Wolfgang Kohlrausch

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Wolfgang Kohlrausch (born December 20, 1888 in Hanover , † August 7, 1980 in Freudenstadt ; full name Wolfgang Gustav Theodor Kohlrausch ) was a German sports doctor . He is considered the father of German physiotherapy , which he significantly developed and shaped and founded or directed several physiotherapy schools. During the Nazi era he also worked on anthropometricInvestigations and finally received the first German chair for sports medicine. After the war, he was only able to continue his university activities as part of teaching assignments, which did not prevent him from developing physiotherapy and publishing new methods into old age.


Wolfgang Kohlrausch was the son of the sports scientist and film pioneer Ernst Kohlrausch and the great-grandson of the pedagogue Friedrich Kohlrausch .

At the age of 18, Wolfgang Kohlrausch began studying medicine in Göttingen , Marburg , Munich and Berlin in 1906 , which he completed in 1914. During his studies he became a member of the AMV Fridericiana Marburg . After participating in the First World War in Belgium and France, during which he married Charlotte Troeltsch (daughter of Marburg economist Walter Troeltsch ) on home leave in 1916 , he wrote his dissertation in 1918 with the title Colds from the perspective of war . From 1920 to 1935 he was a doctor in the gymnastic department of the Surgical University Clinic in Berlin and head of the anthropometric laboratory of the German University for Physical Education. During this time in 1926 he opened a physiotherapy school at the University Surgical Clinic. Finally , Wolfgang Kohlrausch completed his habilitation in the subject " Sports Hygiene " and was appointed associate professor at the University of Berlin in 1934 . From 1935 to 1941 he was head of the Sports Medicine Institute at the Medical Faculty of the University of Freiburg and received state recognition for his physiotherapy school. In 1937 he joined the NSDAP . Kohlrausch was appointed " Chief Staff Doctor" of the Hitler Youth (HJ).

Kohlrausch was a member of the National Socialist Motor Vehicle Corps from 1933 to 1935 as Oberscharführer , from 1935 (?) In the National Socialist German Medical Association and the former Nazi regime, from 1936 HJ chief medical officer and from 1941 in the National Socialist German Lecturer Association . As a former member of the Fridericiania student fraternity in Marburg, Kohlrausch was a member of the NS-Kampfhilfe, which from 1938 was called NS-Altherrenbund, during the Nazi era.

From 1941 to 1944 he was full professor of movement therapy at the University of Strasbourg, founded by the National Socialists , and was also the head of a physiotherapy school there. After the liberation of France, he continued this facility in Würzburg until 1945. After a year as a prisoner of war in Darmstadt, Wolfgang Kohlrausch was classified as a National Socialist follower through a court proceedings in Wiesbaden . From 1948 to 1950 he worked as a main subject teacher at the physiotherapy school at the Zurich Cantonal Hospital with Albert Böni.

Wolfgang Kohlrausch mainly held lectures at the University of Marburg from 1950 to 1954 and did so as a 75-year-old until 1963. He accepted a teaching position at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (1950-1953). He retired in 1958. In 1964 Kohlrausch referred “with pride” to his “friendship” with Otto Bickenbach , who had personally carried out human experiments in the Natzweiler concentration camp .

Wolfgang Kohlrausch was head of the Hohenfreudenstadt sanatorium from 1954 to 1959 .



“Sports medicine was neither an outstanding discipline in the medical canon of subjects - on the contrary: it had to be laboriously established as a young discipline in university contexts - nor was it negligible. Without sports medicine, the sporting successes that are so important for the various forms of government would not have been possible. … The person of Wolfgang Kohlrausch has something special in this case: he was considered the "father of German physiotherapy". Kohlrausch's merit for having implemented physiotherapy in Germany as a teachable and learnable subject in Germany remains unchallenged. ... "

“The peculiarities in Kohlrausch's career are unique in detail, but are basically comparable to those of other scientists. Professional merits in spite of corruptibility and the striving for power are anthropological constants that do not stop at such a seemingly harmless subject as sports medicine and exercise therapy. In 1936 Kohlrausch received an extraordinary professorship for sports medicine at the University of Freiburg. At the same time he took over the management of the Institute for Sports Medicine. ... "

"Like the majority of Germans, Kohlrausch had" left the shaping of their own path of life without great resistance to those agencies and bodies of the National Socialist state that were responsible for determining individual development opportunities and structuring their personal future. " Twenties was mentioned in Kürschner's German Scholars Calendar, was personally sponsored by Hitler (as a full professor in Strasbourg), became the light figure of German physiotherapy and was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, is not just any contemporary of the last century "

- Angelika Uhlmann


  • Colds from the point of view of war . Med. Diss. 1918, Leipzig 1919.
  • Physiology of physical exercises (with FA Schmidt). Leipzig 1922. Medicine and physical exercises, communications from the Gymnastics Society Bern 6 (1922/23), p. 28.
  • Klapp'sche creep exercises, a gymnastic system to combat back weaknesses and spinal bending . 1923.
  • P. Krause, C. Garré (Ed.): Massage and physiotherapy, therapy of internal diseases . 1 (1926), p. 379.
  • W. Kohlrausch (Ed.): Internal work and tasks of the German Medical Association for the Promotion of Physical Exercise , Sports Medical Conference Berlin 1925. Jena 1926.
  • About sports medical examinations of skiers (unpublished)
  • KA Worringen (Ed.): Methodology of body measurements, What does the doctor need to know about physical exercises? Health and Sport Vol. 2. Munich 1927.
  • Schulte (Ed.): Tasks and goals of the German Medical Association for the promotion of physical exercise, physiology and medicine . Stuttgart 1928.
  • Our body. Manual of the anatomy, physiology and hygiene of physical exercises (with FA Schmidt), Leipzig 1928.
  • FJJ Buytendijk (Ed.): Relationship between body shape and performance - results of the anthropometric measurements on the athletes of the Amsterdam Olympiad, results of the sports medical examinations at the IX. Olympic Games Amsterdam 1928 . Berlin 1929.
  • A. Zimmer (Ed.): Massage and gymnastics for joint diseases , The treatment of rheumatic diseases. Leipzig 1930.
  • Power consumption and impact when riding bicycles with balloon or full pressure tires . In: Münchener Medizinische Wochenschrift 77 (1930), p. 399.
  • Stool gymnastics, physiotherapy and physical training while sitting (with Hede Leube). Leipzig 1933/1953/1959/1963/1967/1977.
  • Bag Spirometer , Die Gasmaske 5 (1933), pp. 45-50.
  • Physical exercise and health care , Berlin 1936.
  • Gymnastic treatment for women (with Hede Leube), Jena 1936, 1948, 1953, 1958.
  • Robert Hördemann u. Gerhard Joppich (ed.): The physical performance. Your increase and limits in childhood and adolescence , The health management of youth. Munich 1939, pp. 88-150.
  • Textbook of physiotherapy for internal diseases (with Hede Leube). Jena 1940/1943/1948/1954/1958.
  • Physiotherapy in surgery . Berlin 1954.
  • Exercise therapy for constitutional and internal diseases , textbook of sports medicine. A. Arnold, Leipzig 1956.
  • K. Hansen, K. Bloch (ed.): Massage and physiotherapy, therapeutic technology for medical practice . Stuttgart 1956, pp. 483-536.
  • S. Licht (Ed.): The development of movement therapy in the German-speaking countries since 1800 , History of Physical Medicine. Cambridge MA 1958.
  • Rheumatism gymnastics . Stuttgart 1966.
  • Getting old - staying healthy (with Kurt Trumpa). Stuttgart 1966.
  • Physiotherapy in gynecology (with Hede Leube). Stuttgart 1968
  • Movement therapy and rehabilitation (with son Arnt Kohlrausch). Stuttgart 1971.


  • Angelika Uhlmann: "Sport is the general practitioner at the sick camp of the German people." Wolfgang Kohlrausch (1888–1980) and the history of German sports medicine . Dissertation at the University of Freiburg , Freiburg im Breisgau 2005 ( full text at ub.uni-freiburg.de ).
  • Arnd Krüger : history of movement therapy. In: Preventive Medicine. Springer Loseblatt Collection, Heidelberg 1999, 07.06, pp. 1–22.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Association of Alter SVer (VASV): Address book and Vademecum. Ludwigshafen am Rhein 1959, p. 72.
  2. a b Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 328.
  3. a b Angelika Uhlmann: "Sport is the general practitioner at the sick bed of the German people." Wolfgang Kohlrausch (1888–1980) and the history of German sports medicine . Dissertation at the University of Freiburg , Freiburg im Breisgau 2005 ( full text at ub.uni-freiburg.de ), p. 20.
  4. Angelika Uhlmann, Wolfgang Kohlrausch (1888-1980) and the history of German sports medicine , dissertation, 2004, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg i. Br., P. 114.
  5. ↑ Office of the Federal President
  6. Angelika Uhlmann: "Sport is the general practitioner at the sick bed of the German people." Wolfgang Kohlrausch (1888–1980) and the history of German sports medicine . Dissertation at the University of Freiburg , Freiburg im Breisgau 2005 ( full text at ub.uni-freiburg.de ), p. 6.