February 6, 2005

The World Is Not Black and White

Max Schmeling died this week at 99. Schmeling is best known for first beating and then being beaten by Joe Louis in the "The undercard of World War II." Between the two fights Schmeling briefly became a Nazi poster boy and his 124 second defeat was the closest thing to a real setback that the Fascists got in the 1930's. But here's the thing: Max Schmeling was no Nazi. He had a Jewish promoter and during Kristallnacht he hid two Jewish kids in his hotel room. He was just a man, doing as best he could. So the next time someone tells you that something is simple remember Max Schmeling and know that it isn't that simple.

P.S. Go read the NY Times obit. Much better version of the story.

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