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Six Minutes in BerlinBroadcast Spectacle and Rowing Gold at the Nazi Olympics$
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Michael Socolow

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040702

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040702.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue
Six Minutes in Berlin

Michael J. Socolow

University of Illinois Press

Olympic Regatta RacecourseGrünau, Germany14 August 19365:30 p.m.

César Saerchinger was anxious. He checked his watch. Under the cloudy gray skies plaguing the Berlin Olympics, Saerchinger stood next to Bill Henry, sports editor of the Los Angeles Times, on a small platform above a grandstand along the Langer See, a branch of the Spree River. A huge crowd—estimated at more than 75,000 spectators—overflowed a floating grandstand across the river, crowded the promenade below, and lined both banks. Saerchinger and Henry were only minutes away from starting CBS’s broadcast of the final contest in the Olympic rowing competition, but CBS’s European correspondent realized there was a timing problem. The circuit booked for the live broadcast of the Olympic regatta’s final race was scheduled to open at precisely 6:15 p.m. Berlin time (1:15 p.m. in New York City), but that contest, the eight-oared crew final, would almost certainly start earlier. With less than an hour to go before air time, it appeared the race would end before the CBS program opened. Saerchinger pleaded with a nearby German radio official to open the circuit early. The answer was no....

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