1936 Olympics, Berlin

By: Sydney Pyrtle

Sydney Pyrtle


Rdg. 2nd

12 May, 2016

My Research

Were the Berlin Olympics like all others?

The games were the same, but the atmosphere was completely different. You could feel something was wrong about being there. With Hitler and his Nazi group trying to take over the world, things definitely would not be the same. There was discrimination towards African Americans and about them being able to compete. Nazi's did not let Jewish or part- Jewish people compete for Germany in the 1936 Olympics. Hitler did not want to host the games until Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels convinced that the Olympics could be exploited to expand the Nazi race within and outside or Germany.

Preparing for the Berlin Olympics

The Nazi's made elaborate plans for Berlin Olympics. They had built a new dome to hold the Olympics and had Olympic flags and swastikas all around the inside and out. Many tourist were unaware they had taken down Anti-Jews signs and had a A police roundup of Roma (Gypsy) in Berlin, that was ordered by the German Ministry. Nazi's also said that foreign visitors should not be penalized for the German anti-homosexuality laws that they created.

The start of the Olympic Games

Over 5,000 athletes from 51 nations marched in, with Greece leading the whole parade and the host country, Germany, at the end. There was controversy whether the athletes would give the Nazi salute to Hitler as they passed by. There was confusion over this issue, since the Olympic salute with right arm held out sideways from the shoulder could also be mistaken for the Hitler stiff-arm salute. Most countries either did one or the other. The British and Americans chose a military style 'eyes right' with no arm salute.

Faces from the Berlin Olympics


“Adolf Hitler, who was not a sports fan, had been lukewarm toward the whole idea of hosting the 1936 Olympics. It had taken some effort by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels to convince him that the Olympic festivities could be exploited to advance the Nazi cause both inside and outside of Germany.”

“The government harnessed sport as part of its drive to strengthen the “Aryan race,” to exercise political control over its citizens, and to prepare German youth for war.”


Over 5,000 people participated in the Berlin Olympics competed in 129 events. Track and Field events mostly starred Jesse Owens and the other black participants. Jesse Owens won three individual gold medals and one with the 4x100 meter relay. Together Jesse and his teammates won 12 Men's track and field gold medals.
The United States were worried about the African Americans safety in Germany. Most African American newspapers wanted to boycott the idea of even participating in the Berlin Olympics, but some newspapers thought that the participants would undermine the racial views and words. They were looking to bring a new sense of black pride back into the U.S.

My sources

Source 1. "The Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United

States Holocaust Memorial Council, 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Source 2. "The Nazi Party: The Nazi Olympics." The Nazi Olympics (August 1936). Web. 02

May 2016.

Source 3. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Berlin 1936 Olympic Games." Encyclopedia

Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 02 May 2016.

Source 4. "The History Place - Triumph of Hitler: The Berlin Olympics." The History Place -

Triumph of Hitler: The Berlin Olympics. Web. 02 May 2016.

Links to Pictures