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Tytuł: On the necessity to initiate research on sport in World War II concentration camps and POW camps

Autor:
Wojciech Lipoński
Język:
EN
Czasopismo:
Studies in Physical Culture and Tourism
Rok:
2012
Tom:
19
Numer:
1
Strona początkowa:
5
Strona końcowa:
9
ISSN:
0867-1079
Słowa kluczowe:
sport in concentration camps, sport literature, war memoirs of sport
Czytaj

Sport practiced in extreme conditions of World War II behind the barbed wire of concentration camps and POW camps is one of the most heroic chapters in all its history. With the use of selected memoirs of prisoners' from Nazi concentration camps and POW camps the author presents types of physical exercises practiced by camp prisoners and analyzes unusual conditions in which the said prisoners demonstrated not just their love of sport, but the will to survive in the psychological sense and to maintain minimum physical vitality. The author discusses two basic types of Lager sports: those organized secretly by the prisoners, which involved secret food services for the 'athletes' (some being real athletes detained by the Nazis); and those arranged by the Germans in order to trick and convince international organizations, such as the Red Cross Committee, that human rights were respected in their camps. Refined forms of "sport exercises" as a system of torturing prisoners are also mentioned. Examples from following concentrations camps and POW camps such as Auschwitz, Dobiegniew (Woldernberg), Mauthausen and Nurnberg are provided. Details of POW camps, like Colditz, where the Commonwealth soldiers and officers were detained and engaged in different British sports such as football and stoolball, are discussed in association with a parallel paper delivered by Dr Joanna Witkowska on British Sport in POW Camps during World War II.