Debunking the “Jesse Owens Snub” Myth from the 1936 Berlin Olympics

1998 Stamp

This 1998 U.S. postage stamp depicts Jesse Owen setting a world record before the Olympics in Berlin in 1936.

“Hitler snubbed Jesse Owens!” …OH REALLY??

“Actually, Owens was acclaimed by the Berliners as enthusiastically as any German. Owens himself said that on one occasion, while in the stadium, he caught sight of Hitler: “When I passed the Chancellor, he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him.” Hitler invited all Olympic winners, including Owens, to a reception at the Reich Chancellory. Hitler personally congratulated and shook the hand of each winner, including Owens, who later confirmed this on several occasions.

To his credit, Jesse Owens himself never contributed to the myth-making. He repeatedly stressed the warmth of his reception in Germany and his happiness during those days in Berlin. But he couldn’t prevent others from using him as a symbol, in life as well as in death, to slander Germany for motives of their own… ” ~ Mark Weber


“…Jesse Owens’ reception by the German public and the spectators in the Olympic stadium was warm. There were German cheers of “Yesseh Oh-vens” or just “Oh-vens” from the crowd. Owens was a true celebrity in Berlin, mobbed by autograph seekers to the point that he complained about all the attention. He later claimed that his reception in Berlin was greater than any other he had ever experienced, and he was quite popular even before the Olympics.

Jesse Owens was wearing German track shoes when he won his gold medals in Berlin. 

Ironically, the real snub of Owens came from his own president. Even after ticker-tape parades for Owens in New York City and Cleveland, President Franklin D. Roosevelt never publicly acknowledged Owens’ achievements (gold in the 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter relay, and long jump). Owens was never invited to the White House and never even received a letter of congratulations from the president. Almost two decades passed before another American president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, honored Owens by naming him “Ambassador of Sports” — in 1955.”

Owens said, “Hitler didn’t snub me – it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.”

On the other hand, Hitler sent Owens a commemorative inscribed cabinet photograph of himself. Jesse Owens was never invited to the White House nor were honors bestowed upon him by president Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) or his successor Harry S. Truman during their terms. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower honored Owens by naming him an “Ambassador of Sports.”

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4 Responses to Debunking the “Jesse Owens Snub” Myth from the 1936 Berlin Olympics

  1. Markus says:

    At the London Summer Olympics 2012, there was a retrospective of all modern time Olympic games, starting in 1900 or so. 1936 was completely LEFT OUT and not even mentioned. Complete blank….

    Thereby, it was “Hitler and the evil Nazis”, who made the Olympics what they are today. A mass event. If you watch this 2012 London introduction, you realize that they stole the idea and push their degenerate sick agenda, instead of portraying the human beauty of true athlets and noble spirits, as in Rieffenstahl’s film.

    BTW, the “Hitler and the evil Nazis”‘ salute is also called Olympic salute and an ancient tradition amongst sportsmen in the spirit of its meaning: “Look, I have no weapon. You are welcome among us.”

  2. bigcree1 says:

    It’s high time this was revealed!

  3. 0malone1 says:

    G Wiz. casts a lot on doubts on the claims of Kimathi Carr who suggested that in Germany, Owens was despised

  4. kurt the german says:


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