View Full Version : OT: Max Schmeling

02-04-2005, 09:34 AM
I just read a story about the great boxer, and that he died recently. What I didn't know was what a good character he apparently turned out to be, and that he distanced himself from the nazi party despite their use of him as propaganda. It sounds like the world has lost a great human being. Salute!

02-04-2005, 09:34 AM
I just read a story about the great boxer, and that he died recently. What I didn't know was what a good character he apparently turned out to be, and that he distanced himself from the nazi party despite their use of him as propaganda. It sounds like the world has lost a great human being. Salute!

02-04-2005, 11:11 AM
Although he reached the proud age of 99 years, an age at wich people really are "allowed" to die, I find it kinda said that Max´ biggest wish wasn´t fulfilled completely, only almost:

To become 100 years old, "to see what else comes..."

Salute, Max !

02-04-2005, 11:24 AM
Apparently he harboured two Jewish children during the 'crystalnacht', saving them from the horrible round-up.

I recently watched his fight with Joe Lewis, what a horrible beating he took before finally succumbing. They showed some clips of previous matches of both fighters, I thought it was very interesting to note how accurate both fighters hands were; these guys made landing punches look Easy, seemed a very different style of boxing to modern matches, quite fun to watch.

02-04-2005, 11:38 AM
It's a nice parallel that the two African-Americans that were their country's "face" against Nazi Germany, Joe Louis and Jesse Owens both became good friends with their German counterparts -- Schmeling in Louis' case and Olympic long jumper Luz (or Lutz ?) Long in Owens' case. I believe both Schmeling and Long were paratroopers in WW II also.

02-04-2005, 12:08 PM
whats interesting about max schmeling and joe lewis is they always talk about lewis beating schmeling here in the states.

Both won 1 time against each other Max knocked out Joe on June 19, 1936, joe lewis knocked out Max shmeling in 1940 they both remained friends after the war and later in life. I wish boxers today had the kind of class of joe lewis and max schmeling.

02-04-2005, 12:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Capt._Tenneal:
I believe both Schmeling and Long were paratroopers in WW II also. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yep, right (about Max), some more info about him for those who might be interested:

Max Schmeling was drafted into the Army as a paratrooper in 1941, and took part in the first attack on Kreta (Krete in english?), but hurt his knee and back badly during the jump and was in the hospital for months.
He expressed his sympathy for the US, wich got him in trouble with the NS-Regime.

Friends of his were members of the resistance in the Wehrmacht and took part in the planning of the assasination attempt on hitler on July 20th 1944. Max used those contacts to save numerous jews and regime-opponents from deportation to concentration camps.
In 1944 he was dismissed from the Army because of his injuries.

In 1971 Max Schmeling was awarded the "Große Bundesverdienstkreuz", the highest decoration of the federal republic of germany.

And he was a nice guy, always with some special friendly/funny "twinkle" in the eyes.


02-04-2005, 01:02 PM
Here's a link with some worthwhile reading:




02-04-2005, 01:35 PM
Nice guy, obviously and a great sportsmen.
His fights with Lewis are one of the greatest boxing events of all times..

02-04-2005, 03:39 PM
Salute! Boxer's today could learn a thing or two about those greats.

02-04-2005, 04:50 PM
For everybody interested here who can receive german tv:

Starting in ten minutes (12:55 am) there will be a one hour special on Max Schmeling´s death on ARD.
Tomorrow (well, today...) at 10:40 pm central european time ARD will show the movie "Joe and Max", about their famous fight.

edit: corrected movie start time

02-04-2005, 11:34 PM

The fading memories of a living well-known German from the Nazi era, World Heavyweight Champion from 1930 to 1932, Max Schmeling, usually have it that he was a willing model for Adolf Hitler and The Third Reich, the self-proclaimed Aryan Superman. Schmeling may indeed have lunched with Hitler and had lengthy conversations with Goebbels, master propagandist of the Nazi regime, but his tale is far more complex than it first appears.

The story of Max Schmeling is the story of a hero, who during the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 1938, saved the lives of two young Jewish brothers named Lewin. A decent man in conflict with the Nazi regime and racial policies of Hitler's Third Reich - and a man who demonstrated extraordinary generosity, righteousness and humanitarianism. Yet Schmeling never once revealed his heroism ..

Max Schmeling

Max Schmeling was a shy man of extremely humble origins who came of age amidst the glitter and turbulence of Berlin's 'Golden Twenties'. As the heavyweight champion of Europe, his career inevitably brought him to America. Arriving in New York he won the world title after victories over Johnny Risko and Jack Sharkey in 1930. He defended it the next year but lost it to Sharkey in '32 in a blatantly unfair decision. Four years later, he was imported as a sacrificial lamb for the invincible Joe Louis. Although a 10-1 underdog, Max Schmeling scored what some consider the upset of the century.

Joe Louis won the rematch on 22 June, 1938, in one of the most discussed fights of all time - and also one of the briefest. The fight was portrayed as the battle of the Aryan versus the Black, a struggle of evil against good ..

Schmeling and Hitler

During the '36 Olympics Max Schmeling exacted a promise from Hitler that all U.S. athletes would be protected. On several occasions Hitler tried to cajole the respected boxer into joining the Nazi Party, but Schmeling vigorously refused ever to join the Nazi party or to publicize the Nazi propaganda line. Over Goebbels' personal protest, he refused to stop associating with German Jews or to fire his American Jewish manager, Joe Jacobs.

In an article, published in History Today, two professors at the University of Rhode Island, Robert Wiesbord and Norbert Heterich, tell how Schmeling agreed to hide the two teenage sons of a Jewish friend of his, David Lewin, during the awful time of Krystallnacht, November 1938 when Nazi pogroms against the Jews reached new heights.

He kept the Lewin boys, Henry and Werner, in his apartment at the Excelsior Hotel in Berlin, leaving word at the desk that he was ill and no one was to visit him. Later, when the rage of hate died down a little bit, did Schmeling help them flee the country to safety. They escaped and came to the United States where one of them, Henri Lewin, became a prominent hotel owner. This episode remained under shrouds until 1989, when Henry Lewin invited Schmeling to Las Vegas to thank him for saving his life. To this day, Henri Lewin believes that he and his brother owe their lives to Max Schmeling and he is convinced that Schmeling himself could have died for his humanitarian gesture.

Hitler never forgave Schmeling for refusing to join the Nazi party, so he had him drafted into the Paratroops and sent him on suicide missions.

After World War 2 Schmeling fought five times and though he never made the top 10, he made enough money to purchase the Coca-Cola dealership that he still operates. He is known as one of the most generous philanthropists in Germany today.


Schmeling treasured camaraderie and friendship and somehow, each of his ring opponents became his friend. He regularly and quietly gave the down-and-out Joe Louis gifts of money, and the friendship continued after death: Schmeling paid for the funeral.