A member of the German men's gymnastics team at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens (in 1896), Flatow was one of the most successful athletes at the Games. He won gold medals in the individual parallel bars, team parallel bars, and team horizontal bars, and a silver medal in the individual horizontal bars. Flatow's four medals tied him for the second most at the Athens Games.
Alfred's cousin was Gustav Felix Flatow, who also competed in the 1896 Olympics. In 1936, the Nazis moved against the Berlin Gymnastic Club (of which Flatow was a famous member), and forced the Jewish members to resign. Rupert Naumann, chairman of the Club, expressed support of Flatow and the other Jewish athletes. Flatow, however, was unable to resist the Nazis and wrote to Naumann: "For your expressions of your private feelings, I thank you very much. Concerning my own feelings and thoughts I prefer to keep silent." In 1942, Flatow was killed at Theresienstadt, a victim of the Holocaust.
In 1898, at the Ninth Athletic Festival of German Athletes, Alfred won the Twelve Rounds competition, a series of gymnastic events. He considered the victory as important as his Olympic achievements. In 1997, Reichssportsfeld Strasse (street of the National Sports Complex) in Berlin was renamed Flatowallee (Flatow Blvd.). In 1998, the German Postal Service issued a 200-mark stamp commemorating the Olympic Centennial, featuring the Flatow cousins. Alfred is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Oct. 3, 1869 - d. Dec. 28, 1942
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
Great Jews in Sports by Robert Slater (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000, (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999)