24. July 2019  
Artistic Gymnastics

Jahn's descendants in Germany welcome

The historical trip of the American descendants of the German father of gymnastics Friedrich Ludwig Jahn went for a week across Germany and found an extremely attentive, public and media interest:
<< Ernest John Rohr sen. and his 18-year-old son Ernie John Jr. as the great-, great-, great-, great, great-, great-, grandson of the "old man in a beard" stood deeply moved at the feet of their larger-than-life ancestor in the Jahn city of Freyburg on the Unstrut. If Filius, as a one-year-old baby, had already been guest of honor in Germany (Turnfest 2002), his parents now wanted him - one month before starting his studies as future sports manager - to understand the historical significance of his grand, grand, grand, grand Pa 'make it clear that large parts of the Jahn heritage have long since become a major physical and mental movement worldwide, from grassroots sports for everyone, to artistic gymnasts, especially in the US with particular interest in the German roots of this sports complex are looking to open a gymnastics museum in Pennsylvania in May 2020, at the center of which will be also the figure of this old German gymnast ...

♦♦ STATION 2: BERLIN: Jahn in the Hasenheide - Felski in the Hotel

+ After the Potsdam Travel Overture, the American guests visited a historic site of particular importance:
<< The larger than life monument of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn in Berlin's Hasenheide. Here, more than 200 years ago, the pastor's son from Lanz / Prignitz had opened the first public gymnastics area in front of the gates of Berlin in 1811.
"Here you are at the birthplace of German gymnastics", is not only on the board at the ancient pedunculate oak in the Hasenheide, but had father Ernest Rohr his sprout long before explained it in theory.
And so the 18 years old aspiring sports manager was not only impressed in persona and in awe of his grandfather, but he also understood - after the preliminary performances of one of the most important "fathers" of the "physical exercises", the German philanthropist Christoph GutsMuths - that Grand-Pa Jahn was also the founder of gymnastics, followed by an already over 200-year-old, successful movement, which of course also followed international footsteps, as can be seen from the many panels and dedications of American clubs in the base of the monument.
That the young man then still the Sports Hotel Kolumbus the "Sven Felski suite" was offered from the a&o Hotel Management as a surprise of his stay in Berlin, the young former American football player commented baffled and concise, but with great enthusiasm:

" ... Wouw...! The Wayne Gretzki of Berlin!!"

* Next destination
was the community Lanz near Lenzen in the northwest of Brandenburg, in the area of Prignitz, the birth place of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn in August 1778 ...:

♦♦ STATION 4: Gym Festival City of Leipzig- Reunion after 17 Years!

* REVIEW--: For the German Gymnastics Festival 2002, the Rohr family went with "Little Ernie" even with a "jahn-mobile" through the city:

Sponsored and designed it had the Renault dealership Mr. Joachim Ruehle. Himself he was a former gymnast at the gymnastics club SC DHfK Leipzig (German Sports University of Physical Cultur) and a former member of the GDR national artistic gymnastics team.
* But first the guests this time made a stopover in Jesewitz, near Leipzig:  It was their express wish to commemorate at the grave of the Olympic champion Klaus Koeste, who died in 2012, and who, as one of the godfathers, turned the visit into an unforgettable memory.

...sad moments and silent remembrance at the tomb of the late Olympians.

What's more...: A deep friendship had been created across the Atlantic, and Klaus's widow Sabine Köste greeted the two Ernie's and mother's trowel Ann Rohr with the same emotionality that was known to her deceased husband. And not every day you get as a 18-year-old a real golden Olympic medal in the hands of a man, of course, the junior did not personally remember, but of which he had already heard so much.
There were many stories to tell ...:

Guests at the widow Sabine Koeste: (from left): Peter Frenkel, Dr. Matthias Brehme, Sabine Köste,
Kellee Ann Rohr, Ernest John jr. nd father Ernest John Rohr

* The next 2021 International German Gymnastics Festival is coming up soon:
At the Organizing Committee's invitation, not only was there coffee and cake in the OC Office, but OC-chief  Kati Brenner made an invitation to the Rohr family, again as guests of honor for the upcoming highlight to return to the Saxon metropolis of Leipzig.

The guests OC-Chief Kati BRENNER, and Christian MASCHE (reight) from Leipzig's Sports Office
This offer of course was accepted with great pleasure! Perhaps the future sports manager Ernie John Rohr jr. then even as an international and competent Volunteer available ...?!
 Visit at the Organizing Committee
* History of Leipzig, this is also the history of the sport, but so far 16 gymnastics and sports festivals have been held in Leipzig. Informed about it Museum Director Dr. Anselm Hartinger the visitors in the "Old City Hall" ...,

...  and then the director led the guests to the premiere location of an original idea:

* A city-historical sports route with 22 stations is to be developed: The first two stations were already inaugurated at the end of June 2019: The starting point is the sports hall Leplaystraße. No coincidence, because the "Leppi" stands on the sport-historically significant area of ​​the city par excellence. Since the 1830s there was the first municipal gymnastics area and thus the cradle of gymnastics and sports facilities infrastructure in Leipzig. In 1847 the first gymnasium was built on the site, in 1863 the second gym. And also the third hall, the today's sports hall Leplaystraße 11, found in 1913 place on this area between Observatory, Turner and Leplaystraße. Twenty more stations on Leipzig's historic city route are to follow ...
* And of course, as a US guest you can not leave out the "big", impressive thing:
the Leipzig Monument to the Battle of the Nations ("Voelkerschlachtdenkmal"), which commemorates the terrible battle of 1813 against Napoleon's troops, a historical date closely related to F. L. Jahn, who dedicated important moments of his thinking and action to the struggle against the Napoleonic foreign rule.

"Many Thanks!
We would like to thank all German friends for their support and gracious welcome for this wonderful journey into German sports history, which is so closely connected with our family history! We learned a lot about our ancestor and its meaning. The most important thing, however, is that the global gymnastics family is getting closer in friendship. Sport is what we have experienced ourselves: we are happy to return to the great gymnastics festivals, Leipzig and Freyburg. We were also astonished by the media interest in Germany!
Many thanks also to GYMmedia INTERNATIONAL for the tour support - that was perfect - the internet channel has long been "the window to Europe" for us in the USA!
Thank you!"

Ernest John ROHR sen. / Ernest John ROHR jun / Kellee Ann ROHR
-  in July 2019 -


* P R E S S E C H O:

Potsdam's Jahn Sports school: (Märk. Allg. Ztg.)
   >    … in Berlin's Hasenheide (rbb-TV, cancelled)
Visit in Lanz:   (The Prignitzer)
... at the Grave of Klaus Koestes (Leipziger Volkszeitung)
The GYM Festivalcity of Leipzig:
BVisit at the Festival OC
Visit in the Jahn city of Freyburg  (MDR-Mediathek)
GYMmedia Preview:(- in German only)