United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936
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Jewish Athletes — Gretel Bergmann
Two weeks before the Olympics began, German officials informed Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann that she was denied a place on the team, although she had equaled the German women's record in the high jump. The Germans sacrificed a chance for a gold medal with this action.

Bowing to international pressure, the German Olympic Committee invited German Jewish high jumper Gretel Bergmann to compete at pre-Olympic qualifying meets. Returning to Germany from England where she had been studying and training, in June 1936 Bergmann equalled the German women's high jump record of 5 feet 3 inches at a trial meet in Stuttgart. But the Germans used only two of their three spots allocated for the high jump and dropped her from the competition.
Bowing to international pressure, the German Olympic Committee invited German Jewish high jumper Gretel Bergmann to compete at pre-Olympic qualifying meets. Returning to Germany from England where she had been studying and training, in June 1936 Bergmann equalled the German women's high jump record of 5 feet 3 inches at a trial meet in Stuttgart. But the Germans used only two of their three spots allocated for the high jump and dropped her from the competition.
—USHMM #21683/Courtesy of Margaret (Gretel Bergman) Lambert
Reich Sports Office Director von Tschammer und Osten notified Bergmann of his decision, offering her “standing room only” tickets to the Games. July 16, 1936.
Reich Sports Office Director von Tschammer und Osten notified Bergmann of his decision, offering her “standing room only” tickets to the Games. July 16, 1936.
—USHMM #14932/Courtesy of Margaret (Gretel Bergman) Lambert

The Museum’s exhibitions are supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990.

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