Erik N. Jensen

in Body by Weimar

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395648
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866564 | DOI:

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The Weimar body has far outlived its namesake. Despite their bluster about traditional female roles, the Nazis actually stepped up the promotion of athletic motherhood. The regime made male athleticism a central component of military preparedness, too, and it pursued corporeal efficiency with far greater dedication than pre‐1933 officials had. The democratic and inclusive aspects of Weimar athleticism did not survive the Nazi era, of course, but many Jewish athletes did manage to carry on their competitive careers in exile, further enriching an émigré German culture that we associate mostly with writers, architects, and film directors. After 1945, East Germany made women's sports a top priority and harvested unprecedented medal counts in international competition as a result. We see the legacy of the 1920s to this day — from the reemergence of women's boxing to continued advances in scientific training.

Keywords: Nazi; East Germany; Jewish; émigré; exile; scientific training; women's boxing; international competition; culture

Chapter.  3515 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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