POSTED: February 15th 2011

Garmisch exhibition faces up to painful legacy of 1936 Winter Games

Garmisch-Partenkirchen: revisiting history and moving on / Munich2018
Garmisch-Partenkirchen: revisiting history and moving on / Munich2018

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

MUNICH, Feb 16: Every country, every city and, indeed, every sports bid has one or more ghosts to exorcise along the way. That is nothing more than the legacy of history but also represents a cleansing by-product of the process.

Hence an exhibition about the 1936 Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen has opened there this week, designed to help visitors from Germany and around the world learn lessons from the past in optimistic hope that they will never be repeated.

The exhibition was opened by the Mayor of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Thomas Schmid, as the region prepares to welcome the IOC evaluation commission from March 1-4. Munich's bid to host the 2018 Winter Games includes the proposed use of the 1936 Olympic Ski Stadium in Garmisch.

Schmid said: ‘I have often been asked in recent days: is the bid for the Games in 2018 to compensate for the shadow of the past? I always say that it is not as there will always be a shadow. But we can show, in 2018, that there is an alternative.

"One must accept what is shown in the exhibition, however we want to have honest and open times, which are what we are working towards."

Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and a member of the Munich 2018 Board of Trustees, was among those present at the exhibition's opening.

She said: "This exhibition is very important for the fight against forgetting the past. I love sport and, without exaggerating, I'm delighted at how openly Garmisch-Partenkirchen presents its past in an open and friendly environment. Preserving the memory of the past is very important as it shows that the lessons of history have been understood."

The exhibition is entitled The other side of the medal' (Die andere Seite der Medaille) and runs until May 1 in the Kurhaus in the World Championships Park.

Initially Winter and Summer Games were both held in the same year; thus, in 1936, Berlin staged the summer Olympics. The Winter Games were switched to the middle of the four-year sequence in the early 1990s when Lillehammer in 1994 followed just two years after Albertville.

Keywords · Garmisch · Munich · 1936 · 2018 Winter · IOC · evaluation commission

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