The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Jahn, Friedrich Ludwig
JAHN, Friedrich Ludwig, a German patriot, born at Lanz, Prussia, Aug. 11, 1778, died in Freiburg, Baden, Oct. 15, 1852. In 1809 he went to Berlin, became a teacher at the Kölnisches gymnasium, and published Deutsches Volksthum, in the style of his friend Fichte's appeal An die deutsche Nation. From patriotic motives he established gymnasia where young men were fitted to endure the fatigues of war. From these gymnasia, which spread over Germany, is derived the Turnkunst or system of physical culture. In 1813 Jahn received the command of a battalion of volunteers, with which he entered Paris. After the peace he returned to Berlin, where he delivered a series of lectures distinguished for bold originality, and continued to labor for his gymnasia, which for a time were encouraged by government. But when it was found that he aimed at establishing a united Germany, and that his Turner schools were political and liberal clubs, they were all closed in 1819, and he was imprisoned successively in Spandau, Küstrin, and Colberg. Liberated after five years' confinement, he went to Freiburg, where he was a professor for many years. While there he received an invitation to become professor of German literature at Cambridge, Mass., which he declined, saying that “deer and hares love to live where they are most hunted.” In 1848 he was a member of the national assembly at Frankfort. A monument to him, on the Haasenheide, near Berlin, was formally unveiled Aug. 2, 1872.