Swimming for the Fatherland: Journalism, Pronatalism, and Modernization in the World of Weimar Sport
1 online resource (91 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The perplexities of the interwar era in Germany—the Weimar Republic—continue to spark scholarly intrigue. A tumultuous political atmosphere and an unstable economy coupled with societal reform and cultural advancements in film, arts, and architecture provide endless material for historical research. The successes and failures of Weimar that contributed to rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism have dominated historical inquiry. More recently, historians have delved into the Weimar years for the sake of Weimar, and not simply as a precursor to the Third Reich. This thesis acts as such, examining sport and physical culture, specifically competitive swimming, within sports journalism. Doing so unveils two underlying currents present within Weimar society: pronatalism and the sheer force of modernization. Scholarly research promotes the idea that sports emancipated women, freeing them from traditional gender roles. This thesis proves that in fact, the opposite is true. Furthermore, instead of liberating the human body from aspects of modernization—the goal of so many life reform and physical culture groups—competitive sport advocated for modern training and technique that transformed the swimming professional athlete into a machine for the nation.
Massino, JillThorsheim, Peter
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2017.
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