Pierre de Coubertin, in reviving the Olympic Games, preached the principle of “Sport outside politics”. However, viewers of the first Olympics have already witnessed political demarches. And in 1936, the Olympics were first used for political purposes by the state. Hitler Germany became the “initiator” of the tradition of “political olympiads”.
The decision of the IOC of 1912, the capital of the VI Summer Olympics in 1916, was to be Berlin. In the capital of Germany began to build a sports complex. The complex remained unfinished. In 1914, the First World War abolished the games, failed Olympic champions dispersed on fronts to shoot at each other.
In 5 years, in the 1919 year, the victorious countries gathered in Versailles to decide the post-war fate of Germany who lost the war. They tore Germany like jackals wounded. Jackals were 26 and each sought to snatch a piece fatter. Germany was geared away from all sides and a huge contribution was made. Several generations of Germans had to work without straightening their backs in order to pay off their debts. Additionally, Germany was removed from the political, social and cultural life of Europe. She was isolated. Important international events were held without the participation of its representatives, they were simply not invited, and those who dared to come without demand were not allowed further than the front. That is why Germany is not on the list of countries participating in the Olympic Games 1920 and 1924.
Berlin fights for the Olympics
In 1928, excommunication was dropped and German athletes at the 9th Olympiad in Amsterdam took second place, proving to the whole world that the Teutonic spirit from Germany did not disappear.
Having breached the gap, Germany began to expand it vigorously and applied for the right to become the mistress of the XI Olympic Games. In addition to Berlin, the same desire was expressed by 9 cities. 13 May 1930 in Lausanne, the IOC members had to make the final choice between Berlin and Barcelona that reached the final. With a huge margin (43 / 16) defeated Berlin.
But in 1933, at the end of the phrase “Berlin is the capital of the XI Olympiad” a question mark appeared.
Why the Olympics to the Nazis?
Hitler, who came to power, was not a supporter of the Olympic Games and called them "the invention of Jews and masons." And in Germany itself, the attitude toward the Games was by no means unambiguous. Many Germans were not going to forget or forgive the humiliation at Versailles, and did not want to see athletes from England and France in Germany. Gaining momentum anti-Olympic movement among the Nazis. The National Socialist Student Union has become the "shooter". In their opinion, Aryan sportsmen should not compete with representatives of “inferior” peoples. And if the Olympics can not be transferred, then it should take place without the participation of German athletes. Hitler did not see any value in the Olympics for the propaganda of the ideas of national socialism: after the triumph of 1928 in the year of 1932 in Los Angeles, Germany ended up on the 9 place. What a superiority of the Aryan race!
I persuaded Hitler Goebbels.
It was the Minister of Propaganda who proposed to Hitler not only to support the Olympics, but to take it under state custody, to use it to create a new image of Germany and propaganda of the Nazi regime. According to Goebbels, the Olympic Games will show the world a new Germany: aspiring to peace, not torn by internal political contradictions, with a cohesive people, headed by a national leader. A positive image is not only a way out of political isolation, it is also the establishment of economic contacts and, as a result, an influx of capital, which Germany so badly needs.
Olympics will give impetus to the development of sports in the country. The basis of any army is a soldier - strong, healthy, physically developed. War-oriented Nazis did not get tired of carrying out actions in favor of sports.
One of these actions was a football match held in 1931 between Stormtrooper (CA leadership) and Reich (NSDAP leadership). In the "Reich" played: Hess, Himmler, Goering (1 time), Lei, Bormann defended the gate. Won Sturmovik with an 6: 5 score, but the party press wrote “right”: Reich won.
But even hundreds of campaigns do not compare in their effect with 2 weeks of the Olympics.
The Olympics will rally the people around the Führer and regime. As for the sporting achievements of the German team, the head of the NOC of Germany Karl Dim vowed that this time the German athletes would not let them down.
How to prepare for the Berlin Olympics
Having decided to make the Berlin Olympics the most ambitious among all previously held, Hitler began to implement the decision. If earlier the NOC of Germany planned the Games budget within 3 million Reichsmarks, Hitler increased it to 20 million. They began to build a sports complex that included a stadium for 86.000 seats, an open sports arena, a swimming pool, an open theater, a riding arena, a separate hockey stadium and the Olympic Village of 500 cottages. At the stadium it was planned to install a bell tower with a height of 74 meters, for which an 4-meter bell weighing 10 tons, which became the symbol of the XI Olympiad, was cast.
Karl Dim put forward the idea to bring a torch to Berlin with a torch with the burning Olympic flame from Athens themselves. Goebbels liked the idea, the Fuhrer approved. (This is how the tradition of the Olympic torch relay was born.)
If earlier the opening and closing of the Games was limited to the passage of athletes along the stands of the stadium under their national flags, Goebbels planned to hold theatrical shows, which laid one more tradition.
World documentary film star Leni Riefenstahl set about preparing for the filming of the 4-hour movie "Olympia" (the first large-scale movie recording of games).
But III Reich remained III Reich. Soon, the IOC began to receive reports of persecution of Jews in Germany. They did not go around the field of sports. "Racially inferior" physical culture fans were expelled from sports societies, excluded from sports associations. The IOC demanded clarification, threatening to deprive Berlin of the status of the capital of the Olympic Games. The dispatches went from Germany that all this is the vile slander of the enemies of a resurgent Germany, and in general, what kind of persecution, what are you talking about ?! If there were individual cases, then for each such incident a trial will be held, measures will be taken, the perpetrators will be found and punished. Such answers were quite satisfactory to the IOC.
In September 1935, the so-called. “Nuremberg Laws” restricting the rights of Jews and Gypsies. Persecution received legislative justification. In sports societies, sections began total "cleaning rows." Neither sports achievements, nor ranks, nor titles were taken into account: the champion of Germany Erik Silig was excluded from the boxing association. What can we say about others who did not have such regalia!
In response, the world began a movement to boycott the Berlin Olympics.
Led the movement of sports societies of the United States. Soon they were joined by sports organizations in France, Great Britain, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and the Netherlands. Political, social, religious and cultural organizations that had nothing to do with sport joined the protest movement. Born and promoted to the masses the idea of holding alternative folk games in Barcelona.
The IOC, before whom the prospect of disrupting games loomed, sent a delegation to Berlin with the task of finding out the situation on the ground. In Germany, for the visit seriously prepared. The guests were shown the Olympic facilities under construction, were introduced to the program of events, showed the Olympic Village, sketches of numerous badges, medals, awards and souvenirs. At the time of the visit, the Nazis were not too lazy to clear Berlin of anti-Semitic slogans and placards "Jews are undesirable." Visitors had a meeting with Jewish athletes, who were surprised to say that they were hearing about the infringement of Jews in Germany for the first time in their lives. In order to calm the conscience of sports functionaries, the German Olympic fencer Helen Meyer, who lives in the USA, who had a Jewish father, was included in the German Olympic team.
(Subsequently, the athlete will thank Hitler: standing on the second step of the pedestal, at the time of the award ceremony, she will throw out her hand in the Nazi salute. She will never be forgiven for this.)
However, the move with Helena Meyer was even superfluous: representatives of the IOC were so amazed at the scale of the upcoming Olympics, so blinded by its future magnificence and grandeur that they could not see anything and did not want to see.
Necessary retreat: shy-Olympiad
The first Olympics were not at all global events. In 1896, in Athens (I Olympic Games), an 241 athlete participated in the competition. At the II Games in Paris in 1900, many athletes had no idea that they were taking part in the Olympics. They were confident that these sporting events are held as part of the Paris World Exhibition. Games then represented a set of competitions divided among themselves in time and in space. The II Olympic Games were held from 14 May to 28 in October 1900 g, III - from 1 July to 23 in November 1904 g, IV - from 13 July to 31 in October 1908.
Other competitions were also held, the Olympics could easily get lost among them and go into oblivion, as they left the distance of the Goodwill Games (who remembers them now?).
Slowly, very slowly, the locomotive of the Olympic movement was gaining speed, and the 1936 games of the year gave it a great boost.
Seen just struck members of the IOC. They understood that in the case of the Olympics in Berlin, one could no longer worry about the future of the competition: the former modesty of the Olympic Games would be finished forever. They swallowed the bait. The IOC delegation returned from Germany with a firm decision: the Olympics should be held only in Berlin!
How not to boycott
The IOC decision was supported by the US NOC. There was no unity among the athletes themselves, many did not want to lose the chance that falls every four years. The situation was resolved 8 December 1935, when the United States Amateur Sports Committee called for participation in the Olympics. Following him "for" said sports organizations of other countries. The boycott came down to the personal decision of individual athletes.
The act of Coubertin’s support for the Berlin Olympiad completed the boycott movement. The founding father of the Olympic Games received a letter from the German NOC member Theodor Levald asking for support. The letter was attached 10.000 Reichsmark - the Fuhrer's personal contribution to the Coubertin Foundation. What could oppose such a heavy artillery 73-year-old baron, faced in his declining years with material difficulties!
The Olympics have not started yet, but Berlin has already won the first half.
The idea of a boycott lived until the last day. 18 July in Barcelona, athletes gathered at the People's Olympiad. But on the same day the radio sounded "a cloudless sky over all of Spain." In Spain, a civil war began, she was not up to the Olympics.
Dress rehearsal - Winter Olympics 1936
From 6 to 16 February, the Winter Olympics were held in the Bavarian Alps in Garmes-Partenkirchen, which Hitler considered to be a trial ball. The first pancake did not come out lumpy. The guests of the Olympiad were delighted. They were met by a winter stadium on 15.000 seats and one of the world's first ice palaces with artificial ice on 10.000 seats. The organization of the games was recognized by the IOC as flawless. No incident has overshadowed the sports festival. (The Nazis “cleared out” the city from Jews, Gypsies, the unemployed, politically active buzotters and Judeophobic slogans.) Significantly, the Jewish hockey team captain Rudy Bal was appointed - one of the best hockey players of the time.
To the delight of Hitler, the first 4 places were taken by the representatives of the “Nordic” race - the Norwegians, the Germans, the Swedes, the Finns, which ideally fit into the racial theory of the Nazis. The star of the Olympics was the Norwegian figure skater Sonya Heni. Hitler was more than satisfied with the results of the Olympics and waited for even greater triumph from the Summer Olympics.
Olympiad with Nazi specifics
4066 athletes from 49 countries and about 4 million fans arrived at the Olympic Games in Berlin. 41 State sent its reporters to cover the competition. Berlin was cleaned and licked to an incredible shine. Not only city municipal services, but also local branches of the Nazi Party, the German Interior Ministry and the Berlin police took part in preparing the city for the sports festival. Gypsies, beggars, prostitutes were evicted outside the city. (The city was “cleansed” of Jews in 1935 year.) Goebbels banned the publication of articles and anti-Semitic stories and newspapers in newspapers during the Olympics. Anti-Jewish posters and slogans disappeared from the streets, and appropriate books and brochures were seized from the shops. Even the inhabitants of Berlin were ordered to refrain from publicly expressing negative attitudes towards Jews.
And there was a swastika everywhere: on thousands of banners hung around the city, on hundreds of posters, she was stamped on sports facilities, side by side with Olympic symbols, attended badges and souvenirs. According to the plans of the organizers, the symbol of Nazism was supposed to be present even at the Olympic medals, but it boomed the IOC: “Sport is out of politics!”, And the 36 awards of the year are not “decorated” with the Nazi “spider”.
Even the guests of Berlin were awaited by an amazing new product: the world's first live television broadcast from the Olympic Games. (I'm sure for many this news.) In Berlin, a network of television shows (33) was organized, each of which had 2 televisions with a 25x25 cm screen, served by a specialist. During the Olympics, the salons visited 160 thousand people. Tickets to them were harder to get than to the stadium, but those who visited the TV shows had something to tell at home upon their return.
Bright moments of the Olympics
On the very first day of the competition, Germany experienced a taste of triumph: Hans Velke became the Olympic champion in the shot put. Tribunes were abused. Hitler invited the Olympian to his box.
22 March 1943, Belarusian partisans fired on a German convoy. Two policemen and a German officer, Hauptmann Hans Velke, died. On the same day, the Dirlewanger team carried out a punitive “retaliation action”: the nearby village was burned down along with the residents. The name of the village Khatyn.
The highlight of the Olympics was the duel between the German Lutz Long and the black American Jesse Owens in the long jump. Initially, Owens was the leader with the result 7,83 m. It turns out Long. Tribunes froze. He runs up. Jumps. Flies. Heels bump into the sand. 7,87! Olympic record! Tribunes roar. Owens comes out again and in the last fifth attempt he wins the (already his second) Olympic medal - 8,06! The first to Owens ran Long and congratulated him on his victory. Embracing, the athletes went under the stands.
Jesse Owens will be standing at the top of the podium twice more. 4 times sounded the American anthem in honor of a black athlete from the United States.
The friendship of Long and Owens continued for many years, despite the war that divided them. In the 1943 year, while in the army, Lutz wrote a letter in which he asked Jesse in case of his death to become a witness at the wedding of his son Kai Long. On July 10, Chief Corporal Lutz Long was mortally wounded and died three days later. At the start of 50, Jesse Owens complied with a friend's request and became the best man at Kai's wedding.
Talking about the 1936 Olympics cannot be bypassed. history about how Hitler refused to shake hands with black Jesse Owens. Was it or was it not? When 4 August after the triumphant victory in the long jump came the moment of congratulations to the Olympic champion Jesse Owens, it turned out that Hitler, who had not missed the opportunity to congratulate the Finns or the Swedes, is missing in the box. Stunned IOC officials Nazi functionaries explained: “The Fuhrer left. You know, the Reichskanzler has so much to do! ”
On the same day, the IOC Chairman, Baye-Latour, gave Hitler an ultimatum: either he congratulates everyone, or anyone. Hitler, having estimated that the next day, most of all, I would have to congratulate, most likely the Americans, chose the second option and 5 in August pointedly did not leave his place on the podium, which, however, did not upset him at all: he was quite pleased with the general course of the Olympics.
Who won the Olympics?
Definitely: The Olympiad was won by Nazi Germany, which achieved all its goals - political, sports, propaganda. German athletes took the most medals - 89, followed by US athletes - 56. Not bothering with such trifles as the gold-silver-bronze ratio, and in which kinds of sports Germany became the leader, Goebbels did not tire of repeating: “Here it is, a graphic confirmation of the superiority of the Aryan race!” He did not disdain even outright frauds. When on the opening day the athletes marched around the stadium, with their right arm thrown forward and upward into the so-called. "Olympic Salute", all German newspapers wrote that Olympians threw up their hands in a Nazi salute.
Today, this symbol of the Olympiad is not canceled, but safely forgotten. Not a single athlete would risk an Olympic salute under the fear of being accused of Nazi propaganda.
World media sang the praises of German organization and order. Germany demonstrated to the world the unity of the people and the Fuhrer. 4 million propagandists of the Nazi regime spread around the world: “What kind of horrors are you talking about Germany? Yes, I was there and I can personally testify: all this is lies and propaganda of the left! ”
Jesse Owens told how he could freely go to any cafe, any restaurant in Berlin, ride public transport on a par with white ones. (I would try to do this in his native Alabama - they would hang it on a nearby tree with an Olympic medal!)
In 1938, Olimpia was released by Leni Riefenstahl. The tape for a year won a bunch of prizes, continued to collect awards until the year 1948 and is still considered a masterpiece of sports documentary filmmakers.
Despite this, after the war, Leni Riefenstahl was accused of promoting the ideas of National Socialism, it was branded as a Nazi, and she was banished from the cinema almost forever. She shot her next film about the beauty of the underwater world “Coral Paradise” in 2002 a year before her death.
After the Olympics
Hitler himself was very pleased with the results of the Olympics and once told Speer that after the 1940, all the Olympic Games will be held in Germany. When in 1939, the question arose of postponing the Winter Olympic Games (which started the war with China, Japan was recognized as an aggressor country and was denied the status of host of the Olympics), Germany submitted an application. The Anschluss of Austria has already passed, the Munich Agreement took place, Czechoslovakia has disappeared from the political map. III Reich in the open rattle weapons. But the IOC was so eager to repeat the Berlin Olympic miracle that it could not resist - Garmisch-Partenkirchen was to become the capital of the Winter Olympics again. Even in September of 1939, IOC officials still hesitated: “Well, why all these scandals? Poland has fallen, the war is over, peace and order are again in Europe, not wanting to notice that this order is new, German. Only in November 1939, when Germany she recalled his candidacy, frustrated IOC decided not to hold the Winter Olympiad.
The question of the Summer Olympics was soon resolved by itself. In 1940 in Europe, no one thought about the sports festival. The German youths who were brought to the sport by the Berlin Olympics were distributed among various military units. Glider pilots - in the Luftwaffe and parachutists, yachtsmen - in Kriegsmarine, wrestlers and boxers - in various sabotage teams, masters of equestrian sport - in cavalry, and the virtuosos of bullet shooting left to improve their skills in sniper schools. Hitler himself to the sport lost interest, he was no longer occupied by sports, but by military battles.
Echoes of the Berlin Olympics
The following Olympic Games took place in London 1948. As before, fans with tension watched the competitions of athletes, but other winds blew over the Olympic stadiums. In the noisy applause of the audience, sports officials heard the crunch of brand-new bills. More than once or twice the Olympic Games became the subject of bargaining and political blackmail.
In Berlin, in 1936, the first "political Olympiad" was revealed to the world. She did not become the last. The tradition established in Berlin has survived safely to this day and is not going to die.