Jahncke Letters Spur Drive Against Nazi Olympics
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Jahncke Letters Spur Drive Against Nazi Olympics

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Heartened by the announcement that Ernest Leo Jahncke, one of the three American members of the International Olympic Committee, has joined their ranks, the forces combating the Berlin Olympics moved today to concentrate their efforts for a final drive before the national convention of the American Athletic Union takes place next week.

Although this was his first official statement, it was known that Mr. Jahncke was intending to come out against the Berlin Olympics.

A public mass-meeting protesting holding of the 1936 games in Nazi Germany was called today by the Committee on Fair Play in Sports for next Tuesday evening in Mecca Temple. More than 100 organizations are joining with the committee in sponsoring the meeting. Among the speakers will be Dr. Frank Bohn, economist and son-in-law of Secretary of Commerce Roper who recently returned from a tour of Germany during which he conferred with officials; and Albert Lill, member of the American Olympic Committee and former president of the Amateur Athletic Union.

The views of Mr. Jahncke, who is former assistant Secretary of Navy and of German origin, were expressed in letters to Dr. Theodor Lewald, chairman of the German Olympic Committee, and Count Henri de Baillet-Latour, president of the International Olympic Committee in answer to their written requests that he do all in his power to see that America is represented in the games.

“From the point of view of the Olympics as an institution,” he asserted in the letter to Dr. Lewald, “it will be a calamity in my opinion if America does participate, for it now appears as if the Olympic idea can be saved only by the refusal of Americans and of other people to have anything to do with the games if they are held in Germany.”

He noted that the American Olympic Committee is experiencing “great difficulty” in raising the $300,000 necessary to defray the expenses of participation.

In the letter to Count Baillet-Latour Mr. Jahncke said:

“I shall urge upon my countrymen that they should not participate in the games in Nazi Germany because it is my opinion that under the domination of the Nazi government the German sports authorities have violated and are continuing to violate every requirement of fair play in the conduct of sports in Germany and in the selection of the German team, and are exploiting

the games for the political and financial profit of the Nazi regime. Neither Americans nor the representatives of other countries can take part in the games in Nazi Germany without at least acquiescing in the contempt of the Nazis for fair play and their sordid exploitation of the games…

“I do not doubt that you have received all sorts of assurances from the Nazi sports authorities. Ever since they gave us their pledges in June, 1933, (pledges that Jews would not be discriminated against) they have been lavish with their promises. The difficulty is that they have been stingy with their performance of them.”

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