“Hitler’s Olympics” is a recollection of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games within the context of the Nazi regime. This competition is remembered for Jesse Owens’ reception of four gold medals but the political implications of these Games went far beyond the athletics. The political climate led many countries to attempt a boycott of the Berlin Olympics but the participation of several key nations resulted in everybody’s involvement. This documentary chronicles many of the behind the scenes events, including German Jews that were not permitted to compete, Hitler’s intentions to prove Aryan superiority, and a complete control over the media. The mention of 1936 Germany immediately brings thoughts of the Holocaust; and yet, there was not a single news report regarding concentration camps. One thing that Hitler could not control was Owens, whose accomplishments overshadowed the glorification of Aryans. Something that you may not realize is that the Olympics were much more simplistic prior to 1936. The Germans turned the Olympics into the ritualistic celebration that we recognize today and their DNA has been a part of every opening ceremony ever since! You can thank them for all of the fanfare, even though their intention was to show their superiority. “Hitler’s Olympics” is very informative and worthwhile for history buffs and Olympics fans alike.
[Pictured: The first Olympic torch relay took place in the 1936 Olympics]