One of the forgotten stories of the Nazi regime is their oppression of their own tennis hero, Gottfried von Cramm. Born into an aristocratic family and possessing stereotypical Aryan good looks, von Cramm had the unfortunate luck of winning the French Open the year Hitler rose to power. Furious that von Cramm wouldn't allow himself to be a tool of the regime, Hitler had already ear-marked von Cramm for agony when he played American Don Budge in the 1937 Davis Cup Final.
That match, considered by many to be the greatest ever played, has now been dissected into its fascinating personal and political ramifications by author Marshall Jon Fisher in his new book A Terrible Splendor. A freelance journalist who has written for The Atlantic and Harper's, Fisher recounts the back and forth nature of the match while weaving in the relevant history. Fisher will read from the book and take questions afterward.
Wed., April 22, 8 p.m., 2009