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29.07.2015
The flame for the start of the Maccabi Games is ignited in Berlin, Germany, 28 July 2015. Photo: EPA

Maccabi Games kick off in Berlin

Jewish European Maccabi Games begin at Nazi park in Berlin that was the site of the 1936 Olympic Games.

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder spoke at the start of the European Maccabi Games, which is being held at Berlin's Olympic Park - that was built by the genocidal Nazis for the 1936 Olympic Games.

According to Lauder, holding the Jewish athletic competition at the Nazi stadium represents "a triumph of good over evil."

"For those who say this is not the right place to hold these games, I say, to the contrary, this is exactly where these games should be held. It is said that the best way to overcome a terrible event is to go back to where it happened, to show yourself that you can return, and to prove to everyone that you can endure and move on. I believe this is true not just for Jews, but for Germans as well."

Lauder wished the 2,000 Jewish athletes from 36 countries good luck in their competitions held in 19 different sports.

The first European Maccabi Games were held in Prague in 1929, but not long after Jewish sports associations were banned with the rise of Nazism. The games were reinstated in 1969 and take place every four years, alternating with the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

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