Tuesday, January 31, 2023

In reading Khaled Abu Toameh’s commentary, “Qatar’s Double Game: Funding Islamists While Pretending to Be America’s Ally” in The Jewish Link, I could not help but be reminded about Hitler’s subterfuge in 1936. In 1936, Hitler rearmed the Rhineland of western Germany in March, violating the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I and the Locarno Treaty of 1929. In both treaties, which Germany signed, Hitler was not to militarize western Germany, which bordered France. France was militarily stronger than Germany. In 1936—France did nothing. Hitler was counting on no international repercussions. Why not? The international Olympics were being held in Berlin, Germany, in 1936. Despite Germany’s racial laws of 1935 and Hitler’s military moves in the Rhineland in 1936, 49 countries, including the United States, fueled Hitler’s games and his propaganda coup. While it is commonly known that Jesse Owens shot holes in Hitler’s racial theories, it is less known that one of Owens’ four gold medals was won by the U.S. relay team. Two of the runners on the relay team, Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalf, replaced rwo Jewish runners for fear that two Jewish runners might win gold medals, thereby insulting Hitler. Thus Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, two Jews, sat down in Berlin so that Avery Brundage, head of the American Olympic Committee, could win favor with Hitler.

Much is made of Jesse Owens and his phenomenal athletic accomplishments, deservedly so, but little is made of two gifted Jewish runners who were denied the right to win gold medals in the German Olympics of Nazi Germany. Thus, while discrimination and the games went on in Germany, the World Cup goes on while Qatar supports the Taliban. When President Obama visited Berlin in his time in office, he made a point of reminding Germany of how Owens and Metcalf “whooped” the Germans. He never mentioned Avery Brundage … he did not mention Glickman or Stoller either.

Joel M. Glazer
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