The third part of our visit to Berlin Olympia grounds covers the Hockey Stadium, the S-Bahn Station and a few interesting facts that may be of interest.
These two "Sportsmen" were discovered on the return walk towards the main stadium.
1936. The Polo Field and bell tower.
The same view today.
The Hockey Field in 1936.
The Hockey Field today.
One of the two rail stations.
A Potted oak tree for gold medal winners
Each gold medal winner also received a potted oak tree, however, silver and bronze winners did not receive any.
The Post-war Jesse Owens Myth
It is often stated that the NS German authorities tried to play down Jesse Owens and his role in the Olympic games, however, this is far from the truth.
On researching original 1936 material, publications and radio broadcasts, I have come to the conclusion that Owens was well received in Germany during the games. Jesse Owens stated himself that, even from Adolf Hitler, he experienced no racist slurs whilst in Germany and it was one of the monumental moments of his life.
In the 1936 cigarette album from where these original pictures come, Owens features on well over a dozen times, some 10% of the pictures available!
A German pre-war publication called "So Kämpfte und Siegte die Jugend der Welt" (So fight and win, the youth of the world) contains several pages dedicated to Jesse Owens and there is a full sized picture of Owens on the race track winning one of his gold medals.
Below are 1936 light-hearted cartoon drawings of Jess Owens after being awarded his gold medals, it is most likely that Owens would have been shown these at the time.
Jesse Owens with his three potted oak trees, one for each gold medal.
Fifty years later, sitting under his grown up oak trees.
The Olympic starting pistol
I had often wondered why the Olympic starting pistol in the films always seemed to have a cable attached to it? The reason is explained in the 1936 cigarette album pages. The pistol when fired sent an electrical signal to the timing equipment, in a 100th of a second, much quicker than a human could.
Monuments to the 1936 Olympic Games can be found in other parts of Germany
This one can be seen on a pre-war building in Hamburg today.
1936 Olympic Medals
This is the ribbon I wear on my 1941 German Railway uniform, whilst working at a German railway museum. (I wanted to add some colour to the uniform, but did not want anything military or political, so I chose a sports ribbon).
The ribbon is black, red and white, the national colours of old Germany and the five white lines represent the five Olympic rings. It was awarded some 55 thousand times, to helpers of the Olympic games. (Sportsmen and Sportswomen recieved a different medal).