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Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  127 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The torch relay—that staple of Olympic pageantry—first opened the summer games in 1936 in Berlin. Proposed by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, the relay was to carry the symbolism of a new Germany across its route through southeastern and central Europe. Soon after the Wehrmacht would march in jackboots over the same terrain.

The Olympic festival was a crucial part of the Nazi
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton Company (first published April 1st 2007)
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Michael Griswold
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Avery Brundage- the famous IOC president famously said that the Olympics should exist above the political issues of the day. This is ironic considering that every modern Olympics from the Greek revival through the recently completed Sochi Games has been subject to some sort of political intrigue. It is further ironic considering Mr. Brundage’s own actions in the lead-up into the highly controversial Berlin Summer Olympics of 1936, which brought into question the very spirit of the Olympics, that ...more
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Interested in Olympic sports and Nazi history? This is a must read.

The Nazi games are quite a story. Hitler's ideology didn't apply to reality since Jesse Owens, an American black man, outperformed all his best athletes of the Aryan race.

Hitler also had much of the anti-Jew, anti-gypsy and anti-homosexuality propaganda removed from view during the games so athletes and visitors wouldn't see what was really going on in Germany in 1936.

The Reich even provided young, virgin women to "service" th
Reza Amiri Praramadhan
Summer Olympics of 1936 was an opportunity for Nazi Germany to showcase itself, ideology and everything, to the world. Indeed, it spared no expenses in preparing for it. However, for all of the rhetorics about supremacy of the ‘Aryan race’, Jesse Owens and other ‘Black Auxiliaries’ from USA brought embarassment to the faces of Hitler when they came to dominate the track and field numbers. The other irony was that, being a masculine society, the Germans came to depend to the number of medals won ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-ii
A Thorough Examination of the ‘36 Games …

Having been previously impressed by David Clay Large’s detailed account of the tragic ’72 Summer Games (“Munich 1972”), I was more than eager to delve into the story of the 1936 Olympic Games held in Germany. With NAZI GAMES, Large provides an equally enthralling and informative look at how athletics took a back seat to politics in the first truly modernized Olympics.

It is both disappointing and ironic that (arguably) the two most iconic symbols of the 19
Jane Thompson
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Olympic Story

An interesting history of the 1936 games in Germany, this book tells a complete story of a politics-ridden Olympiad. It also tells the story of the athletes who competed in it, and the people who were involved in putting on the games.
Paul Miller
I'd read Munich 1972 by this same author, not realizing that he'd previously written this about the 'pre-quel' - when the Olympics were first held in Germany. The topic material is fascinating - I think the author's style is more readable in his later book (makes sense - we SHOULD get better at what we do over time). Definitely recommended - again, if you like sports/history/politics.

Probably most notable given today we accept as a given that Nazi/Hitler views are abhorrent, very much NOT so at
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While the title is accurate, I was about half-way through when I realized that the author would enlighten us about both the Winter and Summer Games, both hosted by Germany. The beginning chapters give a good overview of the International Olympic Committee's formation and work from 1896, and the Games prior to 1936. The overall Winter and Summer Sports pagentry, coupled with the state-of-the-art radio, TV and film coverage of the games, illuminates an aspect of German history that, for me, was la ...more
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very well written book filled with about as much information about the 36 Olympics and the events leading up to it as anyone could have a right to expect. There's lots of various facts about the games, did you know that Jesse Owens was one of 19 Black American atheltes to participate in the games? Or that Owens felt more resentment against Roosevelt for failing to welcome him home after the games than against Hitler for refusing to shake his hand? However, if there is a villain in this piece, ...more
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Most everyone knows the basics of the story: Hitler's agenda of proving the Aryan race superior through sport, Jesse Owens' landmark victory. "Nazi Games", unfortunately, majors on this common knowledge without really deepening our understanding of the games importance beyond pointing out the obvious.The style is perfunctory and utilitarian, and the historical and social analysis, again, is one that most people are already familiar with. A strictly introductory work, and an unengaging one at tha ...more
Jan 05, 2010 rated it liked it
An interesting, critical look at the 1936 Olympics that were played out in Berlin, a country gearing up for war. Large plays out all the little dramas and stories, as well as well known ones, like the "snub" of Jesse Owens. He also points out the obsession with the Third Reich being the next "Greece," and so the Olympic Committee in Germany invented all these little myths and rituals that mostly carry over to today's games (most notably is the torch relay carrying the "Olympic Flame).

Very well
Lisa Hunt
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really interesting book on the history of the 1936 Berlin "Nazi" Olympics. Not a super in-depth treatise, but a great over view. For me, it went into just the right amount of history, politics, people and sport. I'm a huge fan of the Olympics and reading about them during such a difficult period in time was fascinating.
Andy Plonka
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: src
A comprehensive account of the 1936 Olympics from the initial approval for Berlin to host the games through the actual games . Hitler's ambitions for his "reign" and the opposing views which caused much misery when war was finally declared figure prominently in the discussion.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book. It sounded so interesting, so I kept reading one boring chapter after another. The details were all there, but wow, pretty dry delivery and way too many of them. I made it halfway and then quit.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I liked boys in the boat much better.
Conan Robison
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good detailed book, written in an interesting way. It is a good companion if you want to know more about the 1936 Olympics referenced in "Unbroken". Worth the read.
Matthew Olgin
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
interesting read. ironically, the most boring part was the text concerning the actual sporting events.
Brendan Dawson
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