To the Editor of the Crimson:
Your editorial of Thursday on "Olympics and Fair Play" indicates an unfortunate lack of understanding of the true situation and its implications.
You say that "participation in the Olympic Games in 1936 is by no means an endorsement of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi principles of government". An editorial in the New York Times of October 22 states "that the Nazi regime has taken absolute control of all sports in the Reich", and that "if the Olympic Games come off in Berlin as arranged, the event will be hailed as a wonderful Nazi demonstration and triumph". The President of the Amateur Athletic Union in the New York Times of October 21 points out that "the training of athletes for the Olympics Games has become a function of the German Government under the direction of "Tschammor-Osten", an appointee of Hitler. Tschammor-Osten through the "Sports Service" of the German News Bureau announced that in the future, "Winners of athletic contests in the Third Reich may be only those who master National Socialist idealogy and who make known that not only in athletic contests but also in nationalistic life, do they stand up for that ideology". The President of the A.A.U. agrees with the New York Times that "participation in the games under the Swastika implies the tacit approval of all that the Swastika symbolizes", and that "for Americans to participate in the Olympics means giving American moral and financial support to the Nazi regime which is opposed to all that Americans hold dearest".
You further state that "unless actual discrimination in athletics is proven, there is no valid reason for American athletes to refuse to compete in Berlin". A month ago Tschammor-Osten announced that the highest award in German sport could in the future be acquired only by Germans of Aryan descent. With the approval of Tschammor-Osten all non-Aryans have been excluded from membership in the clubs which are federated in the Reich Association for Physical Culture. Catholics and Protestants are not permitted to maintain their own sports clubs or to enter in sport unless they are willing to affiliate with the Nazi Hitler Jugend or the Nazi controlled sport clubs. Dr. MacFarland, general secretary emeritus of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America states in the New York Times of October 22 that "Jewish sports associations have been disbanded. Jews are barred from public sports grounds and stadiums--that is discrimination. It would be absurd to claim that any non-Aryan could have a chance in athletics when he is discriminated against on all sides". It seems obvious that the conditions in Germany under which non-Aryans exist makes it impossible for them to participate in the Olympics, and that the injection of race, religion, and politics into sports in general, and the Olympics in particular by the German Government has destroyed the "free and independent" character of the Olympics.
The A. A. U's. recent reconsideration of the matter is heartening despite their decision of approval; in the face of the growing nation-wide protest against participation, it is probable that further reconsideration will lead to our withdrawal. Blan W. Hale '36.
Ed. Note--Mr. Hale states convincingly several reasons against participation. We still feel, however, that participation does not involve endorsement of Hitler and his policies. Should we obey a law, we do not necessarily endorse the law. Should we gamble, we do not necessarily endorse gambling. Consequently, we cannot see why an American team in Berlin expresses either approval or disapproval of the Nazi regime.
As far as discrimination is concerned, we feel that the American Olympic Committee and the A.A.U. are far better qualified to pass on the significance of your examples than ourselves.