July 29, 2021

Faster, taller, stronger, more Nazi | sports

Faster, taller, stronger, more Nazi | sports

In June of 1936, the Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann equaled the German high jump record in the stadium Adolf Hitler of Berlin. In this way he obtained a place to compete in the Olympic Games in Berlin, which were held a month later. Could a Jewess hang a gold medal representing Nazi Germany? Could Hitler boast of a Jewish jumper while exterminating millions of them?

Berlin 36 it was projected as the showcase of the great National Socialist bazaar to exhibit before the entire planet the conditions of the Aryan race. You had to be faster, taller, stronger and more Nazi than anyone else. Watts myths were extended a posteriori. One was that Hitler was humiliated from the event by the amount of medals harvested by black athletes, but the truth is that the results of Germany were exceptional and Hitler took weeks boasting in his speeches. The most recurrent legend is that the Nazi dictator refused to greet Jesse Owens, a black athlete and great winner of the Games; Hitler, in fact, only greeted the winners on the opening day, and Owens, in a twisted twist of fate, recounted in his memoirs that whoever did not shake his hand was its president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, engaged in an election campaign in which I needed the vote of the racist south as never before.

Bergmann was, when the Games of his country were coming, the world star of the high jump. But he did not train in his country, Germany, but in England, where he fled, escaping the hunting of the Third Reich. "There was a time when Gretel Bergmann thought he was German", wrote in his obituary, a year ago, the journalist Jan Martínez Ahrens. Indeed, it was. And not just any German, but the German who jumped higher. Was it useful? Not when Hitler came to power and unleashed hatred; it was, due to its origin, expelled from its athletics club and plagued at all levels: whoever approached the champion, as one who approached any Jew, was suspect and susceptible to reprisals. Bergmann fled to London, where he continued training, and suddenly the promise of a miracle reached his ears. The United States was prepared to boycott the Games if the German Reich did not show that the anti-Semitism it was accused of was false. This is how the Jewess Gretel Bergmann was seduced by the Nazis; I would compete in the Games, I would win a medal, I would be the pride of Greater Germany.

He believed it? He returned and fulfilled the requirement, surpassing the minimum mark. It was when he made the jump that he matched the German record. The Nazis passed that mark by high. Six million Jews gassed for being an inferior race and a Jewish one jumping more than anyone. What was missing. Hitler waited for the US delegation to be in full flight to Berlin to announce that Bergmann was excluded. He left Germany again, this time for the United States, where he kept jumping while making hotel beds, sweeping corridors and harvesting medals. He died at 103 years old. He cried until the end of his days every time he saw an athletic test on television. "For what I could have been and was not," he said, the Nazi regime replaced it with a man, Heinrich Ratjen, who had to pass for a woman named Dora, finished fourth, asked for explanations for his mustache and explained that It was a strange form of hermaphroditism, the Nazis ended up arresting him as a transvestite, and he was accused of betraying the Reich who forced him to change sex. "I've always been a man," he said years later.

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