HITLER'S CHAMPIONS

LES CHAMPIONS D'HITLER

By Jean-Christophe ROSÉ

ARTLINE FILMS - as PROD

Documentary - Production 2015

As soon as the Nazis came to power, they perverted sporting and Olympic values into a tool for building the “new man.” Faster, Higher, Stronger: Germany needed to prove its racial superiority in all disciplines, whatever it took.

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Historical
    • Countries
    • FRANCE
    • Languages
    • FRENCH, GERMAN, ENGLISH
    • Budget
    • 0.6 - 1 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jean-Christophe ROSÉ
    • Writer(s)
    • Benoit HEIMERMANN
    • Producer(s)
    • Olivier MILLE (ARTLINE FILMS)
    • Synopsis
    • This archive-based documentary portrays the criss-crossing fates of the greatest German athletes during the Third Reich. Gymnasts, mountain climbers, pilots, boxers, soccer players, race-car drivers, tennis players and more… Their success was a matter of national importance to the Nazi regime, and the 1936 Olympics were the apotheosis of their efforts.

      Faster: The reborn German automobile industry reached the podium at many international grand prix races, galvanized by talented drivers. Their successes were hyped in the media, boasting about Germany’s modern economy in the era of Nazi productivity.

      Higher: German pilots broke one flying record after another. World War I flying aces were recuperated by the Nazi party and paraded as national heroes. Mountain climbing was a focus as well. The Reich encouraged its finest alpinists to conquer legendary records.

      Stronger: Germany took up the gauntlet in combat sports likes boxing, which the Nazi elite reckoned as a demonstration of the physical superiority of the “Aryan race”. Tennis was popular as well, as it brought together various physical skills.

      But many champions were sacrificed by the regime, which was obsessed with breaking every possible record. The pressure to multiply titles led to their taking death-defying risks.
      In the run-up to World War II, German sports stars would lurch from minor defeats to major disasters. Beaten, ridiculed, wounded or killed, Hitler’s champions were like harbingers of a cataclysmic future.
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