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The Berlin Boxing Club
Transcript of The Berlin Boxing Club
One day the school bullies, also known as The Wolf Pack, find out that Karl is Jewish and decide to beat him up after school. He refused to tell what had happened and told everyone that he fell down the stairs. That same night, Max Schmeling, one of Germany's most famous boxers, came to Karl's father's art gallery. Max immediately notices that Karl is hurt and offers to give him boxing lessons in return for his painting. Though the Sterns desperately need money, Karl’s father reluctantly agrees to the deal.
On Karl's first day of boxing lessons, he is put in the ring with one of the veteran fighters at the club. Because of his lack of practice, Karl is made fun of by older boxers for stumbling around and falling backwards after every punch. Max though, praised Karl for his height and his ability to throw a good punch. Determined to not let Max down, Karl trained everyday and went to The Berlin Boxing Club often. He even started shoveling coal for his apartment landlord and tries to get to know his crush, Greta Hauser.
Karl’s one saving grace is boxing, but when he is disqualified at a German Youth Tournament in 1937 and barred from competing, he can no longer can use boxing as an escape. He stops going to the Berlin Boxing Club. When he finally does return, he discovers that the club has been sold and turned into place where blankets are made. Meanwhile, Max is in the US, preparing for a rematch with Joe Lewis. When Max loses the rematch, he also loses all his standing and creditability with the upper aristocrats of the Nazi regime. He returns the Excelsior Hotel in Germany, defeated.
While Karl becomes more and more proficient at boxing, life at home becomes more and more difficult. His father is always angry and critical of Karl, Hildy is unhappy and afraid, and his mother is severely depressed and distant. To make matters worse, he has started a relationship with Greta, something expressly forbidden in Nazi Germany. As if things couldn't get any worse, his father’s art gallery is forced to close, and the family must live on the little money earned from his private printing business, which includes making flyers for parties given by a drag queen named the Countess.
The Berlin Boxing Club
opens with Karl Stern, a teenage boy living in Berlin, Germany in the Nazi era. He lives in an apartment with his mom, dad, and sister, Hildy. His family is Jewish by race, but they don't have a religion, so he doesn't consider them Jewish at all. Fortunately for Karl and his mother, they resemble Germans. His father and Hildy on the other hand aren't so lucky; the two of them look Jewish.
The Berlin Boxing Club
By Robert Sharenow
Prezi by Erica Kwok
After a Jew in Poland kills a German Ambassador, many bands of Nazis terrorize the part of the city where Karl and his family are living. During the night of Kristallnacht, roving Hitler Youth members break into the gallery and stab Karl's father in the side, leaving him seriously wounded. Karl tries his best to fight them off, but does not succeed. He said, "I felt the edges of their boots stomp on the back of my head and neck until everything went black." His mother and Hildy stay in the back, hiding.
Berlin, Germany (Nazi Germany 1930s)
Believing is everything/ Never lose hope on something you are destined to do.
Karl wakes up to find the gallery completely trashed. His mom is using makeshift bandages to wrap his Mr. Stern's wounds. She takes him to the hospital, leaving Karl and his sister home alone during an attack. Knowing he must seek help, Karl calls his father's business associate, the Countess. The Countess comes and brings Karl and Hildy to his apartment in Berlin. He tries to comfort them and make them think about other, happier things.
Weeks pass as the Stern family tries to locate their father with no success. Their mother decides to pack up some books from the gallery and give them to her kids. Max helps send Karl and Hildy to America to stay with their cousins while their parents remain in Germany. There they can finally get their well deserved education, be free from the Nazis, and Karl can resume his passion for boxing.
The next morning, the Countess found a phone Karl could use. He called every hospital he could think of in an attempt to locate his father, but it was no use. He gets tired of waiting and goes to the Excelsior Hotel to find Max and see if he can help. Max takes the siblings up to his hotel room and helps them locate his mother, only to find out that their father has been taken to a concentration camp.
Fast Fact: This hotel was hit by a bomb on February 3, 1945.
Kristallnacht in Berlin, Germany
November 9, 1938