Schmeling the Boxer Hitler Couldn't Woo

When athletes become pawns of politicians, their skills being touted as proof of their country's ideological superiority over others, seldom are events played out as the demagogues would have scripted.

During the Nazi era in Germany, two such events struck blows to Aryan pride and created lasting moments in history. During the 1936 summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Jesse Owens, a black American, shattered the notion that Hitler and his henchmen held of the invincibility of German athletes. Two years later, Joe Louis, another black American and future heavyweight boxing champion of the world, knocked out Germany's Max Schmeling, who had briefly held the heavyweight crown himself, in the first round of their title fight in New York's Yankee Stadium.

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