29. quoted from Richard Kirn: Walther Bensemann: Kosmopolit des Fußballs
  30. Martin Schuck: The fairy tale of proletarian origins - Why Schalke 04 defeated Admira Vienna and Bayern Munich won the Julius Hirsch Prize , article in Deutsches Pfarrerblatt , 6/2012.
  31. kicker.de: Memorial plaque in Karlsruhe: Appreciation for Walther Bensemann (May 8, 2018) , accessed on May 22, 2018