Skip directly to content

A Little Known Fact About the Olympic Torch Relay

on Thu, 07/26/2012 - 22:53

On May 12, 2012 the iconic first step in the Olympics began in Greece at the Temple of Hera in Olympia; with the first leg of the famous torch relay. On Friday, July 27th the world will watch as the final torch bearer completes their run through London, enters the Olympic Stadium, and lights the Olympic flame. However, what many don't know is that this well-regarded tradition actually began in 1936 at the direction of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich on behalf of the Berlin Olympics.

Now there is no question that the ancient Greeks ran relay races using flames, but this was not done as an integral ceremonial opening part of the ancient games; instead it was done in regards to religious beliefs and their Gods. What's more, though a flame was present in 1928 and 1932, at Amsterdam and Los Angeles respectively, there was no relay involving such flames. This would be a Nazi creation - a new tradition that has carried on to this day.

Dr. Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi Propaganda Ministry supported the idea of an Olympic flame torch relay in large part for the visual impact it would have as part of a huge public relations and political campaign to project a positive image of Nazi Germany to the world. And, so it was; from the torch's lighting in Greece, where a German ambassador dedicated the torch to Hitler himself, while a band played the marching song of the Sturmabteilung; through its path across Europe - including through the Sudetenland which Hitler coveted for annexation; to the final legs of the torch's journey, where blue-eyed blond males led Hitler and his cronies into the Olympic stadium.

Post new comment