Today, I am commenting on a news article which you can read in full at http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/the-tragic-fate-of-jewish-sporting-heroes-in-the-holocaust/
Helena Nordheim (fourth left), Anna Polak (second left) and Judikje Simons (third right) were Jewish members of the Dutch gymnastics team
The following quote is from the news article:
Not for the first time in writing my book, Who Betrayed The Jews?, I found myself shocked by discovering the fate of more than 30 Jewish Olympic medallists and sportsmen who had won medals for their country, but were exterminated without a thought when the Nazi juggernaut ploughed on with The Final Solution.
In my humble opinion, it would not have been fair to the Jewish non athletes, if the Jewish athletes had been exempted from the Holocaust.
This website article tells the story: https://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007695
At the annual party rally held in Nuremberg in 1935, the Nazis announced new laws which institutionalized many of the racial theories prevalent in Nazi ideology. The laws excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood.” Ancillary ordinances to the laws disenfranchised Jews and deprived them of most political rights.
The Nuremberg Laws, as they became known, did not define a “Jew” as someone with particular religious beliefs. Instead, anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents was defined as a Jew, regardless of whether that individual identified himself or herself as a Jew or belonged to the Jewish religious community. Many Germans who had not practiced Judaism for years found themselves caught in the grip of Nazi terror. Even people with Jewish grandparents who had converted to Christianity were defined as Jews.
It seems that those mean ole Nazis were trying to keep their race pure and free from hereditary disease. Bad Nazis!
The following stories are about Olympic athletes who were Jewish:
Judikje ‘Jud’ Simons (1904–1943) was a third Jewish member of the 1928 Dutch women’s gymnastics team and Olympic gold medallist. After her Olympics career Simons married and, with her husband, ran an orphanage in Utrecht, housing and caring for more than 80 needy children. As the Nazis rounded up Dutch Jews and sent them to concentration camps, Jud and her husband refused to abandon the orphans who depended on them. The Nazis captured her and her family, all of whom were shipped to the Sobibor extermination camp and gassed on 3 March 1943.
Eddy Hamel (1902–1943) was born in New York to immigrant Dutch-Jewish parents, and returned to Holland as a child. He played for the ‘Men from the Meer’ from 1922 until 1930, appearing in 125 matches and scoring eight goals as a right winger. He was the first Jewish player to serve in Ajax’s squad, which has had only three more to this day. Local Fascist groups assisted in rounding up ‘undesirables’ after Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940. Despite his American citizenship, Eddy was detained as a Jew in late 1942. He spent four months doing hard labour at Birkenau and was sent to the gas chambers on 30 April 1943 after a swollen mouth abscess was found during a Nazi inspection.
Attila Petschauer (1904–1943), another Hungarian, won silver in Amsterdam in 1928 and gold in Los Angeles in 1932. During a routine check in 1943 he realised he had left some of his ID papers at home and was soon deported to the Davidovka labour camp in Ukraine. One of the people responsible, Kalman Cseh, a Hungarian Army colonel, was a fellow member of the Hungarian delegation to the 1928 Games. Cseh referred to him as ‘the Jew’ and told his subordinates to give him a bad time. Another Olympian Karoly Karpate, a Hungarian wrestler, said that one day, when he was digging in temperatures below zero, the guards told Attila to take off his clothes and climb a tree and crow like a rooster. They sprayed him with cold water which froze and eventually he fell off the tree. They took him back to the barracks but he died a few hours later on 20 January 1943, aged 39.
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