Max Schmeling in World War II: Home Front
Max Schmeling (1905-2005) was a German boxer who, in 1936, fought and defeated African-American boxer Joe Louis, an up-and-coming talent. He faced Louis a second time in 1938, this time fighting for the world Heavyweight title. His loss symbolized for many Americans a great and deserved victory over Germany and its Nazi ideals.
In June 1938, Schmeling traveled to New York to face his rival, African-America boxer Joe Louis. In their pre-fight coverage, American reporters cast Schmeling as a Nazi villain (despite the fact that Schmeling had never officially pledged his support for the Nazi regime). Louis knocked Schmeling out before a crowd of 70,000, signaling for many Americans the first great blow to the Hitler regime.