14th European Maccabi Games Will Be First Jewish Sporting Event in Germany
JNS.org – More than 2,000 Jewish athletes will participate in the 14th European Maccabi Games that will open this month in Berlin. The competition will be first Jewish-organized sporting event to take place in Germany.
The competition will take place at the Olympiastadion, the same Olympic stadium built and used for the Summer Olympics of 1936 during the Nazi era. At that time, Jews were discouraged from participating. Participants in this month’s competition will come from 36 countries and compete in 19 disciplines.
“I doubt any games anywhere will be as emotionally charged as this one; thousands of Jewish people parading in the Olympic stadium, which houses such meaning, not only to the world’s Jewish community, but to the world’s sporting community,” Daniel Collins, head of Great Britain’s delegation to the European Maccabi Games, told The Guardian.
The previous European Maccabi Games were held in Vienna in 2011, which marked the largest Jewish gathering in the Austrian city since the Holocaust.