Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
Cantankerous
Member
Posts: 520
Joined: 01 Sep 2019 21:22
Location: Newport Coast

Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by Cantankerous » 15 Feb 2021 17:41

It's common knowledge that African American athlete Jesse Owens stunned Hitler and the Nazis when he outran German athletes at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, casting doubting on Hitler's belief that Aryans were superior to non-whites. Did Joseph Goebbels refuse to concede that Aryans were not as superior to Africans in spite of Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics, or were some Nazi propaganda officials open to realizing that African Americans could no longer be seen as racially inferior?

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 6381
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by wm » 15 Feb 2021 22:29

Hitler actually didn't believe the Germans were superior physically (and maybe even mentally) over others.
According to him the main and the most important of German traits was the willingness to sacrifice for the community.

Cantankerous
Member
Posts: 520
Joined: 01 Sep 2019 21:22
Location: Newport Coast

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by Cantankerous » 15 Feb 2021 23:28

wm wrote:
15 Feb 2021 22:29
Hitler actually didn't believe the Germans were superior physically (and maybe even mentally) over others.
According to him the main and the most important of German traits was the willingness to sacrifice for the community.
I always remember how Hitler saw the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin as a chance to prove his belief in Aryan superiority. In any case, Jesse Owens' stellar athletic performance embarrassed Hitler because he considered African Americans inferior.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 6381
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by wm » 15 Feb 2021 23:47

Really?
speaks well of Hitler.png
it was exaggerated.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Immelmann11
Member
Posts: 18
Joined: 07 Feb 2021 17:06
Location: London

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by Immelmann11 » 16 Feb 2021 04:27

Hitler wasn't much interested in the whole event it was pre ordained before he came to power however he did not resent Owens at all....indeed it was Owens that said he was treated better in Germany than in the U.S. He also maintained that Hitler acknowledged him.
Of course people like to lie today and try and turn it around but it simply isn't the case that Hitler was in any way upset.
Regardless of what they say today about it Germany won the lions share of gold medals and it was considered a great success at the time.

Biber
Member
Posts: 469
Joined: 31 Jan 2007 22:56
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by Biber » 16 Feb 2021 15:21

Cantankerous wrote:
15 Feb 2021 23:28
I always remember how Hitler saw the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin as a chance to prove his belief in Aryan superiority. In any case, Jesse Owens' stellar athletic performance embarrassed Hitler because he considered African Americans inferior.
What is the source of your impressions?

Now that I think about it, didn't the movietone (?) news shorts portray the event as a showcase for Aryan superiority? Not sure. I could be projecting a modern impression/interpretation of the media.

I can agree that that has been how the Owens/Hitler/36 Olympics are almost always popularly portrayed, certainly for as long as I can remember (my dad even spoke of AH leaving the stadium when Owens won). Of course it is. That's what tabloid journalism is all about, making the bad guy look bad. Reaffirming the bias. So much the better if it can be done by an underdog, or even better yet, the very object of the bad man's derision. Makes for great press, reinforces the image of bad man's badness and people eat it up. Rather than admitting no knowledge the popular legend is repeated. Repetition turns it into history. Unfortunately in this instance it is merely wishful thinking. Even more unfortunate is that correcting the popular myth turned history ventures into the realm of revisionism, which has become very taboo these days.

Just curious, why did you choose to refer to Owens' performance as stellar? You could have easily left it unqualified and the point understood nevertheless. Certainly it's a point few if any would argue in the firstplace. As a student of human nature I find people's word choices very interesting.

I'm not surprised Germany led the tally of gold medals, my impression is that the host country often does. (but don't quote me on that)

User avatar
Wessel
Member
Posts: 270
Joined: 13 Aug 2005 21:50
Location: Scotland

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by Wessel » 16 Feb 2021 20:22

This Indian Olympic hockey player was not shy in asking a senior Nazi for his autograph, nor was Hess reluctant to give it!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

GregSingh
Member
Posts: 3502
Joined: 21 Jun 2012 01:11
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by GregSingh » 17 Feb 2021 04:01

He appeared in Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia movie. Goebbels did not cut him out!
Was the whole story about him not shaking hand with Hitler started by leftist/communist newspaper in US ?
Apparently they did not know, Hitler was asked to be apolitical by International Olympic Committee president. That was after on the first day of Olympics Hitler shook hands with Germans only...
The more you let yourself to go, the less others will let you to go.
F.Nietzsche

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 6381
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2021 13:44

The origin of the story:
hitler ignores negro medalists.png
great day for sports.png
more:
denies Hitler story.png
The New York Times frequently itself has been perpetuated the false story, like here:
chilly reception.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 6381
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2021 13:59

Much later:
little hazy.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Immelmann11
Member
Posts: 18
Joined: 07 Feb 2021 17:06
Location: London

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by Immelmann11 » 17 Feb 2021 19:15

The Olympics Committee informed the Führer if he shakes one hand he has to shake them ALL so obviously he decided not too.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 6381
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2021 19:37

Jesse Owens' wife said Hitler assigned to his husband bodyguards so he could have toured Berlin safe from constant pestering by fanatical fans.
I suppose she was mistaken and it was a Nazi functionary that did that.

George L Gregory
Member
Posts: 616
Joined: 13 Nov 2020 15:08
Location: Britain

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by George L Gregory » 18 Feb 2021 11:39

wm wrote:
15 Feb 2021 22:29
Hitler actually didn't believe the Germans were superior physically (and maybe even mentally) over others.
According to him the main and the most important of German traits was the willingness to sacrifice for the community.
More nonsense from you.

Below are two quotes from two of the speeches Hitler gave:
What we want of our German youth is different to what was wanted in the past. In our eyes the German youth of the future must be slim and trim, swift as a greyhound, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel. We have to educate a new type of person so that our People are not destroyed by the symptoms of the degeneration of our time.

[..]

We will make ourselves tough enough to withstand any storm. But we shall never forget that all our virtues and all our strength can achieve their combined effect only by obedience to a single will and one command. It is not by chance that we are all standing here now. It was not because each individual did what he wanted. You came here because you were summoned by an order from the Supreme Commander (Reichsjugendführer) of your movement and because this command was echoed in a thousand individual commands. And because each one of these commands was obeyed, an organization has formed from millions of individual young Germans and tens of thousands of your fellow members of this organization in Germany have come here today to form this rally, this parade. Nothing can be achieved unless one will commands which others must always obey, from the highest to the very lowest. And this, together with physical education and the toughening process, is our second great task.
- 21 September 1935
The value of the German Volk is incomparable. I will never allow myself to be persuaded, that any other Volk could have more value! I am convinced that our Volk, especially today, in its gradual racial improvement represents the highest value, that has ever been on the earth up to this time.
- 1938

Hitler repeatedly emphasised the so-called racial superiority of Germans and "Aryans".

Immelmann11
Member
Posts: 18
Joined: 07 Feb 2021 17:06
Location: London

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by Immelmann11 » 18 Feb 2021 13:51

WM is 100% correct in his comments....Hitlers desire to improve the health and standing of his people is replicated in today's world ...MAGA etc..is simply another desire to show pride in one's country....how often do uou hear Trump say America is the greatest country on Earth etc...
Hitler no doubt believed negrirs and others...gypsies...etc were inferior but it wasn't something you find in education...books...etc of the period...emphasis was on German pride

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 6381
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Impact of Jesse Owens' stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics on Nazi propaganda regarding African Americans

Post by wm » 18 Feb 2021 14:58

Swinish priests vs. noble blacks - according to Hitler:
Dirt shows on black people only when the missionaries, to teach them modesty, oblige them to put on clothes. In the state of nature, negroes are very clean. To a missionary the smell of dirt is agreeable. From this point of view, they themselves are the dirtiest swine of all. They have a horror of water.

And those repulsive priests, when they question a child of seven in the confessional, it's they themselves who incite it to sin, by opening its eyes to sin. And it's the same thing when they tum on the natives.

In the same vein, leave them alone:
If a nigger delights in wearing a pair of cuffs and nothing else, why should we interfere with him?

I have been reading tales of the burning of corpses at Benares. If we were out there, our hygiene experts would rise in their wrath and institute a crusade, backed by the most rigorous penalties, to suppress this evil practice! Every day official chemists would come and analyze the river water, and in no time a new and gigantic Ministry of Health would be set up! The British, on the other hand, have contented themselves with forbidding the immolation of widows.

The Indians can think themselves lucky that we do not rule India. We should make their lives a misery! Just think of it! Two hundred yards downstream of the place where they pitch the half-burned bodies of their dead into the Ganges, they drink the river water! Nobody ever takes any harm from it.
But would we stand for a thing like that?
Hitler's Table Talk

Return to “Propaganda, Culture & Architecture”