Hitler’s Aryan policies and increasing racial discrimination against the Jews lead the USA to threaten a boycott of the 1936 Olympic Games.
The Americans insisted that Nazi Germany must allow Jews onto their team and specifically demanded the participation of Jewish high jumper Gretel Bergmann (Karoline Herfurth — The Reader, Perfume), who was the leading high jumper of her time.
The Nazis reluctantly include Gretel in their Olympic team, but to ensure that she doesn’t win gold they also include a mysterious German rival, the unknown Marie Ketteler (Sebastian Urzendowsky). Like Gretel, Marie is also an outsider within the German team and both athletes soon form a strong bond of friendship and mutual support. But Marie hides a dark secret known only by the Nazi elite, a secret so dangerous it could completely undermine their Olympics success.
Their High Jump coach, a ruthless Nazi, uses every means possible to undermine Gretel’s preparations and destroy her confidence. Yet she consistently outscores her fellow competitors, including Marie. Two weeks before the games Gretel is barred from participating and the Nazis appear to have achieved their goal of eliminating their Jewish team member and now look to Marie to bring home a gold medal.
It is now up to Marie to decide if the Nazis’ plan will actually succeed.
Inspired by true events, Berlin 36 is one of the biggest untold Olympic scandals.