Politics And Propaganda In The 1936 Olympics

The 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin, before the Nazis were in power in Germany. This gave Hitler the opportunity to show the world that the Nazi Germans were a superior race. Germany's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels saw this as the perfect opportunity to show the world that Germans were the master race. The Germany team trained full time so they could put themselves ahead of the other countries. Their star athlete was Lutz Lang, who was the perfect image of their Aryan race with blond hair and blue eyes. This was the Olympics were Jesse Owens competed, which in the German’s eyes didn’t idolize their views on the athletes.

The Olympic stadium that held over one hundred thousand people was completed on time there were one hundred and fifty other buildings for the events. But the time the 1936 Olympics began all of the anti Semitic posters that once were posted, disappeared by the time the games started. Most of those signs read things like Jews not welcome here, they did this to ensure that the games would run smoothly. During the games Jesse Owens won four gold medals, including the long jump with Lutz Lang excelled at and Lang congratulated Owens. During the 1936 Olympics there were ten African Americans that represented the United States, between all of them, they won three bronze, three silver, and seven gold medals. At the ceremony to give Owens his metal, Hitler refused to put it around his neck.

He said that Americans should be ashamed of having Negroes representing them and that he didn’t want to be photographed shaking his hand. The Nazis did have great coverage on the Olympic events; they had twenty transmitters to the radio and around three hundred microphones to catch it all. It was also broadcasted in twenty-eight different languages. This was a triumph for Joseph Goebbels since he was in charge of this for the Olympics.

Nazi Germany used propaganda and politics to show their world their superiority by having great broadcasting of the event and then showing the world that they wouldn’t not bow down to inferior races, like African Americans. This cause controversy and helped give the world a warning about what was to come from the Nazis. The 1936 Olympics help set into motion what was going to happen when the Nazis and Hitler started to discriminate against people.

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