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A critical analysis of the racial communication strategies of the 1936 Olympic newspaper

Published in: Education
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  1. 1. Racial Communication Strategies in the “Olympiazeitung” during the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  2. 2. Constructing “the other’
  3. 3. At night under the village trees. Conversation and -- conversation! Early morning when the roosters crow
  4. 4. [In Bavarian dialect:] ”And I had thought we are the only ones who have a character.” That’s how the Brazilian coffee was supposedly rowed over.
  5. 5. Our cartoonist illustrates here the fact that Avery Brundage could unite all of his athletes under one hat.
  6. 6. The autograph hunter: “So, which one is Owens?” Nightly spook in the Olympic Village
  7. 7. “One can’t think of a more beautiful connection: the different groups who each represent their ethnicity, the particularities of their country in dress, music, and dance - and the Arbeitsdienst [work service], today still a German institution, in the future maybe a great common one, which will be part of every people and therefore the basis for a healthy coexistence of all people.”
  8. 8. Relativizing the records
  9. 9. “Was that Rosemeyer?” No – Jesse Owens!”
  10. 10. 3. August 1936, 16:55 – before the start to the 100m dash, the commentator of the new German Reich Television: „There they scuttle like thoroughbred horses. Two blacks against four whites. Europe against the USA. The battle begins.”
  11. 11. “’Why are you, why are the Negroes so quick, Mr. Owens?’ But he avoided and answer. That’s when we told him that one of our greatest experts, the German Reich sport teacher Waitzer answered this question as follows: ‘American scientists trace the significant superiority of the Negro in running to the more favorable anatomic built of their body. They found that Negroes have a more pronounced down tilt between pelvis and tight, which allows for more effective muscle work while running. This more favorable construction supposedly results in a 8- 10cm longer step with the same amount of strength. This is biologically justified.
  12. 12. “Mister Owens – 10.2 seconds is an overly high speed!” ”Sorry - - but my breaks don’t work very well!” Japanese are starting artists – Jesse Owens IS the miracle runner
  13. 13. Owens in Nurmi’s path
  14. 14. The jubilation was lastly so great because the masses were, at the same time, elated by the fabulous Italian Cerati who supremely won the run over 5000 meters.
  15. 15. If Jesse Owens would start in the swimming competitions In the Olympic village. I can really recommend this sunblock.
  16. 16. Knocking black athletes down the evolutionary ladder
  17. 17. “Johnson’s jump over 2.03 meters … was like the jump of a panther. ..When we compare Johnson with a panther, then in a deeper sense. … This animal-like, panther-like perfection shows when he runs and rises in the air. But it also, and that’s most important, in all he does otherwise. One only has to observe him on Sunday when he is resting. … That’s how the beautiful predator looks after its hunt. … This ability to dedicate oneself completely into the running or the resting is something the Negro has because he is closer to the natural state than the white man. It creates the indescribable something beyond technique that leads to victory. The development of the human kind goes undeniably from sensing to knowing, from instinct to technique. In the beginning, the animal shows itself superior, we are talking of physical technique here, but slowly the human advances. He researches, he learns, he knows, he discovers connections, he thinks, … he creates a technique and improves it constantly, and with each new discovery he comes a little step closer to the distant ideal of divinity. … That’s why the opportunities of the white race, which is mainly the bearer of knowledge, not the intellectual school knowledge, but the conscious life, are vast. And that’s why the colored men, against some pessimistic prophecies, will never have a chance in the world, at least not as far as they live by their instinct. … Johnson comes from an intellectual era that we have left behind us forever. … His spirit lives in his blood and he, therefore, still in the state of paradise.”
  18. 18. Yes, sir – this be the little oak branches from Germany, who I have received at Olympics in Börlin.
  19. 19. “At the end – autograph exchange”
  20. 20. “Please, would you sell me bus as little souvenir of Germany, Börlin!?”
  21. 21.  “I'm afraid the Nazis have succeeded with their propaganda. First, the Nazis have run the Games on a lavish scale never before experienced, and this has appealed to the athletes. Second, the Nazis have put up a very good front for the general visitors, especially the big businessmen.” Foreign correspondent William Shirer in his diary, Berlin, August 16, 1936
  22. 22. Godfrey Brown (GB, Silver 400m): “The fact is that some of us went to Berlin with the mistaken idea – that we were going to watch or take part in a sports meeting. Instead, we were treated to a piece of political propaganda […] On the last day we were inflicted with the sight of thousands of gross, flabby Germans, so-called Hitler Youth, clad in nothing but shorts and performing ridiculous evolutions on the grass. We cried, “Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens,” and made a dash for the first train home.”