Rudi Victor Ball, a member of the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame, was one of two Jewish athletes to represent Germany in the 1936 Winter Olympic Games.
During his playing career, spanning 1928 to 1952, his teams won the German championship eight times. He played in 49 international games for Germany, including four world championships, scoring 19 goals. Three goals came in the 1932 Winter Olympics where Germany won a bronze medal.
Ball was voted the best European ice hockey player in 1930 and was considered one of the most popular and dreaded European ice hockey players prior to the Second World War. Ball scored more 500 goals during his career.
When the German Olympic Committee threatened to have Ball removed from the team because he was Jewish, just prior to the ’36 Games, his teammates stood behind him and threatened to boycott the Olympics. Hockey saved Ball and his family from the Holocaust.