The Wilhelm Gustloff Dormitory
Lingiad Sporting Event, Stockholm
July 17th, 1939 - July 25th, 1939

     On July 17th, 1939, The Wilhelm Gustloff left for the last special voyage of her career. With over 1,000 of the best German athletes onboard, she set sail for Stockholm, Sweden for the 9 day Lingiad sporting event. The idea about the non-competitive sporting event came from the International Gymnastics festival, Lingiad, which involved 7,399 participants from 12 nations. This was organised in Stockholm in 1939 to mark the centenary of the death of the "Father of Swedish gymnastics" Pehr-Henrik Ling. Due to the German rules of not berthing their liners in allied countries, the Wilhelm Gustloff anchored off-shore and several boats were used to ferry athletes to and from the gleaming white dormitory. The event eventually ended and the Gustloff took her passengers back to Germany. This was her 45th voyage and she would only complete 4 more before the end of her pleasure cruising career.

Ticket Booklets, Pamphlet, & Event Tickets for the Lingiad, Stockholm
July 17th, 1939 - July 25th, 1939

Blue Election Cabin Booklet Version 
Name: Hard to see - possible Wilhelm?
Address: Adolf Hitler Str. 121.
Age: 38

The Reich Sports Leader
Secretary of Tschammer and Osten
Invites the occasion of the celebration of the Lingiade in Stockholm

To a party on board the steamer "Wilhelm Gustloff", Friday July 21st, 21:00

The summer suit launches (the ship's largest dinghies) are on the bridge near the National Museum Clock Ends at 24:00 

Answer your questions to the German Legation.  Stockholm. Phone: 23 22 05
Lingiade, Stockholm Party Invitation onboard the Wilhelm Gustloff
Lingiade, Stockholm German Presentation Program

Cover Translation:

Celebration of the Lindiade 1939
German Presentation
On Saturday, 22 July 19.30 clock
In the stadium in Stockholm

Catenary: Reichsmännerturnwart: Martin Schneider
Conductor: George Blumensaat
(Composer: Hans Bergese, George Blumensaat, Gunild Keetman.)

1st Events
Men and women with singing.

2nd Over Men: Director: Martin Schneider Reichsmännerturnwart

3rd Women's gymnastics: running games, posture training. Head: Reichsfrauenturnwart: Carl Loges.

4th School body of men: calisthenics, partner exercises, floor exercises. Head: Reichsmännerturnwart: Martin Schneider.

5th Handset gymnastics for women. Ball exercises, spinning ball exercises, rope routine. Director: Mrs. Dorothee Gunther.
Page 2:

6th Team work on beams: Head: Tesar

7th Gymnastics of the men and women. Head: Reichsmännerturnwart. Martin Schneider.

Men: high bar, parallel bars, horse, rings, table. Women: bars, horse, box, obstacle relay. Director: Reichskinderturnwart Hermann Ohnesorge.

8th Gymnastics national team on high bar. Head: Reichsmännerturnwart: Martin Schneider

9th Dances. Girl dance: Head: Mrs. Dorothee Gunther.
Folk dance of the men and women. Head: Reichsfachward for folk dance: Alfred Müller-Hennig.

10th Common march.

     In Germany, gymnastics, sports and gymnastics are combined uniformly upbeat. The German show takes out of this uniform holdings the part which aims at a general and basic training, and makes the individual forms of sport into account. What is shown is therefore only as a preparation and foundation to be rated. In practice, the club belongs to another program, which consists of your choice from the various sports and exercises that leads to nature. We strive for a body of culture, penetrate into the sport with gymnastics and gymnastics are sports.

     The crew, 450 men and 450 women, is composed from all over Germany and from all age groups. The youngest participant is 18 years, the oldest 51 years. It originates in the vast majority German gymnastic societies, and thus all the professional classes. Some of the men consists of young students of the Imperial Academy of Physical Education and some of the women from Maiden of the Reich Labor Service, that six-month compulsory labor; (Page 3) which Germany demanded of his youth. The exercises are shown soon after receiving the invitation designed in April of this year, the Vorturner practiced, then the exercises were in groups at the home of the various participants, drawn up twice a week. The entire team was on Tuesday 11 July, the Reich Sports Field in Berlin pulled together to get your latest training and joint alignment. In this way the team is a cross-section of the German gymnastics. It shows the average condition of the body and also that this gymnastic vigor is maintained into old age.

     In the selected program, the principles of the present German gymnastics are expressed: emphasizing the body force by Pflegedes run, disciplined body school through tight gym with economical use of formal exercises, animated by the play of partner work and comradely Wetteiferns gain, the team feeling less by unity Drill than by comradeship obligations. Performance and Mutförderung heavy exercises, mental relaxation, particularly women through work and spirited dancing, and finally healthy comradeship of the sexes and Ethnicity by fostering ties with the folk dance.

     The limit of work is the demonstration of rising, a strong effort (by Warmmacheübung run). The following are the organically less strenuous, in which members use to relieving exercises, then the joyful gathering together in the team working under the loosening experience gay community, it is protected through the pauses of the Einzelübens, maximum effort in the personal maximum of gymnastics, and then subsided in the relaxation of the dance.

     The race of men is hard organ school and is to come to that peak, the show closed a team (Page 4) can. This effort will be avoided in the running game of the women, for it is sought by many Hüpfarbeit and jumping exercises a high degree of body strength and agility. The bodies of the men school brings sharp, incessant movement, the major muscle groups are covered alternately. The work is mainly the widening and loosening of the thorax and the elimination of bracing and muscle contractions, which brings the present-day life with them. The soil and partner exercises in turn should ensure the necessary looseness and Allgemeinbewglichkeit. The same purposes in return the ball and rope routine of the women again, but here lies the main value in the tuning of the muscular sense, in a fine and safe movement, and the ability to integrate rhythmically. The exercises with the spinning balls are the stretching and loosening Insond of the chest and thus lower respiratory capacity, and a training of the muscle corset in fast-swinging form. 

     The team working on the beam emerged from the labor service and next to its purpose, comradeship - here's another on the need - the goal of getting used to the rough Turner tasks of daily life. Fest tackling issues of dealing with heavy weights, just to gain natural strength and endurance should never be neglected. In the gymnastics men's and women enter the meet in the gymnasium Hinernis created in place of natural barriers. This obstacle must be managed safely and easily. To this end, it is practiced on the devices not only freedom of overcoming the obstacle, but also the art form, the refinement gives self-confidence and brought in practicing the charm and skill of artful body's own design sense. The national team of the gymnasts on the horizontal bar brings this direction of the German gymnastics in perfection. The dance is again the balance. He is said to awaken the creative power, he brings empathy to the rhythm of music with himself and awakens sense of space and creative power.

     The music has been transformed from the gymnastic work out. She makes no claim to intrinsic value, it is designed so that it embodies the sense of rhythm exercises and serves. 

Page 5:
German Presentation
on Friday 21 July, 14-16 in the circus, Djurgarden
on Sunday 23 Juli 19-21 Clock in Concert

Catenary: Empire compartment chief officer Carl Steding

Demonstration Plan

1st Events / Invasion

2nd Children's Gymnastics: Young children boys and girls 3-5 years. Head: Reichskinderturnwart: Hermann Ohnesorge.
Girls 6-9 years. Head: Mrs Liselott Diem. Music: Ms. Hoffmann-Denicke e.

3rd German school gymnastics in physical education for girls, run by the German gymnastics team, members of the Reich Association of German gymnastics, sports and gym teacher, was sent on behalf of the Reich Ministry of Education.
Director: Hinrich Medau


4th National gymnastics men's gymnastics team at the rocking rings. Director: Martin Schneider Reichsmännerturnwart.

5th National women's gymnastics team gymnastics on the balance beam. Director: Carl Loges Reichsfrauenturnwart.

Page 6:
6th Age of the men's gymnastics team on bars. Director: Martin Schneider Reichsmännerturnwart.

7th National men's gymnastics team table with spring board diving. Director: Martin Schneider Reichsmännerturnwart.

8th National gymnastics men's gymnastics team on high bar. Head: Reichsmännerturnwart. Martin Schneider.

     In Germany value is a well presented exercise of the preschool child, to the limited self-Austummeln balance in urban conditions. It consists in the attempt to manage the natural impulse to motion in forms, operating under the limited space given the necessary development stimulus. What happens is, most are lured originally from the child's soul. It develops on its own is a natural order and sense of community. The exercises consist of little ones in the game Gymnastics without appliance, play tennis with the ring, play gymnastics on the ladder and the slide, song and dance game. The exercises of 6-10 year old girls to slowly bring up the form and force control, courage, raise skill, resilience, sense of space and rhythm. Children's song and dance accompanied by the children on flutes, chimes and drums themselves, because the child grows the sense of rhythm and melody, a property that is rooted in the physical and their development should also be linked at a later age with the artistic gymnastics.

     The exercises of the German school gym in the physical education of girls by the basic form and movement development of walking. Running and hopping initiated. It links movements follow in spring, jumping and swinging and those of running and jumping. It closes at Ball Gym. Then Weden forms of free movement design shows an example of using gossip rhythm, a dance, using run-and steps, and a girl dancing to folk motifs; a shot hopping and turning.

     The second part brings the inexhaustible source of pleasure in moving from an early age in the highest age: German gymnastics and gymnastics at the age bar should include To prove that such a regular practice until the people into old age receives efficient and leistungswillig. The oldest Turner (Page 7) on the barren 71 years old. The exercises for women to prove that the woman has joy and benefits of this work and that it is suitable to preserve the feminine.

     The national team of men to lead eventually to the present state of the German gymnastics equipment in perfection in mind. It should however be noted here that this is only one side of the trial, the German gymnasts have to undergo in the competitions. The gymnastics Zwölfkampf, the highest test of the German gymnastics calls, in addition to mastery of the instrument and the same performance in running, jumping and throwing.

Three images of the Wilhelm Gustloff in Swinemünde: July 25th, 1939 for Lingiad
Each one backmarked the same (at right). Return date from this voyage.

Personal Connection - Ingrid of Berlin

     I was fortunate enough to meet Ingrid online and talk to her about youth. Hailing from Berlin, Ingrid was only 4 1/2 years old when her mother took her onboard the Wilhelm Gustloff in July of 1939. Their destination was the Lingiaid in Stockholm. She told me she had many fond memories of being on the trip and was kind enough to share photographs of herself at the time, as well as newspaper articles and other copies. 

     "Before starting this journey I already had to do a lot of gymnastics for little children at the "Reichssportfeld" in Berlin. Teacher was the well-known "Onkel Ohnesorge". Being 4 1/2 years old I started this trip with my mother and other families. We had a cabin on Deck Nr.3 . I specially remember the big swimming pool on the ship, where I got very frightend because of the deepness, although my mother kept me tight. I remember too,that there must have been a little shop where I got bought a little cosy icebear. Beside of many activities with children-gymnastics on the "Wilhelm Gustloff". I remember very well, when I was taken down on the "fallreep" to the boat, which brought us to the pier of Stockholm. We children had to do gymnastics during the Lingiade event in front of King Gustav Adolf and his family. For me as a little girl everything was very exciting."

     Included below are three postcards of Stockholm her mother purchased on the trip and are now in our collection. I thank Ingrid for sharing these memories with me and helping to add to the memory of this liner, especially for a trip which very little is available elsewhere.
- This photograph shows Ingrid being ferried from the Wilhelm Gustloff to Stockholm - July 1939.
Ingrid and other  passengers on the deck of the Wilhelm Gustloff.

Photographs At Right:
1: Three postcards of Stockholm, Sweden purchased during the Lingiaid trip - July 1939.
2: Article: "...rldens ungdom i givakt för Ling." or  "World Youth on Parade for Ling."
3: Article: "Tysklands flytande Lingiad-hotell på Strömmen" or "Germany Lingiad floating hotel on the river current."
4: Article: "Med det tyska Kraft Durch Freude fartyget "Wilhelm Gustloff" kommo 1.100 tyska gymnaster till Stockholm och Lingiaden." or "With the German Kraft Durch Freude ship "Wilhelm Gustloff" 1,100 German gymnasts came to Stockholm and Lingiaden.

Deutsche Lingiadefahrt 1939
German Lingiade Voyage 1939
Commemoration book on the Lingiade Event in Stockholm.

Lingiaden  Gymnastikfrämjandets
Årsbok 1939
     Lingiaden Gymnastics Association's Yearbook - 1939. 340 pages in Swedish and English - featuring all the countries that participated in the Lingiad. Pages 341 to 434 are advertisements and sponsors.
     Original film footage of the Wilhelm Gustloff is Stockholm can be viewed through the Swedish Film Institute's Archives. To view the film reel - click the title below:
Den första Lingiaden (1939)

Yellow Männer (Men) Booklet Version
Name: Inge Maack
Address: RAD Lager 3/30, Testung Dömitz i /M.
Age 17

Speisekarten for Lingiade - Stockholm
Voyage #45: July 17th, 1939 - July 25th, 1939
Dates Below: July 19th, 1939, July 20th, 1939, July 24th, 1939.

     Under the Speisekarten - Menus page, it is noted that the Gustloff used 15 variations of menu covers for her trips. This is one of two exceptions throughout her 50 voyages to which two different covers were known to be used. During her Lingiade trip, the two new covers at right appeared onboard. The first is Riga - the capital and largest city of Latvia. The second is a cover I discovered online as part of a collection from this voyage, featuring the Crane Gate from Gdansk.
Riga - Latvia
              Gdansk, Poland

The Organising Committee of Lingiaden
In Stockholm 1939

have the honor to invite fellow
party on

Restaurant Hasselbacken
Sunday, July 23 at 22.
The Organizing Committee of Lingiade in Stockholm 1939
hereby certifies that
Inge Maack
at the Lingiade participates, and is therefore entitled to receive fare discounts on the railways and other benefits to the participants of the Stockholm Lingiade 1939 were approved.

To view additional photographs of the Wilhelm Gustloff in Stockholm through the German Sport University in Cologne,
please click HERE.
The link to additional photos can be found at the bottom of the page.
Vecko-Journalen, Lingiaden 1939
Nr. 30 - Minnesnummer

     Magazine with several articles of the Lingiad in Stockholm and a two page spread about training onboard the Gustloff.

Right: Sven Hedin sitting down with the Reichsjugendführer Baldur von Schirach.
Three photo postcards from the Wilhelm Gustloff's Lingiad voyage.
The first has writing on the back, but it is so faded, I can only make out
"Stockholm, July 25th, 39."​​

Grouping of 20 Lingiade photographs and newspaper article from Swedish Daily Newspaper.

Featuring several photographs of the group's time onboard the Wilhelm Gustloff in Stockholm.

Världens ungdom i givakt inför Ling

"Så här ska vi göra," säger den tyska barntruppers ledare, som bär namnet Ohnesorgen. Gruppens yngsta deltagare fyller snart tre år och de äldsta äro fem.

World youth at attention facing Ling

"How are we going to do?," says the German children's leader, bearing the name Ohnesorgen. The group's youngest participant is nearly three years old, and the oldest are five.​​​​