1936. Item #90355
Unknown Japanese photographer. Photos of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. n.p.: n.p., 1936. A collection of loose b/w and sepia photographs ranging in size from 30 x 19.5cm to 1 small photo of 8 x 10cm. 55 photos are 16.5 x 12cm - 25 x 20cm and 75 are 19.5 x 30 cm - 25 x 29cm for a total of 131 images. Most are captioned in ink on the reverse in Japanese text, many with the names of individuals or sporting events depicted, with photographer’s markings in ink and pencil. Taken in two locations - in Japan at official send-off festivities and on site at the Summer and Winter Olympic games in Berlin in 1936.
Noteworthy photos include:
A photo of Jesse Owens, identified on the back in Japanese text, leading in the 1st heat of the 100 meter sprint.
Clear photos of Adolf Hitler walking on the running track with Olympic Committee members in formal dress and one of him on a balcony in the audience surrounded by crowds.
Awards ceremony photo capturing the iconic moment of marathon winner Sohn Kee-chung (at the time of the Olympics known as Son Kitei, the Japanese reading of his name), and bronze medalist Nam Sung-yong (known then as Shoryu Nan) on the medal podium bowing their heads in silent protest against the Japanese occupation of Korea.
A group of 5 signed photos of figure skaters: Ladies’ Singles Gold medal winner Sonja Henie from Norway, Men’s Singles gold medal winner Ernst Baier from Germany, Ladies’ Singles Silver medal winner Cecilia Colledge from Britain, Ladies’ Singles Bronze medal winner Vivi-Anne Hultén from Sweden and also Pairs Gold medal winner Maxi Herber from Germany who became the youngest figure skating Olympic champion with her win.
A group photo of the 5 members of the Japanese figure skating team, including 12 year old Etsuko Inada. 4th place Pairs skaters from Hungary, siblings Piroska and Attila Szekrényessy.
A photo of a Japanese dignitary with Carl Diem, “Secretary General of the Organizing Committee of the Berlin Olympic Games” and the main organizer of the 1936 Summer Olympics.
Subjects include the opening ceremony on August 1st, outdoor practice sessions, panoramic views of the stadium and crowds, action photos of events, such as skiing, gymnastics, fencing, diving and swimming and group photos of athletes and Japanese news reporters. The Nazi presence is seen everywhere in the photos: swastikas on flags and uniforms, as well as groups of participants and fans saluting Hitler.
One powerful photo depicts German children smiling with handmade Olympic and Japanese flags in front of the Japanese lodging house, with official Nazi and Japanese flags flying behind them.
Photographer is unknown. Images are black and white and sepia, with a bit of fading, as usual. The condition overall is very good. An excellent and interesting group of photos of a pivotal year in Olympic and world history.