Wilhelm Knoll (medic)

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Wilhelm Knoll (born January 29, 1876 in Frauenfeld , † September 29, 1958 in Alpnachstad ) was a Swiss military and sports doctor who was professor at the University of Hamburg from 1929 to 1945 .


Knoll studied medicine in Zurich, Basel, Prague, Strasbourg and Tübingen up to the state examination in 1903 and his doctorate in 1904 in Zurich. He became an assistant in Zurich, Constance and Tübingen. From 1905–11 he worked as a doctor in Frauenfeld, from 1912–14 as a senior doctor at the Adelheid sanatorium and the Zurich sanatorium in Unterägeri . Then he worked as a war surgeon during the First World War with deployments in German and Austrian hospitals . From 1916 to 1929 he was chief physician at the Grisons sanatorium for tuberculosis in Arosa .

Knoll is considered a pioneer in sports medicine. The aim was to combine general public health with sport, performance improvement, work physiology and the will to fight. After the First World War, he began to examine Swiss military patrols and cross-country skiers , founded the Sports Medical Commission of the Swiss National Association for Physical Exercise in 1922 and the International Sports Medical Association at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz with 50 doctors from eleven countries . With the support of the chemical industry, he carried out sports medical examinations at the competitions and published the first results of their kind worldwide, which later also became a basis for doping in sport. He became the first president of the World Federation of Sports Medicine from 1928 to 1930.

On July 1, 1929, the spa doctor was appointed as an associate professor as the first sports physician at the Institute for Physical Activity, which was newly founded at the University of Hamburg in 1925 . Together with Arno Arnold , he published the book "Normal and pathological physiology of physical exercises", one of the first textbooks on sports medicine. As director of the institute, he enforced the right to award doctorates in sports science in 1935 . After the division of the institute in 1936, he became director of the newly founded sports medicine institute , which was transferred to the medical department. Here he was also responsible for sports medicine as part of the Olympic Leisure Congress ( KdF ) in Hamburg on the fringes of the Olympic Games in Berlin . From 1939 he published the magazine “ Gesundheitsführung des Deutschen Volkes ”. He belonged to the Senate of the Colonial Medical Academy and from the end of 1942 to the German Society for Constitution Research. With his retirement for political reasons in 1945, this position in sports medicine was lost again.

Knoll confessed to National Socialism and underlined this with anti-Semitic slogans. After the handover of power to the National Socialists , he joined the NSDAP in 1933 and was a supporting member of the SS . In November 1933 he signed the German professors' confession of Adolf Hitler .

Back in Switzerland after 1945, he helped set up the Sports Medicine Center in Magglingen . His estate rests there and is not accessible to the public. Questionable material was sorted out and destroyed.


Individual evidence

  1. Claus Tiedemann (2012). Sports medicine and National Socialist "health policy". Archived copy ( Memento from July 25, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  2. ^ Arnd Krüger : The Olympic Games 1936 and the world opinion. Its importance in foreign policy, with particular reference to the USA. Berlin: Bartels & Wernitz 1972.
  3. ^ Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich , Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 320f.
  4. tagblatt.ch (September 12, 2015). The well-camouflaged Nazi. http://www.tagblatt.ch/ostschweiz/thurgau/kanton/Der-gut-getarnte-Nazi;art123841,4352982