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Politics in Nazi Olympics

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Politics in Nazi Olympics

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In 1931, the International Olympic Committee planned the 1936 Olympics to take place in Berlin. The choice was made to accept back Germany after their defeat in world war. In 1933, Hitler became the chancellor of Germany and turned the region into a dictatorial state. The government controlled all the activities, including sports hence affected the 1936 Olympics, which was limited to Aryans only (Mandell & Lucas, 1971). The participation excluded the Jews. Nazi Olympics was then used for propaganda purposes to show a false image of a peaceful country. At that time, Adolf Hitler, a dictator in Germany, emerged with racist and militaristic characters that affected the games. Since Germany hosted the competition, Hitler came up with the idea to expand the territory, taking advantage of the large crowd and journalists present in the event. The conditions set by Hitler led to boycotts of the game, increased propaganda, and less participation by the Jewish and Gypsies.

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With the rise of Hitler’s ideas, boycott movements formed in the United States, Britain, and France to prevent participation in the Olympics. Some nations had the idea of counter-Olympics to be held in Barcelona though they had to fail because of the civil war in Spanish in 1936. Due to the burn of Jewish athletes from taking part in the games, most of them lacked the interest and decided to boycott. Also, the associations of Jewish athletes and sports supported the boycott by encouraging its employees not to participate. As 1936 was approaching, the united states decided to vote on participation, and this persuaded other groups and colleagues, consequently leading to a failure of the boycott (Marvin, 1982).

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The Nazi Olympics turned into a platform to promote Aryan superiority. Jews athletes tried to fight back the Germans by attempting to show their capabilities. However, this method did not work as the Germans had more improved tools than them. They opted to convince other groups from various countries to boycott the games. The sports acted to promote a claim of making Germany a successor of Greece’s past. The athletes who participated in the Olympics took pictures that were used to spread racial ideas to the world. However, during the Olympics itself, German pretended to be friendly to the visitors, treated them well, and even won most of the games (Large, 2012). This act was a sign of superiority over other nations adding with the good gesture given to visitors. Germany got a positive reputation to the world and could be trusted by countries although hiding under racism and militaristic regime.

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Propagandization of the Nazi Olympics involved discrimination of the African -American athletes. The regulations set by the dictatorial state of Germany undermined African -American individuals. The bias was on employment opportunities and restrictions to public places (Brinded, 2020). Therefore, the blacks tried to use the Nazi Olympics to achieve victory over the Germans, specifically Aryans, and find their freedom back. The aim was almost achieved when one of the blacks received four gold medals. This accomplishment questioned the superiority of Aryans as also the blacks were capable of winning. The Olympics in Berlin turned to a platform where nations and groups could show their power and dominance over other countries present in the games. Also, the message does not just remain in the specific platform, but through journalism and information transformation, Nazi ideologies got to the world.

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The Nazi Olympics of 1936 was politically charged due to the dictatorship of Hitler in Germany. The dictatorial rules led to increased racism, which prevented the Jews from taking part in most of the sporting activities of the Olympics. The Nazi event acted on the propaganda of Aryan superiority, which undermined other races rights. These set regulations led to boycotting of the game by various groups and actions to prove the Nazi’s wrong by showing the power to be victors more than the Germans.References

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Brinded, L. (2020). The Nazis fooled the world for 16 days in 1936—and we’re allowing it to happen again. Retrieved 13 February 2020, from https://qz.com/1230045/hitler-and-the-nazis-used-the-olympics-as-propaganda-like-north-korea-russia-qatar/

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Large, D. (2012). The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936. The Palgrave Handbook Of Olympic Studies, 60-71. doi: 10.1057/9780230367463_5

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Mandell, R., & Lucas, J. (1971). The Nazi Olympics. Canadian Journal Of History Of Sport And Physical Education, 2(1), 82-85. doi: 10.1123/cjhspe.2.1.82

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Marvin, C. (1982). Avery Brundage and American Participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. Journal Of American Studies, 16(1), 81-105. doi: 10.1017/s002187580000949x

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