Black American athlete Jesse Owens likely was filmed by the Nazis in 3D as he won four gold medals at the 1936 summer Olympics in Berlin, new research has revealed.
Owens’ fantastic performance was a worldwide sensation at the time — and one that deeply upset the Nazis and their Aryan doctrine.
Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief, writing in his diary, called the wins “a disgrace” that white people should be ashamed of.
Los Angeles-based Australian filmmaker Philippe Mora, who earlier this year revealed the extent to which Hitler’s Third Reich used 3D technology in pre-WWII propaganda movies, has uncovered evidence that a sophisticated stereoscopic camera was custom-made to record athletes as they crossed the finishing line at the Olympic stadium.
The twin-camera Zeiss Ikon system, triggered by the starting pistol at the start of a race, filmed track events from a tall tower.
It was designed to accurately time events and identify winners in photo finishes.
A contemporary report, produced by Gottfried Philipp, a member of the design team from Germany’s Braunschweig U. of Technology, shows that footage was developed within seven minutes for referees to examine.
The report includes appendices with photos of the finishing-line frames for many of the track events, but none in which Owens or other black sports stars competed.
Neither the international Olympic committee nor Zeiss Ikon has been able to track down Owens footage in their archives, but they are actively searching for it, Mora told Variety.
Mora, who in 1973 made controversial Hitler homemovie documentary, “Swastika,” and is working on a 3D film about Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali, plans to use any footage he finds in a docu, “This is 3D,” he is making with producers Barry Krost and Ray Bank.