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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: Does Leni Riefenstahl's 'submissive void' open us to propaganda? (143 comments)

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  •  No, Hitler was not cordial to Jesse Owens: (0+ / 0-)

    Quoting from William L. Shirer, The Nightmare Years 1930-1940, p. 234 (and footnote):

    Our star that summer, one of the greatest in the history of the Olympics, was the sprinter Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals. Owens was black. Adolf Hitler, who was in the stands each day, refused to receive the American runner after his triumphs. Each time Owens trotted up the track after a smashing win the German spectators stood and gave him thunderous applause. But Hitler, I noticed from my seat in the press box a few feet away from him, turned his back to talk to some cronies. One of these was Baldur von Schirach, the Hitler Youth leader, who much later told what the Fuhrer said when he turned away from Owens.

    "The Americans ought to be ashamed of themselves," Hitler complained, "for letting their medals be won by Negroes. I myself would never shake hands with one of them."

    When Schirach suggested that it would be good propaganda for the Fuhrer to be photographed with Owens, Hitler screamed at the thought.*

    *Owens, who behaved graciously and modestly throughout his unprecedented triumphs believed he was being treated fairly and courteously by the Nazi hosts, including Hitler. Later he criticized American reporters for writing otherwise. "I think the writers showed bad taste," he was quoted as saying, "in criticizing the man of the hour in Germany."

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