Spring Events

Historian Dr. David Clay Large
"Americans In Berlin;
Team USA at the 1936 Olympics"

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Academic West 204

Next to the German squad, America's team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, often called the "Nazi Games," was the largest. The Yank team's size notwithstanding, America's presence in Berlin was highly controversial and almost did not come about due to a powerful boycott effort in the U.S. against participation in "Hitler's Games." Once the competitions commenced controversy continued because of the extraordinary performances of black athletes on America's track squad, including the four gold medals won by Jesse Owens. The controversies involved not just Hitler's alleged "snub" of Owens but also the ways in which African-American triumphs were interpreted both in Germany and in the United States. Moreover, two Jewish members of the track squad were excluded from participation in a relay race at the last minute. This workshop will examine issues of race and politics at what remains the most notorious of all modern Olympiads.

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