Sport and Ideology: the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games; Nazi Ideology, Nationalism and Propaganda in Nazi Germany and Sport 1933-36
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This study examines the extent to which the Nazi Party were able to use the Olympic Games to promote the regime, instil their ideologies into the German people and use the games as a propaganda fete of the nation to the world. Sport and sporting festivals will always have elements of propaganda or intended messages. By studying the ways in which the Nazis turned the 1936 Olympic Games into such an overwhelming piece of sporting and political propaganda, no sporting festival will be able to have the same ideological and propaganda effect on the world as the 1936 Olympic Games. Ideology as a concept and its origins are firstly explored. Different philosophers work on ideology is explored moving from ideology’s conception through to Marx’s distrust and Gramsci’s work on hegemony. The power of ideology and its ability to control groups is acknowledged as its links with political ideology. Nationalism as a political ideology is studied as the evident theme throughout Nazi Germany and the 1936 Games. Nazi ideology, Nationalism (banal nationalism especially) and propaganda’s influence on Nazi policy is explored in more detail before moving onto their influence on German Sport between 1933-36. All themes are brought together in the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a nationalistic showpiece and political propaganda success for the Nazis that should never allowed to be repeated anywhere in the world.
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