Nazification of Sport
"German sport has only one task: to strengthen the character of the German people, imbuing it with the fighting spirit and steadfast camaraderie necessary in the struggle for its existence."-- Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, April 23, 1933
Magazine portrayal of the ideal female Aryan athlete
The Nazification of all aspects of German life extended even to sport. A staunch Nazi close to Hitler, Hans von Tschammer und Osten, headed the Reich Sports Office, which oversaw all sports bodies and clubs, including the German Olympic Committee planning the 1936 Games. 

The government harnessed sport as part of its drive to strengthen the "Aryan race," to exercise political control over its citizens, and to prepare German youth for war. "Non-Aryans"--Jewish or part-Jewish and Gypsy athletes--were systematically excluded from German sports facilities and associations. They were allowed marginal training facilities, and their opportunities to compete were limited.

The magazine Das Deutsche Mädel (The German Girl) portrays the "ideal" female Aryan athlete. August 1935. Courtesy of John Loaring

Photograph #14943

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