What Happened When Hitler Hosted the Olympics 80 Years AgoBreaking News
tags: Hitler, Olympics
The Summer Olympic Games serve as a grand podium for the belief that a nation’s best athletes can bolster its sense of pride and honor for another four years—setting the stage for real-world superheroes who defy the odds and challenge the capabilities of the human body. It’s a tradition the globe is unlikely to kick.
But 80 years ago, when the Summer Olympics opened on Aug. 1, 1936, in Berlin, that creed nearly crumbled. That year, it became increasingly clear that Germany only wanted to see its superheroes in one light: the stars of the Aryan race, superior for their genetic makeup rather than their athleticism, says Barbara Burstin, history lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.
“It provided Hitler with a showcase,” Burstin says. “It was a propaganda bonanza for him.”