Please explain how we can improve this archived object.
Thanks for submitting your feedback. Our team will review it as soon as possible, and we appreciate your contribution.

During the Summer Olympic Games, Wittenbergplatz, Berlin

Date 1936 (printed 2012)
Location Berlin Germany
Dimensions Image: 12 x 11 3/8 in. (30.5 x 28.9 cm)
Print medium Photo-Digital-Inkjet

The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games provided the Nazi regime with an ideal venue for the propagation of racial ideology by casting the achievements of German athletes in the games as emblematic of Aryan racial supremacy. The Nazis, all too aware that this was happening on a world stage, hired filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl to document the Olympics, resulting in the modernist documentary film Olympia, which compared the German athletes to the idealized Greek athletes of the original Olympic games. Jewish athletes were prohibited from participating on the German team. During the games, African-American sprinter and long-jumper Jesse Owens won four gold medals, frustrating Nazi attempts to portray the superiority of the Aryan race.


© Mara Vishniac Kohn

Credit line

International Center of Photography

Feedback Accession No. 2012.79.18