WW2 German early Sports Association flag in cotton. The flag has full cotton ‘hoist’ or bunting with rope lanyard inside. A rare and difficult example to find. 36 inches x 60 inches. I only have a couple of these. In over 40 years of collecting this is only the second time I have had these.
The National Socialist League of the Reich for Physical Exercise (Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, NSRL), was the umbrella organization for sports and physical education in Nazi Germany. The NSRL was known as the German League of the Reich for Physical Exercise (Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, DRL) until 1938. The organization was expanded to Austria after that country’s annexation by Nazi Germany.
The NSRL was led by the Reichssportführer, who after 1934 was at the same time presiding over the German National Olympic Committee. The NSRL’s leaders were Hans von Tschammer und Osten (1933–1943), Arno Breitmeyer (1943–1944) and Karl Ritter von Halt (1944–1945).
In 1936 Hans von Tschammer und Osten, as the head of the Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, played a major role in the structure and coordination of the Summer Olympics in Berlin. The Olympic Games, the first in history to have live television coverage, provided an ideal setting to showcase the Nazi regime and what Hitler deemed to be his exploits.
As Secretary General of the Organizing Committee of the Berlin Olympic Games, Carl Diem, the former secretary of the Deutscher Reichsausschuss für Leibesübungen (DRA), the forerunner of the DRL/NSRL, became the chief organizer of the Berlin Olympic Games. Diem held high posts in the Reichs Sports office even after the Olympics, being named leader of the Foreign Department of the Nationalsocialist Sports Office in 1939 by the Reichssportführer. As such Carl Diem was responsible for the issues of German athletes in foreign countries, as well as for the international affairs of the NSRL.
Von Tschammer trusted the organization of the Fourth Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Karl Ritter von Halt, whom he named President of the Committee for the organization of the Winter Games. As a result of the prestige acquired in this event, Karl Ritter von Halt would be elected member of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1937, a post von Tschammer craved but was not able to obtain.
The German eagle with the swastika on the chest, worn as a badge by the athletes of the 1936 German Olympics team, became the official symbol of the Nazi Sports Body; “the swastika on the eagle’s chest displays … the ideology of the DRL” (“Das Hakenkreuz aber, welches der Adler in seinen Schwingen trägt, bekennt, aus welcher Gesinnung … im DRL gearbeitet wird). The verbal salutation “Heil Hitler!” was introduced by von Tschammer on December 12, 1936 as the official formal salutation by members of German sport organisations in the sport events that would be organized from that date onwards. The Nazi salute had already been introduced three years before by Josef Klein. On March 17, 1937, all German athletes were called by Hans von Tschammer und Osten to join the Hitler Youth.