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Max Schmelling

Max Schmelling American History Biographies Famous Historical Events Famous People Social Studies Sports Visual Arts

Max Schmelling was a German boxer who had great success in the ring. After he defeated Joe Louis, in 1936, he returned home on a new method of transportation: the airship Hindenburg

The boxer did not support the Nazi party or Nazi policies which were implemented in his country. During the "Night of Broken Glass," in November of 1938, he hid two teenaged Jewish boys in his hotel room. 

Later, he helped the same two boys to leave Germany. In so doing, he likely saved their lives

Schmelling lived a long life.  He served as a German paratrooper during World War II and as a farmer after the war. He became a successful businessman when he was able to get a Coca Cola franchise in Germany. 

In 1954, he renewed his acquaintance with Joe Louis. The two men had fought each other during their prime (each defeating the other). They remained friends until Louis died (in 1981).

When the two men fought on the 22nd of June, in 1938, more than 80,000 people were in the audience. An estimated 70 million more heard the fight via radio. Louis avenged his prior loss to Max on that night.

A modest man, Schmelling told a reporter what mattered in life:

I had a happy marriage and a nice wife. I accomplished everything you can. What more can you want?

Joe, who died before Max, did not have much money at the end of his life. People, including a manager, had taken advantage of him.

To help his old friend, Max paid for Joe's funeral. It wasn't the first time that Max had helped Joe financially.

Max died in 2005.  He was 99 years old.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Mar 20, 2017


Media Credits

Image of Max Schmelling, during his boxing days, online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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"Max Schmelling" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 25, 2020.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Max-Schmelling/1>.
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