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Pepi Jennewein & Willi Walch – ski racers in the Nazi power structure

Pepi Jennewein and Willi Walch – two top ski racers during Nazi power structure and the role of “Ordensburg” in Sonthofen.

Pepi Jennewein and Willi Walch rank among the top stars of downhill ski racing during the 1930s. At the peak of their ski racing careers they were figureheads for both high-performance sport and the propaganda mechanism of the Third Reich. Both died fighting in the 2nd World War. Since up to now not a lot has been heard about the Nazi era on the Arlberg, the Foundation Friends of Hannes Schneider has decided to take the two top athletes Walch and Jennewein as examples to illuminate and document the years of Nazi terror.

Mag. Andreas Praher, historian and lecturer in the department of history at the University of Salzburg, and Mag. Christof Thöny, municipal archivist in Bludenz, dealt with these questions in the 3rd edition of “Skispuren”. (Reference; ISBN 978-3-9504113-8-6)  Whilst Praher concentrated mainly on the two characters Jennewein and Walch, Thöny dealt more with the role of the so-called “Ordensburg” in Sonthofen in the neighbouring Allgäu. This is where the future elite of the Third Reich were trained and where Jennewein worked as a ski instructor.  

Author: Christof Thöny
Friends of Hannes Schneider

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