Boycott Of The American Olympic Committee

Decent Essays

In 1932, the Nazi party became the majority faction in the Reichstag, the German parliament, and in 1933 Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. This new leadership alarmed the IOC and sparked boycott movements around the world, including in the United States. Jewish and African-American communities were alarmed by the German government’s boycott of Jewish businesses. They appealed to the American members of the Olympic committee to boycott the games. The president of the American Olympic Committee (AOC), Avery Brundage (who would later become the president of the IOC itself), released a statement seemingly in support of boycotting Berlin:
The Games will not held in any country where there will be interference with the …show more content…

In France, tensions between the bourgeoisie and the working class put strain on the new government. In an unsatisfying compromise, the government authorized spending for both the official Berlin Olympics and a rival “Worker’s Olympics” which was planned to take place in Spain, but was later cancelled due to the Spanish Civil War. In the end, all three influential countries, the United States, Britain, and France supported the 1936 games despite evidence of racist and anti-Semitic practices by the German government. Had these countries dissented the actions of the Nazi regime, perhaps more countries would have actually boycotted the games. Instead, forty-nine countries participated, more than at any prior Olympics.
While the boycott movement was happening in America, Germany was preparing to host the games. From the beginning, Hitler realized the value of an international event watched by millions as a platform for the idea of “Aryan superiority.” The German Olympic team itself included only one German Jew, a fencer named Helene Mayer. Another Jew initially invited to the team was Margaret Lambert, who competed in track and field. The women were invited to the team to prove to critics in the United States that Germany was not prejudiced against the Jewish people. In fact, the German sports captain, Captain

Get Access