September 3, 2009
A new film reveals how the Nazis replaced a female Jewish athlete with a man in drag during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
The feature film Berlin 36, which opens in Germany next week, tells the story of star high-jumper Gretel Bergmann. Ms Bergmann was banned from competing in the Olympics to shield Hitler from the embarrassment of a Jewish athlete winning.
Bergmann’s replacement was her roommate Horst Ratjen, who posed as “Dora”. He kept his gender secret from his teammates by shaving his legs several times a day and showering alone.