Named a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, and Financial Times
A lively account of the 1936 Olympics told through the voices and stories of those who witnessed it, from an award-winning historian and biographer
Berlin 1936 takes the reader through the sixteen days of the Olympiad, describing the events in the German capital through the eyes of a select cast of characters–Nazi leaders and foreign diplomats, sportsmen and journalists, writers and socialites, nightclub owners and jazz musicians. While the events in the Olympic stadium, such as when an American tourist breaks through the security and manages to kiss Hitler, provide the focus and much of the drama, it also considers the lives of ordinary Berliners–the woman with a dark secret who steps in front of a train, the transsexual waiting for the Gestapo’s knock on the door, and the Jewish boy fearing for his future and hoping that Germany loses on the playing field.
During the games the Nazi dictatorship was in many ways put on hold, and Berlin 1936 offers a last glimpse of the vibrant and diverse life in the German capital in the 1920s and 30s that the Nazis wanted to destroy.