The Bar Kochba Berlin Team At The German Maccabee Championship Games in Hamburg (June 1930)
The formation of Jewish sports and gymnastics clubs in Germany at the turn of the twentieth century reflected both the political and cultural Zionism that sought to counter assimilationist tendencies, dispel negative stereotypes of Jews, and, ultimately, refute anti-Semitism. Some groups named themselves after the Maccabees, the historical Jewish liberators who fought for independence from the Hellenistic Seleucid dynasty in the second century BC. The Bar Kochba Gymnastic and Sports Club [TuS Bar Kochba], named for the legendary leader of the revolt against the Romans in 132 CE, was one of the largest Jewish sports organizations with member clubs in cities throughout Germany. It included athletic teams for both men and women.