Rebuilding physical education in the Western occupation zones of Germany, 1945-1949

Heather L. Dichter, Ithaca College


After the Second World War, the British, American and French believed education could be used to promote democracy in Germany. The Western powers faced particular difficulties with the field of physical education because of the strong Nazi influence in this area during the Third Reich. The premier pre-war physical education teacher training institute was located in the Soviet sector of Berlin. To help solve that problem as well as the dearth of qualified physical education teachers in post-war Germany, the Western Allies wanted to create a new institution for physical education. This article places the creation of the Deutsche Sporthochschule in Cologne within broader Allied education plans and goals for the occupation of Germany. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.