The Function of Sport during National Socialist Rule in Austria: Platform for Politics and Propaganda, Breathing Room or Subversive Activity
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
The Transformation of Sport and Physical Activity through Time: Journeys in History
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
In Austria, which became part of the German Reich 1938, immediately after the annexation many sport clubs and sport umbrella organizations got under control of the new, National Socialist regime. They began to remove ?non-Aryan and un-German elements? from the world of sports. Jewish clubs were closed, for several months famous Vienna Prater stadium was used as internment camp for Jews. At that time sport was used as platform for National Socialist propaganda, too. But especially during the years of Second World War sport clubs and sport activities represented in some aspects also a not directly politicised space for enter¬tainment and recreation. Several cases are as well known, when sport activitivies could be even described as subversive acts or as acts of resistence. The aim of the presentation is to discuss the function of sport during National Socialist rule in Austria. Sometimes it was difficult to discuss the topic. For example when Austrian soccer fans during a match attacked a Gauleiter, who originated from Germany and tried to destroy his car. Can this only be described as hooliganism, as the Nazis did, or did this action have a subversive character - anti-German and anti-Nazi, too? At a certain time games between specific Austrian and German teams where so ?hot?, that the regime did not allow to let them stage in Vienna. The presentation is based on archival material, memoirs and interviews with elderly interviewees, and film footage. The gender aspect is important ? the function of sports differs enormously between males and females.