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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Kay Schiller

Schiller, Kay (2019). Der schnellste Jude Deutschlands“ – Sport, Moderne und (Koerper-)politik im bewegten Leben Alex Natans (1906–1971). STADION. International Journal of the History of Sport 43(2): 185-218.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This article deals with the biography of the elite Jewish-German sprinter, sports writer and left-wing political activist Alex Natan, „the fastest Jew in Germany“ (Alfred Flechtheim) during the 1920s. Hailing from an assimilated family of the Berlin Jewish-German middle class, Natan was for most of his active career a member of the bürgerlich sport movement, running for SC Charlottenburg Berlin. He achieved his greatest athletic success as a member of the club’s world-record equalling 4x100-meter relay squad in 1929. In addition to Natan’s athletic achievements, the article pays particular attention to his career as a left-wing sports journalist; his participation in the anti-Nazi resistance of civil servants in the Reich Vice Chancellery in 1933/34; his emigration to Britain in 1933; his four-year internment during World War II; the resumption of his journalistic career in the postwar period; and his support for the 1972 Munich Olympics. By focusing on his confrontations with Carl Diem and Karl Ritter von Halt, the article also engages with Natan’s vocal opposition to the rehabilitation after 1945 of sport functionaries who had collaborated with the Nazi regime.