Start of Main Content

The Olympic Torch Holder

Artifacts Unpacked Video Series

Why did the Nazis introduce the Olympic torch relay at the 1936 games?

More than 3,000 runners carried torches from Olympia, Greece, to Berlin, Germany, to kick off the 1936 Olympics. Austrian Jew Eric Frisch, who was an Olympic coach then and a former competitive sprinter, was among the torchbearers. Two other bearers’ torch holders from that inaugural relay are in the Museum’s collection, including the one featured in this video. 

The torch relay was part of the Nazis’ powerful propaganda push behind the games. Learn about the history of this tradition that continues today.

About the Artifacts

Artifacts shown in the video were donated by the Zepkowitz family and Regina Frisch Lobree. View the 1936 Berlin Olympics Torch Holder and explore the Eric Frisch Collection.