Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lutz Long

So I'm reading a fascinating book called Daily Life in Hitler's Germany which tells the tale with lots of photos of the intense propaganda, social control, economic control, intimidation and general fascism of the rasha's - yemach shemo - rule over Germany. It talks about the incredible rise of the Nazis from being an insignificant, joke party to the terror of humanity in a very short time. It's quite a read.

I bought the book at a terrific used book shop in Jerusalem, off Yafo. I haven't found many used book shops here so this was a great surprise. Sorry, but I cannot recall the name of the shop.

Anyway, this post isn't even about that. It's about a story of a nice German of that era Luz Long. Long was a track athlete who competed against Jesse Owens and gave him a tip on how not to foul on the long jump, to which Owens was a newcomer. I'll let Wiki tell the rest of the story:

"Speaking to Long's son, Owens said in 1964 that Long went to him and told him to try to jump from a spot several inches behind the take-off board. Since Owens routinely made distances far greater than the minimum of 7.15m required to advance, Long surmised that Owens would be able to advance safely to the next round without risking a foul trying to push for a greater distance. On his third qualifying jump, Owens was calm and jumped with at least four inches (10 centimeters) to spare, easily qualifying for the finals. In the finals competition later that day, the jumpers exceeded the old Olympic record five times. Owens went on to win the gold medal in the long jump with 8.06m while besting Long's own record of 7.87m. Long won the silver medal for second place and was the first to congratulate Owens: they posed together for photos and walked arm-in-arm to the dressing room. Owens said, "It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler... You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the twenty-four karat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment"."

"Long and Owens corresponded after 1936. In his last letter, Long wrote to Owens and asked him to contact his son after the war and tell him about his father and "what times were like when we not separated by war. I am saying—tell him how things can be between men on this earth". After the war, Owens traveled to Germany to meet Karl Long who is seen with Owens in the documentary Jesse Owens Returns To Berlin where he is in conversation with Owens in the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Owens later served as Karl Long's best man at his wedding."

Here's the tale on video.

And here is the tale of Owens meeting Long's son.

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