Remembering Peter Fasching

Remembering Peter Fasching – 5th December 1943 – 27th February 1983
German Bodybuilding Contest Promoter, Publisher, and one of my early mentors.
By Wayne Gallasch

Today, 27th February, 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Peter Fasching, the popular and highly respected German contest promoter and publisher of the Athletik Sport Journal, known as ASJ.

I have been advised by Thomas Klose that Benno Dahmen commenced his business cooperation with Peter Fasching on Oct 1st, 1963. Then on December 5th, 1965 they founded the company “Athletik Sportversand” and soon followed their Athletik Sportjournal magazine (ASJ) in 1968.

Peter and Benno promoted many wonderful contests, the most famous one being the 1972 Mr. Olympia in Essen, won by Arnold in that historic contest where he narrowly defeated Sergio. Peter was a superb organiser and Benno assisted as his partner and was an outstanding physique photographer.

I have no doubt that Peter and Arnold would have been friendly acquaintances. As far as I know, Peter Fasching first met Arnold in Cologne, Germany in 1966. It would have been when Arnold won the 9th October 1966 contest organized by Erich Bartel for the VDH e.V Federation. The Cologne contest was “die Internationale Wahl des bestgebauten Athleten 1966”. That was the only contest for the VDH e.V. in which Arnold participated. (Source David New).

The 1972 Mr Olympia is an interesting one politically. It was also held under the jurisdiction of the “VDH e.V. (Verband Deutscher Hantelsportler e.V.) – Federation of the German Barbell Sportsmen“. This was the German IFBB affiliate (until 1977), and was led by Peter Fasching.

Peter gave me my first break in Europe as a cameraman, allowing me to film his 1970 contest from a seat in the front row. He always gave me encouragement and support in my early career. The 1970 IFBB Mr Europe contest was held at the Saalbau in Essen, Germany on Sunday September 27th.
It was the same wonderful theatre where 2 years later the 1972 Mr Olympia was held. The 1970 IFBB Mr Europe was staged one week after the NABBA Universe. The 2 star guest posers were Frank Zane and Dave Draper, fresh from their 1970 NABBA Universe successes. Frank won overall NABBA Amateur Mr Universe, and Dave Draper placed 3rd behind Arnold in the Pro NABBA Universe.

All through the ’70’s and into the early ‘80’s I provided many cover photos for Peter Fasching’s ASJ magazine, along with articles, centre spreads and frequent batches of B&W photos.

On September 16th 1978 Peter invited me to Essen to judge at his Best Built Athlete in Europe contest, a non-IFBB event. One of my fellow judges was Dave Draper. Then one week later Peter Fasching attended the 1978 NABBA Universe in London on September 23rd. I chatted very briefly with Peter, not expecting that this would be the last time that I would see him. Peter was in London for discussions with Oscar Heidenstam and NABBA regarding closer cooperation in the future. At a further meeting with Oscar, discussions were held regarding the WABBA organisation as well. However this is not the way things turned out in the end.

Peter died under tragic circumstances on February 27th, 1983 at the age of 39. The publishing of ASJ magazine ceased at the end of that year. The December 1983 issue of ASJ magazine, #92 was a strong one with Sergio Oliva on the cover. This was the final issue. I will never forget the kindness and support that was given to me by Peter and Benno.

Benno Dahmen subsequently left ASJ and started his own magazine, “Sport & Fitness”. The S&F magazine ran successfully for 24 years from 1981 to 2005.

Albert Busek restructured the DKV into DBKV e.V. (Deutscher Bodybuilding und Kraftsport Verband e.V.). They became the German affiliate after the IFBB Congress in Nimes (France) in 1977. This was in line with establishing the German Weider representation.

Albert concentrated on the relaunch of “Sportrevue” and restructuring the DKV, renaming it DBKV (now DBFV) and getting it the IFBB affiliation. Albert Busek subsequently put all of his energies behind the Bscher family and Weider Brummer Germany, and lifted the business to a whole new level.

Special thanks to Thomas Klose in the preparation of the background dates and information on the German bodybuilding history. Also thanks to historian David New.

To mark these 2 events from Essen, I have produced NEW PHOTO GALLERIES, one each for the 1970 IFBB Mr Europe, and the 1972 Mr Olympia. Plus a small gallery of my PETER FASCHING photos.

The historic footage of the 1972 Olympia is included as a part of our Download and DVD titled “Arnold the Early Years” Part 3.
The 1970 IFBB Mr Europe can be found here.