Yet, if Olympia was sanctioned by the supposedly most racist government in the supposedly most white supremacist country ever, then why is this man given the most close ups?
Jesse Owens is the most praised athlete in Olympia who is given the most individual screen time and always with accompanying positive commentary. The US anthem plays as he receives medals for his victories. At one point in the film (01:13:04) African-American fans are shown seated in non-segregated seating.
Just before this scene, an African-American athlete won the men’s high jump event and the stadium announcer says, “the jumpers from America win” referring to their citizenship not their race. At one point (01:35:15) a German team is even shown making a fatal blunder, thus if this film were about German or European supremacy, a moment such as this would not have been included. There are a few mentions of “white race” though never implying superiority and in line with parlance of the 1930s. The first mention ofanything that can be interpreted as white supremacy is when the announcer calls Godfrey Brown of the UK “the fastest white man in the world” (01:38:56) before a sprint final. In fact, the first mention of racial or ethnic differences is right before a sprint event where the announcer says, “Two black runners against the strongest of the white race” (52:04) and in the ensuing event, an African-American athlete is seen to win.
On top of that, Jesse Owens stood by his story that he was not snubbed Hitler, but actually shook hands with him. He also felt better treated in Germany than in his own home country that essentially had him in perpetual subject (not citizen) status, though that same country used his own athletic talents to boast about itself and then went on to a definite political alignment with Zionism.
Olympia was a key part of the Third Reich’s propaganda of its ideals. It was sanctioned, financed, and approved by the NSDAP. Given their authoritative positions, Hitler and Goebbels must have each personally approved of the film for it to be released. They also had the authority to recall it, which they didn’t do despite having previously exercised that very authority on a film, The Victory of Hope (Der Sieg des Glaubens), due a former NSDAP member, Ernst Röhm, being found out as a traitor. Thus, we see that in true militarist form, the NSDAP was more preoccupied with the ideal of loyalty, not skin color,in its propaganda.
“Under close scrutiny, the division into races according to the color of skin turns out to be quite the crudest and most obvious method, since there are noticeably inheritable characteristic racial differences among people of identically colored skins.” ~Alfred Rosenberg
Now think: Why are competitors of ethnicities other than European ones shown winning in the film? Would neo-Nazis include this film in one of their gatherings? What would they think of shots such as the when a dark-skinned athlete’s musculature is shown during the concluding marathon event? If this film was supposed to be used for exalting only the Europeans why was this image included? In fact, why are so many images of non-Europeans showing athletic prowess of non-Europeans included with positive commentary in a film funded by a supposedly “white supremacist” government? Why are there no attempts to directly praise any race, white or otherwise?
The answer is simple: the Third Reich’s ideas concerning race theory and also their actual practice was different than what the current establishment teaches.