Olympic Medals
Games Participations1
First Olympic GamesBerlin 1936
Year of Birth1911


Shot putter Hans Woellke finished third in the 1938 European Championships, while at the 1934 Europeans he came in eighth. His greatest moment came at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games when he won gold. This was the first ever male German Olympic title in athletics events, a feat which was recorded in the Leni Riefenstahl Olympic film “Olympia.” In 1937 Woellke set an indoor world record. He was German Champion 1934-38 and 1941-42.

As a policeman Woellke was promoted to lieutenant for his Olympic triumph by Nazi leaders Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. Woellke served as guard in prison camps. He was killed in action in 1943 on the Eastern front as a police captain in a Waffen SS Police Regiment. Khatyn was a normal, peaceful Belarusian village of 26 households. On the morning of 22 March 1943 partisans fired at a German convoy from 6 km away, and Woellke was killed in a shootout. Soon after that, German soldiers surrounded Khatyn, herding the citizens, including the elderly, women, and children, into a barn, where they were locked up and burned. The fire killed 149 people including 75 children. Woellke is buried in a cemetery in Minsk.

Personal Best: SP – 16.60 (1936).

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