German athletics wants Olympic Games in Berlin 2036 to repudiate Nazi past

FRANKFURT (GERMANY), Aug. 12 (dpa/EP) –

The president of the German Athletics Federation (DLV), Jürgen Kessing, has assured that Berlin should present its candidacy for the 2036 Olympic Games to demonstrate the profound change in the country since hosting the Games in 1936, during the National Socialist regime.

“I am one of those who say: let’s try to show the world that we have learned something from history. And let’s show 100 years after such terrible events that we can do better and that we are peace-loving people. It would be nice to be able to convince the public to give it a opportunity,” Kessing told dpa.

Kessing said many existing venues, not just Berlin, could be used to keep costs “within a tolerable range.” A possible bid for 2036 has sparked a debate within Germany, while the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the German Thomas Bach, has said that Germany’s Nazi past should not be an obstacle in the international arena.

Germany last organized the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, which 50 years later hosts until August 21 a multi-sport European Championships that include up to nine Olympic disciplines, including athletics.

Several candidacies, such as the one for Berlin 2000, failed, while two others, the one for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Munich and the one for the 2024 Winter Olympics in Hamburg, were stopped by referendums.