Camera Rolls: 317:08-11
Sound Rolls: 317:05-06
Produced by Blackside, Inc.
Housed at the Washington University Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection.
Interview with Marty Glickman , conducted by Blackside, Inc. in 1992, for The Great Depression . Washington University Libraries, Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection.
These transcripts contain material that did not appear in the final program. Only text appearing in bold italics was used in the final version of The Great Depression.*
Mark it please, mark it.
Glickman one, camera roll eight, sound roll five.
OK, we'll wait until you're sitting down.
OK, so Marty the first thing I want to talk about is—
Here's some notes—
OK, thank you—is growing up—I know when I was a kid in, this is the '50s, not the Depression, but as a Jewish kid there would often be signs painted on my sidewalk, things of that nature, anti-Semitic stuff, did you, can you remember any incidences from your childhood, mostly as a teenager in the Depression, of those kinds of anti-Semitic?
No, I was brought up in an area which was a completely mixed neighborhood. We had Irish, Italians, and Jews—
We have to cut.
Mark it please.
Glickman two, camera roll eight, sound roll five.
OK, sit down.
So to start with, if you could think of some of those experiences that you might have had.
I was not aware of anti-Semitism until I competed in high school sports. Playing football for James Madison High School in Brooklyn for example, sometimes I would hear the phrase, "Get the Jew bastard" from some of the opposition. Now there were Jews on my team and Jews on the opposition upon occasion as well. It depended upon the team and the neighborhood from which they came. But that was my first feeling of resentment about being referred to as a "Jew bastard" in high school sports. Not regularly, rarely, but it did happen then. In collegiate sports it became more apparent because I was away from the New York area, which was, well, had so many Jews, as well as Italians and Irish at that time. Blacks came into the picture during the time I was in competition and after those years. But in college I knew that, for example, I could not go into certain restaurants, certain areas where Jews were not welcome. There were towns in and around New York that were known to be anti-Semitic where people could not live. You could not buy homes there, you could not rent apartments there, you couldn't go to certain clubs. I had some experience with the New York A.C., where I was prevented from practicing at the New York Athletic Club after being invited to practice there by one of the track men at the New York A.C. He said, "Marty, if you're training for the Sugar Bowl Track Meet," which I was, "come on down to the A.C. and workout with me." And so I went down to the A.C. and I was refused permission to go to practice with my buddy who had invited me to practice there. This took place in the mid-'30s.
How did they let you know, how did they let you know, when you'd go to a rest—or let's stick with the athletic club for a minute, how did they let you know that that's, what did they tell you when you wanted to go in? What did they say to you?
I was invited to workout at the New York A.C. by this friend of mine. I went into the New York A.C. carrying my little satchel, having taken the subway in from Brooklyn, and was walking through the lobby of the hot—of the A.C. when—let me start from the beginning again.
Do you want some water?
No, no, no, that's all right.
OK, change the [ gap: ;reason: unintelligible ] .
I was invited to practice at the New York Athletic Club on 59th Street in Manhattan by a fellow who ran for the New York A.C. I was then in training for the Sugar Bowl Track Meet. It was after my first year at Syracuse University, and I'd already been on the Olympic Team. And so I took my little satchel in Brooklyn, took the subway into town, and went into the New York A.C. building. As I walked in, I encountered a gentleman named Paul Pilgrim, who was a Director of Athletics for the New York A.C., and a former great track man. He says, "Marty, what are you doing here?" I said," Well I'm working, I'm going to work out with Eddie O'Sullivan upstairs," who was a sprinter for the New York Athletic Club. He said, "Well Marty, I'm afraid you can't go up there." I said, "Well why not?" He says, "We have no room." I said, "Well, I don't need any room really. I have my little satchel with my clothes in it. I'll use Eddie's locker." "I'm sorry Marty, but you can't go up." And he refused to allow me to go up to the practice area for track. I turned, left, got on the subway, and as I was riding back to Brooklyn I realized for the first time that I couldn't practice at the New York A.C. because I'm Jewish. It just dawned upon me at that time. In those days, incidentally, the New York A.C. did not allow any Jewish members. I hasten to add that about a year ago I was honored at the New York A.C. for my, whatever achievements I have in broadcasting and in athletics.
When you say, when you say you weren't, there were certain restaurants you couldn't go into, how did they let you know that you couldn't go into a restaurant?
Small sign, "Restricted Clientele." I was once in Marine Corps uniform shortly after I was in the service and—
OK, hang on a second because that's—no, don't cut—but that's, that's a World War II story, that's a war story. We want to stick with the Depression.
So if you can tell me just an incident that you recall where you'd gone to a restaurant and there was some sign or something that let you know you weren't allowed because you were Jewish?
OK, well there were some restaurants and clubs in the New York area, which had small signs as you entered, "Restricted Clientele," and that was it. That informed you, you could not go there. I knew as a high school student that my chances of being admitted to certain schools, certain colleges were extremely remote had I applied for admission to those schools. They not only refused admission to any Jews, but many schools had quotas as well. So that there were restrictions in that nature.
How did you know that they [the schools] had quotas?
I was told they had quotas. I was told not to apply to certain schools.
By whom? Who would tell you this?
Well, grade advisors might tell me not to apply to this school or that school, and naturally I asked why. You see, I was an accomplished school boy athlete. I had opportunities to go to many colleges because I was the National School Boy Sprint Champion. I was the Most Valuable Football Player in New York City in my senior year. Consequently, there were many schools who were looking to get an outstanding athlete. When I inquired as to certain schools that I might prefer, it was suggested to me by grade advisors, coaches, and friends not to try to apply there because they didn't accept Jews or they were not partial to Jews.
Great, great. OK, can we cut for a second?
Glickman three, camera roll eight, sound roll five.
OK, when we were talking over there before a little bit and it was kind of, it was intriguing for me, this dual thing as an athlete who has made it to the Olympics, but as a Jewish athlete who made it to the Olympics, can you tell me how it, what it meant to you to be able to compete in the Olympics, but that these Olympics were in Nazi Germany? And so, you're not only allowed to compete, but you're also a Jew going to Nazi Germany.
I aspired to make the Olympic team for two reasons: One, because as an athlete this is a goal for any Track and Field performer to make the Olympic team, and to participate in the Olympic Games, and perhaps even to win a medal. Perhaps even a gold medal. That was one reason I wanted to go, a purely selfish reason as an athlete. And the second reason, and I say, I insist that it is the second reason, is because as a Jew I could show the rest of the world that a Jew could be just as good, and perhaps better, than anyone else, or as anyone else. Either way, as good as or better than. And certainly that myth of Nazi-Aryan supremacy was exploded by the great black athletes who competed in the 1936 games in Nazi Germany. Certainly I knew that Germany was anti-Semitic, but when I went to Berlin in '36, my experience there was similar to my experience here in New York and in the States generally. I felt the same kind of anti-Semitism in '36 that I felt in New York in America. There was anti-Semitism in the States, and there was anti-Semitism in Germany. Of course, this was 1936. This was two years before Kristallnacht, this was three years before the outbreak of war. In the context of '36, I felt the same feelings of anti-Semitism in New York as I felt in Berlin.
What did you see in Berlin that, what signs did you have of anti-Semitism in Berlin?
Actually I saw no signs of anti-Semitism whatsoever. I felt the feeling of anti-Semitism because of some of the things I knew. There was a remarkable episode when I arrived along with the rest of the team at the Bahnhof in Berlin. We landed by ship in Hamburg and took the train into Berlin as a group, and a huge crowd was waiting for the arrival of the American team. There were newspaper men, there were newsreel cameramen, photographers all over the place. Hundreds of people seemed to have gathered there to greet the American team. As we were milling around on the platform of the station there, I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned, and there was this slight gentleman, maybe a couple years older than me, who instantly I recognized as being American as soon as he opened his mouth because he talked English in the American style. And he said to me, "Are you Marty Glickman?" And I said, "Yes." He says, "You're Jewish, aren't you?" I said, "Yes." I was taken aback slightly. He said, "So am I." I said, "You're Jewish? What are you doing here?" He says, "I'm going to med school." I said, "You're going to med school in Berlin." He said, "Yes, I could not get into an American med school." We had a few words further and then we departed. I haven't seen him since.
Great, let's change. Let's cut.
Mark it please.
Glickman four, change to camera roll nine, sound roll five.
OK, Marty, let's begin by talking about how you, when you got to Olympic Village, and the training that you did, and your anticipation of running, of running the race and then what happened.
I was a member of the 400 Relay team. We were composed of Frank Wykoff, Sam Stoller—the other Jew on the team—Foy Draper, and myself. The four of us would practice passing the baton. We practiced for approximately two weeks in the Olympic Village before the event itself. We'd workout daily, and passing the baton on the 400 Relay, as you might guess, is terribly important, and so we worked at it. During the course of that time, two days before the actual trials began in the games themselves for the 400m relay, we ran a trial heat to keep Stoller and Draper and myself sharp. We ran a full 100m race with all the accouterments of a race, with an official starter, and judges at the finish, and timers, and things like that. And it was just among the three of us. Stoller won that race. He won it by, oh, the width of a shoulder. I finished second, and Foy Draper finished third. The morning of the day we were supposed to run in the first trials in the 400m relay, the coaches called a meeting. They called a meeting amongst the seven sprinters, Head Coach Lawson Robertson, who called the meeting, and the Assistant Head Coach, Dean Cromwell, who was also the Head Coach of Track and Field at Southern California. USC in those days was the dominant track power in collegiate Track and Field. They had ten athletes from USC on the Olympic Track Team, and two of those athletes were Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff on this 400m relay team. We were called into this meeting the morning of the day we were supposed to run the trials. And all seven sprinters were called in. Jesse Owens, and Ralph Metcalfe, and Mack Robinson, those three in addition to the four on the relay. And
we were told
** by Lawson Robinson that there were very strong rumors that the Germans were hiding their best sprinters and saving them for the 400m relay to upset the American team. And consequently, Sam Stoller and I were gonna be replaced by Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe.
** Well Jesse and Ralph unquestionably were faster than Sam and me. They could beat us by a yard every time out. In the years I ran against Jesse, I never beat him, and he and Ralph could be Sam and me every time out by a yard. But they had not touched a baton in the course of this time and passing the baton in a relay, as I say, is terribly important. Naturally Sam and I were terribly upset. Sam was shaking so badly he vowed never to run again. But during the course of this meeting, being a brash eighteen year old, I said, "Coach, you can't hide World Class sprinters. You've got to run in World Class competitions to become a World Class sprinter." And actually the best German sprinter, Erich Borchmeyer, had finished fifth in the 100m Final, beaten by Frank Wykoff, who finished fourth. And Wykoff, Stoller, and I could run three races and have three different winners. We all three could beat Borchmeyer. As a matter of fact, after the games traveling through Europe, I beat Borchmeyer in Hamburg. So there was no question in any of our minds that we were better than any of the German sprinters. You just don't have sprinters who could be kept secret going into the Olympic Games. And this was the pretext to replace the two Jewish boys with the two great black athletes. The question has often been asked, "Wouldn't it be just as embarrassing for Hitler and company to have blacks run and win as Jews run and win?" And the answer to that is that the black athletes were so dominant, had already won so many gold medals—they had one the 100, the 200, the 400, the 800, the high jump, and the long jump—they dominated those Berlin Olympic Games, and these were in the final days of the games themselves, as far as track and field were concerned. Sam and I, Sam Stoller and I, were rather two obscure American sprinters, not nearly as well known as Jesse Owens, who the year before had set three world records and tied a fourth in one afternoon at a Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan when he ran for Ohio State. He was an internationally known star. So was Cornelius Johnson in the high jump. He had set the world record, tied with Dave Albritton, they finished one, two in the high jump. You couldn't keep these world record holders from competing, but you could keep two rather obscure athletes from competing, from standing on the winning, winner's stand on the winning podium. There's no question that any of the sprinters in combination could have won that race handily.
** As a matter of actual fact, the race was won by the American team by fifteen yards. Film was taken by Leni Riefenstahl, that great German cinematographer, showed the finish of that race with Frank Wykoff crossing the finish line with no one else in sight. He was absolutely alone crossing the finish line.
Yeah, hang on a second. I want to go back to the-
OK, we'll do the analysis after-
We, we're gonna—
I just, I just want to go back to the meeting—
I was going to get back to it, yeah—
—and let's talk about what happened in the meeting.
What your reaction was, Sam's reaction, Jesse's reaction.
You want to start at the very beginning?
In the meeting itself—
Just take it at the meeting itself.
OK. During that meeting, when it was announced by Lawson Robertson that Sam and I would be replaced by Jesse and Ralph, Jesse, whom I admired enormously and who I got to love as a result of what took place and our friendship afterwards,
Jesse said, "Coach, I've won my three gold medals, I'm tired. Let Marty and Sam run, they deserve it."
** And Lawson Robertson turned to Dean Cromwell, who pointed his finger at Jesse and said, "You'll do as you're told." And in those days, black athletes did as they were told. Jesse volunteered not to run so that Sam and I could run, but he was virtually forced to run. So...the talk was of our not competing, very briefly. The talk was of the effect this announcement might have back in the States, and I suggested to them that there would be a furor about it, and indeed there was, but not a great furor. We were two, as I say, relatively obscure athletes. There was no great hue and cry about the only two Jewish athletes on the team not being allowed to run. As a matter of actual fact, through the years I've gone back, since the beginning of the modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens in Greece, and during the course of that time, no American Track and Field athlete, physically able, has ever not competed as a member of the Olympic Team, except Sam Stoller and me in 1936.
OK, let's cut for a second.
Glickman five, camera roll nine, sound roll five.
OK Marty, take a beat, take a breath, and just think about it.
A meeting was called the morning of the day we were supposed to run in the trial heats of the 400m relay. The men in the meeting were the two coaches, Lawson Robertson the Head Coach, and Dean Cromwell the Assistant Head Track Coach, and the seven sprinters. And we were told by Lawson Robertson, the Head Coach, that there were strong rumors the Germans had been hiding their best sprinters and saving them to upset the American team. As a result, Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe would replace Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman. Naturally, Sam and I were shocked. This was totally unexpected. The four men on the relay team had practiced passing the baton throughout, throughout the practice period of ten days to two weeks before the actual day of the event. Jesse said, "Coach, I don't want to run the relay. Let Marty and Sam run, they deserve it. I've won my three gold medals." Lawson Robertson turned to Dean Cromwell and Cromwell said, pointing his finger at Jesse, "You'll do as you're told," and Jesse ran even though he volunteered not to run. Sam was so shocked that afterwards he vowed never to compete again. He was a senior at Michigan. I was a freshman at Syracuse, and I was full of anger, frustration, and vowed to myself that in four years I'd win it all, in 1940. I objected, saying "You can't hide world class sprinters."
OK, let's stop for a second.
OK, we have to change the—
Mark it please.
Glickman six, camera roll ten, and sound roll six.
OK, now Marty, again, just try to picture, because I even get a picture, but if you could just get a picture of where you were, what the room looked like and smelled like. OK, and you can start from the calling of the meeting or the going into the meeting.
The morning of the day we were scheduled to run in the trial heats of the 400m relay, we were called into a meeting, we being the seven sprinters and two coaches, the Head Track Coach, Lawson Robinson, and Dean Cromwell, the Assistant Head Track Coach. We were called into a day room at the end of one of the buildings in the Olympic village in which we lived, and we sat around, the nine of us, on beds and chairs and lounges. It was a brilliant, sunshiny morning. We were all nervous and tense, particularly me as an eighteen year old knowing that I was going to run that day in the Olympic Games. And we sat there, and Lawson Robinson, the Head Coach, said that "there were strong rumors that the Germans had been hiding, saving their best sprinters for the 400m relay to upset the American team," as we were heavily favored to win. And consequently, he was substituting Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe for Sam Stoller and me. And this was a shock, a whole flock of feelings, anger, frustration, resentment. Thought of anti-Semitism obviously because we were the only two Jews on that track team, Sam and I. And I said, "Coach, you can't hide world class sprinters. You've got to be in world class competitions to become a world class sprinter." He said, "Nevertheless," he said, "we're going to go ahead and make the change."
And at that point,
** Jesse, whom I respected enormously and grew to love said, "Coach, I've already won my three gold medals. Let Marty and Sam run, they deserve it." And Dean Cromwell pointed his finger at Jesse and said, "You'll do as you're told." And in those days black athletes did as they were told. Sam was so upset he didn't say a word during the course of the meeting. I, as a brash eighteen year old, suggested to the coaches that there might be a furor back in the States, wherein the only two Jews on the track team were not going to compete in the Olympic Games.
** "We'll worry about that," said the coaches, "when the time comes." And the time was right then and there. And that was about it because they ruled the roost. In those days athletes listened to the coaches. They were the boss, particularly the Head Track Coach and the Assistant Head Track Coach.
So where, where, when they fin-, when the event, what did you do when they finally ran the event? Where did you—
Did you see the event? Did you—
Oh sure. Following the meeting,
Sam and I,
** separately, went to the Olympic Stadium by means of the conveyances they had between the village and the stadium, a difference of about seven miles. And I sat in the stands
** and watched the 400m relay. And I saw the American team win that day in the trial heats, and win handily, and the following day in the finals and there could be no substitutions of the personnel on the team from the trial heats to the finals. I saw the American team win by, by fifteen yards. When they finished the race, Frank Wykoff, the anchorman, was all by himself, and the films by Leni Riefenstahl show that he was all alone at the finish line, fifteen yards out in front. I sat in the stands, and as Ralph Metcalfe ran the second leg down the back stretch, I felt myself saying, thinking, feeling, that that should be me out there,
** that is me. And of course it wasn't, but I, I, it should have been me out there. And I saw him pass the opposition runners and hand the baton to Foy Draper, who ran the third leg, and to Frank Wykoff who ran the anchor leg—Jesse had led off—and shortly after that the four men were standing on the winning podium to receive the awards. And again, as they stood there, that should be me out there. They played the national anthem, the flags were raised, and we salute or put our hands over our hearts. And I kept looking out on the, on this winning podium...the runners with the laurel leaves around their heads, and looking at the flags rising at the other end of the stadium. And again, I'm here and I should be there, and that loss, that desolation, the fact that I was not there and I should be. And this anger as well as the frustration about the situation, my vow that four years from now and I'd be all of twenty-two years of age I'd win it all, I'd be that much stronger, and faster, and better, and I'd win the 100, and 200, and run in the relay as well, that's what I felt.
OK, when you were, when you were in the stands did you see Hitler? Was he around? Were you anywhere, I mean, were you, what was it like sitting in the stands at the Olympic Stadium, knowing that, you know, anywhere on the field—I mean you told us about how it felt to—
I sat, I sat in the stands everyday of the Track and Field competition, and there was an area set aside for the Olympic athletes, in which we sat. We were about, I would say fifty feet removed from Adolf Hitler and his private box overlooking the stadium. And I could see him the way you might look across Fifth Avenue or across any fairly wide street of fifty feet or so. I could see him everyday, and he was flanked on either side by his entourage of that fat Hermann Göring everyday with those flashy uniforms and the big pig's jowled cheeks, and Joseph Goebbels, who was rat-like in countenance, and all the personnel of the entourage of Adolf Hitler. Hitler himself was very nervous watching the events. He'd sit there and move back and forth and rub his thighs with his hands as he watched some of the events.
So what did he do when Jesse Owens kept, when the black athletes were just obliterating his supermen?
When the black athletes won their event, Hitler would—and his entourage—would get up and leave the stadium. He was never present when the awards were presented to the winning black athletes. He was there quite frequently when other athletes, when the white athletes of the world received their acclamation and the laurel wreath and the Olympic medal was placed around their, on their chest and over their heads with the ribbon and all. But when the black athletes received their awards, he would leave. He would leave before they received their awards. We would watch him fairly regularly because he was a dominant figure, and as he'd come in everyday, the stands would rise, 120,000 Germans and shout, "Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil," and he'd answer with a Nazi salute, you know, and they'd "Sieg Heil." And I could look and see their faces and eyes of adoration of this man. He was a god-like figure to them. As for us, for the Americans, I'll never forget walking into the stadium in the opening day ceremonies as the Americans paraded in - and I use the word parade loosely because American athletes don't march very well, they kind of slouch along - and we walked in, we hadn't seen Hitler before, and as we walked before the reviewing stand, Hitler's standing up there and glowering down at us. We looked up at him, and he down at us, and you could hear the comment run through our ranks. And I said at it as well, "He looks just like Charlie Chaplin." Now we had no idea what this, what this monster was going to be. This was 1936, and two years before Kristallnacht, and three years before the outbreak of war.
OK, when you mention Kristallnacht, what was your re—what was your reaction to Kristallnacht when you finally heard in '38 that this place you had been that didn't seem so bad to you, all of the sudden had erupted the way it had? What was, what was your sense about it?
When I read about Kristallnacht, it was with a feeling of disbelief. These were the German people whom I had seen and who were wonderfully friendly. All you had to do was wear an Olympic uniform, and of course we wore those American straw hats and blue blazers, which identified us as members of the American Olympic Team. And we were welcomed and fawned upon wherever we went. They couldn't recognize me as a Jew or a Gentile. You could recognize the blacks certainly and, along that line, Jesse Owens was revered by the Jewis—by the population of Berlin. Wherever he went—
Mark it please.
Glickman seven, change to camera roll eleven, sound roll six.
[production discussion, inaudible]
OK, OK, let's talk about the German people and Jesse Owens.
The German people adored
** Owens. When he'd make his appearance on the track, the huge crowd would together roar his name, "Owens, Owens, Owens." The W in German sounding as a V, "Owens, Owens, Owens," they were chanting in unison. The sound reverberated throughout the stadium. He was so popular he had to use a secret entranceway and exit to go into the stadium and out of the stadium, else he would've been mobbed
** by the adoring populace. He was just the most popular man - in addition to Adolf Hitler - in Berlin in those days.
** Jesse was wonderful, and we developed a close friendship which ran through all the years he lived. He died in 1980. The fact is, I'm often asked why it was all right for blacks to replace Jews and stand on the winning podium in the 400m relay championship. Blacks were dominant in those games. They won the 100, the 200, the 400, the 800, the high jump, the long jump. They placed well up in other events as well, the hurdles, the distance races. We were two, the only two Jews on the team, and I believe that the anti-Semitism shown to Sam Stoller and me came from American Nazis, and not the German Nazis. Avery Brundage later became a founder, an officer, and organizer of the America First Committee.
OK, hang on a second.
But I'm telling you it won't make it, so really the way you have to—let's cut.
Wait, he was an American Nazi, he was—
He was an American First—
Then you can say that, you can say if he joined the America—
Mark it please.
Glickman eight, camera roll eleven, sound roll six.
OK, then we'll just pick it up from there in terms of—
America's great black athletes were smashing this myth of Nazi Aryan supremacy to smithereens with all their victories. The black race, obviously non-Aryan, was winning most of the Track and Field competitions. 100, 200, 400, 800, the high jump, the long jump, placing very high up in the other events as well. And it was terribly embarrassing to the Nazis there, the German Nazis. So much so that
it's my belief that
** American sympathizers, members of the America First Committee - it later turned out that Avery Brundage,
** for example, the President of American Olympic Committee was a founder and organizer of the America First Committee. And the America First Committee, in case you haven't heard, was that group in America which was sympathetic to the Nazi cause.
** Well Avery Brundage and Dean Cromwell, the Assistant Head Track Coach, were members of the America First Committee as it proved to be later on, and they had their sympathies with the German Nazis. And
** they wished not to further embarrass the German authorities, the Nazis, by having Jews stand on the winning podium
** as we were inevitably to do had we been allowed to compete in the 400m relay. We were a yard less speedy than Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens, but we'd been practicing passing the baton for weeks before the event itself. And even Frank Wykoff said later that, "The time for the American winning effort would've probably been faster" had Sam and I run because our baton passing would've been superior. It so happened that the baton passing by the American team was not particularly good. So, in order to save the Nazis the further embarrassment of having Jews stand on the winning podium, which indeed we would have, we were replaced by Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe.
What did, well what do you say to people who say, "Well, but isn't it a coaches responsibility to field the fastest team he can to win"?
The coaches of course have the responsibility of fielding the fastest team. As a team, the four white men in this situation who had practiced passing the baton, could have been the faster team because of the superior baton passing. But winning is not the key to the Olympic Games. The important element of the Olympic Games is taking part, in participating. Actually, the 1600m Relay team, the 4 x 400m relay team, might've been replaced by two great black athletes who finished first and third in the 400m Run. But they were not part of the composition of the American team, who subsequently lost in the 1600m Relay team to Great Britain, who finished first, the American team being beaten by a foot. Archie Williams finished first in the 400m Run, a great black athlete from California. Jimmy LuValle finished third in the 400m Run, a great black athlete from UCLA. Finishing second and fourth were two British athletes, so there was an obvious threat from Great Britain to win the 1600m Relay, but there were no substitutions of Williams and LuValle on the 1600m Relay team. Four white Americans, non-Jews, ran in that 1600m Relay team, and they were beaten. There might've been reason to replace those men on the 1600m Relay team because of the threat of the British, but no such change was made. And I, I'm happy that the four men who represented America and finished second in that race, did get to run. That's the whole point of the games. Winning is not the overall emphasis on the games, even though we make it so nowadays. Taking part, participating, being there is the key. There were hundreds of other athletes from all over the world who never had a chance.
OK, now, can you just, now keep the same focal length, can you just, hang on a second, and can you just say now, tell me that as far as you know, you're the only two men that have ever been taken from competition.
I'm sorry, change the focal length.
OK, closer. Good.
As far as I know, and I've checked back through the beginning of the modern Olympic Games from 1896 to the present day, no healthy, physically fit American Track and Field athlete has ever not competed in the Olympic Games, except Sam Stoller and me, the two Jews from the 1936 team.
Great, OK. Now I'm going to, can we cut for a second?
Because I want to move on to—
Mark it please.
Glickman nine, camera roll eleven, sound roll six.
So can you tell me what, what you remember of Joe Louis, and did you listen to any of Joe Louis' fights?
I was an undergraduate at Syracuse University when Joe Louis came to prominence in the mid-'30s. And I was terribly disappointed in June of 1936 when Schmeling defeated Joe Louis and knocked him out, as I recall something like the eleventh of twelfth round, I don't recall exactly. And then Louis went on to win the championship the following year, the Heavyweight Championship of the World from Jim Braddock in '37. Then in '38 he fought Schmeling again, and I felt enormous satisfaction when listening to the fight. Schmeling was K.O'd in the first round, and hit so hard that he actually screamed in pain when Joe Louis knocked him out in the first round.
Why did you, why did you, why did you feel such satisfaction? What was it that was so satisfying?
Max Schmeling was the embodiment of the German athlete. He claimed not to be a Nazi, Max did, but he did represent Germany, and Joe Louis represented the minority races of the world, the minority races of America certainly. And being as close to Jesse Owens and the other great black athletes and competing with and against them for so many years, I felt I was on Joe Louis' side against these Nazis, who by this time had done so many things to incur the hate of people all over the world. And so, Joe Louis representing America and American blacks, against Max Schmeling, representing Hitler and Nazism, it was a natural feeling of joy, of great satisfaction that this non-Aryan cut him to pieces.
Great, great, great, great. OK, you can cut. OK, before we-
OK, go ahead. Go ahead, you got it.
The '36 years were still Depression years. When I went to the Olympic Games in Berlin, my family scraped together thirty dollars to give me spending money for the one month I would be gone. That's all they had, and so, with thirty bucks, I went to Europe and spent those four weeks. That's how tough it was in those days.
Can you sing the song?
Go ahead, sing it.
[sings] Once I built a railroad—[laughs]
Is that meaningful?