Monday, June 20, 2011

1935 Maccabiah Sports Highlight

Posted by Ann Rabinowitz
Second Maccabiah Games, 1935
(courtesy Wikipedia)
Sometimes, you can find quite interesting tidbits about Jewish sporting events which helps enhance your genealogical research. One such example is an article I found in the April 11, 1935 issue of The Jerusalem Post which was located on the Jewish Historical Newspapers site.

It featured a story about the Second Maccabiah Games which were held in Tel Aviv, April 2-10, 1935. The games attracted approximately 1,250 participants from 28 countries from around the world in what turned out to be the last Maccabiah Games prior to the beginning of World War II.

The topic of the story was the football (soccer) match pitting Germany vs Lithuania held on April 10, 1935. Much excitement was generated as the Lithuanian team was accused of foul play. They were exonerated as it was said they were merely suffering from "nervousness". The end result was that Germany beat the Lithuanians 2-1.

The interesting part of the article was the naming of the team players, although none of them were identified by first names. Here are the names given:

Germany
Pal, Schwartz, Cohen, Weisz, Hersh, Sezinsky, Rafe, Falik, Grinfeld, Sattler, Grinbaum. Both Grinfeld and Grinbaum earned one goal apiece.

Lithuania
Jolk, Esersky, Miselsky, Helaban, Simens, Yob, Schloshberg, Rosenstein, Baron, Wulfowitz, Bernstein. Wulfowitz earned one goal.


Another footballer in the 1935 Games who was not mentioned in the article was Samuel Zauber (1901-1986). He was an outstanding goalkeeper on the Romanian team representing his local club, Maccabi Bucuresti. He had played in the first FIFA World Cup in Uruguay in 1930 and the Balkan Cup in 1931.

The Maccabiah games afforded a number of participants the opportunity to stay in Israel as illegal emigrants despite the restrictive British regulations on aliyah. In fact, the entire Bulgarian Delegation of 350 people including their wind orchestra which performed at the opening and the final ceremonies of the Games remained in Israel afterwards. Numerous other athletes remained in Israel, particularly in the Haifa area. Click here for more information.

In addition, you can find more detailed information on the 1935 Maccabiah Games by clicking here.

An interesting article for those who wish to enhance their knowledge of the environment in which sport was played in pre-State Israel was "Sport and Politics in Palestine, 1918-48: Football as a Mirror Reflecting the Relations between Jews and Britons" by Haggai Harif and Yair Galily.  

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