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Interior Minister dismisses 2036 German Olympic bid

June 3, 2019

Hosting the Olympic Games exactly 100 years after the Nazis staged the event would be a "bad idea" for modern-day Germany, says Horst Seehofer. But not everyone agrees.

The Olympic Stadium in Berlin
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Monday rejected suggestions of a 2036 Olympic bid as "unthinkable," coming exactly 100 years after the Berlin Games of 1936.

"We would unleash an unspeakable international discussion and would thereby damage the Olympic idea," Seehofer said. "How would that be seen in the world? The Germans celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nazi Olympics? That cannot be."

Those Olympics went down as one of the most controversial sporting occasions in history  with Adolf Hitler cheering on from the stands.

Hitler in the Olympic Stadium, Berlin, 1936
Adolf Hitler cheering on from the stands during the 1936 Olympic Games in BerlinImage: picture-alliance/akg-images

Following Hamburg's decision not to bid for the 2024 summer event after locals voted against the idea in a referendum, the notion had been mooted of another attempt, possibly by an alternative German city.

Andreas Geisel from the German Olympic Sports Confederation had raised the possibility of going for the 2036 games. Geisel regarded Seehofer's comments as "absurd."

"On the contrary. This occasion could be used to show on the sports stage that Germany has learned its lesson from history.

"One hundred years after 1936, we are talking about a completely different country: a democratic, liberal and open-minded country," Geisel affirmed.

The 1936 games were mired in controversy with a succession of notable incidents of discrimination.

African-American Jesse Owens won four gold medals at those Olympics in Berlin, much to the chagrin of an on-watching Hitler.

jsi/rt (dpa, AFP)               

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