Berlin Games: How the Nazis Stole the Olympic Dream Paperback – Illustrated, 1 August 2007
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- Publisher : Harper Perennial; Illustrated edition (1 August 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060874139
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060874131
- Dimensions : 13.49 x 2.29 x 20.32 cm
- Customer Reviews:
"[Walter's] writes with a journalist's precision and a novelist's dramatic flair"--Booklist
A diligent researcher, Walters also has a journalist's eye for a story.--Financial Times
A meticulous and often vivacious account of the events surrounding Hitler's propaganda coup in 1936--The Times (London)
At its heart, this book emphasises the dark hypocrisy that underpins much of the IOC's behaviour then and since--The Press
Walters has done a tremendous amount of digging in the archives...the result is lively, often humorous and frequently moving.--Daily Telegraph (London)
A book of range and quality.--Times Literary Supplement (London)
A fascinating story of political and sporting intrigue, backed by the fruits of impeccable research--The Argus
A rich, entertaining and sobering narrative--Melbourne Age
Nothing short of riveting...This is a work of real significance.--Scotland on Sunday
About the Author
Guy Walters is the author of The Traitor, The Leader, The Occupation, and The Colditz Legacy, all of which were bestsellers in the U.K., and coeditor of The Voice of War, an anthology of World War II memoirs. A regular contributor on historical subjects for the Daily Mail, Walters was a journalist for The Times (London) for eight years, where he worked as a feature writer and commissioning editor. He is married to the author Annabel Venning and they have two children.
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Author Guy Walters does impeccible research of documents and individuals to bring a complete picture of how the Nazi Party virtually took over the International Olympic movement as it set the stage for war. Though the Games were awarded to Germany before the Nazi Party took full control of the government and Hitler was initially not in favor of holding the event, the benefits from a propoganda machine operating from every home to each Olympic venue became too great to pass up.
Though athletic officials and politicians knew about the growing oppression in Germany, Walters uses documents and quotes culled from meetings to show the utter appeasement that occurred. For example, American sports official Avery Brundage had written that Hitler was "a god," and then did everything in his power to successfully discredit and destroy the movement in the U.S. to boycott the competition.
Brundage did not see anything wrong with the Nazi ideal, but he did deal harshly with a top female swimmer on the U.S. team. She was kicked off the squad due to her partying on the ocean liner that was taking the team to Europe.
There were athletes who wanted to use the world stage to destroy the myths surrounding the Nazi movement. A German wrestler - who was a member of the Communist Party - hoped to parlay a winning performance by refusing to give the Nazi salute on the medal stand and use a live-radio interview as a means to tell the world about the real Germany.
There were other athletes who used the Olympics for different goals. A South African boxer was so taken with the Nazi Party that he was later recruited as a spy and became part of a plot to assassinate the president of his nation.
Add in the dress-rehearsal for the summer competition, the 1936 Winter Games in Bavaria, the reoccupation of the Rhineland and legendary athletes like Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe, the Berlin Games was a backdrop to the excellence of competition and the viciousness of totalitarianism.
And in the end, Walters rips apart the screen that so many toadies of the Nazi Party had hid behind for too many years.