Olympics and History of the Modern Games Germany 1936 Part 2

About the olympics and the modern games, account of the games in Berlin, Germany in 1936.


In the jumping event, Owens was called for fouls in the semifinals and had only one jump left. Lutz Long, a friendly German jumper, advised him to jump from the rear of the board to be safe. Owens did and got into the finals, where he beat the German on his last effort. Long hugged him in admiration, but Hitler--eager to congratulate Long--shunned Owens. Long became a pilot and died in the 1st week of W.W. II; years later Owens, returning to Germany, met Long's widow and son.

Black U.S. athletes won every flat race to 800-m., outscoring all other nations, as well as their own teammates.

The Germans reinstituted the ancient Greek lighting of the torch at the shrine of Zeus at Olympia; then it was carried, relay-style, nearly 2,000 mi. across 7 countries.

Aboard ship, American swim star Eleanor Holms, a 1932 winner, now married, was suspended from the team for drinking champagne, partying and gambling, but made the best of her stay in Berlin:

It was a fantastic Olympics, spectacular! I had such fun. You know, athletes don't think much about the politics of it all. . . . Goring was fun. He had a good personality, lots of chuckling. And so did the little one with the clubfoot [Josef Goebbels]. Goring gave me a sterling silver swastika. I had a mold made of it, and I put a diamond Star of David in the middle of it.

Hendrika Mastenbrock, a 17-year-old Dutch woman, won 3 gold medals in swimming.

According to All That Glitters Is Not Gold by William O. Johnson, Jr., Dr. Paul Martin of Lausanne, Switzerland, who competed in 5 Olympics as a runner, has related the most amazing story of the '36 games:

The Olympic athlete in Berlin was elevated to a godlike creature. We were the gods of the stadium. The Germans had even reserved a sort of heavenly forest near the Olympic Village for those gods. And there the prettiest handpicked maidens would offer themselves to the athletes--especially to the good Aryan types. Olympic babies born out of such encounters were cared for by the state. There was every indication that this Woods of Love was a matter of state policy by the Nazis. . . .

It was interesting that before submitting to the Olympic god of her choice, the girl would request her partner's Olympic badge. In case of pregnancy, the girl would give this information to the state or Red Cross maternities to prove the Olympic origins of her baby. Then the state would pay for the whole works.

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