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Debate: Boycotting the 1936 Berlin Olympics

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Should countries, including the United States, have boycotted the 1936 Berlin Olympics?

Background and context

The 1936 Olympics were highly controversial at the time and in retrospect. Hosted by the Nazi Germany in Berlin, many believe they served to legitimize the German regime, at a time when the world probably needed to be more concerned with the human rights violations going on in the country and by the global threat it posed. Many argue that the United States and other countries failed to heed these warnings, and that they should have boycotted the event. This debate regained some life as the Chinese government hosted the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. While a comparison between the Chinese government and Nazi regime may be extreme, many did argue out the failure of certain countries to boycott the 1936 Olympics was a lesson that should have been applied in protest against China's alleged human rights abuses.


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