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February 06, 2005

Sometimes losing is winning

German boxer Max Schmeling died on Wednesday at the age of 99. Schmeling famously knocked out Joe Louis in a bout in 1936, which made him the darling of the Nazi regime. Schmeling refused to join the party but remained subject of much propaganda until a rematch in 1938 which Schmeling lost in a first round KO.

Schmeling himself declared in 1975 that he was, in hindsight, "almost happy" to have lost the second bout because of the way he would have been feted by the Nazis and inculcated into their cause. Schmeling, for his own part, did much which would have alienated the Nazi agenda, hiding two Jewish boys in 1938, maintaining a Jewish-American manager, and after the war supporting Louis financially, as they maintained an ongoing friendship.

A boxer with integrity and compassion... and a bout which, though lost, was a win.

Posted by gary at February 6, 2005 08:25 PM

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