The Manchester Guardian launched a campaign today against British participation in the 1936 Berlin Olympics with prominently featured article headlined, “The Olympic Games in the New Germany: the Case against Taking Part.”
The Guardian declared that Germany’s pledged given to the International Olympic Committee that no discrimination would be practiced against Jewish athletes are valueless because the laws enacted by the Reichstag at Nuremberg on September 15 deprived all the Jews of German citizenship, automatically barring them from competing in the games under Olympic rules, and because the German Jewish athletes are not given the chance to reach or maintain Olympic standards of skill.
The invitations to Greta Bergmann of Stuttgart and Helene Mayer, now living in California, to compete for the German team were characterized by the Guardian as “a gesture to placate opinion in the United States,” the result of a visit by Brig. Gen. Charles H. Sherrill to Germany last September.
The Guardian quoted a Jewish Telegraphic Agency report from Berlin appearing in the Jewish Bulletin of New York on September 27 as proof that Jewish athletes would not be able to compete.
The report stated:
“A nation cannot be represented in the Olympic games by an athlete who is neither a citizen nor a subject of the country.
“The Reichstag stripped the German Jews of citizenship at its Nuremberg session last week.
“No German Jew will be permitted to participate in the 1935 Olympics, was the logical conclusion which Jewish athletic circles drew this week from the above two facts. This is believed
the clinching factor that will keep Jewish athletes out of the Olympics, even if other handcaps placed in their path were overcome.
“The German Maccabi Association, Jewish sports organization with more than 20,000 members, consequently announced it would not be represented on German teams in next year’s conpetitions.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.