95-Year-Old Sets German High Jump Record
Well, she set it in 1936, but Germans are now reinstating it
Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann jumped a record 5 feet, 3 inches, on the German Olympic high jump team in 1936. Bergmann, now 95 and known as Margaret Lambert, had been threatened by the Nazis into joining the German team instead of the British in what the Associated Press calls “a political stunt meant to appease the Americans,” but they nonetheless booted her off and erased all traces of her record a few weeks later, barring her from the Berlin Olympics that year. She later escaped to America and now lives in Queens, New York. “I used to sit there and curse my head off when the Olympics were going on,” Lambert said. “Now I don’t do that anymore. I’ve mellowed quite a bit.”
Now, Germany has belatedly restored her record, acknowledging it as an “act of justice and a symbolic gesture” that “can in no way make up” for what happened. Lambert responded: “That’s very nice and I appreciate it. I couldn’t repeat the jump today. Believe me.”
‘An attack upon the religious Jewish community,’ he says
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