Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 27 July on the start of the 2015 European Maccabi Games in Berlin:
To everyone taking part in the European Maccabi Games, welcome to Berlin! For Jewish athletes to have chosen Berlin as the venue for these games, 70 years after the Holocaust, is by no means to be taken for granted. We are proud and grateful to have been given this vote of confidence.
Israel and Germany are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year. It has been an improbable success story which only became possible because Israel reached out the hand of reconciliation – and because Germany faced up to its responsibility for the Holocaust.
Rejecting hatred and violence, we have over the years built up a unique friendship and familiarity.
I can think of no better illustration of that than thousands of Jewish athletes walking into Berlin’s Olympiapark!