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More than just games:
canada & the 1936 olympics

The 1936 Olympics were held in Nazi Germany at a critical juncture between the building of the racial state and the Holocaust. The world faced a decision about whether to participate in these controversial Games. Canadian athletes, particularly young Jewish athletes, were caught in a dilemma. Should they follow their dreams to the world’s greatest athletic competition or should they boycott the 1936 Olympics?

MORE THAN JUST GAMES: Canada & the 1936 Olympics was produced by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in partnership with Canadian scholars Richard Menkis and Harold Troper. The exhibit brings together photos, documents, film clips and memoirs to tell the little-known story of the Canadian boycott debate and Canada’s participation in the 1936 Games.

MORE THAN JUST GAMES deals with themes of racism and moral decision-making with an emphasis on the experiences of individual Canadian, as well as German-Jewish, athletes who made difficult decisions about their participation in the Games. The exhibit also shines a spotlight on the untold story of Matthew Halton, a respected Canadian journalist who wrote critically about the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1936

Exhibit specs & booking info

framing bodies:
sport & spectacle in nazi germany

Framing Bodies: Sport and Spectacle in Nazi Germany explores the relationship between athletics, politics and visual culture during the 1936 Games. Situated at a midpoint between Adolf Hitler’s election as Chancellor and the outbreak of the Second World War, the 1936 Olympics offers a unique perspective into the relationship between sport, politics and propaganda in Nazi Germany. The regime’s racialized physical ideals, projected onto the world stage during the XI Olympiad raises important questions. How did National Socialists understand the body? Alongside their celebration of “Aryan” bodies, how did the Nazis portray and regulate those who were excluded from the ideal? What symbols and characterizations did the Nazis use in propaganda, rituals and films to express the connection between the Olympics and their notion of a “master race”?

Exhibit specs & booking info