Part I of VII Gottfried von Cramm, the outstanding German tennis player of the 1930s, really began to come into his own about halfway between the two world wars. At his best he was capable of beating anyone, including players such as Fred Perry and Don Budge. Von Cramm was lucky in that German players had been readmitted to overseas tennis tournaments in 1927, just a few years before he developed a world-class game, so he was thus able to hone his skills against the top foreign players. He was so good that it is hard to pick a better German tennis player in all of the years before 1939. After World War One German players like Otto Froitzheim, Oskar Kreuzer and the Kleinschroth brothers, Heinrich and Robert, were still good enough to win some of the tournaments they were allowed to play in, and the top two German players who came immediately after them, Hans Moldenhauer and Daniel Prenn, were excellent players, too. Moldenhauer, who won the singles title at the Germany Championships in 1926 and 1927, was killed in a road accident at the end of 1929, at the age of 28. In 1928, Daniel Prenn had dispossessed Moldenhauer of the German Championships singles title, beating him in the final match, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3, in a tournament with a good overseas entry. Prenn was not quite 24 years old at the time. In more ways than one Prenn had come a long way to reach the position of German number one. In his book "A Terrible Splendour" (2010), Marshall Jon Fisher wrote the following about Prenn: "Born a Jew in the Lithuanian city of Vilnius (then part of Russia) in 1904, he had grown up mostly in Saint Petersburg. Czarist Russia was no paradise for Jews. Even in the urbane, progressive Saint Petersburg, Jews were subject to extreme restricitions. There were quotas on how many Jews could practise the law, how many could be admitted to hospitals, and how many could be buried in city cemeteries. They could be expelled from the city at any moment on the slimmest of pretexts. And in the provinces millions of Jews perished in intermittent, bloody pogroms between 1821 and 1917. "Then things got worse. After the Russian Revolution in 1917,, it was clear that the Communists were no saviours of the Jews. Pogroms broke out again during the revolution and ensuing civil war, killing another 70,000 to 250,000 civilian Jews. Along with the Russian aristocracy, who were being hunted down and executed by the Bolsheviks, many Jews chose to emigrate. Prenn fled with his family, along with thousands of others, down the well-worn escape route: south to the Crimea, of which the White Army still had control, by ship to the Balkans, and the northwest by rail to Berlin. "Berlin had long had a reputation of tolerance toward political refugees, and in 1920, when the Prenns arrived, it was also a very cheap place to live. Half a million Russians fleeing the revolution settled in the German capital, 'imitating,' as [Vladimir] Nabokov wrote, 'in foreign cities a dead civilisation, the remote, almost legendary, almost Sumerian mirages of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, 1900-16 (which, even then... sounded like 1910-1900 B.C.).' [...] "Daniel Prenn and Nabokov might even have met at [the] Rot-Weiss [Lawn Tennis Club, in Berlin], which was probably the club that gave the impecunious literary genius playing privileges based on his skill level. Nabokov had learned an elegantly expert game as a child in Russia, and though he was not a tournament player, he did a part of his living at times in Berlin by giving tennis lessons. [...] But Prenn was not like Nabokov; he was not a literary man, not to be one of those refugees heartbroken over a world lost, those whom the poet Nina Berberova recalled as 'all of us sleepless Russians wandering the streets until dawn,' dreaming of a return one day to a Russia that had finally come to its senses. "Instead, Prenn assimilated into German society and remained in Berlin even when the hyper-inflation of 1923-24 drove most of the Russian community to leave Prague for Paris. Tough-minded and scientific, Daniel flourished at the Charlottenburg Technical High School and worked after school at a sports shop, as money was scarce. He was an enthusiastic boxer and soccer player, and excelled at table tennis, but it was out on the tennis courts that he found his true métier. The red-clay rectangles turned out to be the perfect outlet for his innate combativeness, perhaps intensified by his obligatory role as an outsider. Though he never had the most graceful or powerful game, he was a clever strategist, 'seemingly inexhaustible', and became known as 'the most tenacious tennist in Europe.' "Roman Najuch, who had turned professional early and was one of the world's best players at the time, called him 'the fiercest competitor I ever saw... His iron will to win, cominbed with an astonishing power of concentration, was singular.' By 1929, Prenn had earned a graduate degree in engineering and the number one ranking in German tennis. And that same year he led the German team to its unlikely victory over England."