At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Californian Carla de Vries grabbed Hitler’s face and gave him a short kiss as he sought to escape her advances. Carla de Vries of Norwalk, California, requests an autograph from the Fuhrer during the Berlin Olympic game.
The city that would host the XI Summer Olympic Games in 1936 was declared in 1931 at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was the city of Berlin. No one realized at the time that two years following the IOC’s decision, the Nazis would take power in Germany, plunging the whole globe into turmoil and the worst war in history. Carla de Vries, an American, was also unaware of this; otherwise, she would not have committed the astonishing conduct described in this article below.
The 1936 Olympic Games were marred by scandal
Following Hitler’s and his Nazi party’s victory in the 1933 German elections, and the National Socialists’ following policies, it became evident to the whole world where the XI Olympic Games would be held. Some members of the International Olympic Committee began discussing the possibility of moving the 1936 Summer Olympics from Berlin to Barcelona, Spain.
It’s possible that everything is correct, but the new circumstances have put everything in its proper position. For starters, Spain is in the midst of a civil war, so there could be no assurances about the safety of athletes and spectators. Second, the IOC abruptly adopted a pro-German stance on the “Olympic matter for some inexplicable reason.” Avery Brandedge, the US National Olympic Committee chairman, even referred to all efforts to move the Olympics from Berlin as a “Zionist conspiracy.”
Many historians claim that the Nazi administration bribed certain IOC members in Germany. Hitler desperately wanted these Games to show the world the magnificence and splendor of the empire he was building, the Third Reich, as well as the power and invincibility of the Aryan athletes. However, not all of Fuhrer’s visions were meant to come true.
Games that the Nazis did not plan
On August 1, 1936, the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin began. There were 3,961 athletes from 49 nations in attendance. It was a new high. The practice of solemnly kindling the Olympic torch was perpetuated during these Games. By the way, it was during the Berlin Olympics when the first relay of athletes from Greek Olympia brought the fire. This custom is still followed today.
The 1936 Olympics were the first to be broadcast on television. The competition’s viewership grew to millions of people as a result of this. The host nation of the XI Summer Olympic Games had a “trump card” in the form of large-scale sporting facilities and a well-organized organization. The majority of the German Nazis’ other ambitions for these tournaments, on the other hand, remained fantasies.
Despite the fact that Germany won the most medals (89), with 33 gold, 26 silver, and 30 bronze, the great “failure” of the Berlin Olympics and all National Socialist propaganda was American Jesse Owens. This black athlete won four Olympic “golds,” defying the Aryan race’s “superiority”: none of the German athletes were able to do so.
On the other hand, Owens did not make Hitler the least bit uneasy. During the Olympics, another strange occurrence between the Fuhrer and an ordinary American lady occurred.
An accident occurred in the Olympic pool
It’s no secret that the Nazis saw the 1936 Olympics mainly as a tremendous propaganda tool, furthermore, both on the world stage and inside the Reich. Hitler and other fascist bosses attended competitions in all sports. At the same time, the Nazi leaders were located in the stands, not in separate VIP-sectors but directly in the box among the spectators.
All of this generated the illusion of power oneness with the people, which the same people viewed as being more effective than any other propaganda phrase. However, this “unity” later became the catalyst for the most astonishing occurrence in the history of the Olympic Games. Then the following occurred. An extremely active lady started to break through to Hitler, who was seated in the spectator box, during a 1500 m freestyle swimming tournament. Despite the SS guards’ “neat” efforts to shove her away, she was overcome by her desire to speak with the Fuhrer directly.
Carla de Vries instantly gave Adolf Hitler her ticket, on which she requested the senior Nazi to sign her signature, as soon as she saw him. After that, the erratic woman attempted to kiss the Fuhrer on the cheek after shaking hands with him. Despite Hitler’s signaling his guards and smiling to separate himself from the irritating lady, she was still able to reach out and kiss the Fuhrer. Those who were there at the time broke out laughing.
Carla de Vries kissed to Hitler
What was the name of the lady who kissed Hitler? Carla de Vries, a 40-year-old American who was traveling around Europe at the time, was identified as the woman. By the way, one of Madame de Vries’s objectives on her European trip was to visit Adolf Hitler in person. Carla reflected that she had not intended to meet the German Fuhrer with such fervor. According to the American, everything occurred on its own.
In one of the few interviews, Carla de Vries said that the kiss was just a normal feminine inclination. The smiling Fuhrer’s simplicity and friendliness took the American lady, so she chose to get his signature. Hitler smiled as he left his flourish on the woman’s ticket. Carla interpreted the grin in her own way and kissed the Fuhrer on the cheek on the spur of the moment.
The fans in the Olympic pool’s stands burst out laughing at the situation. The soldiers took Carla de Vries gracefully from the box where Hitler was seated. On the other hand, the SS men took no more action: the American was not detained, and the tournament resumed. The event was quickly forgotten. True, but not all of them.
What happened at the end
After the Olympics, Carla de Vries went to the United States, where she lived a long and peaceful life. She died in 1985 at the age of 92. Since the 1940s, American journalists have attempted to interview the “lady who kissed Hitler” on a one-on-one basis. Carla, on the other hand, sought to keep her feelings over the occurrence in the Olympic pool private.
The SS officers from Hitler’s personal guard, who did not exhibit the vigilance demanded of them and did not prevent the occurrence, were the ones who suffered from the kiss of the American lady. Although, to be honest, the Fuhrer’s reckless bodyguards got off with a “slight fright”: most of them were downgraded in rank, and only a handful was dismissed from the Fuhrer’s bodyguards’ service.
Many people picture the Third Reich as a well-oiled state machine in which everyone obeyed the Fuhrer’s orders and followed a well-defined chain of command. However, this was not always the case, and the occurrences that occurred at the top of the Nazi party were much more “striking” than the Carla de Vries kiss episode.