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Julius Hirsch

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJulius•Hirsch
Used nameJulius•Hirsch
Born7 April 1892 in Achern, Baden-Württemberg (GER)
Died8 May 1945 in Oświęcim, Małopolskie (POL)
AffiliationsKarlsruher FV, Karlsruhe (GER)
NOC Germany


Julius Hirsch was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on 1 March 1943. His last sign of life came two days later, when he sent a postcard to his children. He is presumed to have died only a few days later in the gas chambers, but was only officially declared dead on 8 May 1945 by the Amtsgericht (District Court) Karlsruhe in 1950, when his date of death was put at the end of the war.

Hirsch earned seven cups between 1911 and 1913, won the 1910 German Championship with Karlsruher FV and in 1914 with SpVgg Fürth. He joined the Karlsruher FV team for the first time when he was only 17-years-old (in 1909). As a left winger he became best known for his stooped running and his strong left-sided shots. In 1910, 1911 and 1912 he helped Karlsruher FV win the South German Championship and led them to the 1912 German national final, where they lost to Holstein Kiel 0-1. During the days of the Third Reich his name was not listed among the German Internationals.

Hirsch then served in World War I and earned the Eiserne Kreuz II. Klasse (Iron Cross 2nd class). From 1919 he worked for the Deutsche Signalflaggenfabrik (German Signal Flag Factory) which was owned by his father. The company had restructured its products after the war to produce sports articles and leatherware. The trademark „Hirsch“ was best known worldwide for its leather footballs. After his father’s death, he and his brother Max inherited the company but it went bankrupt in 1933. He then worked as a commercial agent and as a football trainer in a Jewish club, but with little success in those troubled times.

Hirsch divorced his wife in 1939 to protect his family against the Nazi Jewish terror. In 1943 he was informed by the Gestapo that he had to prepare himself for a “work effort” at Auschwitz and was deported soon. His children Heinold and Esther – so called “first half breeds” - were also deported in January 1945 to the Terezín concentration camp, but survived and returned to Karlsruhe on 16 June of the same year.

In 2005 the Deutscher Fußballbund (German Football Federation) founded the Julius-Hirsch-Preis for exceptional efforts for tolerance and human dignity, against extremism, hatred for foreigners and anti-Semitism.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1912 Summer Olympics Football (Football) GER Julius Hirsch
Football, Men (Olympic) Germany =9

Special Notes