Adolf Hitler, German dictator, showed the white flag of Nordic prejudice Monday when he declined to welcome and shake hands with Cornelius Johnson, first American to win a championship at the Olympic Games.
The Nazi leader greeted Hilda Fleisher of Germany, winner of the women’s javelin throw, in his private box, shook her hand and told her she was a worthy example of German womanhood.
He did the same for Hans Woelke of Germany, who won the shot put and immediately promoted him to a lieutenancy in the army.
He also had words of praise and a hearty clasp for Ilmari Saliminen of Finland who won the 10,000-meter Olympic race
Hiter Runs Away
Before the time to present Cornelius Johnson and David Albritton, American winners of the high jump, Hitler and his party arose abruptly and announced that they were going early in order to get away before the crowds began leaving.
1936 Black Olympic track stars dressed for opening ceremony-Germany.
Uncertainty as to whether this discourtesy was intentional or not was cleared up Tuesday, when the German realm leader declined publicly to receive any of the winning group of athletes which included Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe.
Owens was led past the Hitler box and bowed. Der Fuehrer gave him a wave of the hand.
Afterwards, in his private quarters under the stadium, he did receive and congratulate Hein and Black, German winners of the hammer throw.
At least one white finalist whose name I am not at liberty to give, refused Hitler’s private congratulations.
Hitler was so anxious to greet Long, who finished second to Owens in the broad jump Tuesday, that he called Long while the latter was talking to Jesse.
Athletes Won’t Comment
None of the American boys resented the Hitler slights. Papers at home have been full of the Nazi persecution of Jews and the government order to colored residents to take a vow to chastity or else submit to a sex operation.
They had also heard of German official statements that all Jews and colored races are sub-normal (unter-menchen).
However, they did not think the Nazi leader would show his prejudice in public, but none would make a statement. They had the Olympic championship, the gold medal, the wreath of laurel on their brows and the little pot containing an oak tree and the plaudits of the crowd of 100,000 still ringing in their ears.
There has been some anti-American feeling here undercover because the U.S. team at the opening exercises in marching past the Hitler reviewing stand did not give the Nazi salute or dip the U.S. colors. This latter is forbidden by U.S. Army regulations.
Americans also kept their hats on during the playing of “Horst Wessel,” which is considered a national anthem.
Jesse Owens was not in the parade opening exercises, Sunday. He was excused because he had to compete Monday. So were 12 other Americans.
Haiti had one lone representative in the games. Up to Tuesday night five colored boys had won 50 of the U.S. team’s 83 points.
Cornelius Johnson and David Albritton, who have finished competition, toured the city in sweaters, old white trousers and suspenders. They gaped and the street crowds gaped politely back. Jesse Owens was mobbed by autograph seekers, when he tried to take a walk in the city.
Press Section Buzzes
The American press section buzzed with comment when the Hitler snobbishness was confirmed.
Henry McLemore, U.P. correspondent, cabled home as follows: “Of all Old Man Nordic’s thousand s of children in the giant stadium. Hitler was the only man who couldn’t take it.”
Comment of Papers
New York: The Daily Worker here said recently: “Hitker publicly insulted both Owens and the American team.”
Frederick T. Birhali, New York Times, wrote: “German nationalism and the prejudice that seems to go along with it revealed themselves somewhat disagreeably this afternoon.”
Stuart Cameron, United Press, said: “It was also noteworthy that when Johnson made his third try for a new world’s record after winning the high jump, the loudspeaker blared forth with the distances in the shot put and the band played loudly.”
From Daily Worker
The Daily Worker added this: “Nazi government officials, who have been preaching ‘Aryan superiority’ over the black race – were further chagrined by the showing of the performances of the colored athletes.”