The world community had serious doubts about the appropriateness of competitions of this level in Germany. They argued that the very idea of the Olympic Movement denied any restrictions on athlete participation on religious or racial grounds. But many athletes and politicians did not support the boycott.
In 1934, IOC officials visited Berlin, which, however, well “cleaned out” before this visit, removing all signs of anti-Semitism. The Commission also interviewed sportsmen of Jewish origin who convinced the verifiers of their freedom. Although the IOC gave a positive verdict, a lot of athletes did not go to these Games.
Numerous guests who visited Berlin during the Olympics did not notice manifestations of German antisemitism, so carefully Hitler hid all posters, leaflets, pamphlets of anti-Jewish content. In the Aryan team there was even one female athlete of Jewish origin — fencing champion Helena Mayer.
The people of Berlin were hospitable to foreign Olympians. The city was decorated with Nazi symbols, and numerous military men were hidden from curious eyes. Representatives of the world press wrote enthusiastic reviews about the organization of the Games in Berlin. Even the most suspicious and insightful could not make out all the truth, and at this time in one of the suburbs of the German capital the Oranienburg concentration camp was filled.
The opening ceremony of the Olympics took place pompously and with unprecedented scope. The Führer tried and put dust in the eyes of numerous guests of the capital. He personally released 20,000 snow-white pigeons at the stadium. A huge cepellin with the Olympic flag circled in the sky, cannons scorched deafening. Athletes from 49 states marched in front of stunned and joyful spectators.
Germany had the most numerous team — 348 athletes, 312 people fielded the United States. The Soviet Union did not participate in these Games.
The results of the XI Olympics pleased Hitler. German athletes received 33 golds, leaving the remaining athletes far behind. The Führer received confirmation of the “supremacy” of the But the Jewish fencer also achieved success and finished second, other athletes of Semitic origin won medals and performed successfully. This conflicted with Hitler’s ideas and was a palpable spoon of tar spoiling his joy.
The Nazi dogmas and undoubted success of a black athlete from the United States – running and jumping specialist Jess Owens. The American team won 56 medals, and 14 of those were won by African Americans. Jess took three golds of the Berlin Olympics and became her real hero.
Hitler refused to congratulate Owens and any other athlete with dark skin. The successes of this athlete were hushed in the German press, only Aryans were extolled there. There is no denying the success of the German Olympians – they were amazing!