Cruising The Past: 1936 German/Nazi Olympics were a destination aboard ships of the North German Lloyd Line. Midnight sailings were offered from New York on the Bremen and Europa.

midnightsailing35.jpg

naziolympics.jpgThis ad appearing in the Literary Digest (1936) exploits the Winter and Summer Olympics with service aboard North German Lloyd liners the EUROPA and BREMEN available from New York with a Midnight Sailing.  These departure times, guaranteed morning arrivals in European ports.  Round-trip first class fares started at $215.

For two weeks in August 1936, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship camouflaged its racist, militaristic character while hosting the Summer Olympics. Minimizing its antisemitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, the regime exploited the Games to impress many foreign spectators and journalists with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany.

Having rejected a proposed boycott of the 1936 Olympics, the United States and other western democracies missed the opportunity to take a stand that contemporary observers claimed might have restrained Hitler and bolstered international resistance to Nazi tyranny.

Thousands of Americans sailed to Germany on German and American ships to attend the Olympics.

After the Olympics, Germany’s expansionism and the persecution of Jews and other “enemies of the state” accelerated, culminating in World War II and the Holocaust.

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