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75-Year Anniversary of the Olympic Games in Berlin - 100 rare and little-known photos - August 15, 2011 – December 23, 2012
In addition, the accredited photojournalists were divided into an athletic group, which meant those permitted to depict the actual sporting events, and a current events group, meaning those who were to capture the events going on outside of the actual athletic competitions.
75-Year Anniversary of the Olympic Games in Berlin 100 rare and little-known photos.
According to the reports on the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, over 15,950 photos were taken at the over 335 athletic competitions. This pool of photos was constantly being updated and displayed at the so-called photo press offices: in the main press office in the Schillersaal at Bismarckstr. 110, in the northern gallery of the Olympic Stadium, and in the main press offices in Kiel.
There the journalists could purchase rights to the prints. The price for a photo print was universally set at 10 Reichsmarks, and there were no exclusive rights agreements for any specific media, so that no images could be excluded from other editors. While first right agreements (Erstrechtsabmachung) were possible for specific countries, these were suspended if it meant that the rest of the media would miss out on any one-of-a-kind photographs.
According to the photo press office, which was headed by a representative of the Ministry of Propaganda, the aim was to provide the world press with photographs; strict regulations in this regard were recorded in an internal publication.
In an editorial regulation (Schriftleitergesetz) from October 1933, photo journalists were given equal ranking to word journalists, which meant a certain upgrade in valuation for the photojournalists. On a technical level, the sports photographers were in the midst of a transformative process in the mid 1930s, as they were increasingly moving away from the large-format cameras (e.g. Contessa-Nettel, with which Heinrich von der Becke photographed the Berlin Games) to the small-format cameras (Leica and Contax).
The only persons who could receive accreditation to take photos at the Olympic sports venues were those belonging to the Reichsausschuss der Bildberichterstatter im Reichsverband der Deutschen Presse (The Imperial Commission of Photojournalists in the Imperial Association of the German Media – which meant that all foreign photojournalists were excluded.
In addition, the accredited photojournalists were divided into an athletic group, which meant those permitted to depict the actual sporting events, and a current events group, meaning those who were to capture the events going on outside of the actual athletic competitions. The athletic group received white armbands marked with their accreditation numbers, and the current events group received red armbands with their numbers.
The clothing they wore, which also was apparently provided, was prescribed as well: long grey trousers, a dark blue jacket, a blue and white chequered shirt with a long, dark tie, and if necessary, a leather Lederolmantel coat to protect them from getting wet.
There are varying reports about the actual number of accredited photojournalists: In the rules and regulations flyer, 114 photojournalists are listed by name and accreditation number, while one press photo depicts the highest accreditation number as being 116; Rübelt talks about 110 photographers (Rübelt, p. 22) and the official report names 125 photographers, of whom 69 were responsible for the athletic events and 56 for current events. To complicate things even more, all of the photojournalists received entrance tickets from the photo press office with a specific time and location where they were permitted to work. This rigid system of workspace specification naturally led to major disappointments.
Paul Wolff wrote the following about this in his book What I saw at the 1936 Olympic Games (Was ich bei den Olympischen Spielen 1936 sah):
"Our mood sank to the bottom. To want something and not be allowed to do it!
We stood there like horses with their heads pulled back with curb bits. And when the starting shots were fired down on the track, I was standing up in the stands at my lonely post in the middle of the crowd, who let me know that I was not “transparent”.
They did not like seeing me much there at all. I crouched down into the smallest space. My colleague watched with clenched teeth 100 metres away as the finish line tape was torn. We were faced with inner battles between duty and self-interest and antagonism between reason and angry negation." (Wolff, p. 18)
These working conditions were a strict consequence of the exploitive utilization of these Olympic Games, which Angermeyer described in his Hymn to Berlin (Hymne an Berlin) in 1935: These Games provided us with an invaluable means of propaganda. Reichssportblatt No. 21, May 15, 1935 p. 583.
This culminated in a photo adulteration, in which Adolf Hitler’s building enthusiasm was exaggerated. With the photo caption We’re ready to build! The classic photograph of a powerful head of state was staged - a Führer photo that was sent around the world, which even today is often reprinted in publications without comment or critique.
Photos are often selected or ignored by text-oriented academics and exhibition curators according to the aspect of beauty or to the price of the copyright fees charged. For that reason, they often select their photos from the pool of photos that are available from the photo trading card albums, commemorative books, and special magazine editions from 1936. Rarely is much effort or money invested in searching the archives and museums for other unpublished materials, with the result that the current presentation of the 1936 Games is still filled with the photo aesthetics and selection that stemmed from the Nazi
In order to break through these barriers, the Berlin Sports Museum and the Forum for Sport history is presenting this selection of photos. The photo collection of the 1936 Berlin Games in the archives of the Sport Museum and Forum includes 1,179 photos (about 600 of them still unpublished) - from which this selection of 100 photos was made – 100 photographs were selected (of which 90 had never been published previously) and grouped into the following chapters:
“We’re ready to build …”
House of German Sports
Organisation and promotion
Training and preparations
“We’re going to Berlin …”
In the tiers
Spyridon Louis in Berlin
In fIn the “Women’s Village”
Tension and calm
The work of the media
Guests from Japan
Observed on the side
Out and about in the city
Olympic oak trees
Kee Chung Sohn
In front of and behind the scenes
Invited - deported
A German/English brochure has been created to accompany the exhibition, which includes all of the photographs on exhibit.
Sportmuseum Berlin / Forum für Sportgeschichte (Hrsg.), Behrendt, Martina/ Steins, Gerd (Red.):
Sporthistorische Blätter 15:
75 Jahre Olympische Spiele Berlin 1936 | 75-Year Anniversary of the Olympic Games in Berlin
100 seltene und unbekannte Fotos | 100 rare and little-known photos
Nominal charge: 5 Euros
Starting on heritage day "Tag des offenen Denkmals" on September 10, 2011, the brochure will be available for a nominal fee of 5 Euros in the Haus des Deutschen Sports, Adlerplatz, in the Berlin Olympic Park.
You can order the brochure now from:
- Olympiapark Berlin -
14053 Berlin - Germany
Tel.: 030-305 83 00 | Internet: www.Sportmuseum-Berlin.de
75-Year Anniversary of the Olympic Games in Berlin - 100 rare and little-known photos
August 15, 2011 – December 23, 2012
Admission free | Mon. - Fri.: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (closed on holidays)
Sportmuseum Berlin - Olympiapark Berlin -
14053 Berlin - Germany