1936: Jack Lovelock, Political Puppet
December 10, 2018
November/December, 1936: Jack Lovelock tours New Zealand on the back of his success at the Berlin Olympics (August ’36.) Living overseas at this point, he was, never the less, captain of the NZ Olympic Team that showed the Krauts what was what.
(Actually, I have an earlier post about that asking if Lovelock and other Kiwis actually admired Hitler’s regime. We may even have offered the dictator the Roman or Nazi salute…)
PM Savage (pictured above) wheeled Jack around the Dominion in the long standing tradition of a celebrity marketing endorsement for the New Zealand Socialist State. Ward’s Liberals had used the same public relations device pre-WW1 using Kitchener as Lovelock now was for WW2; History repeats.
Savage and Minister Peter Fraser (the next PM) even floated a trial balloon in the papers of creating a new Government Department in order to make Lovelock the head of it! After all, he was a medical student and a soon-to-be qualified doctor.
“..physical culture in its various forms in New Zealand should be co-ordinated under one supervising body in accordance with the methods adopted in some European countries” – New Zealand Herald, 1936
In other words, in accordance with Hitler’s National Socialist Germany was doing. We’ve seen the films haven’t we? Of proud, perfect, Arian men and women performing among the Nazi Germany architecture in gymnastic unison. Sounds like the New-Spartans’ Showlympics impressed Kiwis!
Lovelock did not stay for a Nationalist, Socialist, takeover of the YMCA though. After serving in WW2 he started a family. In 1946 began practising medicine in New York. In 1949 Doctor Jack Lovelock was killed by a Brooklyn subway train after he “fell” onto the tracks.
When I start making videos for Anarchist History I’ll make a case for my own opinion. Which is this: Traumatised young man accepts horrific anxiety in his life, creates an iron mind and iron will to cope with it via track training. Celebrated/exploited by the public until he’s worn out. Seeks knowledge in medicine when philosophy or therapy was needed. Some final hope is lost and the athlete lets go, turning to suicide like so many other athletes past and future.