Allgemeiner Turn-Verein zu Berlin 1861 e.V.
Group picture of ATV gymnasts

History of the club

If you want to know what the future might have in store for you, you also need to know where you have come from!

Gymnastics and social events  helped the club to survive two world wars. It also continued to practice sports in times of need using every conceivable means and a sizeable degree of improvisation. It offered its activities in Kreuzberg in the shadow of the Berlin Wall and in defiance of it, outlasted it and always played a part in integrating the people living in the surrounding area. It continuously expanded its range of sports beyond its original offerings of gymnastics, for example by promoting swimming at an early stage and later, among other things, establishing a high-quality children’s and youth sector offering upwards of 50 sports. The social side of sports has always been its key priority, and there were often lively festivities with singing and dancing Today the Allgemeine Turn-Verein zu Berlin 1861 e. V. is increasingly filling a void when it comes to integration, health promotion and education which are gradually being abandoned by the state. Community sports and activities for members of all ages will help the club to continue its existence which has already lasted well beyond the lifetime of any single member. The goal of the Allgemeine Turn-Verein zu Berlin 1861 e. V. has always been and continues to be to support its members in becoming, being  and staying active beyond its literal meaning. The steady increase in our membership numbers, which now stand at around 3,000 (as of 2023), shows that they appreciate our efforts. We say a huge thank you to all our members! We want to continue to make every effort to realise the association’s goals in the future by building on proven traditions and taking pride in the club’s long history.

1807 Founding father of gymnastics, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, presents the idea of organised physical exercise.

1811 First German open-air gymnasium set up in Hasenheide Park.

1817 100 open-air gymnasiums in Prussia alone.

1842 The first ban on gymnastics, introduced in 1819, is lifted by Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia in 1842.

1857 Foundation of the Berlin Gymnastics Council as the first federation of clubs in Berlin.

1861 Second German Gymnastics Festival to honour the father of gymnastics, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn; by this point, the Berlin Gymnastics Council comprises 8 clubs. Some of them are the foundation of the ATV we have today

1945 Ban on all sporting activity imposed by the Allies.

1947 Foundation of the Allgemeine Turn-Verein zu Berlin with 180 members led by gymnastics coach Curt Feddern. The Allgemeine Turn-Verein is recognised as the successor of the following clubs. Jahn Verein 1859 e.V. / Turnverein GutsMuths 1861 e.V. / Turnverein Nord West e.V. / Vereinigter Akademischer- und Askanischer Turnverein 1860 e.V.

1949 The Akademischer Turnverein becomes independent again, but some members remain in our ranks.

1950 Strong participation and respectable victories at the first Berlin State Gymnastics Competition.

1951 The Allgemeine Turn-Verein comprised 1800 members. Group 5 began sporting activities, which later became Section 1 with many disciplines and a base in Kreuzberg.

1951 The founding year of 1861 is established and recorded. The Allgemeine Turn-Verein zu Berlin now comprised 3 men’s sections, 1 women’s section, 1 gymnastics section and the associated youth and children’s sections in Moabit. 1953 Successful participation in the Deutscher Turnfest (German Gymnastics Meeting) in Hamburg.

1954 Otto Herrmann took over the chairmanship of the Allgemeine Turn-Verein and Hans Wöhlk became an honorary member.

1957 Request to change name rejected, followed by secession of some members and separation of assets with TSV GutsMuth. About 430 members remained.

1961 The 100th anniversary of the Allgemeine Turn-Verein was celebrated with a grand ceremony.

1968 Successful participation in the Deutscher Turnfest in Berlin.

1969 Rainer Wegner was elected Sporting Director and led the men’s Prellball team into the national league. The women were also crowned champions of Berlin.

1972 The women’s Prellball team finishes as runners-up in North Germany.

1974 Founding of the first parent-child gymnastics section.

1981 120th anniversary celebration with successful gymnastics show and big Prellball tournament 1989 The Flatow Sport Hall is opened. The Allgemeine Turn-Verein has a new home.

1996 The Allgemeine Turn-Verein received an award from the Deutscher Schwimm-Verband e. V. (German Swimming Association) for its Healthy & Fit in the Water course programme.

2001 Introduction of kindergarten gymnastics.

2008 The Allgemeine Turn-Verein opens a new branch. New opportunities for gymnastics are opened up in Alt-Stralau.

2009 The Allgemeine Turn-Verein gets its own sports facility - the Baruth Sports Centre.

2011 The 150th anniversary of the Allgemeine Turn-Verein. Membership of approx. 1650 members.

2020 The Allgemeine Turn-Verein grows to 2500 members.The ATV defies the coronavirus pandemic with creative online and outdoor sports offerings.

2021 20 years of kindergarten sports