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Berlin Games: How the Nazis Stole the Olympic Dream

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
IN 1936, Adolf Hitler welcomed the world to Berlin to attend the Olympic Games. It promised to be not only a magnificent sporting event but also a grand showcase for the rebuilt Germany. No effort was spared to present the Third Reich as the newest global power. But beneath the glittering surface, the Games of the Eleventh Olympiad of the Modern Era came to act as a crucib ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 73)
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Aug 04, 2010 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heidi by: Katherine_b
On the one hand, it really is nice to finish one of the books on my 'borrowed from other people, must read and return at some point' shelf.

On the other hand, if you really really love the Olympics like I do, you may not want to read this book.

It's a great book, covering the historical moment of the Berlin Games, and giving a depth of insight to the debates around whether or not attendance at the games meant supporting Hitler, etc. Among other things, it's made me want to track down "Boycott", t
Jul 25, 2008 Patrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read.

However, the book should have focused either on the politics or the athletics. The first half of the book is pure politics, and the second half is pure retelling the results. The 10 pages at the end recapping everyone's lifes after the Olympics is far too short. The aftermath is what is important for this theory.

Also, the author tends to drop in way too many editorializing comments. We get it, you think Nazis were bad. It is a pretty common belief, you don't need to insert comme
Jul 09, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a good overview of how the Nazis hijacked the Olympics and used it as a tool for political propaganda, and how the rest of the world let them do it.

Being a British writer, the author naturally spent extra time and space on British athletes and British results. This was time undeserved as they finished a dismal 10th in the medal standings, with only four golds. Speaking of which, I felt the author spent far too much time describing the actual competitions, getting caught up in the
John Gurney
Aug 12, 2015 John Gurney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled with anecdotes from the 1936 Summer and Winter Olympics Games in Germany, author Guy Walters is readable and interesting. His thesis is that the 1936 Olympics should not have been held in Germany, and a number of myopic men in the USA, Britain and France gave the German Nazis everything they could hope for and more. Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, Ribbentrop and the rest of that nasty crew successfully hid anti-Semitic prosecution for that fortnight in 1936, while they staged a propaganda tour ...more
This book is rather had to rate - because it feels like two books joined together. One book is about the politics of the Olympics and how things went on behind closed (and sometimes open) doors. That was quite interesting, and a bit scary. The other book is an account of the Berlin Olympics (well, to be fair, there is a bit about the Winter Games too). And that other part is SO full of details - including results, lane numbers, who said what to whom, who thought who cheated etcetera. It got real ...more
In 1936 Germany had both Olympics. Before the winter games in Garmisch Partenkirken countries had to decide if they were going. The USOC under pro-German Avery Brundage were always going. Soon the Brits got on board. Walters believes that without the big western powers showing up the Nazis march into the Rhineland months later might not have happened. For the summer games, a boycott movement amounted to nothing. The Nazis bribed Baron de Coubertin with money and western diplomats with fancy dinn ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 03, 2015 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Olympics & students of Nazism
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
In reviewing other works by Walters listed in the GoodReads database I was surprised to see that he has concentrated on Nazi Germany. Having read this book of his I had come to the erroneous conclusion that his primary interest was in the sports, not in the politics, of 1936. While this suggests that readers primarily interested in the history of the Olympics will not be disappointed, it also indicates that the book was a bit weak about the political context within which Germany sponsored both t ...more
Jul 23, 2012 Socraticgadfly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing earthshaking here, but it deserves an average ranking higher than 3.3 stars, so it gets 4 from me. Realistically, this is one of those 3.5-star books.

I knew Avery Brundage was snooty and elitist, but this book confirms the roots of that, as well as of his anti-Semitism.

There are some interesting ironies. First, Hitler, of course, remilitarized the Rhineland in 1935. France might have stood up to him, if Britain had backed it. The British Olympic Committee seriously considered an Olympic
Sep 26, 2016 Lorraine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book confirmed for me that the Olympics have been corrupt since Coubertin reintroduced them in the late 19th century. In spite of all the talk about the Olympic ideals, everything could be sacrificed to the political realities of the day. This was especially obvious with the Berlin games. Jewish and leftist groups were calling for a boycott of the Olympics in 1936 but the IOC co-opted any opposition. The first part of the book detailed the political machinations which led to the Games being ...more
Michael Ritchie
I searched this out because I saw a recent PBS special on "The Nazi Games" and found it fairly interesting, and Walters was interviewed and was also interesting. But this book is problematic. When Walters sticks to his subtitle and is examining how Hitler and the Nazis used the Games as propaganda, how the Olympics Committee helped them do it, and how things occasionally backfired, it's good reading. But he too often steers away from that topic. It sounds churlish to complain that a book about a ...more
Aug 26, 2008 Ian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read Berlin Games prior to the Beijing Olympics and was surprised to find so many similarities between Nazi Germany and modern China. I'm not so sure we learned how to apply the lessons learned in the Holocaust when we still allow a nation to silence the voices of its people.
I give Berlin Games only 3 stars because (though extremely applicable) large parts of the book (ex. olympic planning committe meeting minutes, etc.) were rather boring.
This book is not quite what I have expected. It's not the political tale I imagined it to be, it contains more pages dedicated to sport than anything else. I am no follower of the Olympics, but the book is alright I suppose.
Click here to find it in the catalogue.
Sherrie Pilkington
Good book. It bounced between the politics and the sport and that kept it fresh throughout. The author clearly did a ton of research, but presented it in a fascinating way that didn't feel dry.
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Guy Walters (born 8 August 1971) is a British author, novelist, historian, academic and journalist.
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