On August 1, 1936, Hitler drove through the streets of Berlin. He visited the Bell Tower and a memorial to German soldiers who had died in the First World War. He received a hero’s welcome upon arriving at the stadium, and when he declared the Summer Games open.
When the Canadian team marched into the stadium during the opening ceremonies, the athletes offered the Olympic salute, as they had at the Winter Games. After the confusion at the Winter Games, Great Britain decided not to offer the salute. When the Canadians did so, the gesture was again confused with the Nazi salute and the German crowd roared its approval.
Jesse Owens was the star of the 1936 Olympics, winning four gold medals, and one of the greatest athletes of all time. Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, who insisted that the race question not be raised in the German press, wrote in his diary: “We Germans won a gold medal, the Americans three, of which two were Negroes. That is a disgrace. White people should be ashamed of themselves.”