Max Schmeling-defying an evil regime

mAX

Often the psyche of people is that they see what they want  to see. They see a headline or a picture and they will have made up their minds. There is no further need for more details on the background story, they have enough to work with and make up their own story.

For example people will see the picture of Max Schmeling above giving the Nazi salute and they will just assume that Max clearly was a Nazi sympathizer.

Or they see the picture below of Max Shchmeling being warmly received by   Adolf Hitler and immediately they will think that Max was one of Hitler’s best buddies and favourite sports man. But on both occasions they could not be much further from the truth.

Max and AH

Truth is that Max Schmeling also saw things but he did not like what he saw and refused to join the Nazi party, which would have consequences for him. Not only did he not join the Nazi party he also saved a few Jewish boys and refused to fire his Jewish boxing promoter Joe Jacobs.

Max was a world champion heavyweight fighter from Germany whose two fights with Joe Louis transcended boxing and became worldwide political events because of their racial and international significance.

I will not go into Max’s boxing career. I will only focus on 2 matches ,both against the boxing legend Joe Louis.

On Friday 19, June 1936 Max Schmeling beat Joe Louis in the Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, USA

KO

Less then 2 years later in the same venue on Wednesday 22, June 1938, Joe Louis got his revenge and beat Max Schmeling and took back the World Heavyweight Title. The fight had been  portrayed as the battle of the Aryan versus the Black, a struggle of evil against good .When Louis regained his title, Hitler took Schmeling’s defeat as an embarrassment to the nation.

In an interview in 1975 ,Schmeling remembered the defeat: “Looking back, I’m almost happy I lost that fight. Just imagine if I would have come back to Germany with a victory. I had nothing to do with the Nazis, but they would have given me a medal. After the war I might have been considered a war criminal.”

KO2

During the 1938 November Pogrom-Kristallnacht- Max hid the 2 sons of his Jewish friend David Lewin. He hid the 2 boys ,Henry and Werner, in his apartment at the Excelsior Hotel in Berlin. Schmeling had told the front desk of the Hotel that he was ill and was not to be disturbed.

After things had calmed down Schmeling helped the 2 boys flee the country. The boys escaped to the United States, where Henri got a great career in managing Hotels, including the Hilton in Las Vegas.Henri Lewin was convinced  that he and his brother owe their lives to Schmeling and he sincerely believed that Schmeling himself could have died for saving them.

In 1923 Schmeing had hired Jewish New York born boxing promoter Joe Jacobs. Hitler had demanded that Schmeling would fire Jacobs, Schmeling refused to do so.

Because his refusal of joining the Nazi party ,he was him drafted into the Paratroopers and was sent him on very dangerous missions.He did partake in the Battle of Crete in May 1941, where he was wounded in his right knee by mortar fire shrapnel during the first day of the battle. After recovering, he was dismissed from active service after being deemed medically unfit for duty because of his injury.

Max remained a close friend of Joe Louis and even paid for Joe’s funeral in 1981. and became a successful business man in Germany after the war. He had been hired by Coca Cola to run the company  in Germany, .

He only once gave the Nazi salute and regretted it for the remainder of his life. He died on February 2, 2005.

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Kurt Heissmeyer-“For me there was no basic difference between human beings and guinea pigs.”

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One of the more disturbing aspects of the Holocaust is that so many perpetrators got way with murder, even after admitting to it.

Kurt Heissmeyer was a SS physician and the nephew of the senior SS officer August Heissmeyer.

In order for Kurt to receive a professorship he requires to present original research.

Even though  previously proof was dismissed , his hypothesis was that  injecting of live tuberculosis bacilli into subjects , the bacilli would function as a vaccine. Another aspect of his experiment was based on the Nazi racial theory that race played a factor in developing tuberculosis.

tb

By proving his theory he injected live tuberculosis bacilli into the lungs and bloodstream of 20  Jewish children, at the Neuengamme concentration camp.

On April 20,1945 on the birthday of Hitler and just a few weeks before the war ended, the children were sent to Bullenhuser Damm School, which had been used as a satellite camp. This was done in order to destroy evidence of the experiments. The 20 children and 4 carers were hanged.

Kurt escaped detection after the war and returned home to Maggdeburg in East Germany where he resumed his medical career, it was only in 1959 when he was discovered . He was sentenced to a life sentence in 1966, a year before he died age 61.

When asked why he didn’t use guinea pigs he responded, “For me there was no basic difference between human beings and guinea pigs.” He then corrected himself: “Jews and guinea pigs”. Heissmeyer died on 29 August 1967.

His uncle August was even luckier, Although he had been a senior SS officer who at one stage was in charge of the SS Leadership Main Office ,who were responsible of the supervision of the concentration camps,He only spent 4 years in  total in prison. After release he became the director of the West German Coca-Cola bottling plant.

august

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Fanta and the Third reich

fanta-1

Prior to the outbreak of the second world war, Coca-Cola’s only unqualified success on the international scene was its bottling operations in Nazi Germany. Sales records were being set year after year in that venue, and by 1939 Coca-Cola had 43 bottling plants and more than 600 local distributors in that country.

cola

Fanta originated as a result of difficulties importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during World War II due to a trade embargo.To circumvent this, Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland (Coca-Cola GmbH) during the war, decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including whey and apple pomace – the “leftovers of leftovers”, as Keith later recalled. The name was the result of a brief brainstorming session, which started with Keith’s exhorting his team to “use their imagination” (Fantasie in German), to which one of his salesmen, Joe Knipp, immediately retorted “Fanta!”

The plant was effectively cut off from Coca-Cola headquarters during the war. After the war, the Coca-Cola corporation regained control of the plant, formula, and the trademarks to the new Fanta product—as well as the plant profits made during the war.

During the war the Dutch Coca-Cola plant in Amsterdam (N.V. Nederlandsche Coca-Cola Maatschappij) suffered the same difficulties as the German Coca-Cola plant. Max Keith therefore also put the Fanta brand at the disposal of the Dutch Coca-Cola plant, of which he had been appointed the official Verwalter (caretaker). Dutch Fanta had a completely different recipe from German Fanta, elderberries being one of the main ingredients.

fanta

Fanta production was discontinued when the German and Dutch Coca-Cola branches were reunited with their parent company. Following the launch of several drinks by the Pepsi corporation in the 1950s, Coca-Cola competed by relaunching Fanta in 1955. The drink was heavily marketed in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

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