How Hitler Won the Olympic Games - The Berlin Olympics | BETWEEN 2 WARS | 1936 Part 3 of 3

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The Berlin Olympics in 1936 were a masterfully played piece of Nazi Propaganda, where they framed their race as physically superior and their ideology as modern, organised and cultured while also ostensibly downplaying their anti-internationalism racism and anti-semitism. But the Germans didn’t embrace sports for friendly competition. They did so for something very different. Join…


Imagine Hitler reeeeeeeeeing that a black athlete outmatched the superior Aryan race…


Jesse Owens’ own words at a Republican rally in Baltimore (October 9, 1936):

Some people say Hitler snubbed me. But I tell you, Hitler did not snub me. I am not knocking the President. Remember, I am not a politician, but remember that the President did not send me a message of congratulations because, people said, he was too busy.


A big shame… :disappointed: a pack-a-day ciggie smoker for over 30 years, the same fate George V fell.


And to think, it’s been nearly 40 years now since we lost him… I don’t remember it that much (I was months away from turning 4), but my family mourned his loss and they still miss him.


As I wrote in the patreon comments:
A truly brilliant episode and even pushing that CC glass into our faces the whole time and then justifying it brilliantly at the very end. I loved it.

What I will write only here:
And it is true. 1936 was the first time for many great things still used today. But Leni Riefenstahl and her techniques would’ve existed without Hitler. The UfA was a very strong film industry before the Nazis.
Same goes with the Olympic Village or the symbolic torch run from Olympia to the current event location. This all can and is used without Nazi ideology and the international and connecting effect of these symbols is stronger than all the swastikas flagged by the Nazis in 1936 combined.

Three very important things Indy and TG did NOT mention which survived the Nazis are:

  1. The Olympia Stadion in Berlin. Still in use, best known in Germany for its use as home stadium of football club Hertha BSC Berlin and the German football cup finale.
  2. The Olympia pool (Schwimmbad). Still in use as a public bath/pool and it was the first one in the world with heated water. Another thing adopted without turning people into Nazis.
  3. The Olympia ski jumping hill (Schanze) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Well technically it was opened in 1921 already, but it still reminds you of 1936 very much. The Bavarians kept much of the decor. Why did you mention the Winter games so very briefly? Except for a quick burn of the “Cannucks”.

I think you missed a chance to get some great on location footage very cheaply. :wink:

But they’re right, of course. Everything said for the Summer Olympics is also true for the Winter Olympics of 1936.


One… well several things which survived to date are the Olympia-Eichen (Olympia-Oaks).
Every gold medal winner got a small “Olympia-Oak”.
There is an actual competitive dispute about in which 4 locations the oaks of Jesse Owens were planted.

The afro-american athlete Cornelius Johnsons planted his oak in the garden of his parents house in L.A. and measures are taken to declare it a protected site of black history.

And planting an oak doesn’t make you a Nazi.

Maybe someone can translate this article into English or even expand it. A list of what happened to the oaks.


The older Los Angeles Coliseum is still used to this day for USC football.


Also for the Olympics in 1984 and 2028.

LA Coliseum 1984 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony


I love the Olympics, the olympic games before Berlin was in Los Angeles, which just a few years prior (like before 1900) was a really sort of no place. We will be getting back the games in 2028 for the third time.


The previous one, in 1932 – one of the more underrated ones (attendance was low in part because of the Depression).


Thank you so much for the episode, I’ll show it to my grandad soon. He’s big into sport and very interested in my endeavours into ww2 and 20th century history in general.

I’ve learned a bit on Jesse Owens during a black history course in school during year 8 at school. He may not have snub Hitler as he proclaimed, but he did snub the racist policies at his homeland when he returned.

To quote him during the time he competed against racehorses afterwards in the 40’s, even defeating some of them:

“People say that it was degrading for an Olympic champion to run against a horse, but what was I supposed to do? I had four gold medals, but you can’t eat four gold medals."


I think you meant to say “when he returned.”

I never denied that, on the inside, Hitler and his cohorts was fuming mad.


Bloody auto-correct, I’m still using mobile :disappointed:.


For me the more educational aspect of the video was the fact that there was a time before team sports. It’s something taken for granted now, but it’s hard to imagine when sports was the “new” thing. Excellent video as always.