IOC apologizes over tweet appearing to celebrate 1936 Olympics

The 1936 Olympics in Berlin were an opportunity for Adolf Hitler to promote his government and ideals of anti-Semitism.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) apologized on Friday and deleted a Twitter message which some saw as celebrating Nazi Germany’s hosting of the 1936 Olympics, The Associated Press reports.

Joining a message thread on Thursday one year before the Olympic cauldron is lit at the postponed 2020 Tokyo Games, the International Olympic Committee used its official account to tweet a film about the first-ever torch relay entering the Berlin stadium.

“We apologize to those who feel offended by the film of the Olympic Games Berlin 1936,” the IOC wrote on Friday.

“We have deleted this film, which was part of the series of films featuring the message of unity and solidarity, from the @Olympics Twitter account,” it added.

Replies to the IOC’s original message on Thursday expressed surprise by Twitter users at broadcasting footage from the Berlin Games, and suggested the Olympic body lacked awareness of history.

The official museum at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp added its reply to the IOC in the message thread on Friday.

“For 2 weeks the Nazi dictatorship camouflaged its racist, militaristic character,” said the Auschwitz museum’s verified account. “It exploited the Games to impress foreign spectators with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany.”

The IOC’s message also included footage of Jesse Owens, the Black American who won four athletics gold medals in Berlin.

Owens “taught a resounding lesson to the Nazi regime, shattering its despicable fascist claims of racial superiority,” the IOC wrote on Friday, according to AP.

“We understand that the film about the Olympic Games Berlin 1936 which includes this story was not perceived in this way.”

After seizing power in 1933, the Nazis began to systematically persecute and push out Jews, including Jewish athletes. The Nuremberg race laws had been passed a year prior to the Olympics.

The 1936 Olympics in the German capital were an opportunity for Adolf Hitler to promote his government and ideals of racial supremacy and anti-Semitism.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)