Hakoah was founded in Vienna in 1909. Its soccer team was Austrian champion in 1925, as was the water polo team in 1927-1928. The wrestlers were also successful and acted in addition as bodyguards for other Hakoah athletes to protect them from anti-Semitic attacks. Fritzi Löwy and Hedy Bienenfeld are the only Austrian women swimmers ever to have won medals at a European championship (1927). Lucie Goldner, Ruth Langer, and Judith Deutsch were nominated for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, but boycotted them as a protest against the Nazi regime. In response, the Austrian Swimming Association banned them for life and stripped them of all their titles. The pro-Zionist Hakoah was instrumental in helping young people in particular to develop their self-awareness. The sporting “muscular Jew” was a counter to the distorted anti-Semitic stereotypes. After 1945, Hakoah again played an important role in re-establishing the Jewish identity.