Journal Article

Sharpshooting in Göttingen: A Case Study of Cultural Integration in Weimar and Nazi Germany

David Imhoof

in German History

Published on behalf of German History Society

Volume 23, issue 4, pages 460-493
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI:
Sharpshooting in Göttingen: A Case Study of Cultural Integration in Weimar and Nazi Germany

Show Summary Details


This article uses the history of sharpshooting (Schützenwesen) in Göttingen to explain the integration of National Socialist ideas into daily life in interwar Germany. As both a public and private cultural practice, sharpshooting makes especially clear the political implications of everyday activities. In the 1920s sharpshooting leaders in Göttingen expanded the scope of participation and activities by encouraging more men to take part in competitions, both as members of clubs and as individuals, with the ultimate goal of making every man in town a ‘shooter’. Even as they welcomed men from all political and social backgrounds, leaders and supporters solidified a definition of participation based on gender and race rather than democratic equality. This conservative expansion and the discourses surrounding it strengthened the position of middle-class men who had traditionally dominated sharpshooting. It also enabled the Third Reich to make use of sharpshooting to promote its ideology and military preparedness. At the same time, the ‘coordination’(Gleichschaltung) of sharpshooting required Nazi leaders in Göttingen to negotiate, not dictate, their role in these activities. By studying these developments over the entire interwar period, this analysis demonstrates the centrality of local conditions and individuals to the gradual integration of ideas that ultimately lent support to Hitler's régime.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: European History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.