Do not say, "How was it that the former days were better than these?" For not out of wisdom have you asked concerning this.

Kohelet 7:10

János Garay - Biography

János Garay (February 23, 1889, in Budapest, Hungary – March 5, 1945, in Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, Oberösterreich, Austria) was a Hungarian fencer, and one of the best sabre fencers in the world in the 1920s.


Fencing career

Hungarian Championship

Garay was the Hungarian national sabre champion in 1923.

European and World Championships

In 1925 and 1930, Garay captured the Individual European Sabre Championship gold medal.

He also he won a team sabre gold medal at the 1930 European Championships. The European Championships were predecessor to the World Championships, first held in 1937.


He won silver medal for team saber at the 1924 Paris Olympics. He also won the bronze medal in the individual saber, winning 5 of 7 matches in the finals, including a victory over fellow Hungarian (and teammate) Zoltan Ozoray Schenker.

He also won a gold medal in team saber at the 1928 Amsterdam Games.

The Hungarian team, which included fellow International Jewish Sports Hall of Famers, Attila Petschauer and Sándor Gombos, went undefeated in the competition. They defeated the United States (14–2) and Great Britain (13–3) in the elimination round, beat Germany (12–4) and France (12–4) in the semifinals, and in the finals beat Poland (14–2) and Italy (9–7). Garay won 10 of his 12 bouts.

Concentration Camp and Death

He was one of 437,000 Jews deported from Hungary after Germany occupied the country in 1944.

Garay was killed shortly thereafter, in 1945, in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, shortly before the end of World War II.

Hall of Fame

Garay, who was Jewish, was inducted in 1990 into The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel.

See also

  • List of select Jewish fencers

External links

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