The Nazi Games

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Downloaded 5 times

The Olympic games held in Berlin in August of 1936 gave the Nazis a golden opportunity to impress the world with the achievements of the Third Reich, and made the most of it. Signs such as "Juden Ünerwuenscht" (Jews not welcome) were taken down from the shops, hotels, bars & other places of public entertainment. The persecution temporarily stopped, and the country put on its best behaviour. The German government even selected a few token Jewish athletes to compete in the games to play down their racist policies in front of other nations.

        The "Reichsports" field in Berlin, which was built specifically for the Olympics, covered 325 acres, and included 4 stadiums, and was draped with Nazi banners and swastikas. It was not uncommon for Hitler, who was present for all of the competitions to make speeches before the event and drop pamphlets preaching Aryan superiority. The 1936 Olympic games were the first to include the torch relay as an Olympic eventm and also made canoeing an Olympic sport.

They were also the first games to be broadcast over closed-circuit television to other European cities. 49 nations attended the 1936 Olympics, making it the most politically charged games in history.

        On the first afternoon of the games, Hitler excitedly watched two German athletes Tilly Fleischer & Hand Woelike, win gold medals and summoned them to his box for a personal, public congratulation. Soon thereafter, he did the same for a Finnish victor. Later on in the afternoon, Cornelius Johnson a black competitor won the gold in the high-jump competition. Just before the playing of the Star Spangled Banner announcing the awarding of the gold medal, Hitler & his entourage left the stadium. There were many accounts of Hitler "storming out of the stadium" in a tantrum. A Nazi spokesperson explained...