Some 70 years after Adolf Hitler sought to stop Jews from competing in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, more than 2,500 Jewish competitors are taking part in the 14th European Maccabi Games at the very same Olympic Stadium.

Germany, home to the worlds fastest-growing Jewish population, is full of pride that the country responsible for the Holocaust in which six million Jews were killed will host the 10-day Jewish Olympics until 5 August, with participants from 36 nations in 19 disciplines from athletics to basketball, football and squash.

The European Maccabi Games are the European championships for Jewish athletes held every four years in different cities.

The Maccabi Games were established in 1929 in Prague as Jews wanted an alternative competition free of discrimination and anti-Jewish sentiment.

It was a controversial decision to award the Games to Germany, with younger members of the movement prevailing against older members who opposed it, according to the president of Maccabi Germany.

Margot Friedlander, 93, who survived the Holocaust, said in remarks during the opening ceremony: I want to ask you the question if it is right to come to Berlin for the Maccabi. There is only one answer: yes!

And there is no better place to send this message into the world than here, 70 years after the war, Friedlander said, who returned to her native Berlin several years ago after spending much of her life in the US.

After dropping to 7,000 in 1945, there are 45,000 Jews in Berlin today, many arriving from Eastern Europe, Israel, Australia, France and the US – attracted by the capitals tolerance, low cost of living and creative arts scene.