Schmeling gave Joe Louis first loss

Updated: February 14, 2005, 3:26 PM ET
Associated Press

BERLIN -- Max Schmeling wanted to be a heavyweight champion, not a symbol of Nazi supremacy.

Though he thrilled Germany by knocking out Joe Louis, there was another side to the fighter that Hitler tried to portray as an Aryan Superman.

Schmeling, who fought Louis in two of the most politically charged sporting events ever on the eve of World War II, once hid two Jewish boys in his apartment from marauding Nazis and later reportedly helped some Jewish friends escape death camps.

He ...

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