Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Hans von Tschammer und Osten, as Reichssportführer, i.e. head of the Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen (DRL), the Reich Sports Office, played a major role in the structure and organization of the Olympics. He promoted the idea that the use of sports would harden the German spirit and instill unity among German youth. At the same time he also believed that sports was a “way to weed out the weak, Jewish, and other undesirables.” Many Jews and Gypsies were banned from participating in sporting events, including Jewish four-time world record holder and 10-time German national champion Lilli Henoch, a shotputter and discus thrower.Von Tschammer trusted the details of the organization of the games to Theodor Lewald and Carl Diem, the former president and secretary of the Deutscher Reichsausschuss für Leibesübungen, the forerunner of the Reich Sports Office. Diem revealed himself to be highly competent and created significant innovations, like the Olympic torch relay from Athens, that are still valued.