Scandals at 1936 Summer Games

Controversy as Problems Arise at Games

Problems with Hitler

Chancellor of Germany Adolf Hitler decides not to shake hands with American track athlete Jesse Owens. His actions made some believe he was a racist, but other evidence supports that he only shook hands with the German athletes that won. Hitler also thought the games were 'his games' since he thought he had power of Germany. Another problem with the games involved Canadian athletes. In the opening ceremony they gave what looked to be a Nazi salute. However, they could have been doing the olympic salute, which is very similar.

Problems with the United States

The United States decided to pull two Jewish athletes off of their team the day of the event. Sam Stoller and Mary Glickman were not allowed to participate because of Germany's views of anti-semitism. Another problem in the games was the treatment of American athlete Jesse Owens. Adolf Hitler did not shake hands with him because of his race, which raised controversy. America almost boycotted the games because of this.


Boycotting turned out to be a problem during the games. Ireland decided to go against Germany because of their treatment of the Jews. Organizations from other countries also called for the games to be relocated because of Germany's treatment of the games. The United States also considered boycotting after an American athlete of German descent encouraged others to do so.