General Werner
German Democratic Republik
Erfurt, Germany


The following piece was translated and slightly adapted from the Wikipedia entry in German on Werner Rautenberg, which can be accessed here:

At the age of eleven Werner Rautenberg, who was born in Erfurt, made his first attempts at tennis with his older brother, Hans, by hitting balls against the tennis wall at what is today the Rot-Weiss Club in Erfurt. Werner Rautenberg learned the trade of decorator in his grandfather’s business. After his aunt, who managed the business, moved to Hamburg, Rautenberg completed his apprenticeship with another company and shortly thereafter, at the age of 19, was sent to the Einheit Sports Club in Berlin.

The fast parquet floor on which indoor tennis was played in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in winter always suited the serve-and-volley specialist. In 1958, he finally made his breakthrough and ended the year in second place in the men’s singles rankings in the GDR. In the same year, together with his doubles partner Peter Fährmann, and Inge Wild, he attended a tournament organised by the Sports and Gymnastics Federation of Labour, or Fédération Sportive et Gymnique du Travail, in France.

Due to his sporting success, he qualified for the international tournaments held in Egypt in 1959. After the construction of the Berlin Wall, Rautenberg led the rankings in the GDR for two years and was therefore allowed to travel to an international tournament held in Cuba at the end of 1964, with his mixed doubles partner Hella Riede and the up-and-coming player Ulrich Trettin.

At the third congress of the East German Tennis Federation in 1966, Rautenberg put himself forward and was elected materials manager for the federation but was expelled from all committees of the East German Tennis Federation shortly afterwards because he had initiated the production of shoes and T-shirts without consulting his superiors beforehand.

After completing his studies at the German University for Physical Education [DHfK] in Leipzig, Rautenberg taught sports and biology at a school in Berlin. At senior level, he organized his appearances in socialist countries himself. This involved much consultation with the authorities.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Werner Rautenberg continued to take part in as many international tournaments as his health permitted.


Archive statistics 1955 - 1973

Tournament wins 1964 - East German Championships (Amateur)
1963 - East German Championships (Amateur)
1961 - East German National Indoors (Amateur)

Tournaments Hanover General (Minor) Tournament - 1973 Zinnowitz - 1972 Zinnowitz - 1970 Zinnowitz - 1969 Zinnowitz - 1968 East German National Indoors - 1966 Czechoslovakian International Championships - 1965 Zinnowitz - 1965 Polish International Championships - 1964 East German Championships - 1964 Championships of Halle an der Saale - 1964 Zinnowitz - 1964 East German Championships - 1963 Zinnowitz - 1963 Moskwa International - 1962 Zinnowitz - 1962 Championships of Berlin - 1961 Moskwa International - 1961 East German National Indoors - 1961 Zinnowitz - 1961 Championships of Berlin - 1960 Wiesbaden Championships - 1960 Championships of Freiburg - 1960 Zinnowitz - 1960 International Championships of Egypt - Cairo - 1959 International Championships of Egypt-Alexandria - 1959 Championships of Berlin - 1958 Grunewald - 1958 Championships of Freiburg - 1958 Zinnowitz - 1958 Championships of Berlin - 1957 Zinnowitz - 1957 Blau-Weiss Club - 1956 Grunewald - 1956 Grün-Gold Tempelhof - 1956 Zinnowitz - 1956 Grunewald - 1955 Zinnowitz - 1955

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