Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism
Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism John Hoberman University of Texas at Austin “Well, all right then, let’s talk about the Chairman of the World. The world gets into a lot of trouble because it has no chairman. I would like to be Chairman of the World myself. ” —E. B.
or any similar topic only for you
White, Stuart Little (1945) “But when it comes to our age, we must have an automatic theocracy to rule the world. ” —Sun Myung Moon (1973) Back in 1967, Dr.
Wildor Hollmann, one of Germany’s most prominent sports physicians and longtime president of the International Federation for Sports Medicine (FIMS), was visiting the International Olympic Academy at Olympia on the day of its annual inauguration, with King Constantine himself in attendance. Naively assuming that the Academy was an open forum for thinking about the past, present, and future of the Olympic movement, Dr. Hollmann expressed the view that, in the not-too-distant future. he “Olympic idea” itself would inevitably fall victim to the logic of development inherent in the professionalization and commercialization of elite sport. The words were hardly out of his mouth before Dr. Hollmann was engulfed in a storm of indignation, during which an Italian member of the IOC declared that merely expressing such thoughts was in his view nothing less than a desecration of this holy site. 1 Olympic historiography has long been inseparable from the Movement’s status as a redemptive and inspirational internationalism.
Like so many readings of its founder, Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937), historical interpretations of the Olympic movement have generally taken the form of “either hagiographies or hagiolatries,” and not least because the founder himself “proclaimed Olympism beyond ideology. ”2 Historical treatments of the Movement since the launching of that provocative claim have thus had no 1. W[ildor] Hollmann, “Risikofaktoren in der Entwicklung des Hochleistungssports. “ in H. Rieckert, ed. Sportmedizin—Kursbestimmung [Deutscher Sportarztekongre?
Kiel. l6. -19. Oktober 1986] (Berlin: SpringerVerlag, 1987): 18. 2. John J. MacAloon, This Great Symbol: Pierre de Coubertin and the Origins of the Modern Olympic Games (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981): 2, 6. 1 Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) choice but to embrace or call into question the transcendent status of Olympic sport that is symbolized so powerfully by opening and closing ceremonies that tap into deep and unfulfilled wishes for a Golden Age of harmony and peace.
Due at least in part to the impassioned and seemingly endless debate between the defenders and detractors of “Olympism,” with its pronounced emphasis on ethical values at the expense of historical factors, serious study of the Olympic movement has stagnated. Recent monographs have presented familiar events and issues without much in the way of new research or methodological innovation. 3 While the periodical literature of the past decade or so, including voluminous conference proceedings, has offered a wider range of perspectives, the conceptual landscape inhabited by the historian has not really changed in significant ways.
This closed circulatory system of topics and problems has rigidified the important debate over values by limiting our understanding of the object of contention—the Olympic movement itself. The arguments between supporters and critics of the Movement that tend to dominate discussion naturally proceed from the assumption that both actually know what the Movement is or, at least, what it is worth to the international community. Yet the sheer complexity of the Olympic phenomenon suggests there is much more to know even without entering the domain of ethnographical research.
I would propose that the production of this knowledge depends on reconceptualizing the Olympic movement in fundamental ways. This essay proposes a theory of Olympic internationalism based on a comparative method. Indeed, the fact that no comparative study of this kind has ever been published suggests that the iconic status of the Movement has had a profoundly limiting effect on Olympic historiography as a whole and thus on the debate regarding values. as well. For by exaggerating the uniqueness of the Movement, Olympic historians have conferred on it a degree of splendid (or, alternatively, discreditable) isolation that is contradicted by the historical evidence. An important consequence of this overly narrow 3. See. for example. Allen Guttmann. The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games (Urbana and Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 1992); and “The Olympic Games,” in Games & Empires: Modern Sports and Cultural Imperialism (New York: Columbia University Press. 1994): 120-138. The former offers a good survey of Olympic history.
The latter discusses the Olympic movement in the larger context of sport and cultural diffusion. See also Christopher Hill, Olympic Politics (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1992), which pays special attention to Olympic finance and the bidding process. For a highly personal and admiring treatment of the modern Olympic movement, see John Lucas, Future of the Olympic Games (Champaign, IL, Human Kinetics Books, 1992). 4. To this observation I must append an additional (and ironic) one. Even as I argue that the failure of Olympic historiography to embark upon comparative studies has isolated the movement.
I must point out simultaneously that historical treatments of other international movements have isolated them in exactly the same way. In a word, nothing resembling a comprehensive theory of these international movements exists, perhaps in part because there are so many of them and they are so heterogeneous. For example, Samuel P. Huntington’s treatment of “Transnational Organizations in World Politics” (1973) includes none of the organizations discussed in the present essay and lists an “idealistic” organization like the Catholic church along with profit-oriented corporations and a pair of important Cold War institutions.
His list reads as follows: Anaconda, Intelsat, Chase Manhattan, the Agency for International Development, the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, Air France, the Strategic Air Command, Unilever, the Ford Foundation, the Catholic Church, the CIA, and the World Bank. The purpose of his essay is to analyze what he calls “a transnational organizational revolution in world politics. ” See “Transnational Organizations in World Politics,” World Politics 25 (1973): 333-368. Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism interpretation has been to exacerbate and confuse the debate about values by crowning (or afflicting) the Movement with an exaggerated picture of its uniqueness as a vessel of reconciliation (or harm). The evidence presented below suggests that a comparison of the Olympic movement with contemporary and analogous international movements reveals a core repertory of behaviors and orientations that are common to them all.
The comparative procedure presented here divides the history of these “idealistic internationalisms” into three periods that are roughly separated by the First and Second World Wars, respectively. The establishment of the Olympic movement in 1894 coincided with the sharply accelerated formation of a broad range of international organizations during the last decades of the nineteenth century. Between 1855 and 1914, their overall numbers increased from a mere handful to around 200, and the numbers have grown exponentially since the turn-of-the-century period. The comparative study of international organizations and the “movements” they launch remains underdeveloped to a striking degree, and this is so even in the case of important types of international activity. Thus, while Olympic historiography is rather well established, one historian has referred to the world of international science as a “largely unexplored domain. ” On a broader scale, as another historian recently noted, “the construction of internationalism has merited scarcely a glance. ”6 Accounting for such lacunae in the writing of history is in itself an interesting, and often difficult. istoriographical problem. It may be less difficult, however, in the case of movements that have created both core groups of loyal adherents and benevolent self-images that in some cases have exercised a virtually global reach for most of a century. The Olympic (1894), Scouting (1908), and Esperanto (1887) movements, for example, have all benefitted from benign myths of origin rooted in reverential attitudes toward the personal qualities of their respective founding fathers and the salvational doctrines they created.
One result of such cults of personality is a “halo effect” that can confer on such movements a degree of immunity to critical examination. As one of the few serious historians of Scouting has pointed out: “Scouting has for so long been a familiar and well-loved part of the Western world that it appears always to have been with us, less a man-made creation than a natural, indigenous activity of our civilization. ” The consequences of according such iconic status to culturally constructed institutions have been profound. In the case of Scouting, “it is startling that so few have seriously considered what it all meant.
Such immunity from critical scrutiny has left Scouting almost entirely in the 5. Elizabeth Crawford, “The Universe of International Science, 1880-1939,” in Tore Frangsmyr, ed. Solomon’s House Revisited: The Organization and Institutionalization of Science (Canton, MA; Science History Publications, U. S. A. , 1990): 259-260. For evidence for the proliferation of international organizations during the twentieth century, see the Yearbook of International Organizations (Brussels: Union of International Associations, 1974). 6. Crawford, “The Universe of International Science,” 265; Leila J.
Rupp, “Constructing Internationalism; The Case of Transnational Women’s organizations, 1888-1945,” American Historical Review (December 1994): 1571. 3 Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) hands of its own historians and publicists, a situation that is not helpful in trying to understand the origins and meaning of any movement. ”7 These words are precisely descriptive of the Olympic movement, as well, the only difference being that Olympic historiography has developed (over the past 25 years) a degree of autonomy the history of Scouting has not.
This autonomous branch of Olympic historiography is necessarily based on scholarly or investigative activity that produces interpretations of the Olympic movement that do not always coincide with those of the IOC and its adherents in the press and in academia. And it is here that analyzing the Movement will often be interpreted as “criticism. ” Today, a generation after Wildor Hollmann’s heretical (and prophetic) remark about the future of Olympic sport, criticism of the International Olympic Committee is still capable of offending the dignity of its most powerful members.
The landmark event in this regard was the publication in 1992 of The Lords of the Rings, an expose of the IOC’s inner circle by the investigative journalists Vyvian Simson and Andrew Jennings. Translated into 13 languages, the book became a global media event that traumatized the IOC leadership and, in particular, its President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, who stood accused of political opportunism and fascist allegiances both during the Franc period and after the Generalissimo’s death in 1975. The publication of Jaume Boix and Arcadio Espada’s book El deporte del poder.
Vida y milagro de Juan Antonio Samaranch, containing essentially the same material on Samaranch’s political background, had gone virtually unnoticed by the world press only a year earlier. 8 The reaction from IOC headquarters to the atmosphere of scandal created by The Lords of the Rings deserves a study in itself. On 17 February 1994 the IOC and President Samaranch filed a criminal action in a Lausanne court against the authors but not against their more powerful major publishers (Simon & Schuster, Bertelsman, Flammarion). The indictment (Investigation No. : CH. 32. 92) charged libel under article 174 and defamation under article 173 of the Swiss Penal Code. The tone of the document can be conveyed by quoting from its text: “The plaintiff, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is an international nongovernmental organization, constituted as a nonlucrative association. It has the status of a person . . . . The work of the accused constitutes a lampoon directed against the plaintiffs, against the management of the IOC and its officials and against the behaviour of the former and of some of their co-contracting parties.
To a large extent, the formulated criticisms constitute a blow to the honour of the IOC, its president and its 7. Michael Rosenthal. The Character Factory: Baden-Powell’s Boy Scouts and the Imperatives of Empire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1986): 1, 12. 8. Vyv Simson and Andrew Jennings, The Lords of the Rings: Power, Money and Drugs in the Modern Olympics (London: Simon & Schuster, 1992); Jaime Boix and Arcadio Espada, El deporte de poder. Vida y milagro de Juan Antonio Samaranch [The Sport of Power. The Life and Miracle of Juan Antonio Samaranch] (= Hombres de hoy, Vol 30) (Madrid: Ediciones temas de hoy, 1991).
For a very useful summary of this (still untranslated) volume see the review by Arnd Kruger in The International Journal of Sports History 10 (August 1993): 291-293. The author of this essay wishes to point out that he has not read El deporte del poder. 4 Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism members . . . The IOC is described as a secret and clandestine organization. similar to the mafia . . . The IOC, its president and its members are depicted as depraved and disgusting persons. ” In December 1994. fter hearing testimony from President Samaranch himself, the court sentenced the authors in absentia to a five-day suspended jail sentence and the payment of $2,000 in court costs (which remains unpaid). The explicit reference in the indictment to violated “honour,” and the failure of article 173 to provide for any assessment of the truth or falsity of the alleged “defamation,” are a poignant reminder of the nineteenth-century origins of the IOC and the role that aristocratic ideas about honor have played in shaping the value system and political behavior of the Olympic movement (see below). The furor created by this undocumented work of investigative journalism raised interesting questions for Olympic research. and the most important of these topics may well be the relationship between sports journalism and sports scholarship. 10 As Arnd Kruger points out in his review of El deporte del poder: “Good investigative reporting often beats much of what historians can offer in terms of graphic information and anecdotal material not so readily available in archival research. To this I would add that, in addition to useful anecdotal embellishments, these journalistic treatments of the political career of IOC president Samaranch offer the historian an opportunity to expand the framework for doing Olympic history in the direction of the comparative method described above. Indeed, Kruger himself points to the larger importance of such journalism: “This book ends many myths about the IOC and its current president” by excavating his political past and raising questions about how a person’s political formation may affect his conduct as 9.
The carelessness (or dishonesty) with which the IOC drew up the indictment is evident in one instance in particular. Its list of alleged inaccuracies committed by the authors falsely accuses them of making an unflattering remark about the IOC that is clearly attributed in The Lords of the Rings (p. 211) to William Simon, former president of the United States Olympic Committee, former Secretary of the Treasury, and on account of his prominence, an unlikely target of IOC retaliation.
The author of this essay wishes to point out that in November 1994 he sent a letter to the judge trying this care in Lausanne defending the authors’ right to publish The Lords of the Rings. 10. John J. MacAloon has written disapprovingly of what he regards as the degeneration of sports scholarship into a genre resembling sports journalism. He refers, for example, to “the uncomfortable interpretive alikeness—at least in the U. K. , where socialist analysis is one sort of cultural common sense—of much sports journalism and popular commentary on the one side, and sports sociology, stripped of its academic apparatus and pretenses, on the other. See “The Ethnographic Imperative in Comperative Olympic Research. ” Sociology of Sport Journal, 9 (1992): 110. Or, “Treated like Journalists, sport scholars are tempted to act like them. ” See “The Turn of Two Centuries: Sport and the Politics of Intercultural Relations,” in Fernand Landry, Marc Landry, and Magdeleine Yerles, eds. Sport . . . The third millenium [Proceedings of the lnternational Symposium, Quebec City, Canada, May 21-25, 1990] (Sante-Foy: Les Presses de l’Universite Laval. 1991): 36.
MacAloon‘s second point, regarding the likely consequences of the IOC’s unwillingness to share more information with Olympic researchers. is particularly insightful. He offers this remark in the context of arguing that sports leaders should not “deny themselves the professional expertise of scholars. ” By contrast. the author of this essay regards the secretiveness of the IOC as essential to its operations as an “offshore” international body sheltering important individuals whose various operations would not stand up to press scrutiny.
I would also point out that in neither of his essays does MacAloon criticize the many journalists who function as de facto publicists for the IOC. At a Colloquy on Olympic issues held in Lausanne in April 1994. IOC Director General Francois Carrard expressed the view that there are “some ten to fifteen” journalists in the world who actually understand Olympic issues. See “Proceedings of the Colloquy on the Themes of the Olympic Centennial Congress Held in the Olympic Museum, Ouchy, Lausanne on 8th, 9th and 10th April 1994” (unpublished document). Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) the leader of a powerful international organization that is to be counted among those “transnational forms, none of them transcendent, innocent, or neutral in political history,”11 which include the IOC. My point here is that the more we know about the formative history of an Olympic politician, the better the chances of finding comparable figures and patterns of behavior in other international organizations.
In this sense, a book like The Lords of the Rings, while unsuitable as scholarly source material, has already served Olympic historiography by drawing attention to a triad of interrelated and neglected topics: first, the sheer autonomy and freedom from surveillance enjoyed by many high-ranking international functionaries inside and outside the IOC; second, how the upper echelons of international organizations provide political and financial opportunity and sanctuary to significant numbers of people who have compromised themselves in various ways back in their national communities; and third, the long history of extreme right-wing personalities and attitudes within the IOC. As Simson and Jennings put it: “The Samaranch who went to the IOC in 1966 would have found himself at ease among the many other members from authoritarian or undemocratic backgrounds. ”12 One purpose of this essay is to account for this continuity between the IOC of the fascist period in Europe and the comparable elites to be found at the top of international sports federations today. This ideological continuity is not simply a result of the procedures by which the IOC or any of the other federations choose their members.
On the contrary, the selfperpetuating process which renews the membership of the IOC has been made even more efficient by the way it and comparable organizations have served as “offshore” enterprise zones for right-wing personalities and various amoral opportunists since the political collapse of fascism in 1945. 1. The Early Internationalist Period Any study of the “idealistic” international movements of the fin de siecle period must acknowledge their diverse characteristics as well as demonstrate the values and behaviors that make them cohere as a distinct category of thematically interrelated organizations that sometimes attracted overlapping clienteles.
Their homogeneity and heterogeneity as a class of social phenomena become yet clearer if we expand the scope of our survey beyond the four primary movements to be examined here, namely, the Red Cross (1863), the Esperanto movement (1887), the Olympic movement (1894). and the Scouting movement (1908). It is of fundamental importance, for example, that all of these movements were ideologically distinct from Marxist internationalism. Indeed, this is one way to account for the fact that all of them eventually accommodated the Nazis in various ways. The First International (or International Working Men’s Association) was founded by Marx in 1864, outlawed in France and Germany, and effectively dissolved in 1872. Despite its 11. MacAloon, “The Ethnographic Imperative in Comperative Olympic Research,” 126. 12. Simson and Jennings, The Lords of the Rings, 111. 6
Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism political insignificance, as James Joll notes, “it had awakened all Europe to the possibilities of international working class action . . . . And so, on the eve of its extinction, the International was endowed with a legendary power it had lacked in its lifetime, and acquired a largely spurious tradition of heroic international revolutionary action. ” The Second International (1889-l914), which collapsed when the European proletariat deserted international solidarity for national chauvinism and military service at the outbreak of the Great War, actually employed some of the ideas and rhetorical devices characteristic of the “bourgeois” internationalisms of the epoch.
That these superficial resemblances were outweighed by the ideological barrier is evident in the fact that its ideological descendants would eventually stage an impressive series of Workers Olympiads (1921-1937) that the Socialist Workers Sports International claimed were more genuinely international than the “bourgeois” Olympic Games. The internationalism of the late nineteenth century could also take the form of an artistic cosmopolitanism. Like the Olympic movement, Wagnerism was an international movement originating in an established cultural medium (music) that developed both a distinctive ideology, composed of a cultural critique and a program for cultural renewal, and an international clientele. The golden age of Wagnerian internationalism commenced in 1872, when the master moved to Bayreuth, and ended with his death in 1883. Olympism and Wagnerism both served up ersatz religious experiences to people disillusioned with European “progress” and positivist thinking. There was a pervasive need for an emotional piety that was less vulnerable than orthodox religious observance to the dessicating effects of change, scientific progress. and higher biblical criticism. ”13 During the last decades of the nineteenth century there appeared a variety of internationalisms that could satisfy such needs. and the Wagner cult that spread west to America and east to Russia was one of them. To be sure, Wagnerism was German in a way the Olympic movement could not be, although the 1936 Berlin Olympiad, judged as an aesthetic production, was a great triumph of the Olympic “Germanizers” that put its permanent mark on Olympic ritual. 4 Yet even the Germanness of Wagnerism took the form of a universalistic doctrine that anticipated the Olympic movement and its redemptive mission across national boundaries. For in identifying the Germans as the most “universal” of peoples, Wagner was proclaiming Germany’s mission to the world. This sort of ethnocentric cosmopolitanism, as we shall see in the next section of this essay, eventually served as a transitional Weltanschauung to expedite the process by which Germany overcame the xenophobic inhibitions deriving from its own cultural insecurities and appropriated Olympic internationalism on German terms. 13. David C. Large and William Weber, “Introduction”; David C. Large, “Wagner’s Bayreuth Disciples,” in David C.
Large and William Weber, eds. Wagnerism in European Culture and Politics (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1984): 18. 14. Thomas Alkemeyer, “Gewalt und Opfer im Ritual der Olympischen Spiele 1936,” in Gunter Gebauer, ed. Korper und Einbildungskraft: Inszenierungen des Helden im Sport (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1988): 44-79. 7 Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) Wagner’s foreign admirers were thus able to enjoy his musical productions as supranational experiences. In addition, as Gerald D. Turbow has pointed out, the Wagner devotee was participating in the general internationalist ferment of the epoch whether he knew it or not.
Thus one French enthusiast, “writing shortly after the Geneva Treaty on War , the establishment of the Red Cross , and the organization of the First International , found the principle of world unity and peace in Wagner’s operas. In characteristic utopian terms he maintained that just as Wagner had eliminated the barriers that existed between set numbers in the formal operas and just as the old boundaries between cities were vanishing, so now would they disappear between countries as well. ”15 It is even more interesting to learn that Coubertin experienced his own Wagnerian epiphany. In his Olympic Memoirs (193l), Coubertin reports that a visit to Bayreuth, and the “passionate strains” of Wagner’s music, assisted him in seeing the “Olympic horizons” before his mind’s eye. 6 The existence of a Wagnerian internationalism demonstrates that certain internationalist projects of this period were not negations of nationalism but rather cultural projections of nationalist impulses employing cosmopolitan vocabularies rooted in ethnocentric ideas of national grandeur. 17 A variety of internationalist initiatives, including the Olympic movement, both included and disguised nationalist and even cultic themes which could be presented as cosmopolitan projects within the European context. Rooted in racialistic European mythologies, such idealistic cosmopolitanisms did not anticipate, to take only one example, the multiracial agenda of the modern Olympic movement.
Olympism, Wagnerism, and the Salzburg [music] Festival (1920-) are three such cosmopolitanisms rooted in cultic reappropriations of the European past. Their respective ideological sources are the myth of ancient Hellas, Germanic mythology, and a myth of Austria’s baroque cultural heritage, and there is evidence which suggests they once constituted a single festival metagenre in the minds of some observers. Thus, in 1918, an Austrian cultural critic wrote that the Salzburg Festival was the first “total aesthetic realization (Durchbildung) of the festival character” since the revival of the 15. Gerald D. Turbow, “Art and Politics: Wagnerism in France,” in Wagnerism in European Culture and Politics, 153. 16.
Pierre de Coubertin, Memoires olympiques (Lausanne: Bureau international de pedagogie sportive, 1931): 64. It is also interesting to note that Jules Ferry, an early prime minister of the French Third Republic, was both a supporter of Coubertin and an admirer of Wagner. See Turbow, “AR and Politics: Wagnerism in France,” 143, 146. 17. Cosmopolitanism and internationalism have been (properly) defined as different ideals. Marcel Mauss, writing in 1919-1920, regarded these terms as opposed ideas. “Internationalism worthy of the name is the opposite of cosmopolitanism. It does not deny the nation, it situates it. Internation is the opposite of a-nation.
Thus it is also the opposite of nationalism, which isolates the nation. ” Mauss defines cosmopolitanism as a doctrine which tends toward “the destruction of nations, to the creation of a moral order (morale) in which they would no longer be the sovereign authorities, creators of the law, nor the supreme ends worthy of future sacrifices to a superior cause, named humanity itself. ” Mauss derides this ideal as “an etheral theory of the monadic human being who is everywhere identical. ” See Marcel Mauss, “Nation, national, internationalisme,” in Oeuvres, 3 (Paris: Editions de minuit, 1969). 8 Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism Olympic Games. 8 What is more, historians of both Wagnerism and the Salzburg Festival have shown how these cultural productions—in effect, nationalistic cults—were successfully marketed to international audiences. “The tact and success of the pan-European Salzburg propaganda came from the fact that this nationalist program could be expressed as a cosmopolitan ideal that in turn would seem like pure internationalism to the English and the French. ”19 The Olympic movement, too, has derived much of its international prestige from precisely this sort of transformation, whereby an essentially national ambition has been perceived as Enlightenment cosmopolitanism. In all three case—Olympism, Wagnerism, and Salzburg—the “European idea” proved to be a politically viable packaging for nationalistic content.
As we will see in the next section, both German “universalism” and the “European idea” served to reconcile the ideological needs of European rightwingers to the requirements of Olympic internationalism. 20 Certain international movements of this period can be seen as gendered. embodying a kind of male or a female solidarity and an ideology to express this gendered orientation. The Olympic and Scouting movements began as internationalisms that promulgated related conceptions of the ideal male. an orientation that had political consequences during the fascist period (see below). Even though both eventually absorbed female participants, gender integration occurred in a male-dominated context that ascribed limited capacities to female participants.
A countervailing example of gender-segregated internationalism was the organizing of women on a transnational basis, which began in 1888 with the founding of the International Council of Women in Washington. D. C. “Both by assuming fundamental gender differences and by advocating separatist organizing, women in transnational organizations drew boundaries that separated men from women. ”21 This autonomous policy of segregation makes female internationalism especially interesting to the comparativist as a “control group” internationalism vis-a-vis other groups precisely because its leaders claimed to be building upon a distinct and more pacific type of human nature than that possessed by their male counterparts.
In retrospect, however, the comparison between “male” and “female” international organizations is interesting precisely because it reveals more similarities than differences, confirming my operating thesis that there is a core repertory of behaviors and attitudes that characterize the important groups that appear during this extraordinary period of internationalist ferment. This repertory includes a rhetoric of universal membership, a 18. Michael P. Steinberg, The Meaning of the Salzburg Festival: Austria as Theater and Ideology, 18901938 (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1990): 60. 19. Large, “Wagner’s Bayreuth Disciples,95: Steinberg, The Meaning of the Salzburg Festival, 69. The festival program revealed on every level a convergence of explicitly cosmopolitan and pan-European ideals with a Bavarian-Austrian—that is, a baroque-nationalism. ” See Steinberg, 23. 20. I have adapted this paragraph from John M. Hoberman, “Olympic Universalism and the Apartheid Issue. ” in Fernand Landry, Marc Landry, and Magdeleine Yerles eds. Sport. . . The third millenium [Proceedings of the International Symposium, Quebec City, Canada, May 21-25, 1990] (Sainte-Foy: Les Presses de l’Universite Laval, 1991): 531. 21. Rupp, “Constructing Internationalism,” 1582. 9 Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) Eurocentric orientation that limits universal participation, an insistence on political neutrality, the empowering role of wealth, social prominence and aristocratic affiliations. professed interest in peacemaking or pacifism, a complex and problematic relationship between national and international loyalties, the emergence of a (marginalized) “citizen-of-the-world”-style radical supranationalism, and the use of visual symbols such as flags and anthems. One might also say that all of these movements offered to their members a philosophy of creative international action amounting to a way of life for those possessing the necessary dedication and financial independence to pursue it. The Feminist International appears to have differed from its male counterparts in not producing a conspicuous hagiographical tradition honoring its “founding mothers. More importantly, an exclusively female membership and its doctrine of biogendered pacifism (“All wars are men’s wars”) precluded their adopting (as the Olympic and Scouting movements did) the ideology of chivalry as the basis for establishing an idealized transnational identity. As we will see in the next section, the establishment of a transnational male identity based upon “chivalric” ideals played an important role in shaping relations between the “male” internationalisms and Nazi Germany. In addition to sharing a set of core behaviors and attitudes, the idealistic internationalisms were bound together by personal ties between groups and by individuals with ties to more than one group.
For example, Dietrich Quanz has demonstrated Coubertin’s close ties to the European peace movement of the fin de siecle and the prewar Nobel Peace Prize Laureates (1901-1913): “Coubertin must have noticed this model for international private oganizations. He had had contact with almost half of the Nobel Peace Prize winners, some of whom were his friends. He listed five of them as honorary members of the Founding Congress of the IOC in 1894. ” 22 Among Coubertin’s Nobel Peace Prize contacts was the Austrian pacifist Alfred Hermann Fried, who published an Esperanto textbook for German-speakers in 1903. 23 Coubertin was also co-founder in 1910 (with the Nobel Prizewinning  physicist Gabriel Lippmann) of the Ligue d’Education National. he forerunner of the French Boy Scouts,24 while Lord BadenPowell, the founder of the Scouting movement, promoted the British ideology of sportsmanship absorbed by Coubertin. 25 The pacifistically inclined German educator Friedrich Wilhelm Forster (1869-1966) called Baden22. Dietrich R. Quanz. “Formatting Power of the IOC: Founding the Birth of a New Peace Movement. ” Citius. Altius. Fortius, 3 (Winter 1995): 12. See also Dietrich R. Quanz, “Die Grundung des IOC im Horizont von burgerlichem Pazifismus und Internationalismus,” in Gunter Gebauer, ed. Die Aktualitat der Sportphilosophie (St. Augustin: Academia Verlag, 1993), 191-216: “Civic Pacifism and Sports-Based Internationalism: Framework for the Founding of the International Olympic Committee,” Olympika.
The International Journal of Olympic Studies, 2 (1993): 1-23. 23. Ulrich Lins, Die gefahrliche Sprache: Die Verfolgung der Esperantisten unter Hitler und Stalin (Gerlingen: Bleicher Verlag, 1988): 41. 24. Arnd Kruger, “Neo-Olypismus zwischen Nationalismus und internationalismus,” in Horst Ueberhorst, ed. Gescichte der Leibesubung, 3/1 (Berlin: Bartels und Wernitz, 1980): 524. 25. Rosenthal, The Character Factory, 10, 31. 10 Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism Powell’s Scouting for Boys (1908) “the best pedagogical book to have appeared in decades. ”26 Like Coubertin, the German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald (Nobel Prize 1909) had multiple ties to internationalist projects.
At first a supporter of Esperanto, Ostwald changed his allegiance to Esperanto’s chief competitor, the artificial language Ido, in 1908. He also worked toward founding an international chemical institute. 27 In a more eccentric vein. Ostwald served as President of the International Committee of Monism, a philosophy based on the universal authority of science that aimed at propagating “a rational ethics. ” In Monism as the Goal of Civilization (1913), Ostwald held out the possibility of “a completely neutral and likewise easily acquired auxiliary language” as “an indescribable blessing” for mankind. pointing to “the rapidly increasing international arrangements and relations” and the “irresistible flow toward the international organization of human affairs. 28 All three of the early international women’s organizations weighed the possibility of adopting Esperanto as a means of facilitating communication. 29 The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sent a delegation to the Esperanto Congress held in Dresden in 1907. 30 The first chairman of the London Esperanto Club, Felix Moscheles, was President of the International Arbitration and Peace Association and a major figure in the pacifist movement. 31 These and other interrelationships confirm the thesis that such groups belong to a genre of international organizations, both unified and variegated, that deserves to be studied in a comparative manner. As the great early promoter of international sport, “the Esperanto of the aces” (Jean Giraudoux), Coubertin occupies a central position within this configuration of internationally minded idealists. All of the idealistic internationalisms of this period appealed to deep feelings among Europeans that were rooted in anxieties about war and peace. As inhabitants of a political universe that has effectively banished the memory of socialist internationalism prior to the Third (Communist) International, we would do well to recall its stature as the preeminent antiwar movement of its period (1889-1914). “For at least fifty years,” as James Joll has noted, “international Socialism was one of the great intellectual forces in Europe . . . while no statesman or political thinker could avoid taking it into account. The urgency of the feelings shared by Socialist and non-Socialist internationalists alike was evident at the emergency congress of the Socialist International, held in Basle in November 1913, as fear of war spread throughout 26. Karl Seidelmann, Die Pfadfinder in der deutschen Jugendgeschichte (Hannover: Hermann Schroedel Velag, 1977): 28-29. 27. Lins, Die gefahrliche Sprache, 42; Crawford, “The Universe of International Science,” 264, it is worth noting that Crawford calls Ostwald “the most ubiquitous of scientists” (264). 28. Wilhelm Ostwald, Monism as the Goal of Civilization (Hamburg: The International Committee of Monism, 1913): 10, 6, 25. 29. Rupp, “Constructing Internationalism,” 1578. 30. Peter G. Forster, The Esperanto Movement (The Hague: Mouton Publishers, 1982): 170. 31. Lins, Die gefahrliche Sprache, 28. 11
Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) Europe. Sobered into a state of somber meditation that permitted the relaxation of ideological discipline, the delegates heard the great French leader Jean Jaures sound a religious note, while the next day the veteran Swiss Socialist Greulich, “when finally closing the proceedings, not only referred to Bach’s B Minor Mass but even, though with an apologetic ‘Don’t be alarmed’, quoted from the Roman Catholic liturgy to express the socialist hope: ‘Exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum et vitam venturam saeculis’. ”32 The ideological divisions that separated Socialists from non-Socialists (and, ater, Socialists from Communists) have had a profound impact on the entire phenomenon of European internationalism during this century. The sports and Esperanto movements eventually split along ideological lines into socialist and “bourgeois” factions, while Baden-Powell’s bourgeois-nationalist Boy Scout organization was subjected to harsh criticism just after the Great War by his onetime successor-apparent, John Hargrave, a militant proponent of “World Friendship” who could not stomach the imperialist component of Baden-Powell’s doctrine. That Baden-Powell rejected the charge as “Bolshevism” only confirms the importance of the division between the anti-imperialist, non-establishmentarian internationalisms and their bourgeois-nationalist counterparts. 3 In the case of the Esperantists, however, this ideological divide was mostly illusory, due to the fact that the artificial language movement appealed to the marginal and the underprivileged from its very beginnings in eastern Poland and Russia in the late 1880s and 1890s. This affinity between the fraternal idealism of the Esperantists and the ethical program of the revolutionary Left was recognized by the early psychoanalytical writer J. C. Flugel, who was himself an Esperantist. “The Esperanto movement,” he wrote in 1925, “with its quasi-religious enthusiasm and its attempt to break down the barriers between nations and races, inevitably challenges comparison with certain other movements of a universalizing tendency. It has, of course, certain features in common with Socialism and Communism.
These also are international and pacifist in character, and aim at fostering a spirit of comradeship among fellow-members; but they differ from the Esperanto movement in two important respects: (a) In the essential economic basis of their programme; (b) In that the revolutionary and insurgent tendencies— based ultimately on displacements of father-hatred—are very much more prominent. In the Esperanto movement these latter tendencies are implicit rather than explicit . . . .”34 This crucial distinction between explicit and implicit “insurgent tendencies” was the most important difference between the revolutionary and his typological opposite, the linguistic humanitarian whose progressive idealism was channeled into more symbolic forms of re32. James Joll, The Second lnternational 1889-1914 (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974): 1, 158, 159. 33. Rosenthal, The Character Factory, 245-247. 34. J. C.
Flugel, “Some Unconscious Factors in the International Language Movement With Special Reference to Esperanto,” International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 6 (1925): 12 Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism sistance to political repression and national chauvinism. Despite its nonrevolutionary status, Flugel saw his analysis of the artificial language movement as a contribution to “the psychology of progressive social movements” in a wider sense. A study of the “unconscious mental mechanisms with which psycho-analysis has made us familiar” could thus illuminate “the wider psychological problems presented by language and by constructive social movements in general. Such comments make it clear that Flugel was canny enough to understand that “rational” policies might well derive in part from nonrational impulses. Thus he did not hesitate to identify the altruism and dynamism of his fellow Esperantrists with sexual wishes and potentially grandiose ideas about undoing the havoc wrought in the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. 35 Still, it is apparent that Flugel saw internationalism as a single genre of activity that was inherently “progressive” despite its psychoanalytic complications, and it is likely that he associated its “constructive” potential with the Enlightenment tradition of rational problemsolving and cosmopolitan understanding.
The problem with this portrait of the Esperantists is that it is expurgated (or simply uninformed) and thus historically inaccurate in important respects. By 1925. there was plenty of evidence to suggest that the Esperanto movement was not uniformly “progressive ” in a political sense; it would appear, however, that Flugel overlooked these facts on account of his deep respect both for the founding father of the movement and for many of his fellow enthusiasts. The founder of Esperanto, Ludwig Lazar Zamenhof (18591917), was a Jew born in Bialystok, Poland, who was convinced that only an artificial and universally comprehensible language could heal the ethnic strife that plagued this area. (At the age of 10, Zamenhof wrote a five-act tragedy, set in Bialystok, based on the Tower of Babel story. In the years that followed his publication of the first Esperanto textbook in 1887, adherents of the movement deemphasized Zamenhof’s Jewish origins in order to minimize anti-Semitic resistance to their proselytizing efforts. More surprising in retrospect is the fact that the Dreyfus Affair (1895) the great political litmus test of fin-de-siecle French political life, polarized the French Esperantists, demonstrating that linguistic internationalism alone did not guarantee a “progressive” political orientation. The “Declaration on the Essence of Esperanto” that was adopted at the first Congress of Esperantists held at Boulogne-surmer in 1905 was a clear declaration of political neutrality that did not even mention world peace.
Indeed, the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA) was not established until 1908, by which time the influence of Zamenhof’s quasi-religious doctrine of universal brotherhood was already in decline. 36 To some extent this breach between the founders’ ideals and a more practical orientation emphasizing commerce and science reflected a difference in out35. Flugel, “Some Unconscious Factors,” 171-172, 208, 187, 190. 36. Lins, Die gefahrliche Sprache, 29, 31, 26. 13 Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) look between Western Europe (especially France) and Eastern Europe and Russia. where political repression and a high proportion of Jewish Esperantists had preserved the early idealism.
The larger lesson, however, is that even early on linguistic internationalism showed signs of the defensive political neutralism and resulting fissiparous tendencies that compromised its independence and opened windows of opportunity for political activists on the Left and the Right during the 1920s and 1930s. That even as well-informed an observer as Flugel did not understand the ideological instability of the Esperantists points to some of our own acquired habits of thought regarding the effectiveness of internationalist ideals and the transnational groups that attempt to implement them. The traditional (though now eroding) assumption that idealistic internationalisms can transform the modern world has been profoundly shaped by our image of the Enlightenment cosmopolitanism that dates from the late eighteenth century. The League of Nations, the United Nations, the vast empires of modern science and sport, nd countless international arrangements of equal or lesser scope all trace their ancestry (or an important part of it) to a period that has taken on the aura of a Golden Age. It has been more than two hundred years since the American Philosophical Society proclaimed (in 1778) that “Nations truly civilized (however unhappily at variance on other accounts) will never wage war with the Arts and Sciences and the common Interests of Humanity,”37 but the charm (and the pathos) of such a declaration, and its promise of a Sacred Truce between the nations, affect us still. By the end of the nineteenth century, this ideal was most clearly expressed in what Elisabeth Crawford has called the “universe of international science. ” “Because science was universal and constituted a common language. she notes, “international scientific organizations, it was felt, could become models for international associations generally and even help usher in world government. ”38 This idealized image of cosmopolitan networking in the service of progress has been the standard against which internationalist projects have been judged for the last century. What is more, this fantasy of a transnational scientific enterprise untainted by national self-interests has created unrealistic expectations in relation to all of the idealistic internationalisms, prominently including the Olympic movement. If we are interested in establishing the potential of the idealistic internationalisms, then the value of the comparative method lies in establishing realistic parameters of action (and even imagination) over the long term.
If we ask, for example, whether the Olympic movement has done what it should have been able to do in fulfillment of its professed aims, what we are really asking is whether it has performed on a par with analogous organizations in comparable historical conditions. While no two of these organizations have had identical resources at their disposal, even the (necessarily 37. Thomas J. Schlereth, The Cosmopolitan Ideal in Enlightenment Thought (South Bend: The Notre Dame University Press, 1977): 45. 38. Crawford, “The Universe of International Science,” 254. 14 Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism abbreviated) survey presented in this essay can, I believe, identify that “core repertory of attitudes and behaviors” that makes comparison worthwhile.
Perhaps the most general of these factors is the contest between nationalist and internationalist motives and loyalties (in differing proportions) within the minds of those who led or followed. If Coubertin came to “the conviction that patriotism and internationalism were not only not incompatible, but required one another,” then this was one (entirely reasonable) response to a problem that could be solved in various ways. 39 In the case of Baden-Powell’s movement, “the celebration of national greatness,” as Michael Rosenthal points out, “becomes a problem for the Scouts . . . when the insistence on British national superiority clashes with the equality of all people that is so much a part of Scouting, and more particularly within the movement’s worldwide ambitions that rapidly developed. 40 This potential for intrapsychic conflict affected the Esperantists, as well, even if Zamenhof had personally resolved the internal conflict between the competing identities of “human being” and “patriot” in favor of the former. Disagreements among the Esperantists regarding whether they should organize on a national or supranational basis were another manifestation of this basic conflict between national and internationalist affiliations. How the individual member resolved this conflict was a question of political temperament, although it is also true that the range of choices depended to some extent on the movement to which one belonged.
The Esperanto movement, for example, tolerated radical, “citizen-of-the-world”-style supranationalism in a way that the Scouting and Olympic movements did not. A comparative look at their founders can help us understand why. The movements of Lord Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941) and Pierre de Coubertin are strikingly similar in several respects. Both movements proclaimed early on their universal, apolitical, nonracial and nonmilitary nature: while neither founder was a pacifist—Baden-Powell was an acclaimed professional soldier—both claimed to serve the cause of peace: while they claimed to be classless movements, both were also intended as strategies to deal with domestic social instability and class conflict. Both founders were acclaimed as “educators” and mobilizers of youth.
Both shared the racialistic ideas of their time, although Baden-Powell made openly racist statements in a way that Coubertin did not. 41 Both put a high priority on appearing politically neutral, and both understood the importance of creating a rhetoric and a public image that “transcended” politics. When recruiting the Comite Jules Simon, as John J. MacAloon points out, “Coubertin reproduced the now familiar claim that ‘we have recruited adherents of all parties, our work is in effect sheltered from all political quarrels. ’ In fact, the ‘shelter,’ such as it was, owed to drawing all of the members from the ‘parties of order’ and 39. MacAloon, This Great Symbol, 112. 40. Rosenthal, The Character Factory, 176. 41. Rosenthal, The Character Factory, 40-43, 181, 254-267.
On Coubertin’s racial thinking see Hoberman, “Olympic Universalism and the Apartheid Issue,” 524-525. 15 Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) skewing their ‘neutrality’ toward the right. ”42 Baden-Powell pursued the same strategy, and the Esperantists too did their best to establish a nonpartisan profile. 43 (Among the late-nineteenth-century movements, the Red Cross had pioneered the policy of absolute neutrality in the 1860s. ) It is clear, then, that the claim (or pretense) to political neutrality, a policy that would both empower and constrain these movements throughout the twentieth century, was regarded by most non-Socialist internationalists as an absolute requirement for effective action.
What distinguished the Scouting and Olympic movements in quite another sense from the Esperantists and the Red Cross was their pursuit of aristocratic affiliations or royal patronage, itself an important ideological signature of movements that were bent on achieving a reconciliation of the social classes. By contrast, Zamenhof saw Esperanto as an instrument of the oppressed, and Flugel later offered an interesting explanation as to why “the international language movement has enjoyed comparatively little support from the more aristocratic and educated classes. ”44 The mononational Red Cross, which until 1923 recruited its membership exclusively from the cream of the Genevan professional bourgeoisie, did not need aristocratic sponsorship. 45 Coubertin, on the other hand, had to create his own establishment.
In 1908, European nobility made up 68 percent of the membership of the IOC, a figure which declined to 41 percent by 1924. 46 In Britain, Baden-Powell—a socially prominent hero of the Boer War-had access to a uniquely celebrated caste of royals. “The Royal family and the English government have shown a great interest in scouting since its inception,” one observer wrote in 1948. “The King became the Patron of the British Boy Scouts, the Prince of Wales became Chief Scout for Wales and Princess Mary the president of the Girl Guides. ” At the first Jamboree held in London in 1920, Prince Gustav Adolph of Sweden was made honorary president of the International Boy 42.
MacAloon, This Great Symbol, 105. 43. The official Soviet view of Scouting in the West challenged its claim to political neutrality: “Scouting seeks to train the younger generation in a spirit of loyalty to the ideals of bourgeois society. Although professing to be unaffiliated with any political party, scout organizations do in fact have clearly expressed political, militaristic, and religious tendencies they strive to keep the younger generation from participating in the struggle for revolutionary and democratic change and to isolate young people from the influence of materialism and communism. Scouting advocates the idea of class peace in a capitalist state. . .
The Komsomol [youth organization] consistently struggled against the scout movement. The second, third, and fourth Komsomol congresses (1918-20) adopted resolutions calling for the dissolution of scout groups and worked out a program for the creation of a new, communist type of children’s organization. ” Here, as in other areas of popular culture like sport and the arts, Communists faced the challenge of repackaging attractive “bourgeois” activities in conformity with Marxist-Leninist ideological requirements. See the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Vol. 23 (New York: Macmillan, 1979): 253. 44. Flugel, “Some Unconcious Factors,” 200; see also 175, 176, 201. 5. Jean-Claude Favel, Warum schwieg das Rote Kreuz? Eine internationale Organisation und das Dritte Reich (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1994): 25-26. 46. M. Blodorn and W. Nigmann, “Zur Ehre underes Vaterlandes und zum Ruhme des Sports,” in M. Blodorn, ed. Sport und Olympische Spiele (Rheinbek bei hamburg: Rowohlt, 1984): 42. See also Kruger, “Neo-Olympismus zwischen Nationalismus und Internationalismus,” 529, 551. 16 Toward a Theory of Olympic Internationalism Scout Committee. 47 Appearances notwithstanding, the recruitment of these prestigious sponsors did not point to politically reactionary intentions on the part of the recruiters.
In fact, Coubertin used his affiliations with the nobility to advance the cause of sportive internationalism against the resistance of stubborn nationalists. 48 Today, however, the IOC’s interest in recruiting royals appears to be less pragmatic than a response to the prestige-seeking needs of its current President. 2. Olympic Internationalism in the Age of Fascism Olympic internationalism during the Nazi period remains poorly understood, in part because the number of English-language commentaries remains limited. 49 My purpose in this section is to depart from the traditional emphasis on the 1936 Berlin Olympiad, which has been widely misunderstood as an isolated lapse on the part of the IOC, in order to place it in the larger politicalhistorical context where it belongs.
We now know that Coubertin saw the “Nazi Olympics” as the culmination of his life’s work, and it is important to understand why he believed this and why in a sense he was right in doing so. For the Olympic movement during this period is best understood as a rightwing internationalism that was effectively coopted by the Nazis and their French and German sympathizers during the 1930s. This cooptation was made possible in part by an ideological compatibility between the IOC elite and the Nazis based on a shared ideal of aristocratic manhood and the value system that derived from their glorification of the physically perfect male as the ideal human being. It is important for us to understand this IOC-Nazi collaboration if only because, contrary to what many have doubtless 47.
Saul Scheidlinger, “A Comparative Study of the Boy Scout Movement in Different National and Social Groups,” American Sociological Review , 13 (1948): 740, 741. 48. Kruger, “Neo-Olympismus zwischen Nationalismus und Internationalismus,” 549. 49. The traditional approach to the Olympic histoy of this period is to focus on the 1936 Berlin Olympiad as an exceptional event in the history of the movement. See, especially, Richard Mandell, The Nazi Olympics (New York: Macmillan, 1971; Arnd Kruger. Die olympischen Spiele 1936 und die Weltmeinung (Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt/M. : Verlag Bartels & Wernitz KG, 1972): Duff Hart-Davis, Hitler’s Games: The 1936 Olympics (New York: Harper and Row, 1986).
The indispensable sources for understanding the relationship between the IOC and the Nazis are Hans-Joachim Teichler, “Coubertin und das Dritte Retch,” Sportwissenschaft, 12 (1982): 18-53; Allen Guttmann, The Games Must Go On: Avery Brundage and the Olympic Movement (New York, Columbia University Press, 1984): and W. J. Murray, “France, Coubertin and the Nazi Olympics: The Response,” Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies, 1 (1992): 4669. See also John Hoberman, The Olympic Crisis: Sport, Politics, and the Moral Order (New Rochelle, N. Y: Aristide D. Caratzas, Publisher, 1986). More recent publications on the Olympic movement during the interwar period include Stephen R. Wenn, “A Suitable Policy of Neutrality?
FDR and the Question of American Participation in the 1936 Olympics,” International Journal of the History of Sport , 8 (1991): 319-335; Bill Murray, “Berlin in 1936: Old and New Work on the Nazi Olympics. ” International Journal of the History of Sport, 9 (1992): 29-49: Martin Polley, “Olympic Diplomacy: The British Government and the Projected 1940 Olympic Games,” lnternational Journal of the History of Sport 9 (1992): 169-187: William J. Baker, “Muscular Marxism and the Chicago Counter-Olympics of 1932,” International Journal of the History of Sport 9 (1992): 397-410; Per Olof Holmang, “International Sports Organizations 1919-25 Sweden and the German Question. ” International Journal of the History of Sport 9 (1992): 455-466; and Junko Tahara. “Count Michimasa Soyeshima and the Cancellation of the XII Olympiad in Tokyo: A Footnote to Olympic History,” lnternational Journal of the History of Sport, 9 (1992) 467-472. On the workers sport movement, see Jonathan F. Wagner, “Prague’s Socialist Olympics of 1934,” Canadian Journal of the History of Sport, 12 (1992): 1-18. 17 Journal of Sport History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995) assumed, it was not interrupted by the collapse of the Nazi empire in 1945. The postwar denazification of tainted European organizations, limited as it was, did not extend to the IOC, which continued to accommodate its Nazi members and their sympathizers in the old spirit of collegiality.
The third section of this essay will examine how this ideological affinity group managed to preserve its traditional viewpoint (and the careers of some important adherents) well into the postwar era, and how its immunity to liberalhumanitarian influence remains a model for the IOC today. At this point, however, some historical background is required. The following narrative can be introduced by a so-called trivia question, to wit: Who was Jules Rimet, the man for whom the World Cup of soccer is named? I found the answer to this question in the April 1933 issue of the Deutsch-Franzosische Rundschau, one of several journals devoted to FrancoGerman cultural exchange and mutual understanding during the period between the world wars.
On 18 March of that fateful year, the French national soccer team arrived in Berlin led by Jules Rimet, president of both the French Soccer Association and the international federation (FIFA). Waiting to greet the French delegation were the chairman of the German Soccer Association (DFB), representatives of numerous other sports federations, and the press. In a word, this occasion was a political and media event. The game between the French and German teams, played before 45,000 German spectators under a sparkling spring sky, somehow ended in a tie. Rimet himself observed that the German team had controlled the ball for three-quarters of the game, and the Parisian sports paper L’Auto said the Germans had, in effect, lost a game they should have won.
At the traditional banquet after the ga