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Andreas Ritter

Wandlungen in der Steuerung des DDR-Hochleistungssports in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren

ISBN: 978-3-935024-61-7
337 pages
Release year 2003

Series: Potsdamer Studien zur Geschichte von Sport und Gesundheit , 1

8,00 

The guaranteed provision of material support for the athletes used to be a precondition for success in sports: ‘Competitive sports under the conditions of the GDR’ – thus the source material on this early model of professional sports. The author reveals both illegal (according to the IOC regulations) payments and a new drive towards success-oriented payments at least for the coaches. The latter trend was already the result of a dramatic change in competitive sports in the GDR. Today, a thorough analysis of contemporary documents, oral testimony, and formerly classified literature allows a more nuanced reconstruction of the historical events and processes. This work shows how the organisers of GDR sports, led by Manfred EWALD (EWALD was an elected member of the SED Central Committee and a central figure in the GDR sports scene. He might be characterised as the opposite number of Willi DAUME in the FRG.) succeeded with establishing a more efficient centralistic model (here, there is a parallel with Monika KAISER’s approach). Despite the constraints of the system, they brought about his change at a time of political transition from Walter ULBRICHT to Erich HONECKER.  In contrast to many other, controversial interpretations, the author argues that the athletic successes originated in the central organisation of GDR sports. In 1967, the ‘Competitive Sports Commission of the GDR’ (LSK) was established without explicit orders from the SED. In contrast to numerous older models, which the author has discovered, this new model was positioned ‘above the DTSB’ and gave party orders to the DTSB – the subordination of organised sports to the authority of the Central Committee allowed the implementation of a central sports policy. Given the ‘National Fronts’ of the Army Sports Club Vorwärts and the Sports Club Dynamo (SPITZER), this was an especially difficult task. The LSK was composed of members of the SED. After reaching an agreement on certain issues, every member had to implement the agreed policy in his or her specific field of activity, as this dissertation shows. The LSK subcommittees consisted of representatives of the sports as well as high-ranking representatives of those ministries which supervised the production of goods needed in competitive sports. It can be demonstrated, that control over this important body as well as the doping research was an important factor in the establishment of the LSK.   The work on ‘Changes in the control of competitive sports in the GDR in the 1960s and 1970s’, brought the awarded degree of Doctor of Philosophy with distinction by the faculty of arts of the University of Potsdam to the author. The research was sponsored by the University of Potsdam. The degree committee consisted of Professor Gertrud PFISTER (Kopenhagen), Professor Christoph KLEßMANN (Potsdam), and the dissertation supervisor, Privatdozent Dr Giselher SPITZER (Berlin, Potsdam, Odense (Denmark)).

The guaranteed provision of material support for the athletes used to be a precondition for success in sports: ‘Competitive sports under the conditions of the GDR’ – thus the source material on this early model of professional sports. The author reveals both illegal (according to the IOC regulations) payments and a new drive towards success-oriented payments at least for the coaches. The latter trend was already the result of a dramatic change in competitive sports in the GDR. Today, a thorough analysis of contemporary documents, oral testimony, and formerly classified literature allows a more nuanced reconstruction of the historical events and processes. This work shows how the organisers of GDR sports, led by Manfred EWALD (EWALD was an elected member of the SED Central Committee and a central figure in the GDR sports scene. He might be characterised as the opposite number of Willi DAUME in the FRG.) succeeded with establishing a more efficient centralistic model (here, there is a parallel with Monika KAISER’s approach). Despite the constraints of the system, they brought about his change at a time of political transition from Walter ULBRICHT to Erich HONECKER.  In contrast to many other, controversial interpretations, the author argues that the athletic successes originated in the central organisation of GDR sports. In 1967, the ‘Competitive Sports Commission of the GDR’ (LSK) was established without explicit orders from the SED. In contrast to numerous older models, which the author has discovered, this new model was positioned ‘above the DTSB’ and gave party orders to the DTSB – the subordination of organised sports to the authority of the Central Committee allowed the implementation of a central sports policy. Given the ‘National Fronts’ of the Army Sports Club Vorwärts and the Sports Club Dynamo (SPITZER), this was an especially difficult task. The LSK was composed of members of the SED. After reaching an agreement on certain issues, every member had to implement the agreed policy in his or her specific field of activity, as this dissertation shows. The LSK subcommittees consisted of representatives of the sports as well as high-ranking representatives of those ministries which supervised the production of goods needed in competitive sports. It can be demonstrated, that control over this important body as well as the doping research was an important factor in the establishment of the LSK.   The work on ‘Changes in the control of competitive sports in the GDR in the 1960s and 1970s’, brought the awarded degree of Doctor of Philosophy with distinction by the faculty of arts of the University of Potsdam to the author. The research was sponsored by the University of Potsdam. The degree committee consisted of Professor Gertrud PFISTER (Kopenhagen), Professor Christoph KLEßMANN (Potsdam), and the dissertation supervisor, Privatdozent Dr Giselher SPITZER (Berlin, Potsdam, Odense (Denmark)).