Jesse Owens

Hitler used the 1936 Olympics as a propaganda tool, inadvertently creating the modern Games, complete with torch relays, grand stadiums, publicity films and screens set up outside to transmit the Games. What the Nazis couldn’t stage-manage were the outcomes, and wonderful story of Jesse Owens smashing Hitler’s theories of racial superiority on the 100m sprint is an oft repeated story. (Enthusiastic crowd reaction on this clip suggests that the German people are less Aryan-obsessed than Hitler.Although his coach warned Owens about a potentially hostile crowd, there were German cheers of “Yesseh Oh-vens” or just “Oh-vens” from the crowd. Owens was a true celebrity in Berlin, mobbed by autograph seekers.)

It is oft mentioned that the Nazi leader refused to present Jesse Owens with his medal, shake his hand and subsequently stormed out of the stadium. However, Hitler was not even in the stadium when Jesse Owens was securing his medals, and his absence was more to do with his row with the Olympic organizers than with Owens . Hitler had congratulated German athletes on the first day, only to be informed by the IOC officials that he should congratulate all athletes or none, in order to show neutrality as the presiding head of state. In a characteristic fit of petulance, Hitler refused congratulate anyone after the first day of the competition, not even the German athletes. (Hitler did snub a black American athlete on the first day; just before Cornelius Johnson was to be decorated, Hitler left the stadium.)

Jesse Owens tried his best to correct the myth-making that went on around him: he admitted that he received the greatest ovations of his career at Berlin. he recalled:  “When I passed the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticizing [Hitler] …. Hitler didn’t snub me—it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram”. Such was an atmosphere of segregation back in the U.S. that Owens was never invited to the White House to be congratulated. When there was a ticker-tape parade in New York in his honour, he had to attend the reception at the Waldorf-Astoria using the back elevator set aside for blacks. (Even in Berlin, he was allowed to travel and stay together with whites).

28 thoughts on “Jesse Owens”

  1. The Japanese gentleman with his hat in hand, who appears between Owens and the third placed athlete, is Jigoro Kano, the inventor of Judo.

  2. For all the talk of Jesse Owens, forgotten is the fact that German paramilitary sports training did work.The Germans won an incredible 89 medals ( 33 gold, 26 silver, 30 bronze) easily surpassing all participating countries, including the U.S., who finished well off the pace with 56 medals. No other nation even came close; it was sheer domination.

    Also not as well known is that many countries adopted national sports programs after these Olympics, to try and emulate the German successes.

    1. Might they have created an early form of EPO to generate this huge success? There was so many hidden experimental work those days in Germany…

      Ok, just kidding…


      P.S.: The areal of the olympic village of 1936 is fading in agony but still to be seen. Great place for nostalgic people and morbide fotoshoots:

      here, here or here.

      1. That what make this amaising is that there is. O drugs usage and even at a time that black were treated unfairly he still respected all other. Now that is a hero beyon all other . Richard Cadotte 2015

  3. A decade ago, when the various sports outlets were debating the “athlete of the century” for the 20th century, I had hoped they would choose Jesse Owens.

  4. While we are “correct[ing] the myth-making”, why don’t we correct the myths in this very story?
    “What the Nazis couldn’t stage-manage were the outcomes, and wonderful story of Jesse Owens smashing Hitler’s theories of racial superiority on the 100m sprint is an oft repeated story.”
    Why do people make a big deal out of this? Because they try and do anything to discredit the Germans. I’m not German, but it seems like the German bashing is out of spite.
    Take a look at the medal count. If anything, the 1936 Summer Olympics PROVED that the Germans WERE superior. People want to talk about one single event in which a black man came first and a German came second, while ignoring all of the other events. They won 89 medals that year, the second being the US with 56.
    So saying that this one race proved that the Germans weren’t superior is dumb, ignorant, and bigoted in itself. Why ignore the rest of the events?
    And as I said, I’m not German, nor do I have any German blood, however, I am a realist and I see what is going on here. Zionist propaganda at its finest. Germany crushed the competition that year.
    In fact, why no mention of the blacks who were defeated by Germans that year (yet make the one who did beat them a story told forever)? Being racist against Germans is no worse than being racist against Jews.

    1. “propaganda at its finest.”

      I couldn’t agree more.. that was something that Goebels would have been proud of!

    2. It said he smashed the theories of racial superiority. The Germans may have dominated the games but not because they had Aryan blood; it was because they trained harder than the rest of them. Think before you speak next time stupid ass.

      1. You’re an idiot. You do not know the reason they won the games? How do you know they trained harder than everyone else, moron? You’re obviously trying to discredit the Germans because they are superior to you.

    3. Dear John,

      I’m SO tired of (stupid) people complaining about “German-bashing” everytime the Nazis are criticized.
      You obviously do NOT know your history very well!


      Criticizing the Nazis (and YES they SHOULD be criticized!) is NOT being racist against Germans.
      Go to Germany and see what most Germans will say about the Nazis. Especially ask those Germans who are old enough to remember what really happened when Hitler took power. Please hurry.

      Your comment to Remy further down PROVES (again) that you’re the idiot here by saying…(and I quote)…
      “…how do you know they trained harder than anyone else, moron? You’re obviously trying to discredit the Germans because they are superior to you.”

      UMMM…just what are you basing your theory on? How would you even come to the conclusion that Remy is trying to discredit the Germans because they are better than he/she is? Remy could BE a German for all you (or anyone else here) knows.

      The German people weren’t any better or worse than anyone else and Remy was just stating a fact that thier winning many events had nothing to do with having Aryan blood. Remy is correct.

      The bottom line in athletic competition is this; winners train. Hard. Often.
      Get that through your thick skull, turn off the TV, brush the Cheetos dust off your shirt and go ask any athlete what it takes to win. Do it now.

      According to you, the Germans shouldn’t have even had to train at all, trusting in thier superior genes to propel them to certain victory.

      It’s a known fact that the Germans trained harder than others for this competition. THINK about it….
      did you figure that one out yet? Think harder.

      Each race has its own unique attributes (there’s a really cool book called a dictinary in case you don’t know what the word *attribute* means) and NO race is any better than another.

      That having been said, I will add that YES different races DO have different attributes. For example; Black people usually have what is called “fast twitch” muscle fibers, especially in thier legs, giving them a SMALL advantage in sprinting. White people usually have “slow twitch” muscle fibers, giving them a SMALL advantage in distance running. Which is better? That’s purely a matter of opinion. Keep in mind the advantages are small, and could easily be overcome by the other racial group/s training harder. It doesn’t mean one group is better or worse than another or that a Black person can’t run a marathon as good as a White person.

      Have you heard of sexual dymorphism? That means that (in general) males tend to be larger and stronger than females. Well, we ALL know that some men are quite small, and some women can be VERY strong. Most women aren’t strong enough to be a firefighter, but SOME can. It’s scientifically proven that in general women handle pain better than men, and that our brains work differently. Women make better race car drivers, believe it or not. So, who is superior, women or men? (Aryan or not, haha)

      We are all human and there is such a huge genetic diversity that makes up the human race so how can you say that any group is better or worse than another?

      People often don’t even know thier own genetic heritage. For example, did you know that almost ALL Black people you see in America are at least 20-30% Aryan on average? Most don’t even know.

      NOTE; I use the term “Black” because I hate the term “African-American” due to the fact that most Black Americans don’t have recent ties to Africa and have never been there, and also if I had to explain MY bloodline in “PC language” it would be a rather long explaination. I hate the term
      “_________-American” in general, (insert chosen natinality) I have nothing against Black people.

      Maternally, (that means the bloodline that goes through my Mother’s side of the family)
      I DO have German blood.

      I AM;
      Paternally; 3rd generation Irish

      Maternally; Native American; Cherokee,(proven) and possibly Choktaw as well (unproven) German, Dutch, Scottish, English, French(maybe) and possibly other heritage.

      I am proud of my genetic heritage, as should everyone be. No race or nationality is better or worse than another.

      My daughter has German, Jewish, Black, Welsh, Scottish and possibly (unproven) Native American (Tonkawa) from her dad’s lineage, and she is dating a man of Mexican and possibly also Spanish (yes there is a difference) heritage. I hope they have lots of beautiful children one day!

      John, you are obviously of a Nazi mind-set and need to go back to school.

  5. To chime in again one last time, as far as “evil-ness” goes, the Nazi’s of the 30’s-40’s = The Zionists of today

  6. Um, it’s not any sort of propaganda or conspiracy. It’s just that the victors write history, and Germany… well, it may have done well in the Olympics, but it did not win.

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