Marathontor, Marathan Gate, Olympiastadion, Olympic Stadium, 1936 Summer Olympics, Berlin, Hauptstadt, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-nine

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

5 December 2012.

This is the Marathon Gate at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, a glorious piece of architecture. But the cold intermittent wind travelling through an open empty stadium makes eerie sounds, as if to challenge the visitor with questions of “who, what, and why.”

Is sport neutral and separate from politics?

In 1934 Germany, the ruling National Socialists (Nazis) commissioned the construction of a giant stadium in Berlin. Werner March designed the structure which took two years to build in time for the 1936 Summer Olympics. At those games, Black American athletes including Jesse Owens participated with great success, but their paths to Berlin were met with hostility and filled with obstructions. American policies regarding black athlete participation were similar to prejudicial policies enacted by Nazis against the German Jewish people. In fact, American legal and racist precedents of the day provided early examples for the Nazis to create their own anti-semitic legislation: the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935.

“Sport as an ideal is not a force for positive social good. Sport is a neutral form. It needs positive underpinnings. And, it requires human beings [running it] to assume a sense of responsibility.”

– Sara Bloomfield, director of U.S. Holocaust Museum (1999–today).

I made the image above on 5 Dec 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/320-sec, f/8, ISO800, and 20mm focal length (32mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mK4.

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