Friedrich Ludwig Jahn

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"The German Art of Gymnastics"

(Part II)

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1816 - F.L. Jahn/Ernst Eiselen: "A Treatise on Gymnastics"

With this major work – to serve as a manual for setting up gym fields - Jahn created a realistic mirror image of the gymnastic activities on Berlin’s Hasenheide gym field.

1817 "Wartburg party"
climax of the patriotic gymnastics movement in Germany. There were more than 100 gym fields in Prussia, 1,074 gymnasts trained at Hasenheide

Jahn held 21 lectures about "German Nationality" with         attacks against reaction and small state politics.
        Honorary doctorates of universities in Kiel and Jena

1819 gymnasts and student’s societies fell under the so-called ‘Prosecution of Demagogues’ (Act of Carlsbad - 31/8/1819)
13/7/1819 Jahn was arrested at the sickbed of his child and imprisoned for five years in Spandau, Küstrin, Berlin and Kolberg
The Berlin Hasenheide gym field was not re-opened again as it had been every year before.
Ban of all gymnastics in "Preussen" and other german states
13/1/1824 first sentence against Jahn; 2 more years of imprisonment in a fortress.
15/3/1825 aquittal on the condition not to settle in a university or secondary school city of Germany
1825-1852 Jahn lived in Freyburg an der Unstrut under police surveillance


"As long as man has got a body
here below... which enervates into
a vain shadow without power
and strength, without endurance and
persistence, without agility
and skills – the art of gymnastics
will have to take up a large
part of human education."

From: Jahn/Eiselen
"A Treatise on Gymnastics", 1828


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At the age of 34 (1812)

A contemporary picture: "The Gym Field with its Pains and Happiness"


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update: 18-07-2001