Little-Known Fact: Nazis Lit the Flame of Olympic Torch Relay

Against the backdrop of this year’s tumultuous Olympic torch relay, New York Times polymath Edward Rothstein locates the origins of this peculiar ritual:

Rothstein writes that with the 1936 torch relay Nazi Germany was staking its claim as “the living heir to Ancient Greece.” He also points out that the Nazis had plans for a 400,000-seat stadium in Nuremberg, since future Olympic Games, as Hitler put it, “will take place in Germany for all time to come” (with the exception of a 1940 turn at hosting for fellow Axis power Japan).

Unsurprisingly, Rothstein notes, the International Olympic Committee “offers a slightly different account of the torch relay.”

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Little-Known Fact: Nazis Lit the Flame of Olympic Torch Relay

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