The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936

The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936


NARRATOR: They were days of glory, and gold. GLICKMAN: If I could use a single word to
describe Berlin during that period of time, the word would be “carnival.” NARRATOR: As U.S. sprinter Marty Glickman
remembers it, the view was grand for those two weeks in August of 1936 as Berlin hosted
the world’s greatest athletes for the 11th Olympic Games. International visitors were
warmly welcomed, but behind the pomp and pageantry were ominous signs. GLICKMAN: The swastika was all over, on virtually
every other banner we saw there was a swastika. NARRATOR: The benefit of hindsight, and history,
helps us see these were more than just games. BLOOMFIELD: These weren’t the Berlin Olympics.
These were the Nazi Olympics. NARRATOR: They were also an opportunity for
the regime to create the illusion of a new Germany on the world stage. But the reality
was quite different. Jews were excluded from all German sports teams and clubs, but the
Nazis put Jewish international track and field star Gretel Bergmann on the Olympic roster
to fend off international critics. Removed from the German team at the last minute, Margaret
Lambert — as she is now known — recalls her reaction. LAMBERT: I would have been a loser, either
way. Because had I won, there would have been such an insult against the German psyche
— how can a Jew be good enough to win the Olympics? — that I would have had to be afraid
for my life, I am sure. And had I lost, I would have been made as a joke. NARRATOR: Off the field, the truth about what
the Nazis were doing was hard to miss. BACHRACH: Many Americans could open their
newspapers, and on the front page they could see stories about what was going on in Nazi
Germany so it certainly wasn’t secret. NARRATOR: By 1936, Germany’s Jews and other
minorities had been stripped of their civil rights, even their citizenship, and the Nazi
regime had already opened its first concentration camps. BLOOMFIELD: Everybody knew. Everybody knew
early on exactly the kind of regime Nazi Germany was, so much so that for the first time in
the history of the modern Olympic Games there was talk about boycotting these games. NARRATOR: The debate raged. BACHRACH: They’re all trying to decide what
to do. Should they go? Did that mean that they would be somehow putting a stamp of approval
on a regime that many people felt was abhorrent? Or was it just a sporting contest? NARRATOR: In the end, 49 nations including
the United States, came to Berlin for the Nazi Olympics, and watched as Aryan athletes
followed in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks, bringing fire from Mount Olympus in the first
ever Olympic torch relay. BACHRACH: The torch run relay was a perfect
event for them and they had such a superb propaganda machine that they were able to
exploit it in every way to get the maximum propaganda value out of it. [A starter pistol is fired. The crowd applauds.] NARRATOR: Popular history remembers Jesse
Owens’ four gold medals, an Olympic first, as a triumph over the myth of Aryan supremacy.
But a closer look reveals an Olympic victory for Nazi Germany’s propaganda campaign as
well. BLOOMFIELD: This was a major corruption of
the Olympic ideals. And this was a total propaganda victory for the Nazis. This was creating an
illusion of a peaceful and tolerant nation. And the world wanted to believe this illusion,
allowing itself to be completely deceived. NARRATOR: The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
has updated and expanded its special exhibition THE NAZI OLYMPICS: Berlin 1936. Visitors will
see many never before displayed pieces. The uniforms of the U.S. track stars. The medals
awarded to legendary African American athletes Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. Their souvenirs.
And from that first relay, a torch that carried the Olympic flame. With the opening of THE
NAZI OLYMPICS: Berlin 1936, visitors have a chance to reflect and to remember those
Games as more than history.

58 Replies to “The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936”

  1. You must be truly arrogant to think that Americans do not look back on their own past of racism. The entire world looks back at the 1936 Olympics because of the Nazis. It is a historical milestone. You sound as if we are calling Germans racist today because of their past. Absolutely not.

    However, you are only kidding yourself to compare slavery to genocide.

  2. Berlin was a front-runner along with Beijing in the bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics, but those games were awarded to Sydney, Australia.

  3. whats your point? huh? You can say something about every if not most of the countries that ever hosted the Olympics, wtf is your point, have the Oympics in Greenland? Every great nations have a lot to be proud of and a lot to be ashame of. Look at your own life, you should you go hide under a rock for not being perfect?

  4. I'm sorry your ignorant about history. Do you know what a "pogrom" is? Look it up. Then you'll realize that Jews have been persecuted for millennia.

  5. And that someone will realize how evil much of the world is. I notice how you said "don't get persecuted AGAIN." You highlight yourself how anti-semitism thrives on ignorance for years and passes on to the next generation, which includes yourself.

  6. What ethnicity are you? Do you think everyone in that group should be persecuted and killed for the flaws of a few, and not only that, because lies are spread about them? Have you ever known a Jewish person?

  7. Apparently you haven't met a Jewish person or don't know they're Jewish. You mention links to Jews from racist videos. That says a lot about you.

  8. Your channel is littered with hate propaganda. I truly feel sorry for you. I guess the best advice I can give you is to start researching your sources and knowing both sides. Otherwise, you will lose yourself in lies.

  9. Thank you for this. A very well constructed brief history; you might have mentioned how Owens was treated by America after he won those meddles.

  10. i dont see nazis, i see german people.

    german people who follow like the
    good little puppets they are.

    to follow blindley is the nazi way after all.

  11. desperate for peace? i would say so. "deluded" might be stretching. but considering the devastation france and britain suffered in WWI coupled with the financial crisis of the great depression, i think they were pretty keen on not fighting another war. So i think you are right on track. of course history would show that ww2 would be far worse in terms of material, human, and moral costs. but everything became clear only in hindsight.

  12. @right8or8left

    An idiot who try to sound mature. I can spot them from miles away.
    And you are of course one of them. Burn in Hell with the rest of them.

  13. @endersgame55

    Im so glad that smart people like you still exist in this world. : ) I mean it., not being sarcastic : ) Peace

  14. @DASMEEJ

    I hate to sound like I'm justifying slavery, because I'm not…but I find it hard for Americans (and I assume that you are talking about the U.S.) to have had slaves for over 300 years being that the nations isn't that old yet. Slavery was first introduced in the Americas by Europeans.

    It is true, slaves were mistreated and slavery in the U.S. was a terrible thing. But we weren't the only nation in history to have them, nor we we the only ones who mistreated them.

  15. Soccer: Peru 4 -Austria 2, later Fifa in an office declared Austria winner, Peru's delegation left the Olimpic Games in protest…nazis good for nothing…Fifa same as today for sell to the best bidder.

  16. @endorphin2468
    I was just wondering, do you think that Germany made their athletes use steroids and then still let them compete in the Olympics?

  17. Haha it seems as though any nation to thrive was at one point had to defile a race. Germany, America, Britain… these all we radical racist and segregated states of power. America had slavery for 300 years due to British introduction, Germany had extermination camps for 5 years or so. Both had long term effects. America now has Muslims. This seems to be the only thing that unites people… hatred for other people, cultures, societies, religions, etc. America is the new Fascist State…

  18. I own an original book of the 36 Olympics that my father brought back from ww2. Does it have any value on today's market?
    I also have mm tape on reel he brought back, though i have never had it developed to see whats on the tape, perhaps one day i will and post it.

  19. @jorgieboy16 Why would it have angered Hitler? After all it was the Olympic Committee that ordered the rematch, not the German government. Besides, it is doubtful Peru would have beaten Italy, and given the fact Germany won the vast majority of medals at these Olympics I do not think Hitler would have minded, he was not upset when Germany lost in the football tournament.

  20. @jorgieboy16 I knew nothing of this and will certainly be attempting to learn. Maybe not quite on the same scale but we can see in the 2002 World Cup how Italy were beaten by South Korea in highly dodgy circumstances.

  21. @TrixTwins Regretfully the disgraceful treatment of a large amount of the US population rather deflected from the racist reality of Nazi Germany.

  22. What a total BS american video… Even Owens and most of the people claimed themselves that this were the best Olympics in the history. I prefer to listen to people who were there to win medals than to listen another propaganda movie.

  23. @endorphin2468
    And look now lol
    Like Americans don't have flags everywhere now.
    Jews have their own Olympics, the Maccabiah.

  24. @endorphin2468 The Red Army kick the Nazis ass and make them disappear from the face of the Earth this is FACT only a few remain

  25. ROFL
    PROPAGANDA?? What about the Chinese in 2008? People are really idiots, they think everybody in this world believe in some stupid Butterfly rainbow world.

  26. Very true, Jesse Owens himself has said he was treated better in Germany than he was back home, where he had to enter through the back door for his own ceremony.

  27. For Teachers: Teaching about the Holocaust. Why teach about the Holocaust? A study of these topics helps students to think about the use and abuse of power, and the roles and responsibilities of individuals, organizations, and nations when confronted with civil rights violations and/or policies of genocide. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. How can the financial integrity of any government be understood without books, or reasons and protocol that such records or books exist?

  28. I think that the decision to go was the right one. I DO believe that the rest of the world KNEW what was going on behind German borders and this was a good opportunity to see it. But I believe that there was a counter propaganda reason for going. Nazi idealism was that Aryans were better than the "lesser species". Most of the other nations not allied with Nazi Germany did BETTER than them. It was a physical and spiritual blow to Aryan idealism.

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