I’m sure everyone is as stoked about the London Olympics as I am. With sports like table tennis, judo, and badminton, what’s not to love? But the Olympics has seen some dark times and one of the darkest was the Berlin Olympics of 1936. Berlin had been awarded the games in 1930, before Adolph Hitler’s rise, and many countries called for a boycott after the dictator came to power. While Hitler hoped to make the Summer Olympics a showcase for his Nazi regime and his Aryan (Master) Race, African-American athletes such as Jesse Owens, Archie Williams, John Woodruff, and Cornelius Johnson defeated Germany’s athletes, proving to the world that Germany’s athletes were certainly not the best in the world.
The Special Collections holds a copy of a German-produced 1936 Summer Olympics collectible book and accompanying sports cards. We have digitized many of the sports card images in order to bring you The Berlin Olympics of 1936 digital exhibit. Accompanying the digital collection is a small physical exhibit that Steve is finishing up in the Special Collections reading room. These exhibits are for a limited time only (physical exhibit through the end of the summer semester and the digital exhibit through the end of the fall semester), so check them out soon! See a preview shot from the digital exhibit below.