Alekhine and the Nazis: a historical investigation by Dr. Christian Rohrer

by Johannes Fischer
11/22/2021 – As a chess player, Alexander Alekhine (pictured) was brilliant, but his biography contains a number of dark spots. In particular, his proximity to the Nazis has damaged the reputation of the fourth world champion. The Swiss historian and chess player Dr. Christian Rohrer wanted to find out how and to what extent Alekhine supported the Nazis, and he published his findings in an online article titled "World chess champion and favourite of Hans Frank?: assessing Alexander Alekhine’s closeness to the National Socialist regime". Detailed, fascinating and well worth reading.

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In 1939, before the Second World War, the world was still and again all right for Alexander Alekhine. In 1935 he had surprisingly lost the World Championship against Dr. Max Euwe but by winning the revenge match in 1937 Alekhine had regained the title.

Alekhine in 1935, during the World Championship match against Euwe

Alekhine lived in France, was respected, wealthy and married to Grace Wishaar, an American artist who had inherited a fortune from her late first husband.

At the Chess Olympiad 1939 in Buenos Aires, Alekhine played for France and won gold for the the best result on board one: with a score of with 12.5 out of 16 (78%), he was narrowly ahead of Paul Keres (14.5/19, 76%) who played for Estonia, and Alekhine's old rival Capablanca, who played for Cuba and finished with 11.5/16 (72%). But during the Olympiad, on 1 September 1939, German troops invaded Poland and the Second World War began, which was to change Alekhine's life fundamentally.

A number of chess players – of whom Miguel Najdorf is probably the best known – stayed in Argentina after the Olympiad but Alekhine went back to Europe and served in the French Army until he was demobilized in 1940. And during the Olympiad Alekhine had shown no sympathy for the German regime, and players of the German team had even complained about the World Champion's hostile attitude towards them.

But after the rapid and huge military successes of the Germans at the beginning of the war, Alekhine changed his behaviour. According to Rohrer, he pursued a "two-pronged strategy" to try to maintain his status as World Champion and to maintain his high standard of living.

Having previously systematically avoided a possible rematch against Capablanca, whom he had beaten in the 1927 World Championship match in Buenos Aires, he now contacted Capablanca to organise such a rematch. Alekhine hoped to play against Capablanca in South America, and he hoped for a high prize fund, as this would have given him the chance to leave Europe with his wife and to make a new start with the money from the match.

But the negotiations with Capablanca came to nothing and so Alekhine concentrated on the other part of his strategy: he helped the Nazis who had occupied Paris in June 1940. In 1941 he published a series of articles on "Aryan and Jewish Chess" in the "Pariser Zeitung", a propaganda organ of the Germans, in which he applied Nazi ideology to chess using numerous anti-Semitic clichés, grossly distorting chess-historical facts. Later attempts by Alekhine to distance himself from this series of articles are, as Rohrer explains, unconvincing.

"Alekhine, whether every word is his or not, bears responsibility for these articles. They appeared under his name in the German-language press and were able to develop their effect there with the weight of his name. I consider it impossible that the articles appeared against Alekhine's will. Alekhine himself boasted in Spanish newspapers in September 1941 about his treatment of chess from the 'racial point of view'." ("Alekhine's Two-Pronged Strategy: An Interview with Christian Rohrer", Karl, 01/2021, p. 53)

In 1941, Alekhine played a tournament in German-occupied Krakow in Poland and came into contact with a number of influential Nazis, most notably Hans Frank, the Governor General of Poland. As Governor General, Frank was largely responsible for the persecution and murder of millions of Jews, and after the war he was sentenced to death at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and executed on 16 October 1946.

Frank was a great chess fan who maintained a friendly relationship with Alekhine, and these contacts helped Alekhine to get a well-paid job at the Institut für Deutsche Ostarbeit (Institute for German Work in the East", IDO for short. Alekhine received the equivalent of 1,000 Reichsmarks per month, and according to Rohrer, this salary was more than 98% of Germans earned at the time. Moreover, Alekhine still had the possibility to secure additional income through simuls, fees for books and articles as well as appearance and prize money at tournaments.

But when the defeat of the Germans in the Second World War became more and more likely, Alekhine left the territory of the German Reich in October 1943 and went to Spain, which was ruled by the fascists under Franco but was not involved in hostilities. Alekhine still had no material worries, but health problems plagued him.

As Rohrer reports, Alekhine had gone to a psychiatric clinic in 1943 after showing signs of mental confusion, and he continued to go downhill in the period after that. When Alekhine moved from Spain to Portugal in 1945, he suffered from financial hardship, health problems and was ostracised in the chess world due to his proximity to the Nazis. In a hotel in Estoril in Portugal, Alekhine died on 24 March 1946, still reigning World Champion.

The corpse of Alekhine

Rohrer carefully and in detail examines the life of Alekhine during the Second World War, briefly sketched here. After research in archives all over Europe, Rohrer comes to a number of new insights into Alekhine's fate and personality (among other things, one learns that Alekhine together with Ossip Bernstein was a member of a Masonic lodge in Paris and simply claimed to have a doctor's degree though he had not written a dissertation), and at the same time provides a fine example of how the study of chess history can help to gain insights into larger historical contexts.

Master Class Vol.3: Alexander Alekhine

On this DVD GMs Rogozenco, Marin, Müller, and IM Reeh present outstanding games, stunning combinations and exemplary endgames by Alekhine. And they invite you to improve your knowledge with the help of video lectures, annotated games and interactive tests

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/26/2021 01:14
Had Alekhine got himself enlisted in the Waffen-SS, he would probably have been jailed, like other Frenchmen who had done so.
On your other point: 'Contrary to what is occasionally reported, Grace was in all probability not of Jewish origin.' - Rohrer, p. 20. Please check the sources Rohrer gave before questioning his abilities again.
See also wikipedia (eng) 'Grace Alekhine': 'some writers have asserted that she had Jewish ancestry (surviving the Nazi occupation of France by residing with her husband in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)'. If the assertion that she was from Jewish ancestry was connected to the assertion that she and Alekhine were residing in Brazil during the German occupation of France, I wouldn't take it too seriously. Anyway, the word 'some' before writers suggests that most writers came to a different point of view.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/25/2021 05:59
I fail to presume, or even hope, to explain to Frit's satisfaction the quote about 25,000 Dutchmen volunteering to aid and abet the Waffen SS, or to elaborate on the relevance to the current discussion. I naively supposed the point was self-evident. Am I more naive to suggest that it would have been better for Alekhine's reputation if rather than play in tournaments, write articles, and take zlotys for other services, he merely became the 25,001st volunteer alongside the willing Dutchmen who enlisted in the Waffen SS. Had he done so then he would have perhaps incurred no more opprobrium and concerted condemnation than they did.

By the way, Alekhine , like Hans Kmoch, had what was perforce a vulnerability in having Jewish wife. While it is virtually certain that he wished to protect her, it is unknown if he thought she played defensive, mercenary, and
cowardly chess.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/25/2021 04:57
The 'high horse I'm sitting on' according to Will Scarlett is called Christian Rohrer, who gave a detailed and more than sufficiently sourced account of Alekhines profits and lifestyle, as I quoted.
The moment the articles appeared, Alekhine was in Portugal and his wife , as an American, was still under US protection (although refused an exit visa). Germany declared war on the USA only in december 1941. Grace Wishaar moved resonably freely though the country during the war. Some American women where interned following the war declaration, but only after 1943. Yes, there was some risk, but compare this for instance with the position of Euwe's friend Hans Kmoch, who had a jewish wife. That made her relatively safe for deportation to the German death camps, but see https://docshare.tips/the-bobby-fischer-i-knew-and-other-stories-6_584d285db6d87fb8408b4ff3.html. (Euwe helped out Kmoch financially during the war.)
I fail to see how Scarlett's quote about Dutchmen volunteering for the Waffen-SS has anything to do with the subject of discussion or the arguments I put forward. It sounds a bit like an ad hominem argument.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/25/2021 03:58
Euwe's occupational obligations (regarding Münich 1941) involved the running of a food distribution center, in which he personally made sure that (amongst others by bribing German soldiers) part of the food went to a secret location, which was available to the Dutch resistance.
His refusal to play in the mentioned tournaments was mentioned, along with the reason he gave for it (an article under the name of Alekhine where the latter claimed that in the world championship matches he had to fight against the entire 'Schachjüdentum') in several Dutch newspapers in 1941. He also wrote to the tournament director in Salzburg (yes, you are correct here, not Stuttgart) that he would only play if Alekhine wouldn't be there (Münninghoff's biography of Euwe). That he could get away with it, may have had something to do with his good connections before the war with German chess magazines. I must add that Alekhine denied authorship and apologized to the Dutch representatives during the Stuttgart congress (during the tournament), but he did so personally, not publicly.
I won't say Euwe was a war hero - he even was investigated after the war because of his playing against Bogoljubow, but was exonerated. But he made a stand and was willing to use his position and run some risk. You can't say that about Alekhine.
Lajos Arpad gives a good description of Alekhine. Refusing to speak to the German team in the 1939 olympiad, but completely shying away, and most probably more than that, when he was not 'behind his laptop' anymore. For the rest this is not the kind of argument you should use in a healthy discussion. You can't question someones future behaviour.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/25/2021 11:22
@WillScarlett the National-Socalist government in Germany had a totalitarian state at its disposal. Such a state has no problem in deporting or even killing people. Another Socialistic dictatorship, the Soviet Union was threatening Kortchnoi with his life and family. Kortchnoi was a more stubborn person, true and I can respect his approach to this kind of question enormously, but most people are not that stubborn.

If the nazi regime "asks" someone to write an article, even if there is no evident threat involved, the subject will obviously know that it is very much in his/her interest (and I do not mean money here!) to comply.

In Eastern Europe a few decades ago Socialistic dictatorships were prevalent and there is a plethora of drama where people were forced to cooperate with the secret political police and there are so many people who were not threatened per se, but they were really afraid to refuse.

Not everyone is a hero and for me it is evident that Alekhine was not a hero outside the chess board. But I am not sure about the opposite either. If he was writing those articles at all and if he did so voluntarily, then that's unacceptable.

If someone names Alekhine a coward, then I wonder whether in a similar situation the person would have fared any better. It's easy to be morally superior behind a laptop in a non-nazi environment. In short, we agree on several points.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/25/2021 06:28
PART 1 of 2
At this point it is clear that I am much more disposed to extend the benefit of the doubt to Alekhine for his morally questionable actions in occupied France and other European countries. The extent, if any, of his authorship of the antisemitic articles, the participation in several Nazi sponsored tournaments (along with Keres and Bogolyubov) and matches (Euwe vs Bogolyubov - Karlsbad 1941), were all, to my satisfaction, understandable in the light of the immense threat of political oppresion and punishment. I do not understand those who can shrug off or even dismiss this enormous factor - even if a few thousand zloty were used as a lubricant to make the submission somewhat tolerable. Or the promise of an exit visa was also used.

Frits Fritschy, manages to not only minimize the dangerous abyss Alekhine ( and his wife) were hanging over, and to maximize Alekhine's purported souless opportunism, but also beats a dead horse by denigrating Alekhine's capacity for courage, contrasting him with the courage of the Dutchman, Max Euwe, who "refused to play in the Stuttgart 1942 tournament". Actually Euwe declined to play at Munich 1941 "due to his ‘occupational obligations’". Euwe also waived Salzburg 1942 due to "illness." Good for him, but that was hardly the last word in fearless defiance.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/25/2021 06:26
PART 2 of 2
To be fair, Frits does go so far as to explain Alekhine's motives and actions as "probably ...just seeing it as a way to continue his lifestyle and stay away from the problems millions of others in occupied Europe had to endure, of which many endured this because they were less cowardly." That's quite a high horse he sits on !

Another example of WWII "compromises" made under duress:
"According to the Dutch institute for war documentation NIOD, some 25,000 Dutchmen volunteered to join the ranks of the German Waffen SS. This number was the largest contingent of non-German volunteers from all of the Nazi occupied territories."

Shall we suppose these 25,000 chose this "as a way to continue their lifestyle and stay away from problems millions had to endure?"
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/24/2021 11:45
An essential part of Rohrer's article is the well-payed positions in nazi service Alekhine took. Unearthed by Rohrer so not known by the also by me highly esteemed Edward Winter.
I quote from Rohrer: 'Two days later, Coblitz confirmed in writing to the world chess champion residing in the Grand Hotel in Krakow that Alekhine was “employed by order of the President of the IDO, Generalgouverneur Dr. Frank, with effect from 1 January 1942, as a senior consultant for Russian questions at the IDO.” (p. 46) 'As early as 20 November 1941, a net monthly salary of 2,050.88 złoty was calculated for Alekhine (...) Converted, this was a
total of about 1,000 Reichsmark, the amount that IDO leader Coblitz had promised Alekhine' (p. 50) . 'In July, August and September, Alekhine received regular pay, also booked as an advance and amounting to 2,000 Złoty per month' (p. 68). 1000 Reichsmark has a spending power of over 4000 euro nowadays. In november and december 1942 he received payments of nearly 5000 Złoty. If Alekhine was troubled with financial problems, that had more to do with his lifestyle than with his possibilities.
How does that explain his statement in an interview with CHESS in January 1945 (p. 53, see Winter's Chess Notes feature article on Alekhine) that after January 1943, 'he continued to play in tournaments because, he says, the Germans threatened otherwise to withdraw his ration cards'? How can I see this otherwise than as the statement of someone twisting truth to obscure his doings?
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/24/2021 11:41
By the way, in december 1944 the war may not have been finished; it was finished for both Alekhine and his wife. Paris, where Grace Wishaar lived, was liberated at the end of August 1944. Alekhine was in Portugal at the time.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/24/2021 11:34
In Edward Winter's feature article 'Was Alekhine a Nazi?': 'The December 1944 BCM (pages 274-275) and the January 1945 CHESS (page 53) both reported Alekhine’s statement in a published interview (News Review, 23 November 1944 was the source according to CHESS) that while in France "he had to write two chess articles for the Pariser Zeitung before the Germans granted him his exit visa ... Articles which Alekhine claims were purely scientific were rewritten by the Germans, published and made to treat chess from a racial viewpoint."'
So, whatever he intended to publish, he did write articles on German demand. And it was purely scientific – on what field, I wonder. Did he keep a copy of his original writings, or did he say on which main points it had been rewritten? One year later, he elaborates that it was about restructuring FIDE and a critique of the theories of Lasker and Steinitz. Why would the Germans demand these kind of articles to grant him exit visas?
Something also noted by Edward Winter: 'Thus Alekhine’s line of defence was not consistent. Sometimes he claimed to have written nothing, but on other occasions said that the anti-Jewish slant had been added by others. The latter possibility is unlikely; once the anti-Jewish slant is taken away there is hardly anything left.'
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/24/2021 11:31
Will Scarlett,
I'm glad that you actually went to read Rorher's article, although that was after attacking his abilities.
Whether Alekhine really believed the crap that he probably wrote, or at least failed to oppose, is of no importance. He probably was just seeing it as a way to continue his lifestyle and stay away from the problems millions of others in occupied Europe had to endure, of which many endured this because they were less cowardly. For instance Euwe refused to play in the Stuttgart 1942 tournament because Alekhine played there. (He also seems to have protested against the Alekhine article in 1941, as reported by the Dutch concentration camp prisoner Evert Straat.) Above I'll give two comments that shed some light on Alekhine's character.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/24/2021 12:41
@Metaphysician I do not know whether Alekhine wrote those articles. Independently of who the author is or what may have led him to write such articles, I fully agree with you that those articles should be condemned from ethical perspective.

I'm not sure whether he was the author, after all, chess history is known by many people, including, but not limited to world champions and the articles might have been written by someone else, attributed to Alekhine, or, it is also possible that he was forced to write them in some manner, since the NSDAP had a totalitarian state in its possession after all.

But even if you are right and Alekhine did write those articles without coercion, even in that case, he is one of the great champions. While I think that the hatred towards people for attributes they do not control is both morally and logically wrong and thus I strongly disagree with Alekhine's supposed (or real) and Fischer's evident antisemitism and I also strongly disagree with Botvinnik's bolshevism and consider communism to be morally wrong as well, I do recognize all the three champions as great chess players whose chess legacy is admirable even if we find their political views unacceptable.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/24/2021 01:28
I sympathize with Metaphysician's admission that he " can't think of a reason to doubt that [Alekhine] actually wrote [the notorious articles]". It's akin to failing to come up with the key move of an endgame study, or being unable to grasp an idea that easily and naturally comes to many others. I myself have never been able to doubt that every now and then during Nazi 12-year rule of Germany they resorted to coercion that at some odd times was quite violent, even deadly. Despite my inability to discount that suspicion, I see that there are many who are prepared to believe Alekhine wrote Nazi propaganda with complete spontaneity and insouciance, utterly free from any external "pressure". It is curious, though, that I cannot find any antisemitic matter in any of Alekhine's several published books - none .
Metaphysician Metaphysician 11/23/2021 08:24
Years ago, I read Alekhine’s Nazi articles in full, in English translation. I can’t think of a reason to doubt that he actually wrote them. In fact, the authoritative tone and detailed knowledge of chess history are consistent with Alekhine’s authorship.

This is serious stuff. The Nazis murdered 6 million Jews, about one out of every three Jews in Europe. Alekhine’s articles, which disparaged Jews and Jewish chessplayers, including Steinitz, Lasker, and Rubinstein, were part of the Nazi propaganda machine.

To those not familiar with Alekhine’s Nazi articles, they are highly disturbing, even disgusting. I do not know why anyone who was not a Nazi sympathizer would have written them. There are antisemites whose crazy hatred of Jews can be explained in part by mental illness (as is the case with Fischer, who, ironically, had a Jewish mother, Regina).

I am not not suggesting that Alekhine should be “cancelled” or that we should not admire his brilliant attacks (on the chessboard, I mean).

But antisemitism is on the rise everywhere. We can and should condemn Alekhine’s Nazi articles even as we learn from and take pleasure in his chess.
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 11/23/2021 04:37
I agree with lajosarpad. Everyone has a darkside, but all sordid pasts aside (whether you can accept it or not) these chess players were still world champions irrespective of what their political views were or even where they stood ethically.

They achieved the title of chess champions (not moral/ethical champions) so everyone should remember them accordingly and not be clouded by what they did outside of the chess world.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/23/2021 03:14
I do not know whether Alekhine was a nazi or a nazi sympathizer. If he was, then he was seriously misguided in the political and philosophical sense. Just like Botvinnik, who was an ardent supporter of the Soviet Bolshevik regime. Or like Fischer, who hated Jews with surprising fervor, despite being one.

I do not question the benefit in digging into the past to find out what the historical truth is. In fact, I welcome this effort, as long as Cancel Culture is not involved and, as long as the conclusions are made on a factual, unbiased ground and AFTER the facts were all checked.

The moves made by Alekhine, Botvinnik and Fischer, their contribution to chess is absolutely great and their supposed (or very real) extremism does not change this.
adbennet adbennet 11/23/2021 02:59
Your two most recent posts are far more persausive than the earlier ones. Can't go far wrong quoting Winter.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/22/2021 11:55
Please excuse this additional excerpt from the Winter article I just provided a link to. ( There wasn't enough space.)
It seems especially relevant to the matter at hand. Alekhine's words - not hearsay:

" Of the articles which appeared in 1941 during my stay in Portugal and which I learnt about in the Deutsche Schachzeitung, nothing was actually written by me. I had submitted material dealing with the necessary reconstruction of the FIDE (the International Chess Federation) and a critique, written well before 1938, of the theories of Lasker and Steinitz. I was surprised when I received letters from Messrs Helms and Sturgis at the reaction which these articles – purely technical – had provoked in America and I replied to Mr Helms accordingly. Only when I knew what incomparably stupid lucubrations had been created in a spirit imbued with Nazi ideas did I realize what it was all about. But I was then a prisoner of the Nazis and our only hope of preservation was to keep silent."

Reading the entire article ( linked in my prior comment ) is urgently recommended.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/22/2021 11:47
I am in the process of rereading Edward Winter's article, " Was Alekhine a Nazi ?", which I deem essential reading on this emotionally charged topic. Edward Winter, invariably scrupulous, meticulous, accurate, honest, and as close to objective as humanly possible, ought to be familiar to everyone with a reverence for chess history and lore.

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/alekhine.html

One excerpt from the Winter article relating to the 1944 BCM reference:
"Alekhine’s first disavowal of the articles appears to date from just after the liberation of Paris (and not from just after the end of the War, as sometimes alleged even today). The December 1944 BCM (pages 274-275) and the January 1945 CHESS (page 53) both reported Alekhine’s statement in a published interview (News Review, 23 November 1944 was the source according to CHESS) that while in France ‘he had to write two chess articles for the Pariser Zeitung before the Germans granted him his exit visa ... Articles which Alekhine claims were purely scientific were rewritten by the Germans, published and made to treat chess from a racial viewpoint.’ "

"Rewritten by the Germans" seems to shed light on adbennet's "finding."

I am not too disturbed to have my words regarded as ... emotional. That was not my conscious intent. I had, however, expected my regard for the facts of the matter to be colored with empathy as well as a respect for truth.
I feel uncomfortable witnessing a man being kicked while he is down, let alone incurring a posthumous hanging.
adbennet adbennet 11/22/2021 08:10
I am in the process of reading Mr. Rohrer's article. And there we can find that Alekhine himself, in the 1944 BCM, said that he wrote those words, in return for an exit visa. See footnote 138 on page 35.

On the whole I find Mr. Rohrer's work to be ... fact-based. Not the final word, but his research advances our knowledge. And I find your words to be ... emotional.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/22/2021 07:42
@adbennet
You might have put it "Alekhine allegedly wrote ..." , but that might have "triggered" those who are, for the usual reasons, predisposed to present Alekhine as an antisemitic monster. His friendship and kindliness with Flohr, Denker, and other Jewish chess players must also be dismissed as inadmissible evidence. Of course, having lost his family's legacy, property, and station, having in fact lost his country to criminal Bolsheviks may have left him with a pronounced antipathy to Marxist-Leninists, but that's not the same thing as antisemitism, is it ?

Condolences for the ill effects concomitant with your style of play. Consider emulating the play of Spielmann, a contemporary of Alekhine who was less materialistic on the chessboard than many Gentiles.
adbennet adbennet 11/22/2021 07:11
Alekhine wrote: "... while Jewish players were characterised by a defensive, cowardly, opportunistic style of play fixated on material gain."

He has described my style of play perfectly, unfortunately for his argument I am not Jewish at all.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/22/2021 05:46
karban,
The photo in question is well known and published many times, as it was relevant about the debated circumstances of his death: suicide, accident or otherwise.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/22/2021 05:43
WillScarlett, you are a very fast reader – did you already read the full article by Rohrer, or just Rohrer's resume, or just the chessbase article? If it's not the first case, I would for instance like you to ponder on note 137 in Rohrer's article (interview in the Krakauer Zeitung), which is so detailed that it is in my opinion unlikely to have been made up by the interviewer, or to be a 'forced' answer from Alekhine.
Also there is the substantiated story about Alekhine taking a very well payed job in nazi service. As a German (like Bogoljubow) that may have been difficult to refuse, as a Frenchman he could have evaded this without too serious consequences. Keres didn't take a job in nazi service, as far as I know, and neither did Euwe (although he as well played a match against Bogoljubow in Germany). My father also had a 'job' with the German railways: he was packed with many other Dutch men into a freight train and certainly wasn't paid, didn't stay in luxury hotels, and came back with starvation edema. So far with your 'physical coercion'. Even if Alekhine wasn't a hardcore antisemite, he didn't seem to care too much to abstain from its fruits.
I don't know when the first photo in the article of Alekhine was taken, but I guess it was in his later years. When you write an article about that period, it wouldn't suit to publish a younger version. For me it is just a photo of an older man, probably in less than good health, which was the case.
No historian I know claims total objectivity. Historians just collect evidence for an educated opinion.
oxygenes oxygenes 11/22/2021 05:19
@WillScarlett
Our dear Dr. Rohrer is probably such good historian as he is good chessplayer. During WW2 many peoples had hard time, they did things, which they do not liked. And when nowadays we can see politician, which at our peace time openly symphatise nazi ideas with, whole article is probably just prepurposely diging forgoten skeleton in wardrobe.
karban karban 11/22/2021 04:45
The photo of a just deceased person... It borders a bad taste at the very least.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/22/2021 03:39
Rohrer's declarations: "Alekhine, whether every word is his or not, bears responsibility for these [antisemitic Pariser Zeitung] articles, and , further, "Alekhine himself boasted in Spanish newspapers in September 1941 about his treatment of chess from the 'racial point of view'." are both statements of opinion, not of fact. Newspapers, especially those under government control are weightless as evidence. The notion that Alekhine (and his wife) was as free to exercise personal options in 1941 as he was in pre-September 1939 is beyond dubious.
Rohrer's apparent inability to recognize the magnitude of the political and physical coercion that was obviously applied to Alekhine is regrettably evident. The World Champion was literally trapped and under a level of duress many cannot imagine.
Perhaps we can expect Dr. Christian Rohrer to emit an article excoriating Paul Keres for participating in tournaments held in German-controlled territory in those times?
Congratulations on your selection of the least attractive photo of Alekhine I have ever seen to head your article.
Couldn't you have used Photo Shop to give Alekhine an eye patch and a dueling scar ?
Every historian lays claim to steadfast objectivity. No historian achieves it.
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