In 1930s Europe, especially in the first half of the decade, the government sponsored fitness campaigns found in fascist regimes garnered a great deal of envy. As Charlotte MacDonald detailed in her fantastic work on […]
‘So many excellent men have been lost to tobacco poisoning.’
Adolf Hitler, 1942
Much historical study has been conducted into addressing the atrocities committed by the Nazi Regime from 1933 to 1945. However, considerably less attention has been dedicated to the Nazi anti-tobacco campaign, a relatively benign government policy, which importantly, was one of the first campaigns by a Western government designed to deal with health issues arising from tobacco use. This subject is particularly topical in the current climate, as many Western governments are attempting to reduce tobacco use among their own citizens. This paper will examine the first mass Western government campaign against tobacco and its ultimate failings.
Why were the Nazis so concerned to control the use of tobacco among its citizens? Is it possible that the Nazis were concerned with the wellbeing of some of its citizens? Or were more selfish motives involved?
It was only two minutes and four seconds
‘Fore Schmeling was down on his knees
He looked like he was praying to the good Lord
To ‘Have mercy on me, please.’
Bill Gaither, 1938
June 22, 1938 and over 70,000 fans crammed into Yankee Stadium to see the ‘Brown Bomber’ Jou Louis face off against German boxer Max Schmeling for the second time in two years. Their interest was matched by the 64% of radio-owning Americans who tuned in that night to hear the fight’s broadcast. In 1936 Schmeling had beaten Louis in the very same venue after exploiting a weakness Louis’s boxing style. It was a defeat that sent the black community in America reeling. Joe was the first black boxer to gain acceptance by the American boxing federation since the controversial Jack Johnson and his defeat was met with utter devastation in black communities. At a time when the Ku Klux Klan was enjoying a revival, Joe had been a symbol of hope that blacks could integrate in white society. His loss was about more than sport.
Is there a Jewish style of football?
Once upon a time this question would have been answered definitively. Yes. In the early 1900s, Hakoah Vienna or Hakoah Wien were a dominant force in Austrian football who were staunchly proud of their Jewish roots. From 1909 to 1938, Wien rose up the ranks in Austrian football before being shut down by the Nazi Regime. It’s a story few know, but one worth examining.