German rower in a coxed four, Horst Hoeck won Gold at the Los Angeles Olympics held in 1932. But when Hoeck fled East Germany from Kleinmachnow in 1947 because he refused to work for the Soviet military, he left his gold medal behind in his escape to the other side, to West Berlin.
Fast forward sixty years later to yesterday when a safe was found in his former Kleinmachnow home while taking down a wall renovating a day care center. Horst had placed his gold medal in a box tucked way back in the safe forgetting his prized possession there forever as he thought it went missing during the family’s harried escape. Horst’s daughter, Karin Horst Isermann, now 76 remarked “My father missed it after his escape and wanted to have it back. But he couldn’t find it and had no idea it was in Kleinmachnow.” Isermann went on to say, “He thought that he had lost it during the escape. And he had wanted it back.”
Although Isermann is happy, “I am also very sad that my father did not live to see it.” Horst died in 1969. “It is very sad because I know he would have been very happy about it. Because it was very close to his heart, this medal. It was a token of his sporting success.”