Nazi Propaganda and the 1936 Olympics Essay

2852 Words May 15th, 2012 12 Pages
Nazi Propaganda and the 1936 Olympics

The 1936 Olympics was Germany’s chance to show the world they were a stable and peaceful nation. Germany had been awarded the right to host the Games in 1931 before the Third Reich had come to power. When Hitler assumed power in 1933 he quickly realized the great potential for Nazi propaganda. Not only did he want to show the world that Germany was now respectable, but also that the Aryan race was superior. Herman Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, was a master at organizing large scale events. The XIth Olympiad in Berlin was the perfect stage. Although negro athletes, especially Jesse Owens, disproved Hitler’s belief of Aryan superiority, the
…show more content…
Signs were posted all over the country with slogans such as ‘Jews Not Wanted Here’, ‘Jews are Uninvited Guests’, and ‘Jews, Watch Out! The Road to Palestine does not Lead through this Place’.[6] Nazi storm troopers would terrorize and round up enemies of the state, and the first concentration camp was set up in Dachau in March 1933. Reports of these atrocities soon reached the United States and other foreign nations. Although no one understood the magnitude of what was happening in Germany calls for a boycott of the upcoming Olympic Games were being made. With the rampant stories of Nazi persecution in foreign newspapers many sought to boycott the 1936 Olympics. This was especially true amongst the Americans. Great Britain, France, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands also had movements towards a boycott but nowhere was it as intense as the United States.[7] This was due to the fact that no nation was directly affected as much as they were, with their large team having a strong contingent of Jewish and Negro athletes.[8] American newspapers from coast to coast ran editorials stating their discontent with Nazi Germany and that America should not accept its invitation to the Games. Although some papers supported going to the Games, two-thirds of the American press was against it.[9] The supporters argued that politics should not play a role in sports, and that Germany’s domestic persecution, if it was even what it was hyped up to be, should

Related Documents