Tarzan in WWII

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Tarzan had been played by a great number of actors,  the actor mostly associated with the character Tarzan is the former Olympian Johnny Weissmüller. But the title of this blog indicates WWII,and Weissmüller did not serve during the war.

However two other actors who played Tarzan did actively serve during World War II

Glenn Morris

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Glen Morris had also previously been an Olympian

In the U.S. Olympic track and field trials for 1936, Morris scored a new world record of 7,880 points, earning him Newsweek’s sobriquet “the nation’s new Iron Man.” Morris broke his own world record, and the Olympic record, in the Berlin games, with a decathlon score of 7,900 points.It was said that Adolf Hitler never left his seat while Morris was competing, and that the Germans thereafter offered Morris $50,000 to stay in Germany and appear in sports films, an offer Morris refused.

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In 1938 he played Tarzan in ‘Tarzan’s Revenge’ The reviews were so thoroughly bad that Morris never made another movie.

He played four games with the Detroit Lions football team, before injury curtailed this new career, then worked as an insurance agent.He subsequently served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in the Pacific during World War II, commanding amphibious-assault landing craft.Reportedly wounded, Morris was treated for psychological-trauma issues and spent several months in a naval hospital.

Lex Barker

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Disowned by his family for his choice of an acting career, he worked in a steel mill and studied engineering at night. In February 1941, nearly a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor,lex-barker

Barker left his fledgling acting career and enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Private. The 6’3″ 208-pound soldier rose to the rank of major during the war. He was wounded the leg in action fighting in Salerno and in the head in Sicily.

Back in the USA, he recuperated at an Arkansas military hospital, then upon his discharge from service, traveled to Los Angeles. Within a short time, he landed a small role in his first film, Doll Face (1945).

Barker signed a contract at RKO. He had small roles in The Farmer’s Daughter (1947), Crossfire (1947), and Under the Tonto Rim (1947).

Barker went to Paramount for Unconquered (1947). Back at RKO he was in Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947), Berlin Express (1948), Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), The Velvet Touch (1948), and Return of the Bad Men (1948), playing Emmett Dalton.

In Tarzan’s Magic Fountain (1949), Barker became the tenth official Tarzan of the movies. His blond, handsome, and intelligent appearance, as well as his athletic, now 6’4″ frame, helped make him popular in the role Johnny Weissmuller had made his own for sixteen years. His Jane was Brenda Joyce who had been in Weismuller’s last three films.

Barker’s second Tarzan was Tarzan and the Slave Girl (1950), where Jane was played by Vanessa Brown. In Tarzan’s Peril (1951), Barker’s Jane was Virginia Huston, with African location footage. Dorothy Hart was Jane in Tarzan’s Savage Fury (1952), directed by Cy Endfield.

Barker got the chance to play a non-Tarzan role in Battles of Chief Pontiac (1952), a Western. He returned to the role one last time in Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953).

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He had his greatest success in Germany where he played Old Shatterhand a friend of Apache chief Winnetou in a series of Westerns which were adaptations of novels by German author Karl May.

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Why keeping promises isn’t always a good thing.

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I heard a Holocaust survivor say “The Germans(citizens) weren’t vicious, they were just indifferent”

No one is born indifferent , you are conditioned that way and shortly after WWI, conditions were created where someone could step in and condition the Germans to be indifferent.

It was reporter Edgar A. Mowrer who stated “Hitler is not an intellectual genius, but he has a formidable instinct for politics.”

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After WWI the situation in Germany was awful, a lot of historians say this was due to the treaty of Versaille, it was just too harsh for Germany. And to an extend I agree with that but the world had not seen a global conflict on that scale before, and the allied powers then walked into uncharted territory and felt they had to set a precedent,unfortunately it didn’t work out.

(People eat at a crowded dormitory of a lodging house for the homeless in Berlin.
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Along came a failed Austrian artist who promises the German people, jobs,food,wealth a good life.Combine this with the fact that Hitler had a fanatic cohort and were able to organize themselves in a short period of time.

This played to the imagination of the ordinary Germans who had no jobs, no food,no homes and no hope.

(Men and boys wait in line at a postwar German soup kitchen in a market hall in Berlin.
Homelessness reached alarming heights amid the postwar economic collapse.1920.)berlin-soup-kitchen

All Hitler had to do was to find a scapegoat a group to put the blame on, the Jews. Of course he only showed the people the Jews that were doing well for themselves, but like any other group in Germany there were also Jews who were steeped in poverty.

(Nazis place a sign on the window of a Jewish-owned store encouraging Germans to not shop there.)store-boycott

 

But during bad times people hear what they want to hear and if they hear they’ll be getting work again and will be pulled out of poverty, and the man who is promising this has already started to deliver on these promises, they believe every word he says.

(Hitler’s paramilitary “Brownshirts” sit down with a farmer and his wife and try to persuade them to vote NSDAP. Mecklenburg, Germany. June 21, 1932)nazis-convincing-a-voter

However Hitler did fulfill his promises, but for all the wrong reasons. He did create employment, for the war efforts. He did create wealth by stealing from Jews,Gypsies and others. He did eradicate homelessness for the ordinary Germans by shipping millions to the east and ultimately killing them.

(Newly-appointed Chancellor Adolf Hitler, at the window of the chancellery, waves at his supporters.Berlin. January 30, 1933.)chancellor-hitler-at-window

 

Germany of 1919 was like a different planet compared to the Germany of 1936 which hosted the Olympic Games. the 1936 Germany was one of the richest countries in the world.

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Hitler was not the only politicians who promised things.every politicians makes promises. But most know they are not able to keep their promises, even if they have the best intentions of doing keeping them.

It is when the politicians suddenly keep their promises we will have to ask the question “at what price?” Sometimes it is better promises are broken.

The blame should also be put on the leadership of the allied powers, they knew that Hitler was breaking the treaty of Versaille left,right and center, especially when it came to rebuilding the German military,but they did nothing, in fact they gave him free reign.This of course was also seen by the ordinary Germans as a proof that their leader was doing the right thing,because no one stopped him.

(Hitler poses with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (left) and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (right) following the Munich Agreement.September 29, 1938)hitler-posing-group-of-men

 

The Propaganda that didn’t go as planned

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Nazi Germany used the 1936 Olympic Games for propaganda purposes. The Nazis promoted an image of a new, strong, and united Germany. Their athletes were to be displayed as the perfect version of the Aryan race. The joke at the time was Aryan- Blond,Blue Eyed  and tall like Hitler,thin and athletic like Goering and the 20/20 vision of Himmler.

Carl Ludwig “Lu(t)z” Long (27 April 1913– 14 July 1943) was a German Olympic long-jumper, notable for winning Silver in the event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and for giving advice to his competitor, Jesse Owens, who went on to win the gold medal for the long jump.

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Long was killed in action serving in the German Army during World War II. For his actions in the spirit of sportsmanship, he was posthumously awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal.

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The 21-year-old, 1.84 m tall Long had finished third in the 1934 European Championships in Athletics with 7.25 m. By the summer of 1936, Long held the European record in the long jump and was eager to compete for the first time against Jesse Owens, the American world-record holder. The long jump on August 4 was Long’s first event against Owens, and Long met his expectations by setting an Olympic record during the preliminary round. In contrast, Owens fouled on his first two jumps. Knowing that he needed to reach at least 7.15 m (about 23 feet 3 inches) on his third jump in order to advance to the finals in the afternoon, Owens sat on the field, dejected.

 

Speaking to Long’s son, Owens said in 1964 that Long went to him and told him to try to jump from a spot several inches behind the take-off board. Since Owens routinely made distances far greater than the minimum of 7.15 m required to advance, Long surmised that Owens would be able to advance safely to the next round without risking a foul trying to push for a greater distance. On his third qualifying jump,

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Owens was calm and jumped with at least four inches (10 centimeters) to spare, easily qualifying for the finals.In the finals competition later that day, the jumpers exceeded the old Olympic record five times.Owens went on to win the gold medal in the long jump with 8.06 m while besting Long’s own record of 7.87 m.

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Long won the silver medal for second place and was the first to congratulate Owens: they posed together for photos and walked arm-in-arm to the dressing room.

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Owens said, “It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler… You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn’t be a plating on the twenty-four karat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment”.

Not only does Long ‘only’ win the Silver medal he also shakes hands with and embraces Owens in a true sports man way.

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The Nazi leadership were not impressed by this in fact they were furious about it. A day after the event Luz received a phone call from Rudolf Hess telling him “Don’t you ever embrace a negro again”

Luz Long won the German long jump championship 3 more times in 1937,1938 and 1939.

Long served in the Wehrmacht during World War II, having the rank of Obergefreiter. During the Allied invasion of Sicily, Long was killed in action on 14 July 1943.He was buried in the war cemetery of Motta Sant’Anastasia, in Sicily.

 

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/08/03/1936-summer-olympics-berlin-sports-or-politics/

 

1936 Winter Olympics-The forgotten Olympics

 

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The 1936 Winter Olympics, officially known as the IV Olympic Winter Games , were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1936 in the market town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany. Germany also hosted the Summer Olympics the same year in Berlin. 1936 is the last year in which the Summer and Winter Games were both held in the same country (the cancelled 1940 games would have been held in Japan, with that country likewise hosting the Winter and Summer games).

Like the 1936 Summer Games the February Winter Games were highly political.

The 1936 Winter Olympics were organized on behalf of the German League of the Reich for Physical Exercise (DRL) by Karl Ritter von Halt. Von Halt had been named President of the Committee for the organization of the Fourth Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen by Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten.

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Nine months before the games were scheduled to begin, discrimination against the Jewish population had become so widespread that the head of the organizing committee, Karl Ritter von Halt, became alarmed and voiced his concerns in a letter to the Interior Ministry in Berlin. Halt emphasized that he didn’t want to be misunderstood — “I am not expressing my concerns in order to help the Jews” — but wrote that “if the propaganda is continued in this form, the population of Garmisch-Partenkirchen will be so inflamed that it will indiscriminately attack and injure anyone who even looks Jewish.”

The Jew-baiting in the Alpine idyll did not go unnoticed abroad. An English reporter who had traveled to the Werdenfelser Land region in advance of the games photographed the Partenkirchen Ski Club’s clubhouse, where a sign reading “No Jews Allowed Here!” was posted on the wall. The image circled the globe.

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A boycott movement had already been formed in the United States. Organizing committee chief Karl Ritter von Halt was worried that the entire German Olympic project could fail. “If the slightest disturbance occurs in Garmisch-Partenkirchen — this is something which we are all well aware of — it will be not be possible to hold the Olympic Games in Berlin, because all other nations will then withdraw from the event.”

When IOC president Henri de Baillet-Latourwas traveling to Garmisch to see the Games, he was astonished to see roadsigns en route declaring )Dogs and Jews not allowed).

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Baillet-Latour requested an audience with Der Führer and demanded that the signs be taken down. Hitler replied that he thought it usual, when a guest entered a person’s home, that the guest followed the wishes of the host. Baillet-Latour responded that when the flag of Olympia flies over the area, he became the host and Hitler was only the invited guest. Hitler acquiesced and had the signs removed.

But the Games were still highly political, though not  as much as the  Berlin Summer games few months later.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/08/03/1936-summer-olympics-berlin-sports-or-politics/

At the opening ceremony, OCOG President ,Karl Ritter von Halt, stated”We Germans want to show the world that, faithful to the order of our Führer and federal Chancellor , we can put on an Olympic Games that will be a true festival of peace and sincere understanding among peoples”. Perhaps, but the German team included only one Jewish athlete.,Rudi Ball, who was a member of the German ice hockey team.

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In 1936, because he was Jewish, Ball (the 25-year-old captain) was initially overlooked for selection in the German ice hockey team. His good friend and teammate, Gustav Jaenecke, refused to play unless Ball was included. Ball also believed a deal could be struck to save his family in Germany if he returned to play in the games.The German selectors also realized that without Ball and Jaenecke the team would not stand a chance of winning. Another factor was that the Nazi party could not overlook the fact that Ball was without doubt one of the leading athletes in his sport. With much controversy Ball was included in the German team to play at the 1936 Olympic games. One report of the time proposed that Ball was playing against his will.The deal for Ball’s family to leave Germany was also agreed. After Ball was injured, the Germans took 5th place in the Olympic tournament. Ball played four matches and scored two goals.

The 1936 Olympic Winter Games were notable for the introduction of Alpine skiing events.

image-51314-galleryv9-quwu-51314Great Britain upset 1932 gold medalists Canada in ice hockey when Edgar Brenchley scored the winning goal within the last ninety seconds.

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Sohn Kee-chung-Forgotten 1936 Olympic Games medalist.

The 1936 Berlin Olympic games was more then a sporting event, it was more a propaganda tool for the Nazi regime, but it was also an important propaganda event of Germany’s future Axis partner,Japan.

As the 4 gold medals won by Jesse Owens were an embarrassment for Hitler and his pals,

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so was the The men’s marathon event .The final was won by Son Kitei.However Son Kitei was not his real name, his real name was Sohn Kee Chung a Korean athlete.

Sohn Kee-chung ( August 29, 1912 November 15, 2002) became the first medal-winning Korean Olympian, when he won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a member of theJapanese delegation

He competed under the Japanese Son Kitei, as Korea was part of the Japanese Empire at the time.The name is based on the Japanese kanji pronunciation of his Korean hanja name, both are written the same

During the time of the competition, Korea was a colony of Japan, therefore Korean sportsmen competed as members of Japanese team and were using their Japanese names.

Sohn, who was competing for the Empire of Japan, won the gold medal in the marathon. He ran the 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi) course in 2h29:19.2, breaking the Olympic record. His Korean teammate Nam Sung-yong took the bronze medal. As Korea was part of Japan at the time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially credited Japan with Sohn’s gold and Nam’s bronze in the 1936 Summer Olympics medal count.

On December 9, 2011, the IOC recognized Sohn’s Korean nationality by fixing his official profile. It cited his efforts to sign his Korean name and stressing Korea’s status as a separate nation during interviews. The move was part of the Korean Olympic Committee’s repeated requests to acknowledge Sohn’s background. However, the IOC ruled out changing the nationality and registered name per official records to prevent historical distortions.

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Under orders from Tokyo, Sohn Kee-chung had to compete using the Latin alphabet name of Son Kitei. It is the romanization of Japanese pronunciation of 孫基禎, his Korean name in hanja.

Sohn refused to acknowledge the Japanese anthem while it was played at his award ceremony and later told reporters that he was ashamed to run for Japan.When the Dong-a Ilbo(is a newspaper in Korea since 1920 with daily circulation of more than 1.2 million and opinion leaders as its main readers.) published a photograph of Sohn at the medal ceremony, it altered the image to remove the Japanese flag from his running tunic. The act enraged the Japanese Governor-General of Korea Minami Jiro in Seoul. The Kempetai military police imprisoned eight people connected with the newspaper and suspended its publication for nine months.

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After the race he tried to tell the newspapermen again and again that he was Korean, not Japanese, but his minders refused to translate his remarks.

For winning the marathon, Sohn was to have received an ancient Corinthian helmet (circa BCE 800–700), which was discovered at Olympia, Greece, and later purchased by a newspaper in Athens for giving it as an Olympic award. However, the IOC believed that presenting such a valuable gift would violate its amateur rules. Thus the helmet was placed in a Berlin museum where it remained for fifty years. It was finally presented to Sohn in 1986.On March 7, 1987, the helmet was categorised as the 904th treasure of South Korea. There was initial plan that awarding replicas of this helmet to the winners of the 2006 Sohn Kee-chung marathon, but winners got only chance to wear that replica.

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Sohn spent the remainder of his career in South Korea coaching other notable runners such as Suh Yun-Bok, the winner of the Boston Marathon in 1947; Ham Kee-Yong, winner of the Boston Marathon in 1950; and Hwang Young-Cho, who was the gold medalist of the 1992 Summer Olympics marathon, and whom Sohn Kee-chung especially went to Barcelona to see. Sohn also became the Chairman of the Korean Sporting Association. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, he was given the honor of carrying the Olympic torch into the stadium at the opening ceremony.

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He authored an autobiography entitled My Motherland and Marathon (나의조국과 마라톤).

He was honoured with the Korean Order of Civil Merit

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

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