Greek government’s Hitler propaganda video

Posted on 6 Νοέμβριος 2014


Greek government’s Hitler propaganda video


This video is called Hitler’s Women – Leni Riefenstahl – Part 1.
Clip of 1936 Berlin Olympics in new Greek tourism film ‘an oversight’
Critics deplore Leni Riefenstahl footage of Hitler games in promotional video – as ministry stresses mistake should not detract from Greek tourism success
Helena Smith in Athens
Thursday 6 November 2014 18.24 GMT
The Greek government has been forced to withdraw a tourism video unveiled in London this week because it contained footage of the infamous 1936 Olympics held in Berlin under Hitler.
The offending clip, which depicted the torch lighting ceremony at the controversial pre-war games, would be “removed immediately” officials said, after being alerted to the gaffe by the Guardian. By last night the video had been taken down from YouTube.
“This was a commemorative video marking 100 years of the Greek tourism organisation, that was shown in the UK for the first time, and we wanted to include footage from the Olympic games,” explained the tourism ministry’s general secretary, Panos Livadas.
In a telephone interview from London on Thursday, where industry figures had gathered for the World Travel Market, the sector’s pre-eminent global event, Livadas added: “In the sequence, a scene from the 1936 Olympics was mistakenly included which we will immediately remove and rectify.”
The Berlin games, used by Hitler to promote racial superiority and the ideals of Nazism, were the first to portray the ceremonial relay of the Olympic flame.
At about eight minutes into the footage, (taken from a film compiled by the German film-maker Leni Riefenstahl), the Fuhrer’s favourite propagandist, a blond, blue-eyed athlete, meant to embody Aryanism, is seen holding the Olympic torch aloft as he skips up a stairway to light the cauldron. The scene lasts barely a second before an image of a more recent torch lighting ceremony appears.
Officials attributed the error to a technical oversight, saying it should not be given undue emphasis at a time when tourism, the mainstay ofGreece’s otherwise crisis-hit economy, was doing extremely well.
Despite a precipitous decline in holidaymakers from Russia and the Ukraine, the Mediterranean country attracted more than 20 million visitors – almost double the entire Greek population – amounting to a growth rate of more than 16% this year alone.
“We have not just had a great reception here in London, we have had two back-to-back record years in terms of tourist arrivals and revenues,” said Livadas. “The rise will continue next year, which is great news for a sector that employs 700,000 people. And that is what we should be focusing on. That is what is important.”
But the video rapidly elicited an excoriating response from viewers, not least from some Greeks. In online exchanges many said the error had been exacerbated by the film’s hackneyed presentation of Greece as a land of gods, myths and ancient heroes.
At almost 12 minutes long the video, which inexplicably opens with a shot of New York and is narrated by an American (who participated as a US team member in the 1984 winter Olympics), includes almost no images of contemporary life, or young innovative Greeks.
“It is very tiring and after a bit irritates with its outdated aesthetics,” wrote Robin Savas Savidis in an observation posted beneath the video’s YouTube slot. “It is reminiscent of a cheap soap opera [with] optical effects that verge on the ridiculous,” he said, echoing a widely held view.
Deploring the decision to include the scene from the 1936 Olympic games, Ares Kalogeropoulos, another critic wrote: “It is perhaps the most repellent thing I have ever seen or paid for as a taxpayer.”


Posted in: Uncategorized