Thursday, July 27, 2017

V 7 N. 50 Margaret 'Gretel' Bergmann Lambert R.I.P.

Gretel Bergmann
Gretel Bergmann, the Jewish girl who was European High Jump Champion, but excluded from competing in the 1936 Olympics because of her heritage, passed away this week. She was 103 years old. She outlived all the Nazis who refused to allow her to represent her country.  She was able to emigrate to the US after the Olympics and was twice US high jump champion prior to WWII.

Ira Bekow tells her story in a recent New York Times article.

Gretel Bergmann  Clik here for NYT story

Although this post is to note the passing of Gretel Bergmann it is difficult to separate her story from that of Dora Ratjen  aka Heinrich Ratjen who competed for Germany in those 1936 Games.

A few years ago a German company produced the film  "Berlin 36"  fictionalizing some of Bergmann's story.  Of controversy was the role played by another German high jumper Dora Ratjen  who passed as a female and was the fourth place winner in the 1936 Olympic Games.    The German press in this 2009 article in Der Spiegel by Stefan Berg September 15, 2009,   takes the filmmakers to task over the facts about Ratjen.  Both these stories are long reads but well worth the effort.  Note that that Ratjen story is two pages on its site, and you have to go to the bottom to clik onto the second page.

Dora Ratjen's Story

Dora Ratjen

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