The Olympics and Jew Hatred

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Avery Brundage


    In 1931, the International Olympic Committee decided to hold the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

     Two years later, on January 31, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed (not elected) Chancellor, i.e. prime minister, of Germany by the President, General Paul von Hindenburg.

     Hitler was at first opposed to holding the Olympic Games in Berlin but was persuaded by propaganda minister Joseph Göbbels to allow these events because of the publicity value for Germany which international attention would promote.

     The International Olympic Committee commissioned Leni Riefenstahl to film these games. She did so and produced a film called Olympia. Riefenstahl was a fanatic Nazi and great friend of Hitler’s. She was therefore appointed to make a film about the Nazi rise to power in Germany. This she called Triumph of the Will, which glorified “Der Führer” and all his evil deeds.

   After the collapse of the “Third Reich”, Riefenstahl pretended that she had nothing to do with Nazi brutality and that she knew nothing about the murder of six million Jews. That excuse reminds us of John Kennedy’s famous definition of “chutzpah”. Said Kennedy, “a chutzpah is the demand by a man who killed his mother and father that he should be excused because he is an orphan.”

    Although the rules and bylaws of the International Olympic Committee prohibited discrimination on the basis of religion, race, sex, ethnicity, etc., the Nazi organizers of the games would not allow Jews to participate. This led to a boycott movement in the United States, in that many non-Jewish Americans would not accede to the Nazi demands that no Jews participate.

    However, Avery Brundage, the chairman of the American Olympic Committee, opposed any boycott of Germany on the grounds that there was a Jewish-Communist conspiracy to keep the United States out of the 1936 Olympics. Brundage had been elected to the committee because his predecessor, Ernest Lee Jahncke, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy, demanded that the U.S. boycott the Nazi Olympics. Jahncke was a Protestant and son of German immigrants.

    While Jewish organizations made every effort to boycott the Nazi Olympics, black newspapers such as the Chicago Defender and The Philadelphia Tribune opposed any boycott on the grounds that the Nazi attitude towards Jews was a Jewish problem which did not concern them (No doubt numerous Jews fought for the black cause in the South during the voter registration drives out of respect for  the alliance between the Nazis and the black community).

      By 1936 the Nazi government had been in power for four years, so that a number of the 430 anti-Jewish laws finally decreed by the Hitlerian government were already in force. Alone in 1933, the first year of Nazi rule, it was decreed that all Jews were dismissed from all government jobs, that no Jew could practice medicine, dentistry or the law. Further, there was a prohibition of kosher slaughter of animals. In addition laws were made prohibiting Jews from serving as jurors; expelling all Jews from all schools, including universities; prohibiting Jews from employment as tax consultants; and, most important, depriving Jews of German citizenship no matter how many generations may have been born in Germany.

   By the time that the Olympics took place, 114 anti-Jewish decrees had been promulgated by the Nazi government, so that only someone favorable to the Nazis and a convinced Jew hater was not cognizant of these atrocities. Admittedly, the destruction of all synagogues and the mass murder were yet to come. Nevertheless, Avery Brundage knew about this persecution, but described the fate of the German Jews as a “Jew-Nazi altercation”, as if the Jews were equals in the dispute. He also indulged in numerous other “hate-the-Jews” comments.

   Brundage associated with German-American Nazis, made every effort to keep the United States out of the Second World War, and admired Hitler publicly. Brundage was also a leading member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, which excluded all Jews.

   During the Olympics, which began on August 1, 1936, all anti-Jewish signs and propaganda was removed from German buildings. Since 1933, every store and every public building such as libraries had displayed signs that read, “Juden unerwünscht”, meaning Jews not welcome. Except for the two weeks of the Olympics, Nazi newspapers were plastered all over the walls in German cities. These contained hideous caricatures of Jews with huge bellies, vast noses, glinting animalistic eyes and warnings not to associated with these “beasts”. All that was removed from German streets on Hitler’s orders and reinstated as soon as the foreigners were gone.

  Since no Jews were allowed to participate for Germany, a number of top German Jewish athletes moved to the United States and England. Some American Jewish athletes refused to go to Germany for the games, except Helen Mayer, a sprinter, who had emigrated from Germany a year earlier. She actually returned to Germany for the games, ran for Germany, won a medal and gave the Hitler salute.

   Some Jewish athletes were however included in the American delegation. Two of these Jews were Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller. Both were slated to participate in the 400 meter relay team but were replaced by two Afro-Americans because Brundage did not want to offend the Nazis by allowing two Jews to participate.

     It was the same Brundage who was still in charge of the IOC in 1972 when the Arabs murdered a number of Israeli athletes. An effort was made to stop all competition or to at least suspend the games one day in honor of the murdered Israelis. Brundage would not allow any of that. He saw no reason to even mention the murdered Israelis.

    Today, numerous Jews are participating in the Beijing Olympics. Their names are found in every American Jewish newspaper. Brundage is gone and so are the Nazis and their sympathizers. They are now replaced by the sympathizers of Arab terrorism, almost all of whom are supporters of the Obama campaign. A Jew who votes for Obama votes for the destruction of Israel. May HASHEM prevent such an outcome.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Fraud (2007).

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