Nathan W. Cody '16, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
The Nazis utilized the Berlin Olympics of 1936 as anti-Semitic propaganda within their racial ideology. When the Nazis took power in 1933 they immediately sought to coordinate all aspects of German life, including sports. The process of coordination was designed to Aryanize sport by excluding non-Aryans and promoting sport as a means to prepare for military training. The 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin became the ideal platform for Hitler and the Nazis to display the physical superiority of the Aryan race. However, the exclusion of non-Aryans prompted a boycott debate that threatened Berlin’s position as host. A fierce debate in the United States ensued, but the Americans decided to send a team to Berlin. Ultimately, the Berlin Olympics were a massive success for the Nazis, as the Games represented the coordination of sport in Germany and reinforced Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda and policy. The German team particularly thrived in the throwing events of track and field, boxing, and gymnastics, which further validated their processes of coordination.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Cody, Nathan W., "The Berlin Olympics: Sports, Anti-Semitism, and Propaganda in Nazi Germany" (2016). Student Publications. 434.