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During the Summer Olympic Games, Wittenbergplatz, Berlin

Object Name
Date1936 (printed 2012)
Label Text

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.

Inkjet print
Image: 12 x 11 3/8 in. (30.5 x 28.9 cm)
place taken Berlin, Germany
Credit Line
Roman Vishniac Archive
Accession Number2012.79.18
© Mara Vishniac Kohn, courtesy International Center of Photography

For all uses of photographs by Roman Vishniac contact ICP at: vishniac_archive@icp.org.