This Sunday Makkabi Berlin, historic German Jewish team, will challenge Wolfsburg for the German Cup. A sporting miracle for the formation of the German fifth division (equivalent to the Italian Eccellenza), which qualified in June, beating Sparta Lichtenberg 3-1 and conquering the Federal State Cup in Berlin.
Makkabi Berlin is heir to Bar Kochba Berlin, founded in 1898 and then destroyed by Nazi persecution.
After the war it was Holocaust survivors who campaigned for the re-foundation of a Jewish sports association and in 1970 Makkabi Berlin was born. As reported by Zdf, the team is today an example of multiculturalism: there are players who are Jewish, Christian, Muslim and of other faiths. 16 nations are represented in the team.
For Makkabi Berlin, who in the past ended up in the news mainly for serious anti-Semitic insults during matches, the match against Wolfsburg will be something special. As Makkabi sporting director Michael Koblenz says, “what we will see on 13 August is already an incredible success for the German Jewish community and beyond, regardless of the result.” And this is also the beauty of the national cups of the various countries, where a team from the fifth football championship can face one from the top division, in this case the Bundesliga: only in Italy does this not happen.
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