Wednesday, 6 June 2012

BBC - Only Connect

I was idly searching for a precedent for the BBC's omnishambolic coverage of the Diamond Jubilee, especially the River Pageant, when I remembered the occasion of the 1937 Spithead Fleet Review: "The Fleet's all lit up". Well, I recalled reading about it in an old copy of Aeroplane Monthly.

Anyway, here is Lieutenant Commander Tommy Woodroffe RN's infamous commentary for the BBC.

I then googled Tommy Woodroffe and discovered that he was appointed as the BBC commentator for the 1936 Berlin Olympics. But only after the BBC thought that sending Olympic gold medallist and sports commentator, Harold (Chariots of Fire) Abrahams would be a bit impolite. He was a Jew you see. The BBC Archives mention the story here, but I haven't heard it on the BBC's endless Olympics programmes yet. Nor have I heard mention that Jesse Owens and another African american were the substitutes demanded by the pro-Nazi head and coach of the American Olympics athletic organisation instead of a couple of American sprinters who happened to be Jewish. And apparently Hitler did shake hands with Jesse Owens before leaving the stadium, although Roosevelt didn't invite him or any other black medallists to a reception at the White House unlike all the other (white) American winners.


I then googled Dr Dietrich and found only this chap, the Reich Press Chief. It would seem that being a non-aryan in the SS didn't really harm his career, although he never rose higher than SS-obergruppenfuhrer. I couldn't find anything on Dr Ratka not even in the Official Olympic Games Report 1936 (pp300 onwards).

I do wonder if Tommy and Max were "lit up" when they drafted their letter. If anyone can put me right about the  Doktors Ratka and Dietrich in the letter please comment.

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