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Cathedral in Breslau, now Wroclaw.
The ceremony of "handing over" (Bannerüberführung) this new Sports Office standard supplied the occasion to Dr. Wilhelm Frick, the leader of the Breslau event, to make a speech concerning the further nazification of the NSRL

The Deutsches Turn- und Sportfest (German Gym and Sports Celebration) was the last big sports event organized by the Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, the Sports governing body of the Third Reich. It took place in Breslaumarker (now Wroclaw) the most important city of Silesia, now in Polandmarker. The venue was staged in July 1938 at the city's , later renamed " ", following the trademark grandiose style of the Nazi Sports Body.

This highly nationalistic sports event was officially commemorating the 125th anniversary of the historical German Wars of Liberation against Napoleon and the first award of the Iron Cross in the city of Breslau itself in 1813. It was staged as a grand patriotic, expansionist occasion, illustrating the clamor for a Greater Germany to the public. This event gathered German athletes brought from many different parts of the world, like Argentinamarker, South West Africa, Italymarker, the USAmarker and South Africa. It also became a gathering of representatives of German ethnic minorities, mainly from Eastern Europe (Siebenbürgen, Banat) who staged processions dressed in their colorful folkloric costumes, a display of the Nazi Drang nach Osten policies.

Not only sports competitions and athletes' parades took place, but also numerous military, civil, and folklorical-costume processions in the mains streets of the city of Breslau.

Symbolism of the event

The Deutsches Turn- und Sportfest was a highly political event, attended by many high-ranking Nazi officials.The event was presided by Reichssportführer (NSRL leader) Hans von Tschammer und Osten and the patron of the festival, Reich minister of the interior Wilhelm Frick. Adolf Hitler and other high-ranking personalities of the Third Reich attended the inaugurational venue of the games. During this occasion Hitler gave a speech from the balcony of Hotel Monopol in Breslau.

The event and its celebration of Germanism, as well as the choice of Dr. Wilhelm Frick to lead it, was part of the creation of a war-preparation atmosphere by the Nazi state. Minister of the Interior Frick was the spearheader of Germany's rearmament in violation of the Versailles Treaty. His inaugural speech was full of war symbolism, setting the mood for the events that would culminate the following year with the invasion of nearby Poland, then just a few miles to the east of Breslau.

Viciously attacked and fanatically defended, the city of Breslau would suffer much destruction towards the end of World War II.

Commemorative editions

The Post Office of the Reich issued special stamps and postcards to mark the occasion of the 1939 Breslau Games.

Volk in Leibesübungen (A people into Physical Exercise), a lavishly illustrated commemorative book on the Sportfest was published in Berlin the same year on behalf of the Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten. The pictures of this volume were made by Heinrich Hoffman, Hitler's personal photographer.


Soccer competition results.

The overall winner was Gau Ostmarkmarker (Austria).


30 Jul 1938 Breslau / Ostmark - Niedersachsenmarker 4-1

Third place Play-off

30 Jul 1938 Breslau / Südwest (1) - Württembergmarker 5-0


28 Jul 1938 Breslau / Ostmark - Württemberg 2-0

28 Jul 1938 Breslau / Niedersachsen - Südwest 4-1

Final (Consolation tournament)

30 Jul 1938 Breslau / Sachsenmarker - Mittelrhein 1-0

Semifinals (Consolation tournament)

29 Jul 1938 Breslau / Sachsen - Bavariamarker 2-1

29 Jul 1938 Breslau / Mittelrhein - Westphalia 2-1

Quarter-finals (Consolation tournament)

28 Jul 1938 Breslau / Sachsen - Brandenburgmarker 2-1

28 Jul 1938 Breslau / Mittelrhein - Baden 5-2

28 Jul 1938 Breslau / Silesia - Bavaria 1-2

28 Jul 1938 Breslau / Westphalia - Mitte (2) 4-2

Preliminary round' (Consolation tournament)

26 jul 1938 Münsterberg / East Prussia - Sachsen 0-2

26 jul 1938 Breslau / Mittelrhein - Pommern 6-0

26 jul 1938 Brieg / Bavaria - Niederrheinmarker 5-4

26 jul 1938 Breslau / Westphalia - Nordmark (3) 4-2


26 Jul 1938 Breslau / Silesia - Ostmark 2-8

26 Jul 1938 Breslau / Niedersachsen - Brandenburg 3-1

26 Jul 1938 Breslau / Württemberg - Mitte 5-1

26 Jul 1938 Breslau / Südwest - Baden 4-3


24 Jul 1938 Ratibor / Ostmark - Mittelrhein 3-0

24 Jul 1938 Liegnitzmarker / Niedersachsen - Sachsen 2-0

24 Jul 1938 Neissemarker / Württemberg - Westphalia 3-0

24 Jul 1938 Waldenburg / Südwest - Bavaria 4-1

24 Jul 1938 Beuthenmarker / Silesia - Pommern 6-4

24 Jul 1938 Frankfurt/O.marker / Brandenburg - East Prussia 3-0

24 Jul 1938 Görlitzmarker / Mitte - Nordmark (3) 1-0 [aet]

24 Jul 1938 Schweidnitzmarker / Baden - Niederrhein 4-3

Preliminary round

17 Jul 1938 Weimarmarker / Sachsen - Hessenmarker 4-3

(1) - Palatinate and Saarlandmarker. - (2) Thuringiamarker, Anhalt and the Province of Saxonymarker. - (3) Schleswig-Holsteinmarker, Hamburgmarker and Mecklenburg

See also

Notes and References

Further reading

Both of these books are propaganda material on the Nazi sports event in Breslau.
  • Werner Gärtner, Volk in Leibesübungen. Deutsches Turn- und Sportfest, Breslau 1938. Published on behalf of the Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten. Wilhelm Limpert Verlag, Berlin 1938.
  • Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler bei dem Deutschen Turn- und Sportfest in Breslau 1938. Verlag Heinrich Hoffmann, Munich 1938.


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