Max Schmeling dead at 99

An interesting obituary here:

There was a time when those four words likely would have set off spasms of grand celebration in the United States and around the world, because the hatred for what Mr. Schmeling was assumed to be by so many ran so deep.

Hitler portrayed him as an Aryan Superman after he knocked out Joe Louis in 1936, but there was another side to Mr. Schmeling.

Mr. Schmeling, who was badly defeated in a politically charged rematch on the eve of World War II, once hid two Jewish boys in his apartment from marauding Nazis and later reportedly helped some Jewish friends escape death camps.

He said he feared only one thing in a long life that ended Wednesday at the age of 99.

What a great story. There’s a movie I watched regarding the relationship Joe Louis and Max Schmeling had, but I can’t immediately remember the name of it (and I think it was a “made for TV” movie).

“I don’t want anyone to say I was a good athlete, but worth nothing as a human being – I couldn’t bear that,” Mr. Schmeling said in 1993.

I know the feeling.

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