United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936
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Germany 1933-1936
Hitler reviews 35,000 Storm Troopers (Sturmabteilung--SA), members of the Nazi Party's paramilitary wing. February 20, 1936.
Hitler reviews 35,000 Storm Troopers (Sturmabteilung--SA), members of the Nazi Party's paramilitary wing. February 20, 1936.
—USHMM Photo Archives #87892
On May 13, 1931, the International Olympic Committee, headed by Count Henri Baillet-Latour of Belgium, awarded the 1936 Summer Olympics to Berlin. The choice signaled Germany's return to the world community after defeat in World War I.

Two years later, Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany and quickly turned the nation's fragile democracy into a one-party dictatorship. Police rounded up thousands of political opponents, detaining them without trial in concentration camps. The Nazi regime also put into practice racial policies that aimed to "purify" and strengthen the Germanic "Aryan" population. A relentless campaign began to exclude Germany’s one-half million Jews from all aspects of German life.

Chancellor Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party. Many Germans hoped Hitler would bring order to a nation plagued by economic depression, social unrest, and political instability. Hitler's brand of fascism combined several elements: extreme nationalism, militarism, racism, and antisemitism.
30 January 1933 Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany.
28 February 1933 Suspension of freedoms of speech, assembly, press, and other basic rights.
20 March 1933 First permanent Nazi concentration camp opens at Dachau.
1 April 1933 Nazi-organized boycott of Jewish-owned businesses.
7 April 1933 Jews excluded from government employment, including teaching jobs at all levels.
14 July 1933 New law provides basis for forced sterilization of handicapped persons, Gypsies, and Blacks.
October 1934 First major wave of arrests of homosexuals throughout Germany.
16 March 1935 Military conscription introduced.
April 1935 Many Jehovah's Witnesses arrested throughout Germany.
15 September 1935 Anti-Jewish racial and citizenship laws issued at Nuremberg.
6 February 1936 Winter Olympics open at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
7 March 1936 German troops march unopposed into the Rhineland.
16 July 1936 About 800 Gypsies interned near Berlin.
1 August 1936 Summer Olympics begin in Berlin.

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