I suspect my kin, Carl Janke, was a Turnverein and established a Turner Society in Belmont that later merged with the Oddfellows. William Ralston, whose home was in Belmont, provided the funds to spread the Oddfellows throughout Europe, beginning in Germany, where Jews and Gentiles met in Turnverien clubs, worked out together, talked business, and promoted the idea that their children should marry. Then the Germans wanted the Jews out, and they formed their own Turnverein clubs that became the Maccabi gymnasts who began to colonize Palastine.
After world war one there was a prejudice against Germans, and Turnverein was changed to Tanforan, the alleged kin of a Mexican Spaniard.
The Zionist Socialists of Israel would have you believe, great Rabbis and Jewish Prophets, founded the nation of Israel, for the sake of the evangelical prophets from Ireland. Worng! This is pure Nationalism – without God!
On the fourth of May  the regular annual festival of the Turnverein Association of San Francisco took place, with all the usual accompaniments of music, dancing, gymnastics, oratory, eating and drinking. The festival, which was inaugurated by a procession of the Society to welcome their brother Turners from the interior, lasted three days, and everybody passed off in the most orderly and agreeable manner. The gymnastic performances were excellent, and formed a large portion of the ceremonies.
The celebration of the “May festival,” although in the United States it is conducted under the control of the Turnverein Association, is a national festival in which all the Germans partake, and which is celebrated throughout all Germany. The origin of the Turner Association, which has now become so large and so important a one among our German citizens, was a political one. Germany is divided into thirty-six different States, with as many Governments of a despotic nature, and many of them hostile to each other.
Young Germany, deeply imbued with the spirit of freedom, has been for a long time anxious to throw off these yokes, and unite under one liberal, consolidated Government; but the rulers, in order to prevent this, have forbidden all assemblies or associations for political purposes, under heavy penalties. In order to avoid this prohibition an enthusiastic republican named Jahn made the meeting and associations for gymnastic exercisesthe occasion for the spread of democratic doctrines, and the Turnverein (or gymnastic association,) soon spread and grew into importance wherever Germans are found. This association now exists in, and exercises a great influence over the whole German population.
There is no secrecy about the association, neither is there any direct connection between the different associations, although a Turner of any one city considers himself, to all intents and purposes, a member of the Turnverein of any other city.
Odd Fellows. Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Hall, corner of Market and Seventh streets. Local Lodges and Encampments included: Golden Gate Encampment, Walhalla Encampment, Wildey Encampment, Unity Encampment, Oriental Encampment, Oriental Encampment, Good Will Encampment, Canton San Francisco, California, SanFrancisco, Harmony, Yerba Buena, Templar, Magnolia, Bay City, Abou Ben Adhem, Germania, Concordia, Apollo, Parker, Unity, Hermann, Pacific, Ophir, Occidental, Cosmopolitan, Golden Gate, Alta, Franco-American, Fidelity, Morse, Myrtle, Western Addition, Excelsior, Golden West, Presidio, Excelsior Degree, Teutonia, California Rebekah Degree, Templar Rebekah Degree, Oriental Rebekah Degree, and Walhalla Rebecka Degree. Related organizations included: Odd Fellows’ Literary and Social Club, Odd Fellows’ Hall Association of SanFrancisco, Veteran Odd Fellows’ Association, Odd Fellows’ Library Association, and The Odd Fellows’ Cemetery Association (incorporated September 26, 1865).
In his time Friedrich Jahn was seen by both his supporters and opponents as a liberal figure. He advocated that the German states should unite after the withdrawal of Napoleon’s occupying armies, and establish a democratic constitution (under the Hohenzollern monarchy), which would include the right to free speech. As a German nationalist, Jahn advocated maintaining German language and culture against foreign influence. In 1810 he wrote, “Poles, French, priests, aristocrats and Jews are Germany’s misfortune.”At the time Jahn wrote this, the German states were occupied by foreign armies under the leadership of Napoleon. Also, Jahn was “the guiding spirit” of the fanatic book burning episode carried out by revolutionary students at the Wartburg festival in 1817.
Jahn gained infamy in English-speaking countries through the publication of Peter Viereck’s Metapolitics: The Roots of the Nazi Mind (1941).Viereck claimed Jahn as the spiritual founder of Nazism, who inspired the early German romantics with anti-Semitic and authoritarian doctrines, and then influenced Wagner and finally the Nazis.
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (August 11, 1778 – October 15, 1852) was a German gymnastics educator and nationalist. He is commonly known as Turnvater Jahn, roughly meaning “father of gymnastics” Jahn. Was born in Lanz in Brandenburg. He studied theology and philology from 1796 to 1802 at Halle, Göttingen at the University of Greifswald. After the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 1806 he joined the Prussian army. In 1809 he went to Berlin, where he became a teacher at the Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster and at the Plamann School.
DEATH in SanFrancisco, July 13th, Augustus SMALLFIELD, a merchant of Stockton, and a native of Eutin, Holstein, Germany, aged 40 years. [>Davenport, Iowa, papers please copy.]
AT HALF-MAST On Saturday and yesterday, the flags of the different Engine houses of the Fire Department; also the flag on the Odd Fellows’ Building, waved at half-mast as a mark of respect to the memory of Augustus SMALLFIELD, who died at SanFrancisco on the morning of the 13th instant. Deceased was, for a number of years, a merchant in this city, and was a gentleman highly respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. He was a member of Charity Lodge, No. 6, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; also a member of San Joaquin Engine Company No. 3, and Turn-Vereins. His remains arrived from SanFrancisco yesterday morning and were taken to their last resting place in the Rural Cemetery at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The funeral was largely attended by Odd Fellows, Firemen, Turn-Verein and citizens, and the solemn procession was headed by the Stockton Brass Band.
Inscription. They were an order that inscribed upon their banners, “Visit the sick, relieve the distressed, and bury the dead.”
“To the benevolent – If there is any of that commodity called charity in this community, we earnestly call upon those possessing it to exercise it forthwith.”
So went out the plea to the Brotherhood in an editorial appeal that appeared in the Placer Times, August 18, 1849.
General Albert V. Winn was the first to move in this direction, summoning his brother members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at large to assemble under most extraordinary circumstances and form an association for the relief of the sick, the distressed, and to bury the dead. The call was answered and they came, forming the first Odd Fellows Association in Sacramento on August 24, 1849. And that their children’s children might point with pride, this was the first organized effort for dispensing relief and humanity to the sick and dying in that darkest hour of Sacramento history.
Tanforan Racetrack in San Bruno, California was a thoroughbred horse racing facility that operated from September 4, 1899 to July 31, 1964. Tanforan was constructed to serve a clientele from the nearby city of San Francisco. The facility was named after Toribio Tanforan, the grandson-in-law of Jose Antonio Sanchez, the grantee of Rancho Buri Buri.  
Jewish Pride Through Sport: Max Nordau and “Muscular Judaism”
The Maccabees, central figures in the Hanukkah saga, are thought to be the inspiration for what would become the worldwide Jewish sports association known as Maccabi. It is Max Nordau, right-hand man to Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl, who is typically credited with the creation of what would become the Maccabi organization. His 1900 call for a “Muskel Judentom” (Muscular Judaism) which appears below, refers in passing to other influences on the creation of this movement. In actuality – and perhaps with some irony – it was the German gymnastics “Turnen” movement, begun a half century earlier, combining physical fitness, patriotism, and social causes, which served as a model for the emergence of Jewish pride through sport. The “Deutsche Turnerschaft” (German gymnastics movement) championed the idea of “mens sana in corpore sano” – a healthy mind in a healthy body – and made gymnastics the basis of a political program fostering patriotism and social/political awakening, and already included Jewish members in the early 1800’s.
Nordau saw sport as serving the Zionist idea of “awakening Judaism to new life.” His critique concerning the poor physical condition of Europe’s Jews helped to spur on the creation of Jewish sports associations. The Bar Kochba club in Berlin, which Nordau looked to for his inspiration, actually came out of the German “Turnerschaft” movement. As sports clubs in Germany and elsewhere in central Europe became a vehicle for the expression of patriotism, they began to adopt strong anti-Semitic policies, excluding Jews from participating. When the German gymnastics club in Istanbul formally voted to exclude Jews in 1895, the Jewish members formed their own club, calling it “Israelitische Turnverein”. Nordau’s push of sport as a critical component of Jewish life, coupled with the centrality of Istanbul as a hub of international Zionist activity, put the Istanbul club center stage, and it benefited from visits by and support from Zionist leaders. With the growth of gymnastics clubs promoting physical fitness and Jewish pride, the Union of Jewish Gymnastics Clubs (“Judische Turnerschaft) was founded in 1903, and its affiliate in Palestine, Maccabi of Eretz Yisrael, was founded in 1912. This, in turn, led to the World Maccabi Union, established in 1921.
Following are remarks made by Nordau at the World Zionist Congress in 1900:
Two years ago, at the Zionist Congress in Basel, I spoke about the need to create, once again, a muscular Judaism. I say “again”, because, as history shows, such a Judaism existed once before. For too long now we have neglected matters of the flesh.
Truth to tell, it was others who engaged in the death knell of the physical side of Jewish life, and with particular success. Consider the hundreds of thousands who fell in the ghettos of Europe, in the plazas outside the cathedrals, and on the roads during the Middle Ages. We should certainly forego such piety. We would have done well to be fit, and not be fodder for those who sought to kill us.
In crowded Jewish quarters, deprived of air and sunshine, our bodies became weak. In darkened homes, we feared the persistent persecution in silent trembling. But now the chains of this duress are broken, now we fear no such constraints, we are allowed to live our lives fully, at least from a physical standpoint. Let us, therefore, re-establish the bonds with our ancient past; let us again be wide of body and strong of gaze.
The intention is to return to a proud past, as reflected in the name selected by the gymnastics association of Berlin: “Bar Kochba”, a hero who recognized no defeat. When victory turned in retreat, he accepted death. He embodied a Jewish history forged in war but taking up arms. If someone takes of the cry of Bar Kochba, then the striving for honor beats in his breast. Such a hope befits the gymnasts, who strive for advanced development.
In no other nation or race does physical exercise fulfill as educative a role as it must fulfill among us Jews. It must bring us to full upright stature, both physically and in our character. It must prompt a self-awareness. Our detractors claim that, in any event, we are too arrogant. But we would do well to acknowledge how distorted is such a claim. A quiet belief in our strength is lacking in us altogether.
Muscular Jews of our age have yet to reach the degree of heroism of our ancestors of old, who erupted into the arena to wrestle the well-trained Greek athletes and the strong barbarians of the north. But from a moral perspective we are their superiors, because they were ashamed of their Jewishness and tried, by way of undoing their circumcision, to hide the sign of the covenant that was sealed in their flesh while others, such as members of the “Bar Kochba” club have openly and freely proclaimed their ties to their people.
Let the association for Jewish gymnastics flourish and set an example in all centers of Jewish life.
The Maccabi World Union is an international Jewish sports organisation spanning 5 continents and more than 50 countries, with some 400,000 members. Maccabi World Union organises the Maccabiah Games, a prominent international Jewish athletics event.
The organisation comprises six confederations: Maccabi Israel, European Maccabi confederation, confederation Maccabi North America, confederation Maccabi Latin America, Maccabi South Africa and Maccabi Australia.
Shimon bar Kokhba (Hebrew: שמעון בר כוכבא, also transliterated as Bar Kochba) was the Jewishleader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revoltagainst the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state of Israel which he ruled for three years as Nasi(“Ruler”). His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 following a two-year war.
Documents discovered in the modern eragive us his original name, Simon ben Kosiba, (Hebrew: שמעון בן כוסבא) he was given the surname Bar Kokhba, (Aramaicfor “Son of a Star”, referring to the Star Prophecy of Numbers 24:17, “A star has shot off Jacob”) by his contemporary, the Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva.
After the failure of the revolt, the rabbinical writers referred to bar Kokhba as “Simon bar Kozeba” (Hebrew: בר כוזיבא, “Son of lies” or “Son of deception”).
The German Turnverein
Founded amid the nationalist enthusiasms of the War of Liberation, the German gymnastic movement, or Turnverein, had fundamentally changed by the time of the 1848 revolutions in the German lands. Although Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, the gymnasium instructor who had originated the idea of nationalist gymnastics in Berlin in 1811, was still venerated in the organization, his anti-Semitism, hatred of the French, and loyalty to the Hohenzollern dynasty left him out of step with an organization committed to national unification and political liberalism. While the Turnverein’s ideological stance reflected the prevailing spirit of the German Vormärz, it also bespoke the peculiar circumstances of the organization’s history. The German Confederation of Metternich had viewed the patriotic enthusiasms of the War of Liberation with suspicion and had banned the Turnverein following the murder of the conservative journalist August von Kotzebue by the young student Karl Sand in 1819. Turnverein practice areas had been closed, the apparatus dismantled, and the leaders prosecuted. Jahn himself had been imprisoned at the Kolberg Fortress until 1825, and barred from teaching or gymnastic work after his release. This period, which Jahn called the Turnsperre, lasted in Prussia and most German states until the 1840s.
The lifting of the Turnsperre in the more liberal atmosphere of the 1840s reawakened the Turnverein to a vigorous new life. The center of the revived movement shifted out of Prussia, which had been its heartland under Jahn’s leadership, to the South and West German States, where the Turnsperre had generally been shorter and less restrictive. The membership of the new clubs was more inclusive, as the cor of students and academics which had made up the rank and file of the Turnverein in its early years was joined by a large contingent of craft workers, along with many Jewish members, often in positions of leadership. These gymnastic clubs were often closely aligned with workers’ organizations and democratic clubs with whom they shared a desire for reform and a rejection of traditional hierarchies.
In contrast to the organization Jahn had founded, almost one-half of the membership on the 1840s were non-gymnasts, the so-called “Friends of Turnen,” and because of this, the new clubs engaged in more non-gymnastic activities, such as funding libraries and reading rooms, and sponsoring lectures, often of a politically liberal nature. They joined the new volunteer firemen’s movement, and acted as a police force during the outbreaks of social unrest which characterized the revolutionary period. They even imparted a new spirit to their gymnastic program by initiating training sessions for children and, far more radical in light of the times, for women as well. Flaunting their rebellious spirit, the gymnasts of Vormärz wore their hair long and sported large black hats decorated with a rooster feather instead of the more formal attire of the Biedermeier period.
Spread throughout the geographic area of Germany, this more diverse gymnastic movement staged larger and more elaborate gymnastic festivals, which sometimes lasted several days and always culminated with a pledge for national unity. In an effort to realize this unity on a gymnastic level, an all-German gymnastic union was formed in April 1848, shortly after revolution had swept the German Confederation. Established as a demonstration of support for the Frankfurt Parliament, the new league was immediately controversial not the least because it avowed purpose, “to work for the unity of the German people and to uplift the brotherhood and the physical and spiritual power of the people,” failed to mention gymnastics. Impatient with the cautious program of the German Gymnastic Union, a group of radical clubs formed a second, rival union called the “Democratic Gymnastic Union,” and further schisms followed.
Given the radicalization of the movement in the 1840s, it is not surprising that the German gymnasts were directly involved in the 1848 revolutions. Turnverein leaders won renown for their leading roles in local uprisings, among them Gustav Struve in Baden, Otto Heubner in Dresden, and August Schärttner in Hanau. One Turnverein leader who was not in the forefront of radical change was Turnvater Jahn. Elected as a representative to the Frankfurt Parliament, Jahn was given honor, but no real influence, in the revived gymnastic movement.
Although a proposal to form a “Gymnastic Army” (Turnerschar) to supplement the National Guard was never realized, gymnasts manned barricades and participated in crucial fighting during the revolutions. Early in the revolutionary period, the eighty-odd members of the Kiel Turnverein took arms against Denmark in the conflict over Schleswig-Holstein. Although soon defeated, their actions won praise from moderates in the organization who contrasted their “unpolitical” dedication to the cause of the nation with the more radical social and political programs of gymnasts in other regions. Exemplifying this latter trend were the gymnasts in the mob that murdered Prince Felix Lichnowsky and General Hans von Auerswald in Frankfurt in September 1848, during a popular protest against the armistice with Denmark, and those who fought, often in the club uniform, to defend the city of Dresden against Prussian forces in May 1849. Turnverein clubs also participated in the veneration of Robert Blum, who had been killed by counter-revolutionary forces in Vienna, by holding services in his honor, marching in memorial parades, and helping to raise money for his family.
The Turnverein as an organization was most closely associated with the uprisings in Baden, the center of the radical sentiment in southwest Germany. Gymnasts had been among the defenders of the city of Freiburg in early disturbances in the province in April 1848. In the late spring and early summer of 1849, violence erupted again and brought about some of the most prolonged fighting of the revolutionary period. After agitation for a democratic nation-state had forced the Grand Duke to flee, other German states, led by Prussia, sent in troops to crush the movement. The gymnastic organization of the Rhineland province of Hanau organized a march to Baden to defend the province. Although this force gathered around 600 men along the way, it was poorly armed and led and easily outmatched by the regular armies it encountered. About 240 survivors of this effort managed to cross into neighboring Switzerland, where they received a hero’s welcome from Swiss gymnasts and students.
The aftermath of the 1848 revolutions devastated the German gymnastic movement. Clubs were disbanded, property confiscated and leaders lost to jail or exile. The various attempts to form a union of gymnastic clubs likewise fell victim to the Reaction. In these circumstances, the Turnverein turned away from politics to concentrate on its gymnastic program. It was only with the revival of the drivefor German unification in the late 1860s, that the gymnastic movement rediscovered its purpose and was able to regain he momentum of the revolutionary era.
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