Alfred Nakache

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Alfred Nakache
Alfred nakache.jpg
Alfred Nakache in 1938.
Medal record
Men's swimming
Representing  France
European Championships
Silver medal – second place 1938 London 4×200 m freestyle

Alfred Nakache (November 18, 1915 in Constantine, French Algeria – 1983) was a Jewish French swimmer and water polo player. A member of the French team for the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games, he also swam in the first post-war Summer Olympics in London in 1948. He is one of two Jewish athletes, as far as is known, to have competed in the Olympics after surviving the Holocaust.[1]

Nakache set the world record in the 200 metre breaststroke with a time of 2:36.8[2] on July 6, 1941 in the long course seawater pool in Catalans in Marseilles. Since FINA at the time recognized world records set in either short course (25 metre) or long course (50 metre) pools for the 200 metre breaststroke, his record was easily broken by Joe Verdeur in 1946 in a short course pool. Ironically, Verdeur won the gold medal in the 1948 London Olympics in the 200 metre breaststroke with a time of 2:39.3 in a long course pool well off of Nakache's long course record pace. Nakache was there, but time in a Nazi concentration camp had taken its toll. If records were measured as they are today in long and short course pools, Verdeur did eventually break Nakache's long course world record of 2:36.8 in 1948 at the US Olympic trials with a time of 2:36.3.

Nakache was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He was the subject of a French documentary in 2001, entitled Alfred Nakache, the Swimmer of Auschwitz.

Preceded by

Jack Kasley
Men's 200-metre breaststroke
world record-holder (long course)

July 6, 1941 – 1948
Succeeded by

Joe Verdeur

Records & championships[edit]

  • World—200 m butterfly—1941
  • World—relay 3 X 100 m3 strokes—1946
  • Europe—100 m butterfly—1941
  • France—400 m butterfly—1943
  • France—relay 4 X 200 m freestyle—1946
  • Champion of France—100 m freestyle in 1935-38, and 1941–42
  • Champion of France—200 m freestyle in 1937-38, and 1941–42
  • Champion of France—200 m butterfly in 1938, 1941–42, and 1946
  • Champion of France—400 m freestyle in 1942
  • Champion of France—relay 4 X 200 m freestyle in 1937-39, 1942, 1944-52 (13 titles, including 9 consecutive)
  • University champion—100 m freestyle in 1936
  • Champion of North Africa—100 m freestyle in 1931

Maccabiah Games silver medal in 1935–100 m freestyle

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steve Lipman (August 13, 2004). "The Olympics and The Holocaust". Jewish Federations of North America. Archived from the original on April 16, 2013.
  2. ^ New York Times 9 July 1941 Page 26

External links[edit]