Gustav «Bubi» Scholz proudly presents the photo souvenirs of stations in his life. Photo: Istvan Bajzat / TEH (Image: TEH) (Photo: Istvan Bajzat / TEH)

Hamburg – There are events in a person’s life that can stir up an entire nation. One of the people who did this was professional boxer Gustav “Bubi” Scholz.

Was it murder or negligent homicide? Exactly the background for the shots at his wife Helga in 1984 was never clarified. The newspapers were full, and it was not always possible to distinguish between truth and poetry. The three-year prison sentence was mild. On April 12, Scholz, who died on August 21, 2000, would have been 90 years old.

As a boxer, “Bubi”, as he was known as a former light-weight man due to his slim build, was a celebrated star in the 1950s and 60s. Over time, he gained around 20 kilos, the nickname remained. His merits: German champions, European champions. He had failed on the world title. He never coped with that. Out of 96 professional fights in 16 years, he lost only two.


Scholz served as an image of the upswing in the old Federal Republic after the war: dynamic, gripping, successful. Growing up privately in the Berlin working-class district of Prenzlauer Berg as the son of a blacksmith, later staging opulent parties in a chic villa in Berlin’s Grunewald. Gustav and Helga Scholz were the dream couple par excellence. There was no major social event without them.

Scholz had justified his rise in the boxing ring. “Technically, he was well versed and uncomfortable as a legal interpreter,” says Jean-Marcel Nartz, a top expert on the German and international boxing scene. The former technical director of the Sauerland and Universum boxing stables saw Scholz boxing live as a child and teenager. «In the ring, he was a house number, human but a disaster: arrogant, a living person regardless of losses. Quite a few people wanted to see him lose. » In his autobiography “The Way Out of Nothing”, published in 1980, Scholz described his character: “Ruthless, just not towards myself.”

The high society of that time was fighting for the boxer. Like owning a shiny chrome Mercedes convertible, the proximity to Scholz was a social knighthood. Curd Jürgens, Harald Juhnke, Hardy Krüger, Romy Schneider, Hans Rosenthal, and others went to “Bubi” to drink champagne. The gossip reporters hyperventilated.

He put an end to his boxing career in 1965, and it started with the parties. As the owner of two perfumeries, partner in an advertising agency, occasional pop singer and talent-free actor, money continued to come into the cash register. But from then on, something was different with the dream couple Scholz. “The reason for the descent was that neither of them could cope with the fact that the role of celebrity had ended,” says judge Hans-Joachim Heinze in an ARD documentary. Scholz fell into alcohol, suffered from depression and stumbled from one marriage crisis to the next.

The quarrel with Helga, who also couldn’t get off the bottle, grew. Video recordings of his old battles in the basement of the white villa could no longer comfort him. On the evening of July 22, 1984, the permanent marriage got out of hand. The drunken Scholz shot a gun through the door of the powder room. When the police arrived, Helga Scholz was dead next to the toilet bowl.

He married again six years after his release. The party and death mansion was sold. Since then, “Bubi” Scholz has not been a man for the gossip columns. Strokes, dementia followed. “I worshiped him as a boy,” says Jürgen Kyas, honorary president of the German Boxing Association. “But he completely ruined his reputation through his crash.”

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.



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