History of Workers' Welfare Association (AWO) 1919 to 2019

Published in December 2019


Philipp Kufferath / Jürgen Mittag
AWO - Geschichte der Arbeiterwohlfahrt 1919–heute

ca. 352 Seiten
ISBN 978 3 8012 4265 7

Price: according to publisher about 26,00 Euro

Project background

The research project at the German Sport University Cologne, headed by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittag, is about the history of the workers’ welfare association in Germany. There are two objectives in this project: On the one hand will be a chronological representation to "narrate" the creation, development and central milestones of the association in a diachronic perspective. On the other hand, a systematic view of central fields of activity of the workers' welfare will be pursued within a chronological presentation. Both fields will add the chronological framework in terms of a problem-oriented approach.

All this will culminate in the overall question whether the formation and development of the workers’ welfare were expression or mirror of the political and social framework of the last 100 years. There will also be asked what influence the workers’ welfare had itself as a political pioneer of welfare and bearer of social innovation for the social development in Germany.

The objective will be to find out new and unkown approaches and perspectives of the workers’ welfare apart from the existing well-known memories and images of the AWO.

Stages and turns in the history of AWO

  1. Prehistory and founding phase (1904–1919)
  2. Formation and consolidation in the Weimar Republic (1920­­–1932)
  3. Persecution and prohibition in the Nazi era (1933–1945)
  4. New foundation and Reconstruction in the post-war period (1945–1949)
  5. Free welfare care in the Federal Republic (1950–1969)
  6. Professionalization and differentiation in the Bonn Republic (1970–1989)
  7. Tensions between values and value added in the Berliner Republic (1990–2015)
  8. Present and future (2015–2019)