He was German wrestler of great repute.In 1933 at German wrestling championship he refused to give Nazi salute while receiving the medal. He was banned from sports events for 16 months. He took part in championship even in Russia too. He joined Robert UHRIG group for resistance against Nazis. His activities were monitored by Gestapo and he was arrested on 4 February 1942. He suffered at nine concentration camps and prisons for 2 1/2 years. His weight reduced from 90 kg to mere 60 kg. He was tried at people's court and sentenced to death for high treason. he was executed on 24 October 1944. He was beheaded by an axe. in post war period many places were named after him and he was made a hero. However during Cold War period with anti communist West Germany his memory was eroded. In 2008 his name was inscribed in Germany's hall of fame for sport personalities.