German Athletics Officials Urge Joint Berlin-Tel Aviv Bid for 2036 Olympic Games, One Century After Nazi Regime Hosted Them
Two of Germany’s top athletics officials are advocating a joint Berlin-Tel Aviv bid to host the summer Olympics in 2036, so as to send “a strong signal of peace and reconciliation” a full century after the infamous Nazi-hosted Olympic Games in the German capital.
In a jointly-authored opinion piece for the Berliner Morgenpost on Saturday, Richard Meng, president of the German Olympic Association in Berlin, and Frank Kowalski, CEO of the 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin, argued that 2036 presented the next opportunity for the Olympics to take place on German soil.
“This is indeed a difficult date for Germany and Berlin, given the Nazi Games of 1936,” they wrote.
However, they continued, “is the date alone therefore a reason for abandonment? You can also look at it the other way around. 2036 could show what has changed and still has to change.”
A joint Israeli-German bid would set the stage “for a completely new, strong signal of peace and reconciliation in 2036,” Meng and Kowalski asserted. “A signal that does not suppress the historical burden, but takes up the responsibility that arises from it.”
Depicting Berlin and Tel Aviv as “two liberal and vibrant cities,” they outlined a vision of “sailing and surfing competitions on the eastern Mediterranean, but also with other sports such as beach volleyball in Israel’s lively metropolis.”
In a statement on Monday to the German news agency dpa, the Israeli Olympic Committee did not address the idea of a joint bid with Germany, but expressed full support for holding the 2036 Olympics there.
“Holding the Olympics in Berlin, 100 years after Hitler’s 1936 Olympics, will remind us all of the dark times we experienced and send a strong message to the world of the values we must uphold,” the Israeli Olympic Committee declared.