The Hitler Trophy


(2 customer reviews)

“Intriguing and fascinating.” SAM TORRANCE, former Ryder Cup captain and golf commentator

“A fascinating new book… Thanks to the author’s painstaking research, we have the definitive account of the extraordinary story of the Fuhrer’s quest to have golf included in the Berlin Games of 1936.” DEREK LAWRENSON, Daily Mail

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Golf was chosen to return to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016 for the first time since St Louis 1904. Actually, it did make another little-known appearance – around the notorious Berlin Games of 1936. A tournament was sanctioned by Adolf Hitler himself, to take place in the German spa town of Baden-Baden, with the Fuhrer’s imprint even going on the trophy. What happened next, as two plucky Englishmen sought to bring home that distinctive trophy, became an intriguing tale that would bring embarrassment amid the rise of Nazism and then World War Two. Brilliantly researched and beautifully written by seasoned golf writer Alan Fraser, The Hitler Trophy tells also of the sport’s history – and future – at the Olympics.

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2 reviews for The Hitler Trophy

  1. Samuel Romilly

    Now this is a first, a first for me that is. I have read a book about sport and actually enjoyed it. I know nothing about sport but quite a lot about Hitler.

    Actually it is not a book about sport but about the history of sport, the odd relationship between golf and the Olympics. And odd it was. Fraser begins with the early days of the modern Olympics, chaotic games played by amateurs with small egos. Just as well as there was little kudos. Players were unaware that they were part of the 1900 Olympics The first player awarded a gold medal for golf was unaware she had won it. It makes you wistful for those halcyon days when sports were played by amateurs for fun, when budgets were small, and there was little razzmatazz, how very different from the bloated and rather ludicrous Olympics of today.

    Back to the book. Fraser has done his researches and spoken to all the living descendants of the participants in the 1936 event which was associated with but not actually part of the Olympics. He has delved so far as he can into the minor mystery of whether Hitler was on his way to present the trophy when he was told it was Britain and not Germany that had won and turned back in a huff. This was a trope played by the British participants and has all the hallmarks of a good tall tale, although from what we know of Hitler’s hysterical personality it is not impossible. The author tells us that the German records, do not confirm that Hitler stayed in Berchtesgaden and travelling to Baden-Baden where the match took place, after the Berlin Olympics. However Mr Fraser does not tell us what the records do reveal of Hitler’s movements over the period. Documents may say nothing about Baden-Baden, for instance, but they may say something about Bavaria. In other words we do not know if there was evidence of where Hitler was at the time. That could have been the clincher. Finally finding that there was also a German source for the story leads the author finally to opt for its authenticity. I think it much more likely apocryphal.

    The book is nicely illustrated and written with journalistic flair, and is full of curious and anecdotes about golf and golfers.

  2. Harry Pantling

    Brilliantly researched book and beautifully written. Until now one of sport’s untold stories. Alan Fraser knows his subject well and brings wit and knowledge to the pages. It’s also topical given golf making its return to the Olympics in Rio this summer. Great pictures too. The real-life characters are wonderful – can’t wait for the film to be made. Even if you’re not a fan of golf it’s a great read.

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