The Olympic Torch relay was inaugurated by the Nazis during the 1936 Games.
In this video, The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936, Olympic athletes of the time and Museum curators reflect and remember the 1936 Olympic Games as more than history.
In August 1936, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship scored a huge propaganda success as host of the Summer Olympics in Berlin. The Games were a brief, two-week interlude in Germany’s escalating campaign against its Jewish population and the country’s march toward war.
From April 25 to August 24, 2008, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hosted a special exhibition, The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936, that originally debuted in 1996 in conjunction with the opening of the Atlanta Games and the 60th anniversary of the 1936 Olympics. The exhibition now returns to Washington D.C. for a limited run. The exhibition explores the issues surrounding the 1936 Olympic Games--the Nazis’ use of propaganda, the intense boycott debate, the history of the torch run, the historic performance of Jesse Owens, and more.