Alfred Schwarzmann (22 March
1912 ‚Äď 11 March 2000) was a German Olympic Gymnast and
Fallschirmj√§ger during World War II.
three Gold medals and two Bronze medals in the Gymnastics at the 1936
Summer Olympics in Berlin and another
Silver medal in the Gymnastics at the 1952
Summer Olympics in Helsinki.
he was awarded
the Knight's Cross of
the Iron Cross
Schwarzmann joined the 13th Company of the Nuremberg Infantry Regiment on April1,
1935 after signing up for a twelve year period of service.
promoted to Unteroffizier on May 1,
1935 and was a member of the Gymnastics
team preparing for the 1936 Olympic
Games in Berlin, where he
won three Gold medals and two Bronze medals.
Schwarzmann served as an army sports instructor at the Army Sport
School in W√ľnsdorf
. From there he went to
II Battalion, 1st Parachute Regiment in Stendal on January
1, 1939 and later to Braunschweig.
On March 11, 1940 he was promoted to
and on April 1
became commander of a machine gun platoon in
the 8th Company of the 1st Parachute Regiment.
On May 10,
1940 Schwarzmann and his company parachuted into Holland and took a
key enemy position on the coast.
This they held until relief
forces arrived. In the course of the fighting Schwarzmann was badly
wounded when a bullet pierced a lung. Near Dordrecht he was discovered by a Dutch soldier, speedskater Siem
Heiden, who recognized his fellow Olympian and brought him to
Alfred Schwarzmann received both Iron
on May 25, 1940 and four days later the Knight's Cross of the Iron
Battle of Crete Schwarzmann saw
action in the Heraklion area.
Promoted to Hauptmann
on June 27, 1942, he led the 3rd
Parachute Regiment's 8th Company and was later made company
commander. From 1941 to 1942 he fought in Russia on the Eastern front
On March 15, 1943 he became commander of the headquarters of the
7th Air Division
Afterwards he held the same position with the 1st Parachute
Schwarzmann was forced to enter the Luftwaffe hospital in
Munich on March 4, 1944 because of his old wound.
On April 20, 1945 he was promoted to Major
Schwarzmann was held prisoner of war by the British from May 9 to
October 29, 1945.
Schwarzmann participated in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki as a forty year old and won a Silver medal.
His daughter is the former and first Bundestrainerin
(national head coach) in Equestrian
, international referee and renowned coach Helma Schwarzmann
. She is one of the most
successful coaches world wide, having won more than 30 World
Championship titles in her career.
Jack G√ľnthard, winner of the Gold
medal Horizontal bar at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics about Alfred
Schwarzmann: "The victory should have belonged to Alfred ‚Äď but he
was a German" (Der Sieg h√§tte eigentlich Alfred geb√ľhrt - aber
er war eben Deutscher.)
- Kurowski and Fellgiebel present contradicting dates for the
- Scherzer 2007, p. 696.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Tr√§ger des
Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg,
Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Kurowski, Franz. Knights of the Wehrmacht Knight's Cross
Holders of the Fallschirmj√§ger. Schiffer Military. ISBN
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuztr√§ger 1939‚Äď1945 Die
Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer,
Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit
Deutschland verb√ľndeter Streitkr√§fte nach den Unterlagen des
Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers
Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Williamson, Gordon and Bujeiro, Ramiro (2004). Knight's
Cross and Oak Leaves Recipients 1939-40. Osprey Publishing
Ltd. ISBN 1-84176-641-0.