After a successful participation of German athletes in the Olympic Games from 1896 to 1912 the First World War interrupted the organization of the Olympic Games, which had been entrusted to Berlin for 1916. A participation of German athletes in the Olympic Games 1920 and 1924 was not possible because Germany - due to the war - had not been invited by the organizers in Antwerp and Paris.


After an interruption of almost 16 years and with their first participation in Olympic Winter Games the German athletes returned again to the Olympic Family in February 1928 in St.Moritz. At the Summer Games in Amsterdam the German team then was placed second behind the Americans as regards the ranking list of nations.

The IOC agreed to the organization of an Olympic Congress 1930 in Berlin. In 1931 the IOC entrusted the Olympic Games to Berlin which defeated Barcelona with a great majority. The bid of Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the Winter Games 1936 was accepted - being the only bid city.


After the "seizure of power" in 1933 Hitler and his minister of propaganda Goebbels realized the tremendous possibilities offered by staging Olympic Games in Germany and made available the means for a perfect event. In the Games they saw an instrument of propaganda in order to present their regime to the worldwide public in a positive manner. However, also the national socialist rulers had to bow to the olympic protocol.


On the part of the IOC, there also had been no objections against the organization which had generally been considered as a great success with respect to sport and organization. This is why even in 1939 - after quarrels with St. Moritz which had been foreseen to be the organizer of the Winter Games 1940 - these Games had been entrusted again to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. On 1st July 1939 the Organizing Committee was founded. 62 days later the Second World War broke out.


During the war years 1940 and 1944 no Olympic Games took place. The Olympic Games in 1948 were staged without German participation. During its 40th Session in Stockholm the IOC had pronounced itself against a participation of Germany in the Games of St. Moritz and London. The formal reason for this non-consideration was the missing of a National Olympic Committee as addressee for the invitation to the Games.