In 1936, Martha Graham, the highly influential American modern dancer, declined an invitation from the government of Nazi Germany to perform at the International Dance Festival, part of the Olympic Games in Berlin. By representing the US at the festival, she would have enhanced her fame and her prospects for substantial financial support. She refused. Martha knew that the Nazis were already persecuting Jews and other minorities. She wrote to Joseph Goebbels, the German propaganda minister:

“I would find it impossible to dance in Germany at the present time. So many artists whom I respect and admire have been persecuted, have been deprived of the right to work for ridiculous and unsatisfactory reasons, that I should consider it impossible to identify myself, by accepting your invitation, with the regime that has made such things possible. In addition, some of my concert group would not be welcomed in Germany.”

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