“I Can Sleep at Home”

The 14th European Maccabi Games (EMG) are taking place in Berlin from 27 July until 5 August 2015. More than 2,000 Jewish athletes from 36 countries will compete in 19 sports from football to fencing to chess. To accompany the games Tamar Lewinsky and Theresia Ziehe are producing a series of portraits with interviews, introducing a new member of the German delegation from Berlin every day here on the blog. They conducted the interviews on the grounds of the TuS Maccabi in Berlin’s Grunewald where Stephan Pramme also shot the portraits.

Dr. Daniel Hoffmann (54), half marathon

Daniel, what does it mean to you that the European Maccabi Games are taking place this year not only in Berlin but on the grounds built for the 1936 Olympics?

Portrait of a man in sports wear with a bottle in a locker room

Daniel (54) half marathon © Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Stephan Pramme

It’s a really nice feeling to demonstrate that Jews still live in Germany – and live active lives that they can show outwardly. That’s important and beneficial. And being in the Olympic Stadium is also a wonderful thing – out on the field in front of the enormous bleachers. It’s really something special, in addition to the historical aspect. It’s simply overwhelming, every time. It certainly makes it easier that the games are happening in my hometown. (He laughs.) I can sleep at home and go straight from there to the tournaments. Though I would have also participated, had they taken place somewhere else. And I hope to join in the next Maccabi Games in Israel.

What role does Judaism play for you personally?

That has changed in recent years.  continue reading