Sport in the GDR: Cultivation of Socialist Ideals Essay
Sport in the GDR: Cultivation of Socialist Ideals, 492 words essay example
Essay Topic: karl marx, power, government, social
Cultivation of Socialist Ideals
Marxist-Leninist agendas topped GDR government's list of policies. Thus, it was hard to keep the monolithic sports system as a government secret. Both politicians and academicians of GDR made their intentions clear to be dedicated state servants in its cause of promoting sports. According to Walter Ulbricht, sports produced perfect socialist personality because it not only fostered health of GDR's citizens but also cultivated vital character attributes like improvement in work habits and heightened willpower.
Glory to the Regime
Superior athletes produced by the communist East German regime glorified socialism as the national sports organization incited self-control and commitment, especially in a country that limited people's choice on destiny. The exploitation of elite sportspersons as communist trophies was evidently clear at international sports events such as Olympics. Many experts were convinced that GDR government utilized sport as one of the weapons of warfare against West Germans (FDG), UK, and the US.
Sports became a compulsory activity for government workers. Resultantly, GDR system of sports became a model for communist and socialist states because of three reasons. First, the strategy inculcated social consciousness via sports politicization. Second, it infused Marxist-Leninist ideological and moral standards into popular psyche. Lastly, it developed physical and mental qualities necessary for training a labor force of socialist loyalists. The main goal entailed a conception of a large internal network of sports system that exalted Karl Marx's regard of sport as complementary to production. The goal was indeed fulfilled in the GDR through elite sports.
Sporting and training in East Germany took a militaristic and political twist in the long-run, thanks to an extensive influence of the Soviet Union. In Olympic Games, it was observed that athletes from communist and socialist countries had the pride to compete for their nations, as compared to those of the West. Pinning sport as a core government business inspired loyalist views and allegiance to communist systems. However, it took an exerted and coordinated effort of the government to convince the public of its intentions (Johnson, 2008). During the early 1970s, GDR government initiated a severe internal control mechanism to exert control and power over a section of civilians. State surveillance measures did not exempt athletes as well.
Sports educators taught young generation to remain loyal to the motherland and to maintain a brotherly love to the Soviets. GDR bound politics, sports and culture to form a formidable bundle of ideology. East Germans used sports to politically justify their socialist stance. Instead, it did the opposite it took several years for GDR to be recognized by Olympic committees as an independent state. The autonomy of East Germany was formally recognized late in 1968 though they still had to fly a neutral flag at the occasion. A full recognition took hold during the 1972 Olympics held in Munich. Arguably, there is no other European country that took Olympic Games dearly like GDR, to an extent of the sport determining its political decisions and fate.