Back in May the Russian Olympic Organizing Committee (ROC) issued a statement condemning a call by the head of Germany’s Olympic Organizing Committee, Alfons Hormann which called for Russian athletes to be banned from competing in the next two Olympics. After Hormann’s statements before a Session of the German Parliament’s Sport Committee, the ROC submitted this:
“The fundamental principles of Olympism are the autonomy and independence of sports organizations from any outside influence, as well as the inadmissibility of interference in the activities of members of the Olympic Movement, which is reflected in the United Nations General Assembly resolution of October 16, 2014. In this regard the ROC consider the application of the official representative of the German Bundestag as a flagrant violation of the principles of the Olympic Charter and the UN, and is extremely concerned about the attempts of German Parliamentarians to put pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in order to prevent Russian athletes from competing at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in 2018.”
To the point, all of Hormann’s grandstanding hinged on the allegations there was a “state sanctioned” doping program in Russia. Amazingly, IOC President Bach’s press conference on the matter did not reveal the fact that the IOC commissioned Schmid Report (PDF) exonerated the Putin government in stating that it was whistleblower and Moscow lab head Grigory Rodchenkov who ran a doping scheme with other collaborators. For many people there runs a familiar current underneath all this, one with Russophobia and bias writing across the epoch of modern German history. No one has so far challenged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s support for this Olympic ban, an action which may in fact run contrary to German law.
My colleague, researcher Holger Eekhoff shared a paper of his with me the other day detailing how Germany is “back to the point where state-funded and tax-subsidized associations are campaigning for their own discriminatory procedural law, which runs counter to the Basic Law.” Eekhof refers to retrospectively on account of the nation’s Nazi past, and his report cites several articles from the German constitution that expressly forbid the kind of activities Germany’s NOC is engaged in with the recent IOC ban on Russia. He refers to this constitution as the “Bible for Germans”, and Eekhof and I both know well German paper pushing. His many contentions begin with Article I, of said constitution, which clearly states:
- Die Würde des Menschen ist unantastbar. Sie zu achten und zu schützen ist die Verpflichtung aller staatlichen Gewalt. (In English: The dignity of man is inviolable. To respect and protect them is the obligation of all state authority.)
- Die nachfolgenden Grundrechte binden Gesetzgebung, vollziehende Gewalt und Rechtsprechung als unmittelbar geltendes Recht. (English translation: the following basic rights bind legislation, executive power and jurisdiction as directly applicable law.)
These statutes provide no room for ambiguity. By ignoring the rights of clean athletes to participate in the Rio or other Olympics, the German NOC appears to have run contrary to German national law. Eekhof’s paper goes on to frame what it looks like when the German Sports Federation in conjunction with the NOC works to support foreign based associations like the IOC abroad. Since the IOC is not subject to German laws, there are bound to be multiple conflicts – and perhaps not just with the German legal system. Eekhof’s study goes on to cite Article III of the German constitution:
- Alle Menschen sind vor dem Gesetz gleich. (In English: All men are equal before the law.)
- Niemand darf wegen seines Geschlechtes, seiner Abstammung, seiner Rasse, seiner Sprache, seiner Heimat und Herkunft, seines Glaubens, seiner religiösen oder politischen Anschauungen benachteiligt oder bevorzugt werden. (Translated: No one shall be discriminated against or favored on account of his sex, descent, race, language, homeland, origin, religion, religious or political views.)
Again, if Chancellor Merkel has approved of the German NOC stance with the IOC ban, then her administration is in breach of Article III, section 2 of the law of the German land. For if the IOC has found no state sponsored doping existed, then what else but an athlete’s homeland or possibly religion is the cause of the ban? However, Eekhoff did not stop there. In Article IV of the German constitution the IOC and the German NOC may as well have been named. I give you translated, the crux of this argument:
“Associations whose purpose and activity are contrary to the criminal laws or who are against the constitutional order or against the idea of international understanding are prohibited.”
Since we’ve establish a basis for questioning Germany’s “constitutional order”, it should also be noted that preventing devoted athletes from representing their country runs counter to international understanding. However, as disturbing as illegal German sports doctrine may be, our investigations have uncovered far broader reaching facts. What needs to be called to question in this “case” are the institutions behind, and the organizers and players behind these. Russia is being villainized on a scale we’ve never witnessed, this is abundantly clear. But why, and by whom?
If I were to uncover a report detailing how my countrymen set free a sworn Nazi and friend of Heinrich Himmler, only to make him the head of the first post-WW II German Olympic Organizing Committee, I am pretty sure CNN nor the BBC would cover the news today. In this case, the big “fake news” outlets would probably be correct in ignoring something that is already on the public record. When Adolph Hitler needed somebody to head the Sports Office of the Third Reich, he needed to look no farther than Karl Ritter von Halt, who had been elected as member of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1937, a post he held until 1945 even after places like Auschwitz were widely known. What’s astonishing about Karl Ritter von Halt though, is not that he was a friend of Hitler and Himmler, but the fact he later became head of the National Olympic Committee of Germany (1951 to 1961) once he was released from special camp No. 2 in Buchenwald after war’s end. The image below shows Dr. Karl Ritter von Halt (2nd from left) alongside the Danish police chief Dahl (on his right), the architect of the holocaust Reinhard Heydrich, and Himmler himself.
Von Halt took over the German NOC from another Nazi, the first president of the committee of the Federal Republic of Germany, Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg, who was once German governor of Togo, and a man with a virulent hatred of blacks. He was an explorer, a colonial politician, and was once elected Duke of the illegal United Baltic Duchy when the Soviet Union relinquished all authority over its former imperial Baltic provinces to Germany. I cannot help but wonder at how Nazis always seem to turn up whenever we investigate causation for both illegal and illogical policies. Further study into other nations’ laws concerning this Russia ban would seem necessary. While the Nazi connection to the German NOC and the International Olympic Committee are not our primary focus in this current report, the actions and tone of Mr. Hörmann do mimic those before and during WW II. So, with full knowledge of the German basic law in view, and with the often dubious history of German leadership, a clear picture emerges. I quote from Herr Eekhoff here:
“The IOC contributes with the participation of Mr. Hörmann as President of the DOSB and thus on behalf of the former German Sports Federation and not only the formerly existing private association “National Olympic Committee for Germany”, and this expressly only for athletes of Russian origin.”
The Dutch/German researcher Eekhof goes on presenting extracts in the wording of the statement of the IOC concerning how Russian athletes are to be selected, including the part that reads more like blackmail than a sport organization directive. And lest we forget, the Russian NOC is being forced to pay $15 million US dollars for the luxury of filtering athletes through the IOC sports machine. Eekhof recalls similar discriminating efforts from his true homelend, the Netherlands in a section about the Nazi concentration camp at the Dutch town of Amersfoort, where many Soviet prisoners of Central Asian and Uzbek lineage were killed alongside Jews. During this time the “picking” situation mirrored what Eekhof describes as an “absurd arbitrariness” where the IOC selecting “clean” athletes is concerned. From a sportsman’s point of view, I can only imagine a big cheat going on where somebody’s chances of winning are increased by eliminating Russian athlete A or B.
My colleague has done a superb job of ferreting out both correlations in between Germany under National Socialism, and the broader implications that impact the IOC worldwide. His report also reminded me of the great Jewish pole vaulter, Gretel Lambert (born Margarethe Bergmann; April 12, 1914 – July 25, 2017), who Von Halt and the rest of the Nazis prevented from competing in the notorious 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Also within this historic Olympic maze are the business dealings and banking positions of these people. As we see today, one does not become the head of any NOC without being a member of the “club” so virulently anti-Russian. And by “club” I mean the banksters who run the western world. Back then Karl Ritter von Halt, with the personal help of Herman Goering, deposited himself director of Deutsche Bank in order to act on the board of directors. Today, Alfons Hormann is big into business (Hormann Holdings), and in 2011 Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Funkwerk AG, a company that develops and produces communications and surveillance equipment. Ironically, the man Hörmann replaced is the chairman of the supervisory board in another building/timber related business. IOC President Thomas Bach is also an elite industrialist whose Weinig International AG, the world’s largest manufacturer of machines and systems for the machining of solid wood.It’s worth mentioning here that Alfons Hormann, Thomas Back, and the aforementioned Karl Ritter von Halt hail from Bavaria. In Von Halt’s case, he once received the elitist Military Order of Max Joseph, the highest military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria.
All this leads to the final point in this ludicrous ban on Russia by the IOC. Is it legal? Is the IOC action illegal on the national level? If it is not, then Chancellor Merkel and her contemporaries may be in violation of the law and legally responsible. Furthermore, the larger question looms as to whether or not the IOC is a legal or legitimate organization. If the organization runs contrary to national laws in practice, then how can the world recognize the Olympics at all? And this leads to the ultimate point. What if the core of the modern Olympic movement was in fact contributed to by Nazi architects? What would Coca Cola use to excuse sponsoring institutions still hinged upon the opposite of the Olympic ideal? We have to question whether or not this Russia decision is from this form of bias. I say we need to investigate the IOC and all its parts. Or am I unsportsmanlike?
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”