Three years after seizing power, the Nazi regime capitalized on the International Olympic Committee’s 1931 decision to designate Berlin as the host of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games. Although the persecution of Jews and other ‘enemies of the state’ by the dictatorship had prompted international calls for a boycott, none materialized. In a propaganda coup, the regime was able to shape Nazism’s image on an international stage and present a ‘peaceful’ Germany to the world. A New York Times reporter even claimed that the Games had put Germany ‘back in the fold of nations’.
The selected documents from the PMJ volumes reveal steps taken by the NSDAP to present a sanitized version of Hitler’s Germany to international guests, as well as a return to discriminatory practices after the Games, once the attention of the international community had waned.