1936 Olympics Research Paper

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Abigail Wood Elizabeth Carney 4/3/15 The Politics of the Olympics of 1936 In the precarious time period between the World Wars, it would be assumed that a peaceful, nation-unifying event such as the Olympics would be just the escape the world needed from the politics that dominated every aspect of life. Instead of an escape from politics, however, the 1936 Nazi Games became controlled by politics and was a vehicle for every country’s agenda, especially the rising Nazi party in Germany. The Nazi Games, inspired by the past, became the present focus of world politics and foreshadowed a future with new Germany at the center. Germany, a world power desperately seeking an improvement in foreign opinion and internal nationalism as a result of…show more content…
As Christopher Hilton explained, “The Olympics provided beautiful international camouflage, because they seemed to show that Germany was not really like that at all while, at the same time, making Germans feel good about themselves and their Fuhrer”. The Nazis had two propaganda goals: propaganda within Germany and propaganda abroad. They began the largest propaganda movement of any Olympics by first establishing Joseph Goebbels as Minister of Propaganda. Although he did not care about sports (joined by Hitler in that opinion), he was forced to utilize the games as a major propaganda tool within Germany. If the people of Germany believed that foreigners were impressed with their nation and thus grew in excitement for Germany’s potential as a world power, nationalism would subsequently increase. Because nationalism was already on the rise within Germany as a result of the rise of the Nazi party, the importance lay in international propaganda. Germany was determined to look its best on the world stage, and did so by ridding the nation of any evidence of anti-Semitism. The Nazi party was afraid of anti-Nazi propaganda because of the violence against Jews and anti-Jewish signs and newspapers present in Germany. It is intriguing that the Nazis were aware of the world’s disagreement with their ideologies, yet did not question the beliefs. The Nazi ideology almost directly contradicted Olympic ideals, but the nonbelligerent, tolerant Germany that was conveyed to the world prevented other nations from realizing this. These contradictions resulted in a dangerous situation: “Here we can see the most perfect sport in a most perfect setting, sport in the tradition of the ancient Greeks. But this was no longer the Greece of Athens, the cradle of democracy; it was the Greece of Sparta, driven by the most barbarous of ideologies and armed with the

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