Jahn, Friedrich Ludwig


Jahn, Friedrich Ludwig

biographical name

(born Aug. 11, 1778, Lanz, Brandenburg, Prussia—died Oct. 15, 1852, Freyburg an der Unstrut, Prussian Saxony) German educator who founded the Turnverein (gymnastic club) movement in Germany. As a teacher in Berlin from 1809, he began a program of outdoor exercise for students. He invented the parallel bars, rings, balance beam, horse, and horizontal bar, all of which have become standard equipment for gymnastics. In 1819 he came under suspicion for his fervent nationalism and strong influence on youth. He was arrested and imprisoned for almost a year; his gymnastic club closed, and a national ban was placed on gymnastics (lifted in 1842). He was awarded the Iron Cross for military bravery (1840) and served in the national parliament (1848–49).

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