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Alpinism at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games:

Mixed Alpinism

Alpinism at the 1936 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): , Berlin
Date Started: August 16, 1936
Date Finished: August 16, 1936

Gold: SUI Switzerland

Summary

Oskar Dyhrenfurth, born in Germany, was a noted geology professor. He led two International Himalaya Expeditions, one in 1930 and one in 1934. The aim of the first was to climb Kangchenjunga – the third highest mountain in the world. Although that objective was not met, several geological and medical experiments had been useful, and the expedition was widely publicized. Additionally, members of the expedition reached the top of the Jongsong, which at 7,462 m was the highest peak to have been climbed at the time.

An important member of the expedition had been Oskar's wife, Hettie Dyhrenfurth (née Heymann). With the rise of the Nazi party in the early 1930s, the Jewish couple decided to apply for Swiss citizenship. Their 1934 expedition led them to the Gasherbrum ("Hidden Peak"), reaching 6,900 m, and the Sia Kangri. At the latter mountain, Hettie reached 7,442 m, setting a new world altitude record for women which she only lost to Claude Kogan in 1954.

The Dyhrenfurths were unanimously awarded the gold medal for alpinism, citing their expeditions to the Himalaya, although technically only the 1934 expedition was eligible. This decision was remarkable as the Germans probably didn't like their former citizens winning this award. As a result, the prize was barely mentioned in any German or even Swiss publications, much to the chagrin of Oskar Dyhrenfurth.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 Switzerland SUI Gold