Photo: Haim Horenstein
Prof. Shaul Ladany
Photo: Haim Horenstein

Holocaust, Munich survivor walks marathon at 83

Prof. Shaul Ladany, an Olympic racewalking champion, returned to Budapest where he sought refuge during World War II to take part in the European Maccabiah Games as an honorary member of a German delegation

A Holocaust survivor and Olympic race walker who lived through the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes, has taken part in the European Maccabiah Games as an honorary member of the German delegation.



Prof. Shaul Ladany finished the race in Hungarian capital of Budapest in 3:21 hours.


Ladany’s first visit to Budapest was during World War II, where he fled with his family as a refugee from his birthplace of Yugoslavia.


Prof. Shaul Ladany  (Photo: Haim Horenstein)
Prof. Shaul Ladany (Photo: Haim Horenstein)


Ladany immigrated to Israel in 1948, where he worked as an engineer. He began practicing racewalking and eventually became an Olympic champion in the sport.


Last year, at the age of 82, he participated in the Belgrade Marathon in the Serbian capital and received an honorary medal from his hometown.


Prof. Shaul Ladany with his accolades (Photo: Haim Horenstein)
Prof. Shaul Ladany with his accolades (Photo: Haim Horenstein)


Ladany said he believes Germany has changed a lot since the dark times of the Nazi regime and has taken responsibility for the events of the Holocaust.


"More resources need to be invested in educating people about democracy and protection of minority rights," he said. "People need to be taught what happened in the past so similar events won’t happen again in the future.”


Prof. Shaul Ladany   (Photo: RP_F)
Prof. Shaul Ladany (Photo: RP_F)


The 83-year-old believes Israel is not free of mistakes, but in light of the events of World War II, the Jewish state has a right to defend itself.


Some 3,000 Jewish athletes from 42 countries, including 180 athletes from Israel and 300 from Germany, participated in this year’s European Maccabiah Games.


German officials claim they invited the 83-year-old to compete under their flag because Israel failed to do so. Israeli officials deny the claim.



פרסום ראשון: 08.07.19, 14:41
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