Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

The Anti-semitic Deputy Who Was Saved from Drowning by a Jew: Rescuer Tells His Story

August 19, 1924
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Posner, the medical officer of the health resort of Leba, who a few days ago jumbed into the sea and rescued the anti-Semitic leader Deputy Richard Kunze, known as “Knueppel” (Cudgel) Kunze, tells the story of the rescue in an interview with the press today. Deputy Kunze had come down to address an anti-Semitic meeting at Leba and had gone bathing afterwards.

I know the place thoroughly and am acquainted with all the winds and currents, said Dr. Posner, so I was not running any risk. Kunze bathed on a day when there was a heavy north wester blowing, and the sea was rough. He walked out into the sea so carelessly that I remarked at once to my wife that he would soon be driven back. I had hardly finished the worlds when I saw him hanging on the iron railing which marks off the bathing place. If he had not lost his head that would have been enough to save him; but he lost his head completely, crying out, “help me; take me out;” In his struggling he lost his bathing suit and stood there stark naked. I swam out, brought him to land and wrapped him in my bathing towel, and that is all. I might add that Kunze did not think it worth while to say “thank you” to me. He found out, of course, that I am Jew. I readily excuse him, for I agree that the saving of his life is not worth the thanks. When it is a matter of someone being in difficulties in the water, I shall never stop to think of anything. I shall go in to save him. Afterwards, if I find I have saved another Knueppel Kunze I shall manage without his thanks. As a matter of fact, his thanks would be an insult to me.

Recommended from JTA