The Maccabi World Union has its origins in the Zionist movement. At the 2nd Zionist
Congress in Basel in 1898, Dr. Max Nordau coined the
concept of „Muscular Judaism‟ as an appeal to the renewal of the Jewish
people. Physical training and faith in the Jewish heritage and the Jewish
nation should help to achieve the goals of Zionism.
On 08.01.1895, the first Jewish gymnastics club opened in İstanbul. In 1898, the TV Bar Kochba was founded in Berlin. In the following period the movement expanded, but limited to the big cities. Until 1903, about 20 gymnastic clubs existed in Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Germany. In 1906, the movement reached the Middle East and Rishon LeZion was founded in Jaffa.
Parallel to the 6th Zionist Congress in Basel (1903) the first Turntag (gymnastics day) took place. On 21.08.1903, six clubs from Austria-Hungary, four from Germany and one club from Romania united to the Jüdische Turnerschaft (Jewish Gymnastics Association) as an umbrella organization. 1913, the organization restructured itself into regional districts: Austria-East, Austria-West, Bulgaria, Germany, Eretz Yisrael and Turkey. Shortly after the beginning of World War I the activities of the Jüdische Turnerschaft broke up.
At the World Jewish Congress on 29.08.-01.09.1921 in Karlovy Vary TCH, the Jüdische Turnerschaft met for the first time after the World War I. The delegates decided the reorganization with the name Maccabi World Union. Maccabi is named after the original Maccabees - Jewish liberation fighters in the classical antiquity.
Until 1929, the headquarters of the MWU were in Wien, since 1930 in Berlin. In February 1933, they moved to London.
1925 - 160,000 members
1928 - 112,900 members (Jahrbuch für Leibesübungen 1929):
AUT 6,000, BEL 1,600, BUL 3,000, EGY 700, EST 2,000, FIN 250, FRA 100, GBR 150, GER 8,000, GRE 1,000, HUN 1,500, IRN 200, LAT 1,500, LTU 3,500, NED 1,000, Eretz Yisrael 2,500, POL 25,000, ROU 10,000, RUS 25,000, SUI 1,000, TCH 15,000, TUR 2,000, YUG 2,000
1930 new members: ARG, BRA, SAF, SYR, TUN, USA
|21.08.1903 - 23.04.1905||Dr. Ernst Tuch (Berlin)|
|23.04.1905 - 21.05.1907||Theobald Scholem (Berlin)|
|21.05.1907 - 23.11.1909 🕆||Dr. Georg Arndt (Berlin)|
|23.11.1909 - 31.12.1909||Theobald Scholem (Berlin)|
|01.01.1910 - 28.05.1912||Dr. Hermann Jalowicz (Berlin)|
|28.05.1912 - 01.07.1915 🕆||Wilhelm Greifenhagen (Berlin)|
fallen in World War I, date of published casualty list
|01.07.1915 - 31.08.1921||---|
|Maccabi World Union|
|01.09.1921 - 29.06.1924||Heinrich Kuhn GER|
|29.06.1924 - 05.08.1928||Gustav Spiegler AUT|
|05.08.1928 - 29.06.1929||Dr. Karl Sonnenfeld GER|
|29.06.1929 - 12.09.1935||Dr. Hermann Lelewer GER|
|12.09.1935 - 1950||Prof. Zelig Brodetsky GBR|
Remark: The further progression after the World War II are not the concern of my web site.
Last modified: 20.01.2022