FC Makkabi Berlin
is a German football club
based in Berlin
. The team is the football department of the sports club TuS Makkabi Berlin
Created in 1898, predecessor club Bar Kochba Berlin
was one of the largest Jewish organizations in the world by 1930 with over 40,000 members from 24 countries, part of the general Bar Kochba movement intended to promote physical education and Jewish heritage. The club fielded teams in several sports including a football side which competed in the city leagues between 1911 and 1929.
In 1929 Bar Kochba
merged with Hakoah Berlin
to form the sports club Bar Kochba-Hakoah
. The Hakoah
side had enjoyed increasing success, capturing three consecutive lower division championships between 1925 and 1927. They were promoted each time until, by 1928, they were playing first tier football. The newly combined side continued to compete as Hakoah
The rise to power of the Nazis in the early 30s led to discrimination against Jews and by 1933 Jewish teams were excluded from general competition and limited to play in separate leagues or tournaments. In 1938 Jewish teams were banned outright as discrimination turned to persecution.
In the aftermath of World War II Jewish sports and cultural associations eventually re-emerged in Germany. On 26 November, 1970 TuS Makkabi Berlin was formed out of
the merger of Bar-Kochba Berlin (gynmastics and athletics), Hakoah Berlin (football, re-established 1945) and Makkabi Berlin (boxing). The football side of the club played in third and fourth tier competition in the 70s and 80s before leaving to join FV Wannsee in 1987. Wannsee also played as a third and fourth division side until collapsing in the mid-90s and slipping first to the Landesliga Berlin-2 (VI) and then to the Bezirksliga Berlin (VII) by the end of the decade. Makkabi's footballers returned to the fold in 1997 and since 2003 have also played in the Bezirksliga Berlin. In 2006, the club gained promotion to the Verbandsliga Berlin (VI).
Today the sports club has some 500 members and is one of the largest Maccabi associations in the country. The club strongly promotes dialogue between Jews and non-Jews in a sports context.
plays at the Maifeld Olympiastadion, a side field of Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
Jewish sports clubs continue to occasionally meet anti-semitism on the field. Recently, in October, 2006 in Makkabi
's match versus the second team squad of VSG Altglienicke
in Berlin's Kreisliga-B, fans and players were reported to have chanted "Gas the Jews", "Auschwitz is back" and "Führer, Führer" as well as other slogans. The case drew extensive media coverage in Germany
as well as Israel