Sports associations (East Germany)

Mass performance as old German tradition with athletes at the Central Stadium (Leipzig, GDR)

The term Sports Associations (German: Sportvereinigung, German pronunciation: [ˈspɔʁtˌfɛɐ̯ˈʔaɪ̯nɪɡʊŋ]) in the GDR means a sports agency for certain economic branches of the whole society, which are members of the East German Sports Organisation. Members of biggest social employers had their own branch sports clubs or the "Sportvereinigung. One of the biggest problems is that you can not find almanacs of these today. All of them are recycled or sold to private persons. So you can not start an article about each trade sports association, since 2012. The rest are data banks of history section from the sport club sites with the certain name or in addition: pennants, medals, flags. Nevertheless, you can find still a lot of sports societies in Germany which using the old names. Since 1954 they separated amateur sport from professional sport. Since 1961, the most Trade Sports- Associations of sports societies in the GDR had been closed but existed under single clubs with the name BSG (Betriebssportgemeinschaft) what means in English: Firm Sports Corporation. And in 1966, they used the name often more as FC. They had to confirm the rules of the East German Sports Fraction of the People's Chamber. The sections of the associations were called Sports Clubs for only the professional athletes.

Types of Sportvereinigungen

The best were the Sportvereinigung Dynamo and the Sportvereinigung Vorwärts. The worst were the SV Traktor, SV Aufbau.

Logo Name Trade Founded Examples
Aktivist mining May 1950 BSG Aktivist Zwickau
BSG Aktivist Schwarze Pumpe
SC Aktivist Brieske-Senftenberg
Anker shipyards 1 September 1950[1] BSG Anker Wismar
Aufbau building industry und lumber industry 15/16 September 1951 in Magdeburg[2] SC Aufbau Magdeburg
BSG Aufbau Krumhermersdorf
BSG Aufbau Boizenburg
Chemie chemical industry, glass and ceramics August 1950 Hallescher FC Chemie
BSG Chemie Premnitz
BSG Chemie Böhlen
Deutsche Volkspolizei Volkspolizei 21 June 1950, until 1953 for the SV Dynamo SV Deutsche Volkspolizei
Dynamo Interior ministry (MfS,
Zollverwaltung, Volkspolizei)
SG Dynamo Dresden
BFC Dynamo
SC Dynamo Klingenthal
Einheit administrations, banks and insurances May/June 1950 SC Einheit Dresden
BSG Einheit Greifswald
BSG Einheit Wernigerode
Empor trade Gründungsbeschluss am 31. October 1950, Founding until March 1951[3] SC Empor Rostock
BSG Empor Lauter
BSG Empor Löbau
Fortschritt textile industries Anfang Februar 1951 in Neugersdorf[4] SC Fortschritt Weißenfels
BSG Fortschritt Bischofswerda
BSG Fortschritt Cottbus
Lokomotive railroad 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig
BSG Lokomotive Magdeburg
BSG Lokomotive Stendal
Mechanik metalworking industry BSG Mechanik Arnstadt
Medizin health system Anfang Dezember 1951 in Erfurt[5] BSG Medizin Markkleeberg
BSG Medizin Luckau
BSG Medizin Berolina Berlin
Motor machine construction May/June 1950 SC Motor Jena
BSG Motor Zwickau
BSG Motor Altenburg
Post Post- communication systems 30 September 1951 in Halle[6] BSG Post Neubrandenburg
BSG Post Schwerin
BSG Post Jena
Rotation paper, printers and newspapers Juli 1950 in Berlin[7] SC Rotation Leipzig
BSG Rotation Berlin
BSG Rotation Babelsberg
Stahl metallurgy 4 November 1951 in Leipzig[8] SC Stahl Riesa
BSG Stahl Brandenburg
BSG Stahl Eisenhüttenstadt
Traktor hunter, farmers and agriculture Juni 1950[9] SC Traktor Schwerin
SC Traktor Oberwiesenthal
BSG Traktor Teuchern
Turbine "IG" Energy electricity stations SC Turbine Erfurt
BSG Turbine Halle
BSG Turbine Potsdam
Vorwärts military (Kasernierte Volkspolizei,
Nationale Volksarmee)
ASK Vorwärts Frankfurt
ASK Vorwärts Oberhof
ASG Vorwärts Dessau
Wismut uran mining BSG Wismut Aue
SG Wismut Gera
SC Wismut Karl-Marx-Stadt
Wissenschaft universities 15. Juli 1951 in Leipzig[10] HSG Wissenschaft Halle
SC Wissenschaft DHfK Leipzig
HSG Wissenschaft TH Dresden

The sub-unit "Cooperative Sports Collective" (BSG Betriebssportgemeinschaft)

After World War II, the Allied Control Commission had dissolved all existing sports structures, including the dissolution of all existing sports clubs on the basis of directive 23, dated 17 December 1945. This directive only allowed the establishment of sports organizations on a local level.[11] In consequence, sport competitions were only permitted on a local level with loosely organized Sportgemeinschaften (sport collectives) in cities and on Landkreis level. Only in the fall of 1946 were football resumed on Land level. The competition was organized by the youth organization Free German Youth (FDJ).

Member of the BSG Wissenschaft during a competition

After the first football championship in the Soviet Occupation Zone had been held in the summer of 1948, it became clear that the loose organization would not be sufficient to organize league play. On an initiative of the Freier Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (FDGB, the central labor union of East Germany) and FDJ, the Deutscher Sportausschuß (DS) was created as an umbrella organization for sports in the Soviet Zone. Among its first tasks was the re-structuring of the sports organizations that was tackled with the credo "rearrangement based on production". With participation of the FDGB the existing Sportgemeinschaften were replaced by newly created (German: Betriebssportgemeinschaft (BSG), German pronunciation: [bəˈtri:psˌˈspɔʁtˌˈɡɛmɛiːnʃaft]) in production and trade companies. The so-called Trägerbetriebe (supporting companies) would take over tasks of financing and logistics for their respective BSG, with the union chapter responsible for the day-to-day management. The BSG would be tasked with organizing a large spectrum of sports activities and usually would offer a range of different sports. Each BSG had its own administrative board with a chairman and heads for the different sports sections. Financial means were provided by the Trägerbetrieb. and often the infrastructure would be built by the companies as well.

To further optimize the system, the DS reorganized the BSGs again in April 1950. Central sports associations were created according to the union structure and all BSGs within such a central association were given a standard name (e.g. BSG Rotation Dresden with its Trägerbetrieb VEB Sachsenverlag, a publishing company). These central associations were tasked with promoting the BSGs in their field. This was done by organizing internal competitions within the central associations and through influencing athletes moving between individual BSGs. The following 16 sports associations were founded:

With the ongoing centralization of East German sports through the DTSB, founded in 1957, the central sports associations lost their importance and were hardly noticed by the public. Among the largest and most powerful BSG was Wismut Aue, Stahl Riesa, Chemie Leipzig and Motor/Sachsenring Zwickau. Chemie Leipzig were the only BSG to win the East German football championship after the creation of the sports clubs in 1957.

The nationwide sports associations Vorwärts and Dynamo were outside the BSG system. They were sports organizations of the Nationale Volksarmee and the Volkspolizei, respectively. The local Armeesportgemeinschaften (ASG) "Vorwärts" and the Sportgemeinschaften "Dynamo" were their subunits.

After German reunification and the ruin of many Volkseigener Betrieb companies the organizational and financial basis of most BSGs vanished. Only some were transformed directly to an Eingetragener Verein.[12] Most Betriebssportgemeinschaften were dissolved and replaced by newly founded sports clubs.


SV Dynamo

A sports association is often being hold of the wrong idea, as soon as peoples from noncommunistic states learn about this matter. They are confuse something here: A sports association in the GDR is the main organization the Deutscher Turn- und Sportbund (East German Sports Association). It does imply other kinds of sports associations for rowing, soccer, tennis, track and field... . The communistic states have in addition a trade sport- association for sports societies and means that every trade union has its own sports association besides the sports association of the state itself. The reason was the pressure to send the employees besides the job to the training or competitions. To hope for a higher output on the working places and better performance for the society (...always punctual, motivated, healthy, have good ideas, being good friends, taking no drugs, being not anti-social...).

The next problem is, although used over decades: The word "Sportvereinigung" can still not being found in German dictionaries.[13] And you can never translate it right into English.

See also


  1. BZ 19. April 1951 S.4
  2. ND 14. September 1951, S. 8.
  3. ND 12. November 1950, S. 8.
  4. ND 8. Februar 1951, S. 6.
  5. NZ 5th December 1951, S. 2.
  6. ND 30 September 1950, S. 8.
  7. ND 29 July 1950, S. 6.
  8. ND 4 November 1950, S. 6.
  9. BZ 7 June 1950, S. 4.
  10. ND 17 July 1951 S.6
  11. "Enactments and Approved Papers of the Control Council and Coordinating Committee" (PDF). Legal Division of the Office of the U.S. Military Government for Germany. pp. 140–141. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
  12. Andreas Luh: Betriebssport zwischen Arbeitgeberinteressen und Arbeitnehmerbedürfnissen. Eine historische Analyse vom Kaiserreich bis zur Gegenwart, Aachen 1998, S. 429-441.
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