The Third Reich
Nazi Propaganda

1935-1938

 

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  • 1936

 

Berlin 1936

The Olympic Games

This poster was the most common one on display in Berlin once the games began. In the sky are the five interlocking circles which symbolize the modern Olympic games. They appear to be a crown for a massive statueof a Greek athlete who is crowned with the traditional laurel wreath. And in the foregound are the famous horses atop the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of the German capital.

The Nazis organizers made a number of spectacular innovations to these games, and ironically they have been retained!

The first was a ceremony of lighting the Olympic fire in Greece, and then having teams of runners carry it across Europe. This graphic linkage of ancient Greece and Modern Germany was extremely popular. Thousands of people lined the streets, and once the flame entered Germany proper, the whole route became an enthusiastic celebration of National Socialism, of Hitler, and of Nazi Germany!

Once the fire had arrived in Berlin, it was kept for a day in the center of the city, and then brought into the stadium in an emotional ceremony of lighting the fire. The parade of the national atheletes was also new, and many who marched saluted the podium where Hitler sat with outstretched hands, such as the athlete in this picture seems to be doing. Called the "Olympic Salute" by many, it looked to the whole world like the famous Hitler salute of Nazi Germany.

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