"Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936"

Museums, History
Berlin Olympics 1936

This exhibit commemorates the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin during Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, which were nearly boycotted by several nations after Hitler publicly stated Jews should not be able to participate. Though Hitler eventually allowed all ethnicities to participate, the Olympic Games were still used as a vehicle to publicize the Nazi regime and its racial supremacist ideals. Despite this, black American runner Jesse Owens went on to win four gold medals, becoming the most successful athlete in the games. The Illinois Holocaust Museum exhibit examines the event through photographs, film and athlete testimonies, looking back at these contentious games as well as issues surrounding ethics in sports today. 

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