Adolf Cluss received a "Wanderbuch" in 1844


The first German "Turnfest" took place in Heilbronn in 1846


Some lectures hold by Adolf Cluss were published in the Mainz news magazine "Der Demokrat"


The 1848 Revolution and Mainz

Adolf Cluss left Heilbronn at the age of 19; he set off with a Wanderbuch (a register of an itinerant worker's employment) as a travelling carpenter. Little is known of the early years of his working life. During his travels he met Karl Marx and became a member of the "Bund der Gerechten" and in 1847 of the "Bund der Kommunisten" (Communist Federation).

Starting in 1846, Cluss lived mostly in Mainz. He recalled: "The important thing is that they need me as an architect for a German railroad. But in the terrible year 1848, business slowed down and I became idle".

In 1846, Cluss, with 28 other Mainz gymnasts, attended the first German gymnastics fest in Heilbronn. Cluss recounted : The gymnasts travelled to Weinsberg, to the "Weibertreu." Germain Metternich set up a special stage In front of the old poet Justinus Kerner's house. 2,000 young gymnasts sang "Wohlauf noch getrunken,"--Kerner's poem, "Drink to your health"--with such zeal that the old man was overcome with emotion.

Cluss was in Mainz during the revolutionary period of 1848; he was a co-founder of the (Communist) Worker Council and its Secretary. On April 5, 1848 an appeal to the Mainz Worker Council appeared in several newspapers, signed by the Mainz Communist Karl Wallau and by Adolf Cluss. A German Workers Union headquarters was to be established in Mainz: "To all German workers. Brothers and Laborers! We must call up all German Workers Councils...as soon as possible, to join together and stay together. We beg you to choose Mainz as the temporary headquarters of the Workers Council collective..."

Adolf Cluss and the "Turnfest" in Heilbronn

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