There is a collection of stories making up the history of the Jews at the Olympic Games. This is partly due to the prodigious - and widely underestimated - success of Jewish athletes at the Games, but also owing to the special history of the Jewish people in the twentieth century - first, as victims of racism in Europe and then, following the establishment of modern Israel in 1948, in the ongoing struggle for peace in the Middle East. Many of the athletes depicted here fought battles both on and off the running track. The personal drama and enduring humanity of their stories goes beyond sport and embraces politics, heroism and resilience. The Olympic Games served to combat persecution: in sport, the best competitor always wins. On these equal terms, such political and racial interference is rendered impotent. No story so illustrates the interaction between sport and politics as the story of Jewish athletes and the Games. Each major event at the Games related to the Jews is covered in depth. From the first Olympics in Athens in 1896, through to the disasters and triumphs of Munich 1972 and beyond, Jews and the Olympic Games - which features a list of the more than 250 Jewish medallists at the Games and sixteen pages of pictures of Jewish athletes - is an account of the conflict between sport and politics.
Introduction : Jews, history and the Olympic Games -- 1. Duelling for gold : the great Jewish-Hungarian fencers -- 2. Liars, victims and heroes : the road to the Nazi games -- 3. Competing against Hitler : the "non-Aryans" fight back -- 4. Warriors in the water : Jewish Olympic swimmers -- 5. Murder in Munich, 1972 : the attack, the battle and the aftermath -- 6. From Europe to the new world : Jewish Olympic stars of the post-war era -- Postscript : pride, prejudice and a place for heroes -- App. A complete review of Jewish Olympic medalists.