Fitness für die Arbeit : Zum Zusammenhang von Sport, Arbeit und Gemeinschaft im Nationalsozialismus oder: Deutsche Positionen beim Kongress »Arbeit und Freude« in Rom 1938

»Fitness for Work«. To the relationship of sports, labour and community in national socialism. Or: German positions at the conference »Labour and Joy« in Rome 1938. The article investigates the ideological connection between labour and sports in national socialism. It reconstructs and analyses the speeches of the German delegation at the so-called world conference on “Labour and Joy” that took place in 1938 in Rome. There, Sports and leisure time were a central topic even though the title doesn't suggest that. The purpose of that paper is to understand the national socialist position on sports and labour at the time. Sport played a double role: it was meant to educate for work and to experience the national community. In going back to Hitler's ideas of “German work”, the article explains the connection of sports, labour and community in four dimensions: 1. service: the idea that “German work” must be a service for the nation community, 2. fitness: the health of the body as obligation for the national comrade, 3. fight as the natural mode of life and 4. the team as the instrument to experience the national community through sports. The outcome therefore is that the national socialist position on sports and labour is not just a historical topic but a political challenge in the rise of the New Right.


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