From July 27 to August 5, 2015, the 14th European Maccabi Games were held in Berlin.
Europe’s biggest Jewish sports event took place in Germany for the first time in its history.
Where Jewish athletes were excluded from the Olympic Games in 1936, thousands sent a message for tolerance and openness and against anti-Semitism and racism this summer.
During the games, more than 2.000 Jewish sportswomen and sportsmen from more than 36 countries competed against each other in 19 disciplines in Berlin’s Olympic Park.
As Yermi Brenner wrote in The Jewish Daily Forward,
In a statement published leading up to the Games, German chancellor Angela Merkel wrote: “In view of the past, Germany may truly be thankful for the restored diversity of Jewish life in our country and for the renewed trust of the guests from abroad.”
The Games’ opening ceremony took place in Berlin’s Waldbühne – an amphitheatre built in the 1930’s at the request of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. The ceremony’s guest of honor was German president Joachim Gauck, who said he was very happy and moved by the fact that Berlin, which once discriminated against and humiliated Jewish athletes, is now hosting a Jewish sporting event.Shabbat shalom.
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