A Bid For History?
Is Germany wrestling with the notion that the country should bid for the 2036 Summer Olympics and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Germany hosting what is known as the Hitler Games? It seems that Berlin’s Interior Minister Andreas Geisel has floated the notion with the thought that it would be a good opportunity to show how the event was used for propaganda purposes. But Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has thrown cold water on the notion. In an interview with a Frankfurt newspaper, Seehofer has reasons that it would be an unwise mainly because it would harm the spirit of the Olympics. “It would be unthinkable, if we did that, we would bring on an unspeakable international discussion and harm the Olympic idea. How would people see it across the world? Germany celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Nazi Olympics? That cannot happen.”
Germany hosted two Olympics in 1936, the winter and summer events but it was the Summer Olympics that grabbed the attention. An American boycott was suggested but USOC head Avery Brundage said no and thought all was well with American athletes going to Berlin. President Franklin Roosevelt supported Brundage’s position. Ultimately Jesse Owens would win four Gold Medals and changed the narrative of the superior Aryan society. The International Olympic Committee could not let go of Hitler’s Germany. Japan was at war with China and the IOC stripped Sapporo as the host of the 1940 Winter Olympics. By spring 1939, the IOC had to find a host. It did. Germany despite worsening conditions in the country for various people and Germany taking over parts of Austria and Czechoslovakia. The IOC also gave Benito Mussolini’s Italy the 1944 Winter Olympics. World War II ended the Olympics for a while. The telling of history, not the games, must go on.