New York

Neue Turnhalle

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Today the Annext of La Mama, where Elaine Stewart runs her brilliant avant-garde theater, this last home of the Turnhalle looks pretty much as it did when the Germans left it. Only the two Lokale (bar/restaurant) to the right and left of the main entrance have disappeared.
Founded in 1850 by a group of veterans of the 1848-49 uprisings, the Turnverein-the "Sozialistischer Turnverein" as it was called in those early eyars, not only furthered the classcial idea of "a healthy mind in a healthy body" but also the then very modern concept of "liberty, properity, and free education for all."
Identified with progressive political movements that demanded a nation-state and a constitution, both radical departures from the tiny dukedoms and pricipalities that composed most of the German-speaking lands, the Turners had become anathema to the powers-that-were in the early 19th century. After the defeat of the progressives in the Revolutions of 1848, many Turners emigrated to the United States, where they tried to keep alive the ieas that had shaken Eurpoe.
The Turnhale becaome a social, educational, and cultural center of Kleindeutschland. By 1853, the Halle housed a shooting gallery, fencing strips, and 23 gymnastic teams.
The Turnverein and the German schools helped to preserve both the traditions and the language of the immigratns.

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Neue Turnhalle

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