IOC removes video tweeted celebrating 1936 Berlin Olympics

The International Olympics Committee apologised for including a video of the first Olympic torch relay at the 1936 Berlin Olympics along with the words “stronger together” in a series of short videos celebrating the “message of unity and solidarity” of the Olympics.

But the apology did not note the substance of the objection to the inclusion of the video.

The Nazis used those Olympics to spread their propaganda and showcase Germany as a model country. Two American sprinters were kept from participating because they were Jewish.

The video was posted exactly one year before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — postponed due to the coronavirus crisis — are slated to start. It was removed the day after following a flood of negative responses.

The Auschwitz Memorial and Museum condemned the IOC in a tweet : “For 2 weeks the Nazi dictatorship camouflaged its racist, militaristic character. It exploited the Games to impress foreign spectators with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany,” the tweet said. “Later, Germany’s expansionism, the persecution of Jews & other ‘enemies of the state’ accelerated.”

A second tweet suggested that the IOC turn to information about those Olympics on the website of the US Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

In its tweeted apology, the the IOC said: “We apologise to those who feel offended by the film of the Olympic Games Berlin 1936. We have deleted this film, which was part of the series of films featuring the message of unity and solidarity, from the @Olympics.”

The IOC said in a series of tweets that the video included information about Black American athlete Jesse Owens, who “had to suffer at home from the painful reality of racial segregation,” but that “in the Olympic Village he was living together as an equal with all the other athletes, enjoying the same rights.”

It never uses the words Nazi or Hitler.


Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.


EJC President calls on the Portuguese Parliament not to harm the Sephardi citizenship law

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor has written to the President of the Portuguese Parliament calling on him to ensure that a law passed in 2013 which provides Sephardi Jews with the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship is not harmed by recent attempts to pass amendments which would damage the applicability, intention and spirit of the original law.

Antisemitic chants at anti-racist march in Paris shows how worthy cause is being hijacked to spread hate

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor called on anti-racist marchers and organisers to ensure that antisemitism is not being adopted by some within their ranks, after large groups of marchers at a rally in Paris's Place de la République shouted antisemitic slogans like “dirty Jew”.

Kantor Center Antisemitism Worldwide Report 2019 – The Coronavirus Crisis is Reviving ‘Blood Libels’ Against Jews

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said that already in the first few months since the global breakout of the coronavirus, there has been a rise in antisemitic manifestations relating to the spread of the disease and the economic recession triggered by the pandemic at the release of the Antisemitism Worldwide Report 2019. The total number of major violent incidents monitored in 2019 was 456, an 18% rise from 2018.

Message from Moshe Kantor

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor announced a series of important measures to provide support and assistance to Jewish communities and other people in need to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis.