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Alekhine - Nazi Articles from the publisher "Moravian Chess"

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Title: Alekhine - Nazi Articles (3rd ed.) Author: Ken Whyld
Language: English Pages: 44
Cover: Hardcover Published: 2002
Publisher: Moravian Chess Homepage: http://moravian-chess.cz
Price: $ ?? ISBN: 80-7189-444-3
Reviewed by: Soren Sogaard Date: 10/1 2003

Quick-Review: Alekhine - Nazi Articles (3rd ed.)

World Champion Alexander Alekhine wrote 6 Nazi-Articles in 1941 which first appeared in the German-language newspaper "Pariser Zeitung". Or was it Alekhine who wrote these articles or was there another explanation? In this small book of only 44 pages of which 8 of them are pictures/documents we get the whole story of these articles.

Ken Whyld translated and edited the articles again for this 3rd edition of the book that first appeared in 1986. Ken Whyld wrote an Introduction where we get the story about the articles and the "Publication History". In the chapter "Who and Why" he ask the question:

"Did Alekhine write the articles, and if so, why? The full spectrum of possibilities has been supported at various times:
  1. He wrote none of it
  2. He wrote a harmless historical survey to which someone added the propaganda without his knowledge.
  3. As 2) but with his knowledge
  4. He wrote it but tried to signal insincerity by including absurd statements.
  5. He wrote simply because it was expedient.
  6. He wrote it and meant it.

Which one did...."

Ken Whyld is of the opinion that it was Alekhine who wrote these articles, and I must confess that I am of the same opinion. It was hard times for the World Champion who wanted to have a visa to Portugal and later also wanted to go to the States. This could be an explanation but no excuse. I'm not totally sure that I'm correct and people have to decide for themselves after reading the articles ;-)

Alekhine in the French army, 1940 (Picture from the book)
Alekhine in the French army, 1940 (Picture from the book)

 

Jews Defensive Chess - Aryan Attacking Chess

The Articles made a great damage to Alekhine after the war, and after reading the articles one can understand why! The articles "proofs" that Jews played defensive chess (not the correct kind of chess!) and that the Aryan chessplayers played attacking chess. I can't help thinking that Alekhine must have been in a very difficult position, because the content of these articles can be considered as nonsense to put it mildly! After some interesting observations Alekhine always throw in some absurd accusations, and I can only follow the editorial note from Chess in August 1941:

"If Dr Alekhine indeed wrote this article, we can have no doubt he was in a grip of merciless circumstances. These are indeed sad times."

Ken Whyld translated the articles and comments on the different version that appeared in the different newspapers during and after the war. This little book is nicely edited and you get a good picture about one of the darkest chapters in the history of chess. The pictures in the book could have been of better quality, but that is also my only complaint ;-) Recommend to people who are interested in Chess History.

 

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