The Nazi Olympics of 1936

Mollika Ourn-1st Period

The Olympics not for Jews?

The Olympics of 1936 were hosted by the Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, and located in Berlin. Propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels, used this chance to use the event to promote an image of a peaceful and pleasant Germany. The government also wanted to use sports to strengthen the Aryan Race, what Hitler liked to call the German race. Any Jewish or part-Jewish race was excluded from the Olympics.

International Boycott Calls

Olympiastadion was constructed for the Olympics, one of the largest in the world during the time. However, even though it had great success, there were many nations who had the desire to boycott due to their anti-semitic policies. International boycott calls sprouted from France, Sweden, Britain, and the United States. The United States was where the boycott calls were the strongest. Later on, the United States decided to have their athletes participate in the Olympics, saying that politics shouldn't be getting in the way of things. Still, a couple of athletes refused to play.

In attempt to decrease the anger from other nations, German Authorities allowed Helen Mayer, a part Jewish Fencer, to participate in the Olympics. They had the woman represent Germany, and obtained a silver medal. From this, salutes from other nations were raised.

Including Mayer, other Jews were allowed into the Olympics and won medals. Even though some European Jews were pressured to give into boycotting, they declined and joined in on the Olympics of 1936.

During these moments, the Nazis held down their racial image. All anti-Jew signs were taken down temporarily everywhere.

Max Schmeling, the Puppet of the Nazis.

Max Schmeling was a heavy-weight boxing champion from 1930-1932. He had well known fights against Americans, such as Joe Louis, Jack Sharkey, and Max Baer. Due to the fact that Baer was Jewish, and Louis was of African-American ethnicity, the press was able to use this for political suggestions. Schmeling went on a tour to America, and defeated Joe Louis in a boxing fight. The Nazis praised Schmeling for his victory when he returned home to Germany, as this was a good example of Aryan Strength.

Schmeling returned to America in 1938 to compete against Joe Louis for world title, and he was shamed by the American press for being a puppet controlled by the string master Nazis. Max Schmeling was seen with a hatred for Jews, even though he didn't support the Nazis. The crowd threw trash at Schmeling as he walked to the ring in the Yankee Stadium. Schmeling lost the rematch to Joe Louis and the Nazis threw him away as he was of no use.


Once the Nazis saw with the other nation's international boycott calls because of the non-Aryan rule, they decided to put down their racial image and include non-Aryans. Any signs with the words, "Jews not Welcome Here," had disappeared for a while. The inclusion of non-Aryans would create the perfect propaganda to make Germany look peaceful. The Olympics were used to almost support the Nazis and praise them.

Max Schmeling was favored by the Nazis after his victory against Joe Louis. It made him the perfect example of the Aryan Race. Though, the American press portrayed him as a puppet and a Nazi lover and was shamed.



  • The Olympics had some on-field incidents that were connected to Hitler's perspective on racial superiority
  • Nearly 5,000 athletes from 51 countries participated in the Olympics
  • The 1936 Olympics was the first to introduce the Fire Torch Relay. The Olympics Flame was transported from Greece
  • The Nazis used twenty transmitting vans to help convey the Olympics in 28 different languages
  • The Olympics of 1936 was the first to be broadcasted on television.

Links to Other Websties

Perfect website with better information about international boycott calls and Max Schmeling.

Provides great information about the history of the Fire Torch Relay, transmitting vans, and more background information.


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