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Fencing at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's Sabre, Individual

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): State Armory of the 160th Infantry, Olympic Park, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 12, 1932
Date Finished: August 13, 1932

Gold: HUN György Jekelfalussy-Piller
Silver: ITA Giulio Gaudini
Bronze: HUN Endre Kabos

Summary

The last fencing event at the 1932 Olympics was the individual sabre. Although expected to be very exciting, the organizational weaknesses here proved distressing as the final pool lasted nearly six hours. The Hungarians were favored as they dominated sabre fencing in this era, with the 1930-31 world championship having gone to György Piller-Jekelfalussy. Piller-Jekelfalussy won the gold medal, as expected, but the silver went to the surprising Giulio Gaudini of Italy, ahead of Hungary’s Endre Kabos, who narrowly edged out Germany’s Erwin Casmir for bronze.

Hungarian Attila Petschauer had been favored for a medal, but came in fifth. Petschauer, who was Jewish, was arbitrarily arrested by the Nazis in the summer of 1942 and assigned to hard labor in the Davidovka concentration camp, which was effectively a death sentence, and as a prominent prisoner, he was singled out for the harshest treatment. When in January 1943 his former teammate and current overseer Kálmán Cseh von Szent-Katolna identified him as an Olympic champion, Petschauer was beaten with a wire whip until his spine was exposed, until Colonel General Burdenko, chief surgeon of the Red Army, arrived a bit later, and stopped the brutality, but could not save his life. Petschauer was forced to climb a tree naked in the frigid weather, and had cold water sprayed on him. He died shortly thereafter. A documentation of this case appeared in the 1970s in Hungary and Petschauer’s death by torture was the subject of the 1999 movie Sunshine starring Ralph Fiennes.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 György Jekelfalussy-Piller 33 Hungary HUN Gold
2 Giulio Gaudini 27 Italy ITA Silver
3 Endre Kabos 25 Hungary HUN Bronze
4 Erwin Casmir 36 Germany GER
5 Attila Petschauer 27 Hungary HUN
6 John Huffman 27 United States USA
7 Ivan Osiier 43 Denmark DEN
8 Arturo De Vecchi 34 Italy ITA
9 Norman Cohn-Armitage 25 United States USA
10 Emilio Salafia 21 Italy ITA
6 p1 r2/3 Edward Gardère 23 France FRA
6 p2 r2/3 Peter Bruder 24 United States USA
7 p1 r2/3 Leszek Lubicz-Nycz 32 Poland POL
7 p2 r2/3 Jean Piot 42 France FRA
8 p1 r2/3 Adam Papée 37 Poland POL
8 p2 r2/3 Antonio Haro 21 Mexico MEX
9 p1 r2/3 Francisco Valero 26 Mexico MEX
9 p2 r2/3 Władysław Segda 37 Poland POL
7 p1 r1/3 Gerónimo Delgadillo 32 Mexico MEX
7 p2 r1/3 Axel Bloch 21 Denmark DEN
7 p3 r1/3 Carmelo Merlo 51 Argentina ARG
8 p1 r1/3 Pat Farrell Canada CAN
8 p2 r1/3 Georges de Bourguignon 22 Belgium BEL
8 p3 r1/3 Doris de Jong 30 Netherlands NED
9 p3 r1/3 Aage Leidersdorff 22 Denmark DEN