“Gods, Myths, Heroes” and Nazis in Greek tourism video (video)

A “monster” appeared in the “Gods, Myths, Heroes” campaign and forced the video to be re-edited

The Greek government had no choice but to re-edit a tourism video, titled “Gods, Myths, Heroes,” unveiled at the World Travel Market in London this week. The offensive  footage showed the torch-lighting ceremony from the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  After being alerted to their mistake officials took it down from YouTube and replaced the clip with a torch-lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia.

The mistake was first pointed out by Damian Mac Con Uladh on his blog, “A Gael in Greece”, and was quickly followed by a report in the Guardian.

Leni Fiefenstahl filming at the Berlin Olympics

Leni Fiefenstahl filming at the Berlin Olympics

The offending clip was from German film-maker Leni Riefenstahl’s footage of the infamous 1936 Olympics held when Berlin was in power and showed a blond, blue-eyed athlete, an example of the “master race”, holding an Olympic torch and climbing a stairway to light a cauldron. The scene, eight minutes into the footage, lasts for barely a second.


The video outraged some viewers who thought it was a waste of taxpayers’ money. Forum sites were particularly angered by the presentation of Greece as a land of antiquity without showing what contemporary life is like or celebrating the achievements of young Greeks today. Strangely enough, the 12-minute-long video opens with a shot of New York and is narrated by an American who participated in the 1984 Olympics.

For Damien Mac Con Uladh’s commentary that includes freeze-framed moments from the video, CLICK HERE.

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