Sports associations (East Germany)

Sports Associations (German: Sportvereinigung (SV), German pronunciation: [ˈspɔʁtˌfɛɐ̯ˈʔaɪ̯nɪɡʊŋ]) in East Germany were nation-wide sports agencies for certain economic branches of the whole society, which were members of the Deutscher Turn- und Sportbund (DTSB) Members of biggest social employers had their own branch sports clubs or the Sportvereinigung.

Mass performance as old German tradition with athletes at the Central Stadium (Leipzig, GDR)

Central sports associations were set up in East Germany based on the Soviet model as a result of a decision by the German Sport Committee (German: Deutscher Sportausschuss) (DS) on 3 April 1950. The decision envisaged the formation of central sports associations based on the union structure in East Germany, where each sports association represented a trade union area. A total of 18 sports associations were set up after 1950.

14 of 18 sports association were dissolved as independent organizations after the founding of the DTSB in 1957.[1][2] Only the sports associations SV Dynamo, ASV Vorwärts, SV Lokomotive and SV Wismut survived the reorganization. They continued as district organizations within the DTSB.[3] The sports associations SV Dynamo and ASV Vortwärts received a special position within the DTSB and were allowed to retain their statutes.[4][5] SV Lokomotive and SV Wismut held their status district organizations of the DTSB until 1978 when the two sports associations were dissolved.[6]

After 1954 they separated amateur sport from professional sport, and from 1961, most Trade Sports-Associations of sports societies in the GDR had been closed but existed under single clubs with the name Betriebssportgemeinschaft or BSG ("Enterprise Sports Community"). In 1966, the football sections were separated and they used the name football club (FC). They had to conform to the rules of the East German Sports Association. The sections of the associations were called Sports Clubs (SCs) for only the professional athletes.

List of Sports association (SV)


The best were the Sportvereinigung Dynamo and the Sportvereinigung Vorwärts, while the worst were the SV Traktor and SV Aufbau.

Logo Name Trade Founded Examples
  Aktivist Mining May 1950 BSG Aktivist Zwickau
BSG Aktivist Schwarze Pumpe
SC Aktivist Brieske-Senftenberg
Anker Shipyards 1 September 1950[7] BSG Anker Wismar
  Aufbau Construction and wood industry 15/16 September 1951 in Magdeburg[8] SC Aufbau Magdeburg
BSG Aufbau Krumhermersdorf
BSG Aufbau Boizenburg
  Chemie Chemical industry, glass and ceramics August 1950 Hallescher FC Chemie
BSG Chemie Premnitz
BSG Chemie Böhlen
  Deutsche Volkspolizei Volkspolizei 20 June 1950 (became part of SV Dynamo on 27 March 1953) SV Deutsche Volkspolizei Potsdam
SV Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden
SV Deutsche Volkspolizei Berlin
  Dynamo Interior ministry (Stasi,
Customs, Volkspolizei)
27 March 1953 SC Dynamo Berlin
SC Dynamo Klingenthal
SC Dynamo Hoppegarten
BFC Dynamo
SG Dynamo Dresden
SG Dynamo Fürstenwalde
SG Dynamo Hohenschönhausen
SG Dynamo Schwerin
SG Dynamo Weißwasser
  Einheit Administrations, banks and insurances May/June 1950 SC Einheit Dresden
BSG Einheit Greifswald
BSG Einheit Wernigerode
  Empor Trade 31 October 1950, foundation until March 1951[9] SC Empor Rostock
BSG Empor Lauter
BSG Empor Löbau
  Fortschritt Textile industry February 1951 in Neugersdorf[10] BSG Fortschritt Weißenfels
BSG Fortschritt Bischofswerda
BSG Fortschritt Cottbus
  Lokomotive Railroad 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig
BSG Lokomotive Magdeburg
BSG Lokomotive Stendal
  Mechanik Metalworking (predecessor of SV Motor) BSG Mechanik Arnstadt
  Medizin Health system December 1951 in Erfurt[11] BSG Medizin Markkleeberg
BSG Medizin Luckau
BSG Medizin Berolina Berlin
  Motor Automotive industry and machines May/June 1950 SC Motor Jena
BSG Motor Zwickau
BSG Motor Altenburg
  Post Post and communications 30 September 1951 in Halle[12] BSG Post Neubrandenburg
BSG Post Schwerin
BSG Post Jena
  Rotation Paper and publishing July 1950 in Berlin[13] SG Rotation Leipzig
BSG Rotation Berlin
BSG Rotation Babelsberg
  Stahl Metallurgy 4 November 1951 in Leipzig[14] BSG Stahl Riesa
BSG Stahl Brandenburg
BSG Stahl Eisenhüttenstadt
  Traktor Forestry and agriculture June 1950[15] SC Traktor Schwerin
SC Traktor Oberwiesenthal
BSG Traktor Teuchern
  Turbine Electricity stations SC Turbine Erfurt
BSG Turbine Halle
BSG Turbine Potsdam
  Vorwärts Military (Kasernierte Volkspolizei,
National People's Army)
1 October 1956 ASG Vorwärts Leipzig
FC Vorwärts Berlin
ASK Vorwärts Frankfurt
ASK Vorwärts Oberhof
ASG Vorwärts Dessau
  Wismut Uranium mining BSG Wismut Aue
BSG Wismut Gera
SC Wismut Karl-Marx-Stadt
  Wissenschaft Universities and Hochschulen 15 July 1951 in Leipzig[16] HSG Wissenschaft Halle
SC Wissenschaft DHfK Leipzig
HSG Wissenschaft TH Dresden

The sub-unit: Enterprise Sports Community (BSG)


After World War II, the Allied Control Commission had dissolved all existing sports structures, including the dissolution of all existing sports clubs on the basis of directive 23, dated 17 December 1945. This directive only allowed the establishment of sports organizations on a local level.[17] In consequence, sport competitions were only permitted on a local level with loosely organized Sportgemeinschaften (sport collectives) in cities and on Landkreis level. Only in the fall of 1946 were football resumed on Land level. The competition was organized by the youth organization Free German Youth (FDJ).

Member of the BSG Wissenschaft during a competition

After the first football championship in the Soviet occupation zone had been held in the summer of 1948, it became clear that the loose organization would not be sufficient to organize league play. On an initiative of the Freier Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (FDGB, the central labor union of East Germany) and FDJ, the Deutscher Sportausschuß (DS) was created as an umbrella organization for sports in the Soviet zone. Among its first tasks was the re-structuring of the sports organizations that was tackled with the credo "rearrangement based on production". With participation of the FDGB the existing Sportgemeinschaften were replaced by newly created Betriebssportgemeinschaft (BSG) (German pronunciation: [bəˈtri:psˌˈspɔʁtˌˈɡɛmɛiːnʃaft]) in production and trade companies. The so-called Trägerbetriebe (supporting companies) would take over tasks of financing and logistics for their respective BSGs, with the union chapter responsible for the day-to-day management. The BSG would be tasked with organizing a large spectrum of sports activities and usually would offer a range of different sports. Each BSG had its own administrative board with a chairman and heads for the different sports sections. Financial means were provided by the Trägerbetrieb. and often the infrastructure would be built by the companies as well.

To further optimize the system, the DS reorganized the BSGs again in April 1950. Central sports associations were created according to the union structure and all BSGs within such a central association were given a standard name (e.g. BSG Rotation Dresden with its Trägerbetrieb VEB Sachsenverlag, a publishing company). These central associations were tasked with promoting the BSGs in their field. This was done by organizing internal competitions within the central associations and through influencing athletes who move between individual BSGs. The following 16 sports associations were founded:

With the ongoing centralization of East German sports through the DTSB, founded in 1957, the central sports associations lost their importance and were hardly noticed by the public. Among the largest and most powerful BSGs was Wismut Aue, Stahl Riesa, Chemie Leipzig and Motor/Sachsenring Zwickau. Chemie Leipzig were the only BSG to win the East German football championship after the creation of the sports clubs in 1954.

The nationwide sports associations Vorwärts and Dynamo were outside the BSG system. They were sports organizations of the National People's Army and the Ministry of Interior of the GDR, respectively. The local Armeesportgemeinschaften (ASG) "Vorwärts" and the Sportgemeinschaften "Dynamo" were their subunits.

After German reunification and the collapse of many Volkseigener Betrieb companies the organizational and financial basis of most BSGs vanished. Only some were transformed directly to an Eingetragener Verein.[18] Most Betriebssportgemeinschaften were dissolved and replaced by newly founded sports clubs.


SV Dynamo

A sports association is often being held in the wrong idea, as soon as peoples from noncommunist states learned about this matter. They were confused by something: A sports association in the GDR is the main organization the Deutscher Turn- und Sportbund (East German Sports Association). It does imply other kinds of sports associations for rowing, soccer, tennis, track and field, etc. The communist states had in addition a trade sport- association for sports societies and meant that every trade union had its own sports association besides the sports association of the state itself. The reason was the pressure to send the employees besides the job to the training or competitions. They hoped for a higher output on the working places and better performance for the society ("...always punctual, motivated, healthy, have good ideas, being good friends, taking no drugs, not being anti-social...").

The next problem was, although used over decades: The word "Sportvereinigung" can still not being found in German dictionaries and cannot be translated into English outright.[19]

See also



  1. ^ Reichelt, Frank (1995). Das System des Leistungssports in der DDR: Darstellung der Struktur und des Aufbaus anhand ausgewählter Beispiele (1st ed.). Hamburg: Diplomica Verlag GmbH. p. 31. ISBN 9783832429607.
  2. ^ Fechner, Carmen (25 August 2011). "Die Frühgeschichte der Sportvereinigung Dynamo. Hegemoniebestrebungen, Dominanzverhalten nd das Rivalitätsverhältnis zur Armeesportvereinigung "Vorwärts"" (PDF) (in German). Berlin: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: 32, 36, 137. doi:10.18452/16499. Retrieved 6 December 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Mike, Dennis; Grix, Jonathan (2012). Sport under Communism – Behind the East German 'Miracle' (1st ed.). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan (Macmillan Publishers Limited). p. 39. ISBN 978-0-230-22784-2.
  4. ^ Braun, Jutta (13 January 2013). "Gutachten zum Themenfeld "Sport" für die Enquete-Kommission 5/1 "Aufarbeitung der Geschichte und Bewältigung von Folgen der SED-Diktatur und des Übergangs in einen demokratischen Rechtsstaat im Land Brandenburg"" (PDF) (in German). Potsdam: Zentrum deutsche Sportgeschichte Berlin-Brandenburg (ZdS): 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2021. Retrieved 6 December 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Zink, Falko (December 2009). Written at Kaiserslautern. "Der Sport und seine Institutionen im Spannungsfeld von Staat und Politik: Eine zeitgeschichtliche Untersuchung zur Anpassungsfähigkeit der Institutionen des Sports" (in German). Saarbrucken: Saarland University: 126–127. Retrieved 6 December 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Fechner, Carmen (25 August 2011). "Die Frühgeschichte der Sportvereinigung Dynamo. Hegemoniebestrebungen, Dominanzverhalten nd das Rivalitätsverhältnis zur Armeesportvereinigung "Vorwärts"" (PDF) (in German). Berlin: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: 116. doi:10.18452/16499. Retrieved 6 December 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Berliner Zeitung, 19 April 1951, p. 4
  8. ^ Neues Deutschland, 14 September 1951, p. 8
  9. ^ ND, 12 November 1950, p. 8
  10. ^ ND, 8 February 1951, p. 6.
  11. ^ Neue Zeit, 5 December 1951, p. 2
  12. ^ ND, 30 September 1950, p. 8
  13. ^ ND, 29 July 1950, p. 6.
  14. ^ ND, 4 November 1950, p. 6.
  15. ^ BZ, 7 June 1950, p. 4
  16. ^ ND, 17 July 1951, p. 6
  17. ^ "Enactments and Approved Papers of the Control Council and Coordinating Committee" (PDF). Legal Division of the Office of the U.S. Military Government for Germany. pp. 140–141. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
  18. ^ Andreas Luh: Betriebssport zwischen Arbeitgeberinteressen und Arbeitnehmerbedürfnissen. Eine historische Analyse vom Kaiserreich bis zur Gegenwart, Aachen 1998, S. 429-441.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2014-10-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)