I’m too young to have heard of the man in his prime, yet his story seems to speak of one who had unswerving values. His ESPN obituary here.
Another German athlete who had the misfortune of having his feats misused by the Nazi propaganda machine died recently, as well. Anderl Heckmair conqueror of the Eiger “Mordwand” died on February 1.
Damn! I think George Foreman wanted to fight him next!
He’s still negotiating.
Schmeling apparently had a lot of class and a lot of courage. Compare him to the “sports heroes” we have now. There IS no comparison. On the one hand, we have a true unsung hero, on the other hand we have a bunch of spoiled brats.
Of course, the sad thing about Schmeling is that even though he was apparently opposed to the Nazis and a wonderful human being, he’s only ever portrayed in the media as the Nazi stooge that Joe Louis knocked out - in a fight often used to illustrate the triumph of good vs evil.
Apparently? I don’t know how outspoken he was, but Hitler hated him and threw him into a suicide squad so his death could be a propoganda piece. Schmeling, in a show of cosmic hilarity, kept coming back alive!
IIRC, he also hid Jews in his house to help them escape.
To be sure, he was a pallbearer at Louis’ funeral and also helped cover some of the expense. They also don’t tell you that Max Baer wasn’t Jewish…
I had just recently learned that not only was he alive, but he still enjoyed talking to fans. I was going to write him a letter. Dammit.
Yeah, they were actually pretty good friends from what I read. I just think it’s sad that a man spent his life trying to seperate himself from the Nazis only gets shown here as an icon of of the Nazi axiom of Aryan superiority.
At least in the US, in Germany, of course, he was a popular folk hero.
It’s also possible that Schmeling was cheated out of a chance to be the first heavyweight champ to regain the title after having lost it.
Jim Braddock was heavyweight champ at the time of the first Louis-Schmeling fight. After the fight Schmeling’s managers tried to arrange a title match with Braddock, but Braddock’s managers signed with Louis instead. Louis took the title but it’s entirely possible that if Schmeling had fought Braddock he would have won.
Only worth one lousy point in the “Celebrity Death Pool”! :rolleyes: