The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Gertrud Pfister

Gertrud Pfister, a professor at the University of Copenhagen, studied Latin, physical education, history and sociology in Munich and Regensburg. She gained a Ph.D. in history at the University of Regensburg in 1976 and a Ph.D. in sociology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in 1980. From 1981 to 2001 she served as professor of sport history at the Free University in Berlin, and since 2001 as professor at the Institute of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Currently president of the International Sport Sociology Association and head of the scientific committee of the International Association for Physical Education and Sport for Girls, she has also headed other sport societies and associations. Pfister has been guest professor at universities in Finland, Canada, Brazil and Chile and keynote speaker at numerous congresses.

The author of several books and over two hundred articles, she has specialized in research on gender and sport.

Articles by this author

Sports in Germany: 1898-1938

Women’s participation in Jewish gymnastics clubs increased significantly during the first two decades of the twentieth century. The Jewish sports movement grew during the 1920s, allowing women to participate in cross-country running, swimming, and tennis. After German sports clubs annulled Jewish membership in 1933, women poured into these Jewish sports groups.

Lilli Henoch

Lilli Henoch quickly developed a love for sports as a child and joined the Berlin Sports Club (BSC), where she was a key player on its handball, hockey, and track teams. She achieved many feats, notably a world record in the 4x100 meter relay race in 1926. She kept competing in Jewish leagues through 1942, when she was deported and murdered.

Gretel Bergmann

Gretel Bergmann was a highly successful German track and field athlete. While studying at London Polytechnic, she became the British high jump champion in 1934. Returning to Germany to train for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, she was denied entry to the German team even though she tied the German high jump record of 1.60 meters.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Gertrud Pfister." (Viewed on December 4, 2023) <>.


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