The Olympics

The Berlin Olympics of 1936 gave Hitler the opportunity to show Nazism off to the world. The specially made 110,000-seater athletic stadium was filled to capacity throughout the games, attracting a total of 4 million visitors, including Hitler who attended each day. Richard Strauss composed the music for the opening ceremony. Hitler ordered a suspension of displays of anti-Semitism, not wanting to show Germany in a negative light, so the Jews were temporarily spared the daily vitriol of abuse. Jesse Owens of the US (pictured below) famously won four gold medals (including the 100 and 200 metres) prompting Hitler to enquire why there were so many black athletes on the American team. Germany, however, much to the Führer’s satisfaction, finished the Games topping the medal table.

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Berlin Olympics, 1936

Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-G00630 / CC-BY-SA

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