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Die Götter des Stadions

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.41

Poster for the German propaganda sports film, “Olympia” (The Gods of the Stadium), about the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, released in April, 1938. The poster features a photographic image of German Olympic athlete Erwin Huber in a discus throwing stance. Huber participated in the 1928 and the 1936 games. The poster image is reproduced from a scene in the opening of the film. The stance is reminiscent of the Discobolus, an ancient Greek statue of a discus thrower, which symbolizes the Olympics and the athletic ideal. Nazi authorities used the games to promote an image of a new, strong, and united Germany to foreign spectators and journalists while masking the regime’s targeting of Jews and Roma (Gypsies), as well as Germany’s growing militarism. Germany fielded the largest team, 348 athletes, and won the most medals. The games were used to promote the myth of “Aryan” racial superiority, physical prowess, and symbolize that "Aryan" culture was the rightful heir of classical antiquity. Leni Riefenstahl, who directed “Triumph des Willens” (“Triumph of the Will”), shot at the 1934 Nuremberg Rally, was commissioned by the Nazis to produce a film about the Berlin games, which would also promote all these ideals. Riefenstahl made two films, “Olympia Part I: Festival of the Nations” and “Part II: Festival of Beauty" and combined them to create “Olympia.” Riefenstahl’s work pioneered numerous cinematographic techniques and won Best Foreign Film honors at the Venice Film Festival and a special award from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for depicting the joy of sport.

Alternate Title
The Gods of the Stadium
publication/distribution:  1938
publication: Germany
depiction: Germany
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:50:57
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