"Zu Gast bei Freunden"

How the Federal Republic of Germany learned to take sport seriously

During the 1950s, policy makers in the Federal Republic of Germany, haunted by memories of the 1936 Olympics, endeavoured to keep politics out of sport. However, this position became untenable as the German Democratic Republic increasingly used sport for ideological capital. Under pressure from both the West German public and national and international politics, the Federal German government increasingly rose to the East German challenge. This culminated in the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, where the “modern Germany” was presented as a peace-loving, democratic, and European nation.

The world is soon to be “Zu Gast bei Freunden1 Among the hosts-to-be, however, it’s hard to detect much sense of joyful anticipation. The daily press follows the performances of the young stars in the German team with Argus eyes and cautions periodically of the danger of a national disgrace in the forthcoming World Cup. Chancellor Angela Merkel offers to mediate between the national coach Jürgen Klinsmann and his detractors in the German Football Association. And the political agenda in Berlin is dominated to a noticeable degree by the question: will Germany be world champions?

Large sporting events provide the chance for national self-display. The host nation shows itself off in a certain light while those guests from the margins of the UN general assembly exploit the media attention they are often denied. Sporting victories and defeats make a deep impression on the national memory – the “Miracle of Bern”, synonym for Germany’s victory over Hungary in the final of the World Cup in 1954, and the “Sparwasser goal”, symbol of the defeat of the Federal Republic of Germany by the German Democratic Republic in the preliminaries of the World Cup in 1974, have long become national myths.

The early Federal Republic initially acted ambivalently towards national self-display in sport.2 The public reception of the “heroes of Bern” may have been warm; nevertheless, official policy was markedly reserved in its congratulations. Speaking at the reception of the German team at the Olympia stadium in Berlin in 1954, the Federal German President Theodor Heuss clearly rejected turning the victory to political ends. In its congratulatory telegram, the Bonn government also made mention only of the sporting dimension of the victory.3 In sharp contrast to the policy of the Third Reich and the GDR, Federal German sport at the beginning of the 1950s defined itself as “non-political”;4 subsequently, the victory in Bern was considered not a national victory but a purely sporting one.

In the GDR, in contrast, sport was systematically tied in with the battle for international recognition and internal consolidation since the beginning of the 1950s. Sport was to serve as an instrument for the education and health of the “new human being”, while, following the prescriptions of socialist ideology, international sports stadiums were considered arenas for political competition. The GDR did in fact succeed in becoming a valued negotiation partner in the International Olympic Committee and in many international federations. Here, the GDR benefited from the non-political understanding of the international sporting community, and in particular of the Olympic Movement, in that these granted an equal starting right, regardless of political, religious, or ethnic affiliation. Nevertheless, it was solely the need to create an independent political sphere beyond political imperatives that characterized itself as non-political. In fact, the granting of a starting right to the GDR can be read as a thoroughly political act: it was precisely through accepting the Soviet Union and the GDR that the Olympic Committee was able to push forward its own politicization.

From the beginning of the 1960s onwards, the GDR succeeded in drawing attention to itself through sporting achievements. Walter Ulbricht [General Secretary of the Communist Party of the GDR – trans.] had, as early as the mid-1950s, appealed quite openly to his athletes to defend the sporting superiority of the GDR.5

The FRG initially reacted with irritation to these socialist declarations of war in the sphere of sport and came under increasing pressure from them. The first Federal German government sought to maintain its right as sole representative of Germany in the cultural sphere too, a right it saw as being jeopardized by the sporting policy of the GDR. In response, the foreign ministry and the chancellery developed a sporting policy that initially aimed to limit the GDR’s opportunities for representing itself in international sport. Nevertheless, the fact was not to be overlooked that also in the FRG political interest in issues of sporting protocol was increasingly being thought a good thing.

In the 1960s, it eventually became clear that it was permissible to counter the thrusts of the GDR in sport, and the media’s coverage of it, with its own active strategy of sporting self-representation. The GDR had already obtained full Olympic recognition in 1965 and was participating with increasing success according to its own official policy in large sporting events. During this phase, state interests and sporting interests in the Federal Republic again fell under one remit. The Deutsche Sportbund(DSB) [German Sports Association] willingly took over responsibility for the representation of the Federal Republic in sport and gratefully received steadily increasing funding in return.

Politics’ rediscovery of sport did not remain limited to the funding; that the principle of official representation through large sporting events had established itself in the Federal Republic was demonstrated to an even greater extent in the planning and staging of the Olympic Games in 1972. This was the year that the Federal Republic departed once and for all from the course it had steered since the 1950s of a clear separation between sport and state.

The GDR and sport

A major furore was caused in West German sport when, in 1951, two years after the foundation of the Federal German National Olympic Committee (NOC), which declared itself the sole Germany representative, the GDR suddenly entered the Olympic stage with its own NOC. Initially, the Federal German Olympic Committee under the chairmanship of Karl Ritter von Halt was able to block its recognition, which in the 1952 games in Helsinki led to teams from the Federal Republic and Saarland taking part, but no athletes from the GDR.6

This event was irreconcilable with the ethos of political neutrality of the international sporting community and the Olympic Movement, and numerous international federations decided to accept the GDR. After the Helsinki debacle, there was also a growing will in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include the GDR in the Olympic family after all – something the American Avery Brundage, who had just been elected the new president of the IOC in 1952, campaigned especially energetically for. Sure enough, three years later the IOC reached what appeared to be a wise solution to the “German issue” in sport: the provisional recognition of the NOC of the GDR. Attached to the provisional recognition was nevertheless the proviso that in the future sportspersons from the GDR should take part in the Olympic Games as part of a joint German Olympic team.7

This decision by the IOC opened tough negotiations between West and East German Olympic Committees over how such a team would come into being. During the Cold War, questions such as which flag should be waved during the opening ceremony, which national anthem should be played in the event of a victory, and which side should hold the captaincy of such a team, were political issues in and of themselves.8

Initially, the flag issue did not arise, since in 1955 the GDR did not yet have its own official flag. The make-up of the team on the principle of sporting ability was also accepted unanimously. Accordingly, the top exponents of a sporting discipline were to be determined via knockout competitions across Germany and taken into the joint German team regardless of where they lived. Whichever part of the team was bigger would then be allowed to hold the prestigious post of “chef de mission“. Deciding on which anthem to play was more difficult, however. Here, the Federal German NOC was initially able to have both anthems kept. In the event of a team victory, both sides were to go without their anthems. This suggestion from the Federal German side was based on the correct assumption that the GDR would not succeed in winning any gold medals in the forthcoming 1956 Winter Olympics.

However, there was unease in the Federal German government about this lax ruling, since in the summer games in Melbourne in the same year it was more or less certain that athletes from the GDR would win a gold medal. It was thus conceivable that the national anthem of the GDR would be sung at the medal ceremony, one attended by the entire diplomatic corps of the guest country – an idea that not only caused the Federal German foreign office some sleepless nights, but also roused Nato representatives to act. The latter complained retrospectively that efforts to form a joint German team were inconsistent with the non-recognition policy of Bonn. While Bonn had called on Nato members to reduce the space allocated on their territories to the GDR for diplomatic representation, now the FRG was offering the GDR, via the joint German team, a clear opportunity for official self-representation. Reprimanded from such a height, the foreign office immediately considered withdrawing Federal German athletes from the Olympic Games in Melbourne.9 Federal German sport avoided its first showdown, however, when the government eventually distanced itself from the boycott idea, less because of sporting considerations than because of domestic policy. After all, it could hardly have allowed the GDR to represent Germany in the Olympics single-handedly.

Eventually, it was agreed that from now on Beethoven’s Ode to Joywould be played when German athletes were awarded their medals. The GDR were able to see this ruling as a partial victory, since the FRG had also dropped their claim to their national anthem.

In view of the tough political battle going on behind the scenes, the words with which the IOC president congratulated the first joint German team may sound somewhat naive: “Here is a convincing example of an Olympic force that responds to a question politicians worldwide are busy asking.”10

In fact, the German-German game of cat-and-mouse in the world of the Olympics did not end with the 1956 games, but became even more frenzied before the Olympic Games in Rome in 1959, after the GDR had introduced its new flag in October that year. The IOC – recognizing the difficulties that would arise from this new situation – suggested to the two NOCs that as a compromise they create their own Olympic flag to wave at the entry parade. This would be based on the red, black, and gold and decorated by five white Olympic rings. Initially, both sides signalled their agreement to the suggestion. In doing so, the GDR forfeited further evidence of its statutory independence; however, the joint flag was also a symbol of the equality of the two halves of the team, which was partially in line with the way the Politburo conceived of German politics.

This now came to the attention of the Federal German cabinet, however, who ruled that the Federal German government had the sole right of representation, and therefore that the Federal German flag was the only Olympic flag possible. The Federal German NOC saw its chances of taking part in the next Olympic Games start to fall. In a personal discussion with Willi Daume and Karl Ritter von Halt, the Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer remained unyielding on the grounds of German policy. In his inimitable fashion, he made clear to the sports officials that in addition he feared the trivialization of the national flag: “Put the Olympic rings on the national flag and the Sarrasani Circus will be along wanting an elephant and the butcher’s guild wanting a pig’s head on the flag.”11

From the start, the Federal German government ruled out any kind of compromise over the alteration of the national flag and called on the Federal German Olympic team to boycott the games. This was opposed by the Federal German NOC, however. It accepted the compromise, thus proving post hocits independence from the government and enabling its athletes to start in Rome. West German sport had avoided its first ever non-attendance at the Olympic Games by a hair’s breadth.

All the while, the sporting leaders in the GDR were steering towards a new Olympic goal: flying its own official flag at the entry parade of their Olympic team and playing the anthem of the GDR during medal ceremonies. For this reason, the GDR applied annually for full recognition by the Olympic Movement; their chances improved considerably after the Wall was built. The Wall had more or less brought sporting traffic within Germany to a standstill, meaning that in the future a further important link between the two German nation-states would no longer exist. In addition, the Olympic Movement reacted sensitively to the Nato ruling, itself a reaction to the Wall, to deny entrance to sportspersons from the GDR. Here also, the international sporting community felt its “non-political honour” to have been assaulted and in retaliation to these attempted political attacks awarded large sporting events to those countries that could guarantee equal rights to participate. It is not without irony that it was the hyper-politicized sport of the GDR that was able to profit from the non-political self-understanding of the international sporting community.12

Through their defensive behaviour, Federal German sporting officials themselves increasingly fell into the role of the political boat-rockers of harmonious international sporting traffic. For example, at the ice hockey world championships in Geneva in 1961, the GDR ice hockey team were left waiting in vain on the rink for their Federal German opponents. The team had been withdrawn from the competition at the last minute after pressure from the foreign office. The reason: in the event of a defeat – which was foreseeable – the West German team would have had to pay its respects to the East German flag at the winner’s ceremony, something that at that time the Federal German government’s policy did not countenance.13

Despite repeatedly distancing themselves publicly from interventions by the government and efforts to demonstrate political neutrality, Federal German sporting officials increasingly lost the sympathy of the international sporting community, which, like politics, began to get used to the existence of two German nation-states. For this reason, West German sports officials felt liberated by the decision that finally came on 8 October 1965 in Madrid: the GDR was to be become a fully-fledged member of the Olympic Movement. Its delegation, under the leadership of Heinz Schöbel, agreed one last time to take part in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1968 under a joint Olympic flag and an Olympic anthem, although with a team of its own. In 1972, at the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, the GDR paraded under its own flag for the first time.

The sporting self-representation of the FRG

Initially, the Federal German government had merely reacted to the GDR’s political exploitation of the international world of sport. Chancellor Adenauer differentiated strictly between a sportsperson’s role as citizen and as athlete. Adenauer always subordinated sport to political interests, and therefore was not afraid to demand that Federal German athletes boycott the Olympic Games. In an interview with sports journalists in June 1961 he said that sportspersons were “first and foremost Germans and only secondarily sportspersons”.14

The first German Chancellor also never made a speech at the parliamentary meeting of the Deutsche Sportbund (DSB) that took place every two years. For historical reasons, but also because of latent disinterest, West German politics avoided immediate contact with the DSB. One exception was President Theodor Heuss, who assumed overall patronage of the DSB. However, the self-assured performances of the increasingly successful GDR athletes caused politicians and the general public of the FRG to pay more and more attention to sporting self-representation.

The more the FRG fell into the role of the troublemaker of sporting diplomacy, the faster the reputation of the GDR sports officials grew in international federations and in the Olympic Movement. From the beginning of the 1960s, the achievements of GDR athletes attracted increasing attention. The state subsidization of sports clubs and sports schools for young people that had been in operation since the 1950s and the high level of research in sporting science was paying off. When the GDR succeeded for the first time in fielding the majority of athletes in the joint German team, meaning the flag bearer was a GDR athlete, the Federal German public was taken aghast. The Rheinishe Merkurran the outraged headline “A Communist up front”.15

The West German sporting leadership and its astute president Willi Daume saw its chance in the Federal German public’s demonstrable reluctance to let the GDR take over the sporting representation of Germany in the future. They began systematically to work on the government and to convince it that performing worse than the GDR would damage the FRG’s reputation. Daume declared that sport was the arena of political competition, “And we want to prove that our free society is not inferior to an authoritarian one”.16 Die Zeitalso wrote that sport was in fact “the continuation of politics by other means”.17

At first such pithily expressed opinions roused into action not politics but the Federal German financial sector. Worried that from a lack of sporting prowess in the democratic part of Germany the international public might deduce a generalweakness in the economy and in science, leading figures in finance discussed the support of Federal German sportspersons.18 The Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe [Foundation for German Sporting Aid] was founded in 1967 – one or two West German businessmen had already been discreetly sponsoring competitive sport in Federal Germany before then.

The first members list of the board of trustees of the foundation, which with Josef Neckerman not only had a multiple Olympic winner but also a successful businessman as chairman, reads like a Who’s Who?of Federal Germany. Government ministers, press magnates, top level management from business and industry, and theatre directors all feature.19 The foundation’s function was to recognize the role of sportspersons as representatives of society. The Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe drew a portion of its income from the sale of Olympic stamps. This was considered to be the contribution from the Federal German citizenry to the support of competitive sport and thus an “expression of the nation’s link with the athletes”.20

The DSB was returning to the traditional line taken to sport in Germany that it had departed from after WWII. The sportsperson was once again regarded as representative of both a state and a social system. With this, the DSB came close to sharing the convictions of its ideological opponents east of the Wall, where in 1949 the political appropriation of sporting victories had continued uninterrupted.

In 1967, during the first comprehensive debate about sport to take place in Federal German parliament, MPs stated that sport was a means of national representation.21 From there they concluded almost unanimously that the state was to extend its support for sport. The MPs called for the establishment of an effective sporting system with a stable scientific basis provided by newly created research positions for sporting science and sporting medicine. Finally, the re-evaluation of sporting science in the Federal Republic manifested itself in increasing official attention and in the foundation of the Federal Institute for Sporting Science. Sports colleges were established at the regional level, which were an attempt to imitate the promotion of sport at the youth level in the GDR. The financial sector created the programme “Youth train for Olympia” and tried to set up west of the Wall a comprehensive talent scouting system like the “Kinder- und Jugendspartakiade” [Children’s and Youth Games] that existed in the GDR.

Bonn’s new focus on sport was at last plainly stated by the interior minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher at the first parliamentary meeting of the Special Committee for Sport and the Olympic Games in 1969: “I’ll make no bones about the fact that in the opinion of the government the political aspect of sport as a form of national self-representation, particularly with a view to the Olympic Games that will take place on German soil, should not be underrated.”22

Compared to the GDR, this representation became increasingly negative. West German sport was no longer able to catch up with the GDR in the majority of disciplines. In Munich, the GDR won twenty gold medals, twenty-three silver medals, and as many bronzes. West Germany, the host, was able to win a total of only forty, thirteen of which were gold. Two years later, the FRG suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the GDR in the sport that, until then, they had been considered unbeatable. Even if this defeat was without consequences – in 1974 the FRG went on to become World Champions – it remains permanently fixed in German sporting memory: in the seventy-eighth minute of a World Cup preliminary match on 22 June 1974 at the Volkspark stadium in Hamburg, Jürgen Sparwasser scored the winner in a 1:0 victory for the GDR over the FRG.

The discovery of the role of host

The rediscovery of sport as an area of representation to the outside world not only found its expression in the revaluation of sporting performance and the foundation of an efficient system of sports subsidies. It also made an impact upon the preparations for the 1972 Olympic Games, until then the biggest sporting event ever to have been held on German soil. The grand coalition saw the games primarily as a litmus test for German-German politics. For this reason, it was uncertain for a long time whether the GDR would receive an equal start right. Willi Brandt’s liberal-socialist government was the first to recognize the games as a space for a modern form of national self-representation that offered numerous opportunities for symbolic mise en scène and media coverage that could thus be seamlessly integrated into the media policy of the Brandt government. In his first speech as chancellor, Brandt had already called the games a chance “to introduce modern Germany to the worldwide public”.23 “Modern Germany” was to be clearly differentiated from the Germany of 1936, the year the Olympic Games took place on German soil for the first time.

The organizing committee of the Munich Games, led by Willi Daume and including representatives of sport and politics, were concerned not to allow a comparison with the 1936 games to so much as arise. In contrast to the pathos-heavy mise en scène of 1936, the games were to be given a carefree look. This ambition was expressed in the term “The Jolly Games”.24 The work of the organizing committee aimed to help realize this idea conceptually through the ceremonial programme, above all the opening and closing festivities, as well as through the visual design of the festive space. This would entail doing without the usual Olympic and national rituals, for example the singing of hymns, the raising of flags, and the attendance of the military. These were considered to be incompatible with the new German self-image.

On the afternoon of 28 August 1972, the organization committee did indeed succeed in staging an opening ceremony that presented modern Germany as peace-loving, democratic, and European. Otl Aicher, who oversaw the overall concept of the games, had doused the Olympic Stadium in Munich in a wash of colour. The rainbow colour scheme ran through the stadium’s modern shell-formed seats, the sea of flags on sports field, and the outfits of the stewards and ticket collectors. Aicher was consciously working according to the psychology of colour, using non-aggressive colours that corresponded to a playful feeling as opposed to the usual colours of authority such as red, which along with white and black had defined the image of the 1936 Olympic Games.25

This concept was translated into music by the Kurt Edelhagen Orchestra, which accompanied the entry of the teams with a potpourri of folk melodies and evergreens rather than national anthems. The colourful medley – the German team entered to the strains of “Hoch auf dem Gelben Wagen” [well-known German folk song – trans.] and the United States to “When The Saints Go Marching In” – emphasized the cosmopolitan effect of the entry parade rather than the national elements of the individual teams. A clear distance was taken from the Wagnerian pathos that had weighed down the Berlin Games in 1936.26

The “greeting by the youth”, a choreographed performance by 2800 schoolchildren from the city of Munich dressed in light blue and bright yellow was followed by international and regional artistic performances. Thus, whirling across the track alongside the traditional Bavarian brass bands and dance-troupes were the members of the Folklorico Mexicano ballet, a homage to the previous host country. The national level was not pointed out by the organizing committee in this part of the programme either. Instead of the usual military salute, the hoisting of the Olympic flag was announced only by fireworks let from the Berchtesgadener Land [nearby hills – trans.]. The military element was thus not merely omitted, it was also made fun of.27 In place of the military, former Olympic winners (the organizing committee had decided on the gold-medal-winning German rowers from the previous Olympic Games in Mexico) carried the banner with the five rings into the Munich stadium.

The mise en scène of the return to the Olympic community of a new, peaceful Germany reached its climax when the final torchbearer in the Olympic relay, Günter Zahn, entered the Olympic stadium. By his youth, the eighteen-year-old athlete, winner of the 1500 metres at the 1972 German youth championships, symbolized the new Germany. Accompanying him on the track of the Olympic stadium were four more runners from the four corners of the Earth – America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Zahn himself ran in an all-white kit without national symbols. When lighting the Olympic flame, the young man embodied the dawn of a modern Germany in a peaceful Europe.28

Nothing was left to chance during the course of the games. Every sequence was discussed at the highest level, and from the moment the games were awarded to the city of Munich they were treated as a matter of top political priority.

In the football World Cup, which opened in Frankfurt just two years later, the media was from the very beginning far more interested in the performance of the West German team than in the mise en scène of a “festival of football”. For this reason, the opening ceremony, with its sixteen giant footballs that gradually opened to become stages for various folk music groups from the individual participating countries, also barely remains in the sporting memory of the Federal Republic. The West German team were favourites – four of its players had picked up winners medals in the European Championship two years before – and were shouldering a heavy weight of expectation. Sure enough, West Germany went on to win the championship on their home turf, setting off a storm of national enthusiasm.

From now on, sporting victories were elevated to national deeds in the Federal Republic as well. The political strategy of the GDR in sport had introduced this turnaround in thinking, steadily forcing it through its many sporting victories.

Cold War conflict now lies far behind us, and a return to a more relaxed approach to nationality in sport would be highly conceivable. However, the necessary conditions for this would be willingness on the part of the public bodies that politicized sport in the 1960s and 1970s to de-politicize this area once more. Sporting victories are a highly emotional experience for spectators. Football in particular appears to gain appeal through playing out “arch-rivalries”, such as that between Holland and Germany. Having said that, a sporting defeat is primarily just an irritation; only in political discourse does it become a national disgrace. Here, more restraint is desirable in the future. After all, playing with friends must also mean being able to lose.

"Die Welt Zu Gast bei Freunden" – the official slogan of the football World Cup 2006, officially translated as "Time to make friends" – trans.

This should be seen in the overall context of a phase of diplomatic self-restraint on the part of the German Federal Republic. See: Johannes Paulmann, "Auswärtige Repräsentationen nach 1945: Zur Geschichte der deutschen Selbstdarstellung im Ausland", in: Paulmann (ed.), Auswärtige Repräsentationen. Deutsche Kulturdiplomatie nach 1945, Cologne 2005, 1-32.

See: Rudolf Oswald, "Das 'Wunder von Bern' und die deutsche Fußball-Volksgemeinschaft 1954", in Johannes Paulmann op. cit. 87-103, and Thomas Raithel, Fußballweltmeisterschaft 1954. Sport – Geschichte – Mythos, Munich 2004.

On the identity of the early DSB, see: DSB (ed.), Die Gründerjahre des Deutschen Sportbundes. Wege aus der Not zur Einheit, vols. 1 & 2, Schorndorf 1990.

Speech of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (SED), Walter Ulbricht, at the III. Sportkonferenz des Staatlichen Komitees für Körperkultur und Sport 1955 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, "20 Jahre DDR – 20 Jahre erfolgreiche Entwicklung von Körperkultur und Sport", in: Theorie und Praxis der Körperkultur, 1969, 12-22, 13.

Giselher Spitzer, "Zwischen 1949 und 1952: Drei NOKs in Deutschland", in: NOK (ed.), Deutschland in der Olympischen Bewegung. Eine Zwischenbilanz, Frankfurt am Main 1999, 177-204.

On the history of the joint German team, see: Ulrich Pabst, Sport – Medium der Politik? Der Neuaufbau des Sports in Deutschland nach dem 2. Weltkrieg und die innerdeutschen Sportbeziehungen bis 1961, Berlin/Munich/Frankfurt am Main 1980; and Tobias Blasius, Olympische Bewegung, Kalter Krieg und Deutschlandpolitik: 1949-1972, Frankfurt am Main 2001.

Martin H. Geyer, "Der Kampf um nationale Repräsentation. Deutsch-deutsche Sportbeziehungen und die 'Hallstein-Doktrin'", in: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte44, 1996, 55-86.

Ibid. 67.

Quoted in "Deutschland als Beispiel", in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20.11.1956, 16.

The quote is from a report given by Willi Daume to the NOC board, quoted by Pabst op. cit. 252.

Gunter Holzweißig, Diplomatie im Trainingsanzug. Sport als politisches Instrument der DDR, München/Wien/Oldenburg 1981.

Daume-Druck, in: Der Spiegel, 13, 1961, 80-82. On the pre-history of the scandal see also: "Verdammt noch mal", in Der Spiegel, 11, 1961, 76

Konrad Adenauer, Teegespräche 1959-1961, compiled by Hans Jürgen Küsters, Berlin 1988, 516.

"Vorneweg ein Kommunist", in: Rheinischer Merkur, 5.6.1964. Archived in BArch Koblenz B106/71413.

Press release of the DSB, no. 41/64, "Daume entwickelt großen Plan, Zeit für Leistungszentrum ist gekommen", 6-9, BArch Koblenz B106/71413.

"Sport auf Kinderbeinen", in: Die Zeit, 23.9.1966, 25.

This concern had already been expressed in "Vorneweg ein Kommunist", op. cit.

See: Günter Pelshenke, Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe. Die ersten 25 Jahre. Entwicklungsgeschichte der Stiftung in Zielsetzung, Umsetzung des Stiftungsgedankens (Förderungsmaßnahmen), Finanzierung und Organisationsstrukturen, Frankfurt am Main/Berlin/Bern/New York/Paris/Wien 1999.

Willi Daume, "Das Sozialwerk des deutschen Sports. Zur Gründung der Stiftung 'Deutsche Sporthilfe'", 2, BArch Koblenz B322/58.

Reprinted in Deutscher Bundestag, 5. Wahlperiode, 139. Sitzung, 1.12.1967, 7037-7068.

3rd meeting of the Special Committee for Sport and the Olympic Games, 4.12.1969, report of the interior ministry, 2-3, BArchKoblenz B136/ 5568.

Federal German parliament, VI electoral period, 5 sitting, 28.10.1969, 30. For the political meaning of the games, see Uta Andrea Balbier, "Der Welt das moderne Deutschland vorstellen: Die Eröffnungsfeier der Spiele der XX. Olympiade in München 1972", in: Johannes Paulmann (ed.), Auswärtige Repräsentationen. Deutsche Kulturdiplomatie nach 1945, Cologne 2005, 105-119.

Walter Umminger, "Olympische Zwischenbilanz", in: Olympisches Feuer, 17, 1967, vol. 4, 1-3.

Heinz Maegerlein, Thilo Koch, Martin Morlock, Olympia 1972, Munich/Stuttgart 1972, 20. See also Richard D. Mandell quoting Willi Daume: "Red is the color of dictatorship and of totalitarianism, which we all abhor. We are using the color of a May morning in Bavaria." In: Richard D. Mandell, The Olympics of 1972. A Munich Diary, Chapel Hill/London 1991, 3.

The significance of the musical design can be ascertained from a Spiegelarticle based on an interview with Kurt Edelhagen, among others. In it, the bandmaster explained that the accompanying music for the GDR and the former colonies had been composed from scratch in order to avoid choosing a song from these countries' musical heritage that was not value-free or politically correct. See: "Sing cucu nu", in Der Speigel, 35, 1972, 45-46.

Hans Egon Holthusen, "Die Ouvertüre", in: Deutsche Olympische Gesellschaft (ed.), Die Spiele der XX. Olympiade München-Kiel 1972 und die XI. Olympischen Winterspiele Sapporo, 1972. Das offizielle Standardwerk des Nationalen Olympischen Komitees für Deutschland, Freiburg/Basel/Vienna 1972, 14-16.

According to the interpretation of Christian Tagsold: Die Inszenierung der kulturellen Identität in Japan: das Beispiel der Olympischen Spiele Tokio 1964, Munich 2002, 12.

Published 9 June 2006
Original in German
Translated by Simon Garnett
First published by Mittelweg 36 2/2006 (German version)

Contributed by Mittelweg 36 © Uta Andrea Balbier / Mittelweg 36 / Eurozine


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