Germany, IOC To Honor The 1972 Munich Massacre Victims

There will be ceremonies in Munich and Tel Aviv honoring the slain Israelis.

On September 5th, 1972, members of the Black September terrorist group, a militant offshoot of the Palestinian group Fatah, scaled a fence surrounding the Olympic Village in Munich. Disguised as athletes and using stolen keys, they forced their way into the quarters of the Israeli Olympic team. At about 10:00 PM on September 5th, the Germans thought they had reached an agreement with the terrorists. The terrorists led their bound and blindfolded hostages from their quarters into buses that transported them to waiting helicopters then to an air base. By 12:30 AM on September 6th, the shooting had stopped, and the 20-hour reign of terror was over. Eleven Israelis had been killed, along with one Munich policeman, and five Black September terrorists were dead. Three of the gunmen were captured. The rescue attempt had been botched. It was for many, the first time they ever saw a terrorist attack unfold as television networks globally broadcast the events of that day. It took 44 years for the Olympics movement to honor the slain athletes and coaches. At the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, the International Olympic Committee held a one-minute-silence commemorating the massacre.

There was some question as to whether the families of the slain Israelis would attend a 50th anniversary memorial in Germany as the families felt they were never fairly compensated by the German government for their losses. The families and the Israeli Olympic Committee have decided to go to Munich after reaching a financial settlement with German officials. The Munich event will be attended by representatives of the Israeli Olympic Committee, the families of the slain Israelis. the Israeli President Isaac Herzog, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The President of the IOC Thomas Bach, who is German, will be attending a September 21st memorial in Tel Aviv, Israel. Recognition has finally come.

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