Stars mark 85th anniversary of Berlin games

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Stars mark 85th anniversary of Berlin games

Former Israeli president Reuven Rivlin at the Tel Aviv ceremony marking the infamous 1936 Berlin games

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Spectators giving the Nazi salute during one of the medal ceremonies as the Nazi flag flies above (Wikipedia/ FOTO:FORTEPAN / Lőrincze Judit/ CC BY-SA 3.0  / / Source /
Spectators giving the Nazi salute during one of the medal ceremonies as the Nazi flag flies above (Wikipedia/ FOTO:FORTEPAN / Lőrincze Judit/ CC BY-SA 3.0 / / Source /

Leading figures from the world of politics and sport came together in Tel Aviv on Tuesday to mark the 85th anniversary of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The Games, which were used by Adolf Hitler as an opportunity to promote his ideals of racial supremacy, were notorious for banning German Jewish athletes.

Many other countries did not send Jewish athletes for fear of offending the hosts. Tuesday night’s event in Tel Aviv, which organisers said was intended discuss the need for action against hate, saw the launch of a collaboration with the basketball club Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Former Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, who spoke at the ceremony, said the 1936 Olympics taught that “there will always be some dark forces, that will try to promote some besotted ideas of hate and violence, and unfortunately, we see that without comparison in every community in the world.

“The Nazis were willing to create false views of openness, prohibited Jews from coming into certain areas, allowed female, male, Jews and black sportsmen to participate in the Olympics. Now we’re going to lead and direct youth in Israel, especially the initiative of this event in which we’re celebrating the victory of sports over racism and Antisemitism.”

Over the coming yeaer Maccabi Tel Aviv will host representatives of local Jewish communities during a number of away games in the Euroleague competition.

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