When did swimming pool ownership become fashionable?

So far, drowning had been fashionable because swimming was not fashionable


1 ~ 1 ~ So far, drowning was fashionable because swimming wasn't fashionable. The development of public outdoor pools in Usinger Land By Wolfgang Ettig Published in: Yearbook Hochtaunuskreis 2017

2 ~ 2 ~ Wolfgang Ettig So far, drowning was fashionable because swimming was not fashionable 1 The development of public outdoor pools in Usinger Land In the first decades of the 20th century, small outdoor pools were increasingly built in the small towns on the other side of the Limes. There were various different impulses for this. After the First World War, a modest tourist industry soon developed in the Taunus and they wanted to offer these summer guests amusement opportunities. In the 1930s it was the National Socialist ideology that encouraged physical activity. And after the Second World War, the resurgence of summer freshness in the Taunus should once again favor the creation of small outdoor pools in a final wave. The outdoor pools built in the 1920s and 1930s were similar in design. The swimming pools were usually secured against the ground with wooden planks or concrete walls. The ground is either planked or also provided with a concrete slab. The pools usually comprised a more or less large swimmer and non-swimmer zone. Stairs made access easier. For the brave, there were occasionally even diving platforms of unequal heights. Sunbathing areas, changing rooms and here and there a kiosk completed the character of an outdoor pool. Sometimes even a swimming master took care of the safety of the bathers. Summer retreat with spa and bathing fun Neuweilnau began operating swimming pools in the early 1920s. Modern transport options, the hospitality of the residents and the good accommodation options have made the beautiful Taunus village of Neuweilnau a popular climatic health resort, as E.G. Steinmetz opened the small town in 1925. 2 During the heyday, as Neuweilnauers remember, wonderful summer night parties with dancing and music were held on the swimming pool area with guests from near and far. Even the health resorts in Oberreifenberg, Arnoldshain and Schmitten couldn't complain about a lack of guests. The air cure flourished there between the two world wars. It is said that two to three thousand spa guests used to visit the Schmitten region every year. 3 The suggestion for building the baths in Arnoldshain in 1928 came from the health resort and tourist association. Rod an der Weil followed around 1930 with a private, in-house outdoor pool, which the Gasthaus / Hotel Zum Taunus offered to its spa guests, who could enjoy it. The not particularly large pool with fresh water from the Weil naturally aroused covetousness among the Roder youth, so that the owner Wilhelm Stahl finally gave his consent and granted the (young) population access to the facility. Hundstadt followed in 1932, when the Nassauische Brandversicherungsanstalt granted the community a substantial sum to expand a pond at the entrance to the town. The redesign made it possible to use the water both as a fire pond and as a public recreational opportunity. In summer for swimming and in winter as an ice surface. 4 In-house advertising card for Gasthaus Zum Taunus, Rod a.d.w. (Source: Hochtaunus District Archive, WRO) In Oberreifenberg, with the support of the unemployed of the Voluntary Labor Service 5, a

3 ~ 3 ~ swimming pool built and inaugurated in August 1933. The high-altitude health resort of Oberreifenberg and its active health resort administration [] can be congratulated on the new achievement of this one and only beautiful forest swimming pool, and the Taunus newspaper said at the time only good wishes for its further favorable development. 7 The town even advertised its swimming pool as a lido in newspaper advertisements. 8 6 Oberreifenberg swimming pool around 1936 (Hochtaunus History Association) For Schmitten as a health resort, an open-air swimming pool was equally indispensable. After long negotiations, which had already begun in 1929 and were repeatedly delayed, a passable facility was finally built, albeit smaller in its construction than originally planned. 9 It seemed tempting to the three small Feldberg communities to allow spa guests to swim and sunbathe in the great outdoors. Apparently it was the endeavor to emulate the spas in the Vordertaunus. Even if one could not compete with them, one was convinced of the necessity of such spa and leisure facilities in the high Taunus. When building their open-air swimming pools, those responsible everywhere were initially not concerned with strengthening (local) public health or even with efforts to bring swimming closer to the population, but rather with promoting local tourism. Whether the construction of an open-air swimming pool, which was initiated in Anspach in 1928, was actually due to the athletic fitness of swimming is at least questionable, because the Sportgemeinschaft 1862 Anspach e. V. has never had a swimming department since it was founded. Although the Anspach youth splashed around in the nearby Johannisweiher, swimming as a serious sporting activity was not yet practiced in the entire region at that time. There is no other way of justifying the threat by the Anspacher farmers to the swimming pool supporters to drain manure into the future basin or to fill it with soil. 10 Rather, the construction decision by Mayor Emil Becker (term of office) was rather ambitious in terms of social policy. So in times of increasing unemployment he moved this emergency work with the secondary purpose of building a sports facility. 11 No more non-swimmers among the rural youth, no more village without an open-air swimming pool When the National Socialists came to power in 1933, the idea was to shift from pure swimming pleasure to sport and physical fitness. The newly founded political organization Kraft durch Freude (KdF) was now responsible for organizing, monitoring and harmonizing the leisure time of the German population. 12 Swimming was now a compulsory part of the curriculum in schools. In metropolitan areas, the implementation of the principle Every German was a

4 ~ 4 ~ swimmers rather unproblematic, while in the rural regions the political order swimming is patriotic duty was initially more difficult to implement. The authorities endeavored to quickly remedy the lack of adequate swimming opportunities. Ponds and the fire ponds that existed everywhere were converted into open-air swimming pools in record time. In addition, bathing areas were built on streams, the quantities of which were suitable for supplying a basin. Existing bathrooms support this development. From then on, the association offered strength through joy in the baths of the Usinger Land, supported by local sports supervisors, swimming courses for the population. With the appeal, whoever swims, hardens himself, increases his strength and body agility and also increases his zest for life, should the enthusiasm for swimming be aroused. This is not only for your own benefit, but also for the people and the fatherland! In this way, villages that had no access to tourism at the time were encouraged to build swimming facilities. In the autumn of 1933, the community of Wehrheim began to develop their fire pond on the Riedwiesen as a swimming pool, which had previously served the youth as an unofficial bathing area. The inauguration took place in the summer of 1934. In the climatic health resort of Kransberg, a village swimming pool was built by the citizens on a voluntary basis near the Herrenmühle below the Holzberg 13. Shortly after the First World War, union-related organizations acquired the Emmershäuser Mühle building in Weiltal and converted the property into a training and recreation center. 14 Until the Nazi takeover of power, the Socialist Workers' Welfare Association also used the property as a holiday home for children’s recreational welfare. It is unclear whether the mill pond there was already developed as a (public) outdoor pool at this point in time. In 1933, the German Workers' Front took over the area and used it as a youth hostel, among other things. From this point in time at the latest, the converted pond was used as a physical fitness pool in summer and as a football field in winter when the water was drained. The swimming pool of the Emmershäuser Mühle as a winter football field. (Photo: Archiv Geschichtsverein Weilrod) The fire ponds in the villages of Riedelbach (around 1930) and Eschbach (around 1936) also experienced their ennoblement as bathing establishments. For Eschbach, the circular sheet from that time reveals patriotically: The improvements were tirelessly worked on. [] Craftsmen had done their work free of charge, peasants made their wagons available for free, and those who did not own a wagon had done their own work. [] Eschbach can rightly be proud of its new work that serves public health! 15 The bathing facility in Riedelbach complied with all sporting regulations at the time. Residents and guests from the surrounding villages took advantage of this opportunity for active, refreshing leisure activities. Until shortly before the end of the war, the plant was in operation with free entry. Even in the churches

5 ~ 5 ~ Dorfweil and Brombach at that time the idea of ​​building a swimming pool in cooperation was born. The confluence of the Aubach into the Weil was considered as a possible location. But the plan was never realized. In 1938, Grävenwiesbach decided to build its own outdoor pool. The area was between what is now Saarstrasse and the Wiesbach, with whose fresh, clear water it was also fed. The Grävenwiesbach school chronicle shows that the bathroom met all of the requirements that such a modern sports facility had to meet. The impetus for the construction was given by Richard Schirrmann (*), the founder of the German Youth Hostel Association. 16 Tourism is increasing The former Grävenwiesbach outdoor swimming pool (Photo: Lisel Garth / Grävenwiesbach) Not only the municipalities that had built outdoor swimming pools - owing to tourism - but also those villages in which swimming pools were built due to National Socialist directives suddenly benefited from an increasing number Tourism. The Office for Travel, Hiking and Vacation 17 endeavored to enable Germans from all parts of the Reich who otherwise would not enjoy vacation to relax. The Taunus in particular was the destination of many people looking for relaxation. In 1934 Schmitten was identified at the top with around overnight guests. The number of visitors to the local swimming pool for 1934 is estimated at approx. Bathers were counted in the Neuweilnau bathing establishment. It was said that Kransberg was able to increase the number of its guests by 100 percent. 18 The Kransberg open-air swimming pool around 1935 (Photo: Hildegunde Trier / Kransberg) As part of the diverse activities of Strength Through Joy, many people looking for relaxation came to the region until the early 1940s. Not only were the hotels and guest houses available to them as overnight accommodation, homeowners also offered private accommodation in order to enable them to make a small additional income. 19th

6 ~ 6 ~ So it can be summarized that the wave of founding rural outdoor swimming pools in Usinger Land was initially aimed at promoting tourism. In the years of National Socialism, the Nazi ideology of athletic youth increasingly expected the construction of swimming pools and fueled the flow of visitors in the region as part of the multi-layered campaigns of Kraft durch Freude. What started out enthusiastically was soon to come to an end. The ravages of time are gnawing at the swimming pools The outdoor pools in Oberreifenberg and Arnoldshain were probably abandoned during the Second World War or immediately afterwards. In Kransberg, the pool seems to have stopped working during the war. Reconstruction was no longer an option. After the chaos of war at the latest, the small outdoor pool in Rod an der Weil was left to its fate and no longer suitable for swimming. At that time, the Riedelbach outdoor pool was partially destroyed by a plane crash and was only partially usable. The Anspach swimming pool was also in a desperate condition. Well-intentioned repair work in 1946 and 1947 could not stop the final deterioration. The Wehrheimer Brandweiher was also no longer usable as a bathing establishment. In 1949 the Grävenwiesbach swimming pool was still thoroughly renovated, but in the mid / late 1950s the swimming pool had to be stopped - probably due to industrial wastewater pollution of the Wiesbach. The number of holidaymakers is rising again In the economic boom, the mayors dreamed of an open-air swimming pool again, especially in those regions that were hoping to reconnect with the former streams of visitors. In Usinger Land, the swimming pools in Neuweilnau, Riedelbach, Schmitten, Emmershausen and Grävenwiesbach survived the turmoil of the war more or less unscathed, so that the idea of ​​modernizing the former bathing establishments was born in the town halls. The tourism that was actually regaining its strength in the Taunus region at that time fueled this endeavor. 20 So it was not surprising that the parishes were preparing to renovate the bathing establishments. As early as 1952, the outdoor pool in Riedelbach was renewed expectantly. With the slogan climatic health resort in the most beautiful forest and heathland landscape, the municipality also referred to the local swimming pool in its national advertising. At the end of the 1960s, however, the swimming pool had to be closed for cost reasons. In Anspach, a resolution of the municipal representatives made in 1955 made it possible to save the desolate bathroom and completely renew it. To this day, the forest swimming pool enjoys great popularity in summer temperatures. For those responsible in Wehrheim, too, the idea of ​​a new swimming pool in a suitable location was still tempting. In the implementation of the project, if you will, chance came to their aid. The pioneer unit of the US Army, which built an ammunition dump near Kapersburg in the post-war years, took over the excavation of the planned swimming pool for the community. The inauguration of Ludwig-Bender-Bad 21 took place in July. The Emmershäuser were also able to look forward to an outdoor pool. After the war, the ownership of the Emmershausen mill fell back to the newly founded trade union IG Bau-Steine-Erden, which built a training and recreation home on the site. In the course of this, a modern bathroom was built in 1952/53. According to Emmershausen contemporary witnesses, bathing was open to the public there until the mid-1960s. The Neuweilnau community marketed itself and its open-air swimming pool through advertisements in advertising centers and travel agencies until the end of the 1960s

7 ~ 7 ~ years. 22 In the hot summer of 1965, the Usinger Anzeiger reported that the place hosted 2,890 spa guests and the swimming pool recorded 400 visitors on some days. 23 The bathroom was still in use until the mid-1970s. The cost trap picture postcard of the bathing establishment Neuweilnau (source: Herrmann Türk / Neuweilnau) But also completely new baths were added. For example, Hasselbach, which had no real swimming pool before the war, turned its fire pond into an open-air swimming pool in 1956. Critical voices scoffed at the time: In Hasselbach three quarters of the year is winter and the rest of the year it is cold. But the municipal treasury was well filled at this point, 24 and the town hall was of the opinion that such an investment could well be represented. But after years of bathing operations, increased security requirements and the associated costs forced those responsible to close. At the beginning of the 1970s, the Hasselbach outdoor pool was history. Play-sports facility and swimming pool in Hasselbach around 1960 (source: Treisberg local archive) While in the years after the Second World War the community representatives advocated, implemented and sought to maintain cost-generating amenities as an investment at their location as an investment in their location At the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 70s - probably not least in the course of the Hessian regional reform - and the small and micro-baths fell victim to inevitable cost-cutting measures. Today, in the Usinger Land, there are only outdoor swimming pools in Schmitten, Neu-Anspach and Wehrheim, the provision and maintenance of which place a considerable burden on the municipal coffers. Regardless of this, it is your duty to modernize these facilities regularly, not only to promote the attractiveness of the region, but primarily to offer the residents worthwhile sports and leisure opportunities.

8 Bibliography ~ 8 ~ Berg Ingrid, among others (Ed.): Heimat Hochtaunus. Frankfurt Various issues of the Taunus newspaper from the years 1930 to Various issues of the Usinger Anzeiger from the years 1928 to Various issues of the Kreis-Blatt of the years. Ernst, Eugen: Neu-Anspach, Becoming and Working, S Neu-Anspach GutsMuths, Johann Christoph Friedrich: Small textbook of the art of swimming, Weimar Hafeneger, Benno: Youth work as a profession History of a profession in Germany. Opladen Kärtner, Bernhard: The former swimming pool of Oberreifenberg. Oberursel Kraus, Eva: The German Youth Hostel Association.Berlin Magistrate of the City of Usingen (ed.): 1200 years of Usingen Spode, Hasso: The Nazi community Strength through joy a people traveling? In: Hasso Spode (Ed.): To the sun, to freedom! Contributions to the history of tourism. Berlin carrier, Béatrice: history and stories from the large community of Schmitten. Schmitten Usinger Land A home book of the Usingen district. Düsseldorf Walsh, Gerta: Swimming pools for public health. In: Das Jahrhundert im Taunus, S Frankfurt / M Notes 1 GutsMuths p.7. Johann Christoph Friedrich () was a well-known German educator and advocate of physical education and upbringing. 2 Usinger Land, S sponsor: history and stories from the large community of Schmitten, S Kreis-Blatt no.203, from December 28th The Voluntary Labor Service (FAD) was a publicly funded employment program introduced in 1931 by the Reichsanstalt für Arbeitsvermittlungs und Arbeitslosenversicherung in the Weimar Republic . Since the Nazi regime saw a partial response to the economic crisis in the labor service, it did not dissolve the FAD after it came to power, but gradually transformed it into an instrument of conscious education for the national community according to its ideas. 6 Taunuszeitung from Taunuszeitung from Cf. Kärtner: The former swimming pool in Oberreifenberg, S Kreisblatt No. 65, from April 24th Ernst: Neu-Anspach Werden und Wirken, S Emil Becker was also the one who initiated the first social housing in Anspach. 12 On November 28, 1933, the newspapers announced the merger of the organization Kraft durch Freude as a sub-organization of the German Workers' Front (DAF). 13 In the area of ​​today's sewage treatment plant of the Upper Usatal wastewater association. 14 At the time of going to press it could not be determined whether this was the former construction workers' union, the German construction trade union or trade union-related associations. 15 Kreis-Blatt no. 68, dated April 2nd, Schirrmann, who was living in Grävenwiesbach at that time, did not appear in this matter, but had the building stimulated by the youth care department. It is said that he was at war with the Nazis. After the National Socialists came to power, he became a subordinate leader in the Hitler Youth (HJ) in September 1933, and from March 1934 he was also a member of the Nazi teachers' association. In July 1936 he was expelled from the Hitler Youth for severe indiscipline and behavior that was harmful to the Hitler Youth and added to the NSDAP's warning files. Nevertheless, Schirrmann's rejection of the Nazi regime is now viewed with skepticism. [See. Kraus, Das Deutsche Jugendherbergswerk, p. 301 ff.] 17 The Office for Travel, Hiking and Vacation (RWU) was a department of the authority Strength through Joy. Their task was to organize vacation trips for members (so-called KdF trips) on land and at sea. 18 Kreis-Blatt Spode: The Nazi community Strength through joy a people on the move ?, S In particular, the communities of Schmitten, Arnoldshain, Neuweilnau / Altweilnau saw a sharp rise in the number of holidaymakers in the early 1960s. Usinger Anzeiger No. 66, dated June 4, named after the former mayor during whose term of office [] the project was implemented. 22 Home address book Kreis Usingen, Usinger Anzeiger No. 91 from August 1st In the mid-1950s a strong storm swept through the district of Hasselbach. And municipalities such as Treisberg or Cratzenbach were also able to sell the wood felled by the wind break at a profit. Wolfgang Ettig / Treisberg [Published in the yearbook of the Hochtaunuskreis S Frankfurt 2016] For scientific purposes of local research, freely usable provided the authorship is indicated, but not commercially. Author: Wolfgang Ettig, Leiweg 22, Schmitten-Treisberg, Tel Treisberg on the web: