Arthur Jonath

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameArthur Julius•Jonath
Used nameArthur•Jonath
Born9 September 1909 in Bentrop, Fröndenberg/Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalen (GER)
Died11 April 1963 in Neu-Isenburg, Hessen (GER)
Measurements179 cm / 73 kg
AffiliationsTuS Bochum, Bochum (GER)
NOC Germany
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 2


Arthur Jonath was German champion over 100 m and 200 metres in 1931-32. He ran three indoor world records over 50 and 60 m in 1930 and 1931, and recorded another two outdoors over 100 m in 1932 and 1933 and another three with the sprint relay. Jonath started as a boxer, but switched to athletics due to a hand injury. In 1932 at Los Angeles he won a bronze medal in the 100, placed fourth in the 200, and won a silver medal with the 4x100 relay.

After the Los Angeles Games, Jonath stayed in the United States, not returning with the German delegation, after actresses such as Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich invited him to Hollywood. The United States offered him citizenship and a university education, but his stepfather brought him back to Germany. In 1936 Jonath was guest of honor at the Berlin Olympics. During World War II he was an SS officer on the Eastern Front and fell into Russian captivity from where he was transferred to an American prisoner-of-war camp near Frankfurt.

After the war Arthur Jonath ran a gas station and worked as a coach with FSV 1899 Frankfurt. His nephew Ulrich Jonath was a well-known coach with the German Track and Field Association, who went to South America several times in the 1950s for coaching reasons and prepared the Icelandic national team for the 1958 European Championships. From 1960-80 he coached the West German 400 hurdlers.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.50 (1932); 200 – 21.2 (1932).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics GER Arthur Jonath
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Germany 2 Silver