Adolf Hitler is a much-reviled character in world history. He is infamous for many things which require no repetition. However, one thing that has survived him and is infamous deeds is the Olympic torch. This is now a symbol of the Olympics, but very few are aware that the torch was first brought to Berlin by runners and the Olympic flame lit in the presence of Hitler and the top Nazi leadership in 1936. The idea of the torch was the brainchild of Dr. Goebbels, the propaganda minister in the Nazi cabinet.

The Berlin Olympics

In 1936 the Olympic Games were held in Germany. In 1933 Hitler had come to power in a general election when his party the National Socialist Party(Nazi) won the largest number of seats in the Reichstag.

Within a short time after the death of the aging President Von Hindenburg, he appropriated complete power and became Chancellor.

Hitler unleashed his race policies which were giving Germany a bad name. Dr. Goebbels thought the Olympics as a good time to show Germany and distract the world from the anti-Semitic and other negative policies of the Nazi government.

The torch was lit and brought to Berlin. In Germany, special emphasis was placed on selecting the runners to showcase the racial policy of superiority of the German race.

The opening was a gala affair, and the torch was used to light the Olympic flame in the presence of Hitler and top Nazi leaders. The function had a favorable impact on the world and the Germans achieved their objective.

It was a propaganda boost for Hitler.

The torch

Hitler died in 1945 and the world carefully dismantled all the policies of the Nazi regime. The next Olympic games were held in London in 1948. It was decided to retain the Olympic torch by relay runners.

The Olympic flame was lit by runners who carried the flaming torch from Greece.

Despite all his evil deeds this contribution of Hitler has survived him. It will continue as long as the Olympic games are held. Hitler is however not mentioned at all. Maybe the world is a bit shy of giving any credit to Hitler.

This year's Olympic Games in Rio has also followed the ritual of the sacred flame which was lit in the presence of a Jaguar, who was later shot.

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