|May-22-04|| ||Gypsy: ...that was Samish.
Another interesting encounter of that WWII Easter Tournament in Prague was that with Praue master Dietze. We had an interesting game. I won it and we chatted about life afterwards. Dietze spoke Czech without a glint of accent. Thus soon I casually asked him whether he heard the latest news from London broadcast: that Germans suffered a string of serious setbacks on all fronts. "I did not heard that, but it is very interesting; the War should be over soon, anyway," was Dietze's jovial reply.
At that moment I felt a kick from behind from Foltys; he pulled me away a visibly distraught whispered: "What are you doing?! Dietze is with SS, he works at Prague Gestapo!!"
I almost fainted. That evening I expected a knock on my door. But nobody came. Next day, at the tournament, Dietze was friendly and we talked about chess.
In May 1945, we learned two things: First of all, Dietze saved dozens, perhaps hundreds of people from arrest and concentration camps. Twenty-three of them have singed sworn affidavits to that effect. Second, Dietze was presently in Soviet custody and faced imminent firing squad. We quickly typed up a petition and several of us, Czech chess-players, signed it. Thelen---a pre-War member of Czech Communist Party---immediately went to negotiate with the Russian camp commander. At the end, Dietze was released and he was also excluded from the deportations of German nationals from Czechoslovakia. He visited me several times and I was helping him to a get a job. I was then already in all sorts of committees; so I printed all sorts of certificates for Dietze, completed with all sorts of official stamps for clean bill of health. But it was all for naught. Nobody offered him a job, except for the most menial physical labor. "You know, German," I was told; "people would spit us in the face if we gave him a job."
At the end, Dietze visited me at home: he would emigrate to Germany on his own accord. He could not live among people for whom he was only half human.
From Germany, I got a letter and a postcard. I wrote Dietze twice, but received no reply. Only years later I learned that he was a victim of some dye-hard-nazi vigilante justice. What a fate: Dietze could not live among Czechs because he was ethnic German, and in Germany he lived only briefly, because he was decent to Czechs during the War! World is a very confused place, but I see that it only now. Back then I pontificated against International Reactionaries.
|May-23-04|| ||Lawrence: <Gypsy>, thanks for that wonderful tribute to a man who lost his life for saving the lives of other chessplayers. |
|May-23-04|| ||tomh72000: Thankyou so much for that moving story, <Gypsy>. I had never heard this before, and I am curious to know if anything has been done as a memorial to Dietze, e.g. a tournament named after him. |
|May-23-04|| ||Gypsy: <a memorial to Dietze, e.g. a tournament named after him> I think that is a great idea! And Prague would be the perfect venue for Dietze Memorial Tournament. |
At present, Dietze seems practically forgotten. All I know about is the peripheral reminiscence in Pachman's memoar I translated above.
|May-23-04|| ||tomh72000: OK, thanks. I agree, a Prague tournament named after him would be great. |
|Nov-05-10|| ||perfidious: It's a pity that such a decent man should be all but forgotten. If not for Dietze and other brave souls, things could only have been even worse than they were for those under the Nazi yoke.|
|Nov-05-10|| ||HeMateMe: <Only years later I learned that he was a victim of some dye-hard-nazi vigilante justice. >|
Are you saying he was killed in post WWII Germany because he was thought to be an SS man? Or, he was killed because he was Jewish, killed by surviving Nazis?
|Nov-05-10|| ||perfidious: <HeHateMe> This isn't entirely clear to me, either; in postwar Poland, there were cities in which ethnic Germans were forcibly expelled, and pre-1939 Sudetenland was heavily German. Many of the ethnic Czechs probably loathed him as a German, unaware of his actions during the war.|
|Nov-05-10|| ||Stonehenge: I have made a short bio and will be uploading some more games. RIP Max Dietze.|
|Nov-05-10|| ||whiteshark: I wouldn't consider Pachman as a trustworthy historican, but rather a 'good' storyteller. In this regard some post war nazi conspiracy always worked. [So he alone, and many years later, dicovered the whole truth. Even more remarkable as he lived on the far side of the Iron Curtain until 1972./irony off]|
Dietze died of an heart attack while playing round 8 of Frankfurt city championship 1953/54 where he was at that time second in the table.
Picure and final table: http://bezirk-frankfurt.schach-chro...
|Nov-05-10|| ||HeMateMe: Well, looks like the "Odessa" people didn't go after him, after all.|
|Jun-21-11|| ||Chessist: Gerald Schendel wrote about Dietze in the German chess magazine "Rochade": June 1999, p 71, July 1999, p 61-64, August 1999, p 99, September 1999, p 13, and May 2000, p 62.
He died Nov, 11th or Dec, 12th, 1953.|