History | Feb 02 2019

On This Day: Max Schmeling – Man of Honour – passed away

Max Schmeling lived and fought with dignity, writes Bob Mee
Max Schmeling German heavyweights

IT was the fate of Max Schmeling to illustrate to the world that no matter how hard an athlete tries, it is sometimes impossible to avoid the influence of world politics on sport.

Schmeling knew, following his 1936 knockout of Joe Louis, that his ambitions as a boxer were being railroaded by the Nazi Party, but what could he do about it? Very little.

Schmeling, who died on February 2, 2005 in his home town of Hollenstadt near Hamburg at the age of 99, withstood considerable pressure to sack his Jewish manager, Joe Jacobs, even explaining his case to Adolf Hitler at a private hearing.


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