Wildor Hollmann

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Wildor Hollmann (2001)

Wildor Hollmann (born January 30, 1925 in Menden (Sauerland) , † May 13, 2021 in Viersen ) was a German doctor , university professor and author.

life and work

Hollmann attended the Josef School and the Walram Realgymnasium in Menden. After graduating from high school in 1943, he did labor service and was then trained as a pilot in the Air Force . From 1945 to 1947 he was a British prisoner of war . He then studied at the University of Cologne medicine . In 1949 he began experimental research as part of his medical doctoral thesis in the field of spiroergometry . After the state examination in 1953 and his doctorate in 1954, he worked as an assistant at the Medical University Clinic in Cologne . He completed his habilitation there in 1961 - the year he was certified as an internist - in sports medicine and in 1964 was offered a chair in cardiology and sports medicine at the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS), which he followed in 1965. As early as 1958 he founded the Institute for Circulatory Research and Sports Medicine , which connected the Medical University Clinic Cologne with the German Sport University Cologne. The focus of his work was the importance of physical activity and inactivity for maintaining health and promoting performance (from childhood to senior age - in healthy and sick people) .

According to Georg Neumann, Hollmann was connected through a “far-sighted collaboration” with Kurt Tittel , one of the leading sports medicine specialists in the GDR at the time . "Maintaining a sensible east-west relationship" was "not an easy and sometimes explosive task" at that time, judged Neumann. Hollmann published the book "History of German Sports Medicine" with Tittel in 2008.

For 14 years he served at the German Sport University Cologne as Rector, Vice Rector and Dean of the medical and natural science department. As rector, he succeeded in getting the sport university recognized as an independent academic university with the right to award doctorates and habilitation , combined with a generous expansion. From 1984 to 1998 he was President of the German Sports Medical Association (German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention) , from 1986 to 1994 President of the World Association for Sports Medicine ( Fédération Internationale de Médecine du Sport / International Federation of Sports Medicine - FIMS ). Both societies appointed him honorary president .

Even after his retirement in 1990, Hollmann, who is considered a “pioneer of today's sports medicine”, continued his research and teaching activities. When he was more than 90 years old, he was still giving lectures at the sports university on a regular basis. In conjunction with the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research in Cologne and the Research Center Jülich , he carried out numerous experimental studies on the brain and mind in connection with physical activity. As an academic teacher, he supervised over 1000 diploma theses and more than 200 dissertations . He himself wrote over 800 publications, including numerous books. His most important monograph, the book Sports Medicine - Basics for Physical Activity, Training and Preventive Medicine (in the first 4 editions with Theodor Hettinger, later with Heiko K. Strüder and Julia Diehl) is a standard work in sports medicine. In 2015, Hans-Georg Predel called Hollmann the “charismatic Nestor and pioneer of international sports and preventive medicine”.

At the end of January 2020, a permanent exhibition about Hollmann with the title "Wildor Hollmann - an eventful life" was opened at the German Sport University Cologne.


In the book Doping Documents: From Research to fraud by Brigitte Berendonk states Hollmann had in the 1970s for Anabolikadoping pronounced. In the research project "Doping in Germany from 1950 to today from a historical-sociological point of view in the context of ethical legitimation", it says in the section "The public anabolic steroids debate until 1976" that "anabolic steroids had been experimented with" at the German Sport University in Cologne, according to the director of the institute Hollmann I have spoken out against its use “publicly for ethical and medical reasons”. Hollmann said in 1977 with regard to possible damage from dosed hormone administration: “Harmful side effects have never been observed from this” (…) “But if these hormones are supplied from the outside in the same order of magnitude as they are otherwise only due to training stress in the body in freedom it is difficult to provide evidence of harmfulness. ”Hollmann denied having carried out doping research in the 1970s and 1980s, but confirmed that he had researched the re-transfusion of autologous blood. Tests on sports students in 1974 found up to nine percent increases in cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic performance. Hollmann emphasized to reject this "possibility of increasing performance" in sport, this form of "blood doping" was "not medical and sportily unethical", said Hollmann in 1981. In a conversation with the Handelsblatt in 2013, Hollmann said in relation to the Accusation of doping research: “You made the big mistake of labeling all research that has to do with performance as doping. Without our performance-related studies, there would be no preventive medicine, no rehab centers today. ”According to the news magazine Der Spiegel , Hollmann remained“ inconsistent when it came to doping. ”He“ could have rebelled loudly from the start, he knew enough, he did understood enough that he would have made himself heard as West Germany's top sports physician. But he didn't. "

In a report published by the Spiegel in 2011 , Hollmann was accused, citing the doping research project mentioned, of having exploited his influence in important bodies of German sports science such as the Federal Institute for Sports Science in favor of the institute he headed at the DSHS, for example to Receive research grants. According to Spiegel , there was “hardly a better networked sports scientist than Hollmann” in the Federal Republic of Germany. In the cited study by Strang and Spitzer, there is talk of a “dominance of the sports medicine axis Cologne-Freiburg”, which prevented scientific competition. Hollmann rejected the allegations. In his opinion, the Cologne Sport University and the University of Freiburg received the most funding, "because they are the two largest and most research-intensive sports medicine institutes in the Federal Republic".

research results

  • 1954: Introduction of the bicycle ergometer, previously used for training and research purposes, as a routine clinical examination device in the Medical University Clinic in Cologne; from there worldwide spread.
  • 1955: Development (with Dipl.-Ing.Sander) of the first blood pressure measuring device for physical work using a microphone in the crook of the elbow. First factory-made in 1958, the first of its kind at the 1960 New York World's Fair for Electronic Medicine.
  • 1958: Self-measurement of blood pressure by the patient for the purpose of better determination and treatment of hypertension.
  • 1959: First description of a combined determination of the metabolic aerobic-anaerobic transition during physical work by means of simultaneous registration of minute ventilation and arterial lactic acid level (lactate). Later worldwide expansion in connection with his employees Alois Mader, Hermann Heck and Heinz Liesen.
  • 1963: Development of hypoxia training (oxygen deficiency conditions) in the laboratory.
  • 1965: First presentation of minimal training programs for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
  • 1966: Formation of an international commission at the World Congress for Sports Medicine in Hanover with an appeal to the World Health Organization (WHO) to transform the internationally common concept of heart attack treatment with several weeks of bed rest into early mobilization, exercise therapy and rehabilitation. Official WHO acceptance 1977.
  • 1967: Development of hyperoxia training (breathing oxygen).
  • 1967: First creation of a rule of thumb to optimize endurance training for health purposes (180 minus age in years), with Viktor Baum.
  • 1973/74: Publication of training results from elderly and elderly people who have been physically inactive for decades. The sentence is coined: "With appropriate physical training, you can stay 40 years old for 20 years."
  • 1974: Internationally first fully computerized and electronized bicycle ergometer (with Heinz Liesen ).
  • 1976: Presentation of a 4 mmol / l lactate threshold by Alois Mader, Heinz Liesen, Hermann Heck, Helmut Philippi, Richard Rost, Peter Schürch, Wildor Hollmann.
  • 1985: Introduction of the term "movement neuroscience" and research planning on the subject of "brain, mind and physical activity".
  • 1987: First international description of regional cerebral blood flow during exercise bike work (with Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research in Cologne).
  • 1991: First international description of glucose metabolism in individual brain sections in connection with ergometer work (with Forschungszentrum Jülich).
  • 1999: Description of the influence of physical activity on brain functions in old people (with Forschungszentrum Jülich).
  • 2008: Coining of the term “cerebrology” for multidisciplinary brain research.

Other activities

  • 1955–1989 member of the scientific commission of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Germany
  • 1960–1998 Editor-in-Chief of the "German Journal for Sports Medicine"
  • 1969–1994 member of the scientific advisory board of the German Medical Association
  • 1971–1995 member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Ministry of Defense
  • 1973–1976 member of the Federal Commission for Medical Examination Questions
  • 1987–1994 Official Scientific Advisor in Japan for Preventive Medicine
  • 1989–1992 Advisory member of a science commission of the Ministry of Culture in Finland
  • 1994–1997 President of the German Olympic Society

Special sports medicine activity

Research awards

  • 1959 Medal of Honor at the Chicago Pan-American Sports Medical Congress
  • 1961 Carl Diem Prize for research in sports science
  • 1961 Presidential Order of Ghana
  • 1964 Hufeland Prize for Preventive Medicine
  • 1969 Max Bürger Prize for Gerontology
  • 1976 Sir Philip Noel Baker Research Award from UNESCO
  • 1976 Ernst von Bergmann Medal from the German Medical Association
  • 1981 Plaque of Honor for Sports Medicine Research of the Republic of South Africa
  • 1984 Plaque of Honor for Medical Research of the Republic of China
  • 1986 Badge of Honor for Medical Research from the United States Sports Academy
  • 1986 Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Medicine at the Free University of Brussels
  • 1987 First movement research award of the German Sports Association "Golden Trimmy"
  • 1987 Letter of Honor from the Medical Faculty of the University of Budapest (Debrecen)
  • 1988 Gold Medal of the Society for Orthopedic and Traumatological Sports Medicine
  • 1989 Letter of Honor from the University of Bratislava / Slovakia
  • 1990 Reys Research Prize of the Netherlands
  • 1990 gold medal from the World Association for Sports Medicine
  • 1991 Gold Bleasdale Research Medal
  • 1995 Honorary Doctorate and Honorary Professor from the University of Thessaloniki
  • 1995 honorary citizen of the German Sport University Cologne
  • 2000 Hollmann Research Prize for Sports Cardiology from the World Association for Sports Medicine
  • 2002 Paracelsus Medal of the German Medical Association
  • 2003 Peter Beckmann Medal from the German Society for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases
  • 2004 Honorary membership of the German Society for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery
  • 2005 gold medal from the German Sport University Cologne
  • 2006 elected to the group “Most Important Preventive Medicine Scientists” of the International Library Cambridge / England
  • 2008 Gold Medal from the Humboldt Society for Science, Culture and Education
  • 2010 "Wildor Hollmann - A life for sport", exhibition in the German Sport & Olympia Museum

State awards

In 2008 the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia donated an annual research prize for sports science and named it after Wildor Hollmann.

Publications (selection)

  • with Heinz Liesen : Training and sport for older people. In: Hans Franke (Ed.): Gerotherapy. Fischer, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 138-158.
  • Goal and chance. An eventful life as a doctor, university professor, researcher and manager (= publication series of the Central Library of Sports Sciences of the German Sport University Cologne. Special volume 1). Sportverlag Strauss, Cologne 2013, ISBN 978-3-86884-160-2 .
  • New territory for medicine and sport: 40 years with the German Sport University Cologne. Memories - experiences - views. Sankt August 1994 (= life memories from culture and science. Volume 1), ISBN 3-88345-440-0 .
  • with Richard Rost: Electrocardiography in Sports Medicine. Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 978-3-13-582101-6 .
  • with Richard Rost: Stress tests in practice. Basics, technology and interpretation of ergometric examination procedures. Thieme, 1982, ISBN 3-13-626901-2 , ISBN 978-3-13-626901-5 .
  • Physical training as prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Hippokrates-Verlag, Stuttgart, 1965.
  • with Heiko K. Strüder: Sports medicine , basics for physical activity, training and preventive medicine, 2009, Publisher: Schattauer, ISBN 3-7945-2546-9 , ISBN 978-3-7945-2546-1
  • with Heiko K Strüder and Christos V Tagarakis: Spiroergometry: Cardiopulmonary performance diagnostics of the healthy and the sick. Schattauer Verlag, 2006.
  • With Heinz Liesen: Endurance sports and metabolism (especially for older people). ISBN 978-3-7780-7601-9 .

Film adaptations

  • 1976 Film "20 Years Stay 40 Years", production by Bayer-Leverkusen
  • 2003 film "Wildor Hollmann: Doctor - Researcher - Manager". Teaching media in sport eV, Heidelberg


  • Andreas Mettenleiter : Testimonials, memories, diaries and letters from German-speaking doctors. Supplements and supplements II (A – H). In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 21, 2002, p. 515.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Westfalenpost of May 13, 2021: Citizens of the world. Wildor Hollmann passed away. Menden loses honorary citizen , by Thomas Hagemann , accessed on May 13, 2021
  2. ^ Georg Neumann: Obituary Prof. Dr. med. habil. Dr. hc Kurt Tittel. (PDF) In: German Association for Sports Science. Retrieved March 4, 2019 .
  3. Wildor Hollmann, Kurt Tittel: History of German sports medicine . Dr.-Haus Gera, 2008, ISBN 978-3-9811758-2-0 ( bisp-surf.de [accessed on March 4, 2019]).
  4. idw-online.de, accessed December 10, 2008 .
  5. Interview with Prof. Dr. Dr. hc mult. Wildor Hollmann Network Aging Research - Heidelberg University. Retrieved March 8, 2019 .
  6. ^ 92-year-old professor: Everyone loves Hollmann . In: Spiegel Online . April 18, 2017 ( spiegel.de [accessed March 8, 2019]).
  7. Hans-Georg Predel: Wildor Hollmann: For the 90th birthday of the Nestor of sports medicine . In: Ärzteblatt . 112 (16): A-737 / B-621 / C-601, 2015.
  8. Wildor Hollmann - an eventful life. (PDF) In: German Sport University Cologne. January 29, 2020, accessed May 28, 2020 .
  9. ^ Berendonk, Brigitte: Doping documents. From research to fraud . Springer-Verlag, 1991, ISBN 978-3-540-53742-7 , pp. 19 .
  10. H. Strang, G. Spitzer: Doping in Germany from 1950 to today from a historical-sociological point of view in the context of ethical legitimation. (PDF) 2011, accessed March 4, 2019 .
  11. Danckert, Peter: Power machine parliament: the sports committee and the sports policy of the federal government . Meyer & Meyer, 2009, ISBN 978-3-89899-433-0 , pp. 155 .
  12. Trouble about the "confession". In: Hamburger Abendblatt. December 5, 1981. Retrieved December 18, 2020 .
  13. Doping study: Sports medicine specialist Hollmann rejects allegations . In: Spiegel Online . August 9, 2013 ( spiegel.de [accessed March 4, 2019]).
  14. a b Detlef Hacke, Udo Ludwig: SPORTS HISTORY: “I only want one thing: medals” . In: Der Spiegel . tape 39 , September 26, 2011 ( spiegel.de [accessed March 4, 2019]).
  15. www.sportmuseum.de ( Memento from February 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on February 6, 2010.
  16. Idw-online.de, honorary citizenship of Menden, accessed on December 10, 2008 .