1936
Berlin
Germany

The Nazi regime attempted to use the 1936 Games for propaganda purposes, including white racial superiority. This attempt failed. The most popular athlete of the Games was African American Jesse Owens, winning four gold medals in sprinting, relay and long jump.

The National Archives holds a selection of records related to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, from the exploitation of Olympics for Nazi propaganda and the persecution of Jews, to the extent of participation and exclusion of various parties.

33 records available

  • Effects of persecution of Jews and possible boycott: inability of HMG to indicate what attitude the British...
    FO 371/18863/7600
    Effects of persecution of Jews and possible boycott: inability of HMG to indicate what attitude the British Olympic Association should adopt.<br />FO 371/18863/7600Preview
  • Nazi party rally at Nurnberg, 1933. The chief of staff remembers the dead.
    FO 96/221 no50
    Nazi party rally at Nurnberg, 1933. The chief of staff remembers the dead. FO 96/221 no50Preview
  • Four zones of occupation and administration of greater Berlin, 1944-1945.
    FO 1079/13
    Four zones of occupation and administration of greater Berlin, 1944-1945. FO 1079/13Preview
  • Appeal by British Olympic Association to Hitler for amnesty for person imprisoned in Germany for...
    FO 371/18864/4324
    Appeal by British Olympic Association to Hitler for amnesty for person imprisoned in Germany for religious or racial reasons: proposal by Archbishop of York. FO 371/18864/4324Preview
  • Appeal by British Olympic Association to Hitler for amnesty for person imprisoned in Germany for...
    FO 371/18865/4966
    Appeal by British Olympic Association to Hitler for amnesty for person imprisoned in Germany for religious or racial reasons: responses to proposal by Archbishop of York.Preview
  • 'Give us the tools and-', Second World War poster.
    INF 3/154
    'Give us the tools and-', Second World War poster. INF 3/154Preview
  • Adolf Hitler visits Berlin stadium.
    FO 96/221 no174
    Adolf Hitler visits Berlin stadium. FO 96/221 no174Preview
  • Feeling in US as regards holding of Games in Germany; demands for withdrawal of US...
    FO 371/18866/7400
    Feeling in United States as regards holding of 1936 Olympic Games in Germany; demands for withdrawal of United States from participation. FO 371/18866/7400Preview
  • Feeling in US as regards holding of Games in Germany; recent developments in campaign against...
    FO 371/18866/8436
    Feeling in United States as regards holding of 1936 Olympic Games in Germany; recent developments in campaign against United States participation. FO 371/18866/8436Preview
  • German Chancellor's interest, fears of Germany that US would withdraw, inclusion of Jewish...
    FO 371/18884/7552
    Olympic Games to be held in Germany 1936; German Chancellor's interest, fears of Germany that United States would withdraw, inclusion of Jewish woman in fencing team. FO 371/18884/7552Preview
  • Agitation against holding the Games in Germany; suggestion from British Non-Sectarian...
    FO 371/19940/306
    Agitation against holding the Olympic Games in Germany in 1936; suggestion from British Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi Council. FO 371/19940/306Preview
  • At Germisch-partenkirchen; agitation in US against American participation.
    FO 371/19940/930
    At Germisch-partenkirchen; agitation in United States against American participation. FO 371/19940/930Preview
  • Invitation to Prime Minister to attend British Olympic dinner; from Lord Burghley, accepted by Prime...
    FO 371/19940/1346
    Invitation to Prime Minister to attend British Olympic dinner; from Lord Burghley, accepted by Prime Minister. FO 371/19940/1346Preview
  • Invitation to Prime Minister to attend British Olympic dinner; German ambassador's...
    FO 371/19940/1721
    Invitation to Prime Minister to attend British Olympic dinner German ambassador's presence; Lord Burghley to invite other foreign representatives. FO 371/19940/1721Preview
  • Financial advantages to Germany of Olympic Games.
    FO 371/19940/2284
    Financial advantages to Germany of Olympic Games. FO 371/19940/2284Preview
  • British participation in Olympic Games.
    FO 371/19940/3137
    British participation in Olympic Games. FO 371/19940/3137Preview
  • Proposed visit of party of boys to Berlin under King George's Jubilee Trust in connection with...
    FO 371/19940/3547
    Proposed visit of party of boys to Berlin under King George's Jubilee Trust in connection with Olympic Games. FO 371/19940/3547Preview
  • French attitude towards Olympic Games to be held in Germany.
    FO 371/19940/3697
    French attitude towards Olympic Games to be held in Germany. FO 371/19940/3697Preview
  • Proposed visit of one of His Majesty's ships to Kiel; two months required to train boat crew for Regatta.
    FO 371/19940/4049
    Proposed visit of one of His Majesty's ships to Kiel; two months required to train boat crew for Regatta. FO 371/19940/4049Preview
  • Banners for countries of British Empire taking part in Olympic Games.
    FO 371/19940/4149
    Banners for countries of British Empire taking part in Olympic Games. FO 371/19940/4149Preview
  • Proposed visit of one of His Majesty's ships to Kiel; reviewing proposal for visit and action taken.
    FO 371/19940/4511
    Proposed visit of one of His Majesty's ships to Kiel; reviewing proposal for visit and action taken. FO 371/19940/4511Preview
  • Forthcoming Olympic Games in Germany; conversations with Dr Yahuda who was suggesting boycott.
    FO 371/19940/4559
    Forthcoming Olympic Games in Germany; conversations with Dr Yahuda who was suggesting boycott. FO 371/19940/4559Preview
  • Flags to be used by British teams participating in Games; proposal to hang versions of...
    FO 371/19940/4833
    Flags to be used by British teams participating in Olympic Games; proposal to hang versions of national flags in place of banners. FO 371/19940/4833Preview
  • No assurance received from German government that Games would not be used for propaganda.
    FO 371/19940/5264
    Olympic Games in Germany; no assurance received from German government that Games would not be used for propaganda purposes. FO 371/19940/5264Preview
  • Measures taken by German authorities to impress foreign visitors to Olympic Games.
    FO 371/19940/5429
    Measures taken by German authorities to impress foreign visitors to Olympic Games. FO 371/19940/5429Preview
  • Non-participation of Fraulein Grete Bergmann, Jewish woman in Olympic Games.
    FO 371/19940/5645
    Non-participation of Fraulein Grete Bergmann, Jewish woman in Olympic Games. FO 371/19940/5645Preview
  • German press comment on Olympic Games; Olympic fraternity spirit.
    FO 371/19940/5677
    German press comment on Olympic Games; Olympic fraternity spirit. FO 371/19940/5677Preview
  • Presentation by Canadian Olympic Committee of wreckage of Count von Richthofen's...
    FO 371/19940/5827
    Presentation by Canadian Olympic Committee of piece of wreckage of Count von Richthofen's plane. FO 371/19940/5827Preview
  • Games held in Berlin 1-16 August 1936.
    FO 371/19940/5983
    Games held in Berlin 1-16 August 1936. FO 371/19940/5983Preview
  • German propaganda in Iraq; marked activity encouraging Iraqis to visit Germany.
    FO 371/20010/4772
    German propaganda in Iraq; marked activity encouraging Iraqis to visit Germany. FO 371/20010/4772Preview
  • Suggested visit to Kiel of warships from states participating in Olympic regatta.
    FO 371/19940/1639
    German propaganda in Iraq; marked activity encouraging Iraqis to visit Germany. FO 371/20010/4772Preview
  • Reply to question; Mr Eden will not seek assurances that Games will not be used for propaganda.
    FO 371/19940/5430
    German propaganda in Iraq; marked activity encouraging Iraqis to visit Germany. FO 371/20010/4772Preview
  • Requests to inform authorities of German agreement that participants may wear uniforms.
    FO 371/19940/5566
    German propaganda in Iraq; marked activity encouraging Iraqis to visit Germany. FO 371/20010/4772Preview

Additional resources