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Beginning of the torch relay for the 1936 Olympic Games

A runner begins the torch relay (the first "Olympia Fackel-Staffel-Lauf") in Oympia, Greece., ca. July 1936.

The 1936 Games were the first to employ the torch run. Each of 3,422 torch bearers ran one kilometer (0.6 miles) along the route of the torch relay from the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece, to Berlin. Former German Olympian Carl Diem modeled the relay after one that had been run in Athens in 80 B.C. It perfectly suited Nazi propagandists, who used torchlit parades and rallies to attract Germans, especially youth, to the Nazi movement.

 

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  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Rosemarie Stone
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Beginning of the torch relay for the 1936 Olympic Games

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