"HERZOGENAURACH - "SNEAKER TOWN!"" Herzogenaurach by balhannah

Herzogenaurach Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 23 photos


Herzogenaurach is the birthplace of two sporting goods giants: ADIDAS & PUMA

Two brother's, Adolf and Rudolf Dassler began making shoe's together in the 1920s, in their mother's kitchen, trading as Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory.
As life goes, this relationship soured, and Rudolf left to set up Puma on the other side of the River, and Adolf renamed the company Adidas and stayed on the opposite side of the River. The split created decades of fierce business rivalry, split a town in two, and led to the establishment of two of the best-recognised sporting brands in the world.

It is hard to believe, that two different shoe brand's and Brothers, split the Town in two. It really is amazing, that Puma work people couldn't marry some-one working for Adidas, they couldn't drink in certain pub's, and so on, and so on, absolutely incredible! Intermarriage was out of the question!
It took 60 years for a truce to be called.
Both Companies shook hands, and then played a football match, the first joint activity since the Brother's died in 1970.

Herzogenaurach had become nicknamed "the town of bent necks", because townfolk would not strike a conversation with a stranger until they had first looked down at the shoes that person was wearing.
"The town was really split in two like a sort of mini-Berlin with this little river as a partition in the middle."

Why did the Brother's quarrel and split?

Some believed it was politics. Others thought it was because both men had joined the Nazis, but Rudolf was more devoted to the cause. When Rudolf was arrested by American forces and sent to a prisoner of war camp, he was convinced it was Adolf who had turned him in. Maybe it was because Adolf had slept with Rudolf's wife, or perhaps Rudolf had fathered Adolf's son, who knows!
Others believed Adolf had also caught Rudolf stealing from the company's petty-cash box..................

But it's an incident during an Allied bomb attack on Herzogenaurach during World War II in 1943 that is used most to highlight tension between the brothers, and frequently cited as the moment they fell out irrevocably.

"The dirty b's.... are back again," Adolf had said while sitting in a bomb shelter just as his brother and his family came down the stairs.
Adolf had referred to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf was convinced his brother was speaking about him and his family.

"We will probably never know the real reason why Aldof and Rudolf fell out.

"It was like a marriage that goes terribly, terribly sour."
Tensions between the two firms appeared to have eased in recent years, with neither company in the hands of the founding families any longer.
The rift in the town also appeared to be have mended. Teens in the town square could be seen hanging together wearing Puma, Adidas and even Nike,


After you have read these page's, if you would like to follow my trail around Germany, please click on next Town listed below


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Factory outlet for Puma & Adidas shoes
  • In a nutshell:A lovely medieval Town!
  • Last visit to Herzogenaurach: Jul 2011
  • Intro Updated Nov 3, 2012
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Reviews (9)

Comments (2)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Every German, who is at least a bit interested in sports knows of course the town of Herzogenaurach. Nice little page here.

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Nov 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      Thanks for reading Holger. I found it really interesting when I was researching this town. Fancy becoming divided like it did, over sports shoes and brand!!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2012 at 5:08 AM

    Hi Dee, I have just completed a page about a town called Scheinfeld (also in Franconia) where there is an Adidas factory -- so in my Adidas tip I have included a link to this page, since you describe the rivalry between Adidas and Puma so vividly.


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