Albert Wolff (fencer)

Albert Wolff (July 13, 1906 – June 14, 1989) was a French-born American Olympic fencer. Wolff was born in Barr, Bas-Rhin, France, and was Jewish.[1][2][3] He later lived in Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States.[4][5]

Albert Wolff
Personal information
NationalityFrench; American
Born(1906-07-13)July 13, 1906
Barr, Bas-Rhin, France
DiedJune 14, 1989(1989-06-14) (aged 82)
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
CountryUnited States
ClubLouisville Fencers


Wolff qualified for the French Olympic Team but boycotted the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, withdrawing from France's national team on principle because he was a Jew.[2][6][4] He said: "I cannot participate in anything sponsored by Adolf Hitler, even for France."[7]

He fought in the French Army during World War II, and was awarded the Croix de Guerre by France for bravery during fierce fighting on the Maginot Line.[8][4] The Germans captured him and put him in a Jewish war camp.[8] Wolff escaped, and made it to Portugal, and then to the United States in 1941.[8][4] He joined the US Army, and returned to Europe, fighting the Germans.[8]

After the war was over, he petitioned the Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA) to allow him to fence in the US National Fencing Championships.[4] He was AFLA individual national épée champion in 1946.[8]

He competed for the United States at the age of 42 in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London in individual and team épée, and at the age of 46 in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki in team épée.[4][8] His fencing club was the Louisville Fencers.[8]

In 1948, he was Athlete of the Year in Kentucky.[4] He won a gold medal in team foil, and a silver medal in team épée, at the 1951 Pan American Games.[8]

Wolff died at the age of 82 in Scottsdale, Arizona.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bob Wechsler. Day by Day in Jewish Sports History
  2. ^ a b Richard D. Mandell. The Nazi Olympics
  3. ^ Paul Taylor. Jews and the Olympic Games: the clash between sport and politics : with a complete review of Jewish Olympic medallists
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Wolff, Albert – Museum Of American Fencing
  5. ^ Collier's ... Year Book Covering the Year ..., P.F. Collier & Son., 1961.
  6. ^ David Clay Large. Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936
  7. ^ 29 October 1948 Jewish Post.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Albert Wolff Olympic Results". Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved June 21, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)