Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Monday, February 07, 2005

Max Schmeling Was A Mensch

I note with interest the passing this past week of Max Schmeling, the German-born ex-heavyweight boxer. You could be forgiven for assuming he was already dead (I did). Schmeling is best remembered for his unwanted role as the Great Nazi Hope and his two bouts against the divine Joe Louis (Schmeling won the first fight, went down in the first round of the second). Less known is his contempt for the Nazis, how he reportedly helped get Jews out of the country in the years before the war, and how he quietly paid for the funeral of his old adversary and friend Joe Louis when Louis died penniless in the early eighties.

How deliciously ironic that the man once touted as the symbol of Aryan Supremacy, Max Schmeling, would turn out to be such a mensch.