The tradition of the Olympic games have been around (off and on) since 776 BCE. One of the longest time honored traditions civilization has. But the Olympic torch ritual has been around for less than a century. It is not surprising that the world trek is newer since the original games never left Greece when they were held. So, who created this ritual? You may not ever guess who thought of this world unifying celebration. Read on to find out who.
Yes, that’s right. The Nazis were the perpetrators of the world unifying Olympic torch ritual that would try to touch every member county of the world in a unifying effort to create world harmony. Ironically, Hitler at first refused to even host the Olympics. He claimed that the whole thing was an invention of Jews and Freemasons. He abhorred the idea of anything that would bring the world together. Until, close associates showed the Fuhrer how it could help extend the Nazi view of itself and showcase the Greater Germany to that same world.
The image of Nazi superiority was important to Hitler. He believed that the Olympic torch ritual would convince the world of the Aryan direct connections to greatness. Hitler was sure it would become a symbol of the greater power of Germany. This would make a direct tie to Ancient Greece and show the transfer of power from one ancient power to a new world power. But how could he see this as anything but a world unifying event? In very subtle ways of course.
Hitler wanted to establish the greatness he saw in the ancient games as direct heritage to the greatness of the German people. By running the Olympic torch ritual directly from Greece to the 1936 games in Berlin was his way of tracing the path the Olympics took through history and claim it as his own link to the past.
Of course, a stop along the way at Czechoslovakia for the Olympic torch ritual fit into his plans as well. The soon to be invaded country held a small population of German people who took it as inspiration. Two years later, Germany would invade Czechoslovakia because of the “risk of threat” to the German people in the country much to the celebration of the indigenous Germans.
While the original torch was never meant to be an actual weapon, it was designed to represent one. The Krupps factory was the manufacturer for the torch used in the Olympic torch ritual and was proud of its contribution of manufacturing ammunition for the Nazi war effort. The first torch was actually made to light a new furnace to be used in manufacturing long range artillery. The factory was named after Krupp’s mother, Bertha. The long range cannons that came out of this factory came to be known as “Big Bertha”, a weapon that devastated Allied targets throughout World War II.