Jesse Owens was a track and field athlete who won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. At a time when racial separation and prejudice against African Americans was widespread in the USA, Owens’ participation in the Games was already controversial. His triumphant achievements made a mockery of the white supremacy ideals of Hitler.
Owens was the first African American to be offered a sponsorship deal by Adidas shoes.
German sport has only one task: to strengthen the character of the German people, imbuing it with the fighting spirit and steadfast camaraderie necessary in the struggle for its existence.
— Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, 23 April 1933
The Berlin Olympics of 1936 was Hitler’s chance to show the world the “new” Germany. He toned down his political rhetoric during the Games; all anti-Jewish graffiti was painted over and propaganda signs removed. Hitler even declared that foreign visitors would not be subject to the country’s strict anti-homosexual laws. However, Hitler did ban Jews and non-Europeans from the German Olympic team.
Many countries considered boycotting the Games in protest against Nazism, however Spain was the only country that actually did.
This is the first line from the German national anthem. It translates as “Germany above all”. The lengthy lyrics were written by August Heinrich Hoffman in 1841, and set to music by Joseph Hayden (written in 1797).
Following the re-unification of East and West Germany, only the third verse is now used as the national anthem.
Paper and pens were not easy to get hold of during the war, especially so for poor families, as they were considered a luxury. Being a house painter and decorator, Hans Hubermann has a better supply of sandpaper, which can double as writing paper.
The Amper river runs for 185km through Southern Bavaria. Dachau and the concentration camp stand on the river.