Meisl was Germany’s leading sportswriter during the
1920s through mid-1930s.
From 1924 through 1933, Meisl
was editor of Berlin’s
Vossische Zeitung, Germany’s leading newspaper. He
was also editor of the influential book Sport am Scheidewege,
which featured articles by Bertold Brecht, Egon Erwin Kisch
and Arnold Bronnen, three of Germany’s most prominent
After the April, 1933 Nazi “Machtergreifung”,
Meisl authored an extensive Vossische Zeitung article about
Germany’s top Jewish sportsmen that, in the context
of the times, was a daring piece of journalism. Nonetheless,
the publisher of the “VZ”stood between journalistic
license and infuriated “new order” German authorities.
But this protection lasted less than a year, and by January
1934, Meisl was forced to emigrate to England.
Meisl joined the staff of World Journalist, the official
publication of the British Olympic Committee. He entered
the British Army in 1940, through
1943, and served at the British Foreign Office 1943-1946.
Following World War II, Meisl was the London sports correspondent
leading dailies, Dagens Nyheter (morning) and Exporessen (evening), as well
newspapers in Switzerland, Germany and England.
Meisl was a primary contributor to the German books Olympia
1928 and Olympia 1932. He authored the books: Der
Schwimmsport (w/P. Winter) in 1925, Boxen 1925, Der Fussballsport 1925, Der
Sport am Scheideweg 1928, Fussball, der
Welsport 1930, and ABC des Fussballspiels. His 1955 book,
Soccer Revolution, discussed
modern soccer systems, and he co-authored a booklet, Sonderabdruck aus
Juden im Deutschen Kulturbereich, published just before his death in 1968.
Meisl received his doctorate of laws degree in Vienna
in 1922. As a student, he ranked among Austria’s top all-around athletes. In the years “around
World War I”, he was goalkeeper for the Wiener amateur soccer team and
toured Sweden with his club. In 1920, Meisl was goalkeeper for the Austrian
national soccer team. He coached the Hammarby IF soccer team in Stockholm a
He was also a member of the Austrian national water polo team, and a champion
swimmer, boxer and tennis player.
In 1954, British weekly World Sports accorded Meisl the
No. 1 Soccer Critic”.
Following a long illness, Meisl died of cancer in 1968.