Los Angeles Turners, a 501 (c) 3 corporation, founded by German immigrants in the 19th century, has been active in Los Angeles since 1871.  Our more than 140 year old mission, A Sound Mind in a Sound Bodyinviting participation in activities that enhance the quality of life in an atmosphere of fun, sport and learning as well as benefiting others by sharing prosperity, compassion, culture and friendship.

While Los Angeles’ population was only about 6,000 in 1871, there were already two like-minded Organizations; the Los Angeles Turnverein and the Teutonia-Concordia Turn- und Singverein (which was already founded in 1859). In 1871 these two groups merged, forming the Turnverein Germania, which would eventually be called Los Angeles Turners, a member of the nationwide American Turners and also a co-founder and member of the German-American League in Los Angeles.

The current board of Directors of the Los Angeles Turners: (picture right, l-r) Harald Niehenke (CFO), Alexander Hast (President), Elisabeth Schmitt (Secretary), Andreas Gritschke (Fitness Director), Dennis F. Fredricks (President Emeritus, Legal Adviser). 
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The purpose of the organization is to advance the mission of A Sound Mind in a Sound Body through fitness; to provide food from our kitchen for those in need, and to preserve and further German and German-American traditions and culture, further the German language through partnerships with both public and private schools as well as maintain a museum to preserve historical artifacts reflecting our participation Los Angeles life from 1871 to the present.

The “Turner Center” in Westchester, on Los Angeles’ West Side, was until 2016 home to our members who participate in social and cultural events, dance evenings, fitness classes, and movie/sports viewing. Fencing, a traditional Turner sport, has a squad that rehearses off-site. The Los Angeles Turners community outreach supports in cooperation with California Outreach Organization worthy causes that reach from schools and universities to feeding the needy.


Alexander Hast

President and Executive Director

Responsible for curating the LA Turners Museum, coordination of events and activities, and the daily business of the Organization.

Harald Niehenke

Treasurer (CFO)

Taking care of the finances of the Organization, including Investments and financial business.

Elisabeth Schmitt

Corporate Secretary

Ensures efficient administration and compliance with regulatory requirements, and implements decisions made by the Board.