This Berlin Olympic Torch represents the 1936 Olympics torch relay, which was the first of its kind. It pioneered the modern convention of transporting the flame via a relay system from Greece to the Olympic venue. The sculptor Walter Lemcke designed the torches and 3,840 were produced for the runners. It was designed to cope with different weather conditions and could stay alight longer than each section of the route. The torch was transported over 3,187 kilometres by 3,331 runners in twelve days and eleven nights from Greece to Berlin.
The 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin was organized by the Nazi Party under the guidance of Joseph Goebbels. Adolf Hitler invested in the Games as a way to demonstrate his belief that classical Greece was an Aryan forerunner of the modern German Reich.
The Olympic Flame was lit in Greece and the Nazi Party who wanted to enhance their influence ensured the event gained maximum exposure by routing the relay through Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia and then Germany. In Austria, a country that would be annexed into the Third Reich less than two years after the relay, the torch was met by public demonstrations.
- Title: Berlin 1936 Olympic Torch
- Dimensions: 27 cm
- Material: wood and metal
- Museum: National Sports Museum
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part.” Pierre de Coubertin
Photo Credits: 1) By Joyofmuseums (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons