Zone1 Luz Long the German long jumper who became lifelong friends with Jesse Owens.

MarathonMike

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Dec 30, 2014
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During the Berlin Olympics in 1936, under the watchful eye of Adolf Hitler, Luz Long the German long jumper gave Jesse Owens a tip that helped him qualify for the Long Jump finals. Later when Owens won the Long Jump and set a record Long was the first to congratulate him. They became lifelong friends and just before he died from injuries sustained in the war, he sent a letter to Owens asking him to meet his son and tell him what kind of a man his Father was. Owens did just that and became friends with Long's son as well.

 
During the Berlin Olympics in 1936, under the watchful eye of Adolf Hitler, Luz Long the German long jumper gave Jesse Owens a tip that helped him qualify for the Long Jump finals. Later when Owens won the Long Jump and set a record Long was the first to congratulate him. They became lifelong friends and just before he died from injuries sustained in the war, he sent a letter to Owens asking him to meet his son and tell him what kind of a man his Father was. Owens did just that and became friends with Long's son as well.

I've remembered this story since the first time I heard it. A reminder that not everyone was a nazi in Germany at that time, especially as time rolled on and the ugly face came out due to major influences by Himmler and others.
 
I'd bet there was less racial division in America in Jesse Owens' time than today.

He was really awesome! Helluva man.

I don't think you want to put money on that bet.

Jesse Owens: Olympic Triumphs and Olympic-Sized Struggles​

The African American Olympic sprinter spent much of his life struggling with issues of race.

Jesse Owens, a record-breaking Olympic sprinter and the best athlete of his time, spent much of his life struggling with issues of race. Unlike other athletes of his era, Owens' day-to-day life was defined — and restricted — by his skin color. He suffered humiliating treatment even as he was revered as the most successful athlete of the day, winning four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Adolf Hitler's Germany. But the racism he experienced in a country on the brink of ethnic cleansing was hardly worse than what he faced back home in the United States.

For years after his athletic career winded down, Owens endured a personal struggle, leading him to prize wealth over principles as he criticized civil rights leaders of the late 1960s. In the decade before his death, his philosophy on race relations progressed, and he finally advocated the civil rights movement.


Athlete Jesse Owens: battling poverty and racial bigotry with sporting success​

Reaching international heights, track and field athlete Jesse Owens would set the world record for long jump that would stand for 25 years. His four gold medals win at the Olympic Games in Berlin, during the Nazi regime, would bring him many adoring German fans. His victory - along with those of other African American athletes - questioned the Nazi propaganda on Aryan superiority.

After the Olympics​

After the games had ended, the Olympic team was invited to compete in Sweden, but Owens decided he wanted to pursue financial gain by returning to the US to take up endorsement offers. He had continued to face discrimination throughout his athletic career, having to work to pay his way with no access scholarships. So when faced with endorsement opportunities, naturally he took it. This angered the US athletic officials who withdrew his amateur status, ending his career instantly.

Owens had returned to the US an international star yet had difficulty in finding work. He was banned from appearing at amateur sporting events to uphold his image and commercial offers disappeared. A few of his African-American teammates entered academia or held elected office, but many struggled to secure stable careers upon returning. Mack Robinson the silver medalist once used his Olympic jacket while working as a street sweeper to keep warm.

 
I've remembered this story since the first time I heard it. A reminder that not everyone was a nazi in Germany at that time, especially as time rolled on and the ugly face came out due to major influences by Himmler and others.
It spoke to the character of both men which is what makes it such a great story.
 
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Great story. Owens is an American hero.

More about his life after the Olympics -

“At rock bottom, he was aided in beginning his rehabilitation. Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower enlisted Owens as a goodwill ambassador in 1955 and sent the world-renowned track star to India, the Philippines, and Malaya to promote physical exercise as well as tout the cause of American freedom and economic opportunity in the developing world. He would continue his goodwill tours in the 1960s and 1970s. Although he lost his patronage job with the Illinois Youth Commission in 1960, Owens continued his product endorsement work for such corporations as Quaker Oats, Sears and Roebuck, and Johnson & Johnson. Owens traveled the world and spoke to companies such as the Ford Motor Company and stakeholders such as the United States Olympic Committee.[72] In 1972, he and his wife retired to Arizona.[73]”

Jesse Owens - Wikipedia

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During the Berlin Olympics in 1936, under the watchful eye of Adolf Hitler, Luz Long the German long jumper gave Jesse Owens a tip that helped him qualify for the Long Jump finals. Later when Owens won the Long Jump and set a record Long was the first to congratulate him. They became lifelong friends and just before he died from injuries sustained in the war, he sent a letter to Owens asking him to meet his son and tell him what kind of a man his Father was. Owens did just that and became friends with Long's son as well.

That's a great story. It somewhat reminds me of the story of the friendship between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling.
 
That's a great story. It somewhat reminds me of the story of the friendship between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling.
Luz Long could easily be labeled and stereotyped since he was literally a Nazi soldier. He fought for Hitler in the Wermacht and died from injuries sustained in battle with the Allies. But reality is much more complex, interesting and sometimes incredible as the friendship between Luz Long and Jesse Owens.
 
Luz Long could easily be labeled and stereotyped since he was literally a Nazi soldier. He fought for Hitler in the Wermacht and died from injuries sustained in battle with the Allies. But reality is much more complex, interesting and sometimes incredible as the friendship between Luz Long and Jesse Owens.
Most of the soldiers in the Wehrmacht were not members of the Nazi party. They were Germans serving their country. The Waffen SS was just the opposite, they were all Nazi party members.
 
Luz Long could easily be labeled and stereotyped since he was literally a Nazi soldier. He fought for Hitler in the Wermacht and died from injuries sustained in battle with the Allies. But reality is much more complex, interesting and sometimes incredible as the friendship between Luz Long and Jesse Owens.
Very unlikely friendship, but they persevered based on mutual respect and admiration.

Sports competition often overcomes otherwise insurmountable circumstances.

My dad used to frequently speak of the friendship between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, which faced similar obstacles, due to Max being a used as a tool by Hiltler to promote the myth of Aryan superiority.

But they remained friends from the 1930's until Joe's death in 1981.
Thanks for sharing.👍
 
This story almost like the story of the Australian who stood with Smith and Carlos in 1968.

Australian Olympian Peter Norman honored over 1968 black power protest​

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So I don't know what your purpose ws in doing this Mike, because all yur story does is illustrate the level of white racism in America as opposed to other countries. Blacs know that not every white person on earth is racist, but what we will not deny, which is what YOU want done, is that white racism exists rght now.
 
This story almost like the story of the Australian who stood with Smith and Carlos in 1968.

Australian Olympian Peter Norman honored over 1968 black power protest​

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So I don't know what your purpose ws in doing this Mike, because all yur story does is illustrate the level of white racism in America as opposed to other countries. Blacs know that not every white person on earth is racist, but what we will not deny, which is what YOU want done, is that white racism exists rght now.
As he has done for years, the Al Sharpton disciple shows up to take a crap on a positive story I post in Race Relations. He hates Pastor Brooks who has done so much for Chicago youth, He hates any White family that adopts a black child, he hates any story where a White man and a Black man don't see each other's color. It destroys his world.
 

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