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Arts & Culture

The Nazi Games - Berlin 1936

Zeppelin LZ 129 'Hindenburg' Ullstein No. 00272975. See how the Nazis and the International Olympic Committee turned, to their mutual advantage, a relatively small, elitist sports event into an epic global and mass media spectacle that, despite the IOC’s determined attempts to forget, continues to this day.
Courtesy of Courtesy of Axel Springer Syndication GmbH/ullstein bild
Zeppelin LZ 129 'Hindenburg' Ullstein No. 00272975. See how the Nazis and the International Olympic Committee turned, to their mutual advantage, a relatively small, elitist sports event into an epic global and mass media spectacle that, despite the IOC’s determined attempts to forget, continues to this day.

Airs Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Henri de Baillet-Latour at IOC-Congress Berlin, Germany, 1930.
Courtesy of Axel Springer Syndication GmbH/ullstein bild
Henri de Baillet-Latour at IOC-Congress Berlin, Germany, 1930.
Avery Brundage is being elected as president of the Amateur Athletic Union, 1935, Ullstein No.6901540113.
Courtesy of Axel Springer Syndication GmbH/ullstein bild
Avery Brundage is being elected as president of the Amateur Athletic Union, 1935, Ullstein No.6901540113.

"The Nazi Games – Berlin 1936" chronicles the story of how the Nazis and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) turned, to their mutual advantage, a relatively small, elitist, sports event into an epic global and mass media spectacle that, despite the IOC’s determined attempts to forget, continues to this day.

The grand themes from the 1936 Games are repeated with every quadrennial reprise: architectural grandiosity, catastrophic budget overruns, corruption, bribery, collusion with unsavory characters—including dictators and autocrats—and the unrelenting myth of heroic physical achievement.

Despite the modern Olympic Games being “revived” in 1896 in Athens, the Games as we have come to know them were shaped by the collaboration of interests between the Nazis and the IOC in Berlin in 1936.

The Olympic temple is not as virtuous as its acolytes insist, and in fact, it is merely a façade that hides earthly, and often insidious, actors who see collusion with the Nazis was a first step in a global deception.

"The Nazi Games - Berlin 1936" was produced by taglicht media in co-production with PBS Distribution, pre tv, ORF and ZDF.