Max Schmeling: An Autobiography

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  • ISBN 1566251087
  • Format: Hardcover, 215pp
  • Pub. Date: October 1998
  • Publisher: Bonus Books, Inc.

Originally published in German, and once hard-to-find, this fascinating and detailed autobiography by former World Champion Max Schmeling was translated into English and edited by George B. von der Lippe, Ph.D., in 1998. It contains many photographs.

Library Journal review:
Born in Ukermarck, Germany, in 1905 [sic], Schmeling gained fame in the 1920s knocking people down to the delight of sports-crazed Berlin society. As part of the city's cafe set, he was sculpted by Rudolph Belling and painted by George Grosz; world heavyweight champion from 1930 to 1932, he traveled by Zeppelin to many New York bouts, married a movie star, and knocked out the great Joe Louis. When, in 1938, the two had their hysterically politicized rematch at Yankee Stadium, he was unfairly billed by the press (for life) as the Nazis' boy vs. "America's hope." (Schmeling lasted 1:24 minutes.) This plain-spoken autobiography is also a portrait of Germany through its often terrible century. Schmeling is most interesting on the subject of Hitler and on the pressures to drop his Jewish manager. Once his athletic value dipped, the Nazi regime drafted the 35-year-old Schmeling and dumped him out of a plane over wartime Crete. Afterward, he had to start from scratch as a businessman. The storytelling in this first English translation of his autobiography is good-natured if uncharismatic. It also contains 96 photos, many of pre-war Berlin. Recommended for sports and large German history collections.--Nathan Ward, Library Journal