An terrorist attack occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Bavaria in southern West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian group Black September. The kidnappers killed eleven Israeli athletes and coaches and a West German police officer.
I have no political or religious agenda. Just the hope that my husband and the other men who went to the Olympics in peace, friendship and sportsmanship are given what they deserve. One minute of silence will clearly say to the world that what happened in 1972 can never happen again. Please do not let history repeat itself.
I am the wife of Andrei Spitzer. My husband was killed at those Olympic Games in 1972.
I am asking for one minute of silence for the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered at the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. Just one minute — at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and at every Olympic Game, to promote peace.
Earlier this week, the head of the Olympic Committee for the Palestinian Authority, Jabril Rajoub, praised the IOC decision not to have a moment of silence.
Rajoub sent IOC president Jacque Rogge a thank-you note that read, in part: "Sport is a bridge for love, unification and for spreading peace among the nations. It must not be a cause for divisiveness and for the spreading of racism."
On Friday, the consulate general of Israel in New York, Ido Aharoni, sharply disagreed.
Alex Gilady, an Israeli International Olympics Committee member, was more candid about why officials are opposed to organizing the tribute. According to the Jewish Chronicle, Gilady said officials thought a minute’s silence "may harm the unity of the Olympics” and “could cause some countries to boycott the Games.”
Though President Barack Obama backed holding a tribute in London for the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes and coaches who were slain in Germany in 1972, the International Olympics Committee again rejected the petition for a moment of silence, according to CNN. Officials have rejected a widow’s repeated requests to hold a moment of silence at the London Olympics for the 11 Israelis slain by terrorists at the 1972 Games.
Mohammed Oudeh, better known as Abu Daoud, was the leading figure in Black September, an off-shoot of the Palestine Liberation Organisation formed after the violent expulsion of the PLO from Jordan in September 1970...He was proud of his role in the Munich attack, which he said was planned in a cafe in Rome, but insisted that the intention had been to use the Israelis as hostages for negotiations for the release of Palestinian prisoners.
In 1974, the two Germans were merely convicted of illegal possession of firearms. Abramowski was sentenced to eight months and Pohl to 26 months in prison. Only four days after sentencing, Pohl was released and fled to Beirut. There is nothing in the files to explain the reasons behind such leniency.
Perhaps the authorities feared that the Palestinians could also try to gain Pohl's freedom with the same approach they had used to secure the release of the three surviving members of the Olympic attack operation: by hijacking a German airliner. A few days after Pohl's arrest, terrorists from the PLO's Fatah faction hijacked a Lufthansa flight bound for Frankfurt. The German government gave in to their demands, and the three were flown to Libya.
When Germany released the three Black September guerrillas who survived the Munich massacre, after a fabricated plane hijacking, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir then launched a secret operation, known by some as "Wrath of God", to hunt and kill those responsible for Munich. The exploits of the Israeli agents involved in Wrath of God are the stuff of legend and cheap farce. Over the next 20 years Israeli agents killed dozens of Palestinians. They hid landmines under car seats, devised ingenious bombs, and claim to have found and killed two of the three terrorist survivors of Munich.
Initially the Palestinians seemed to relish the attention. They felt the world had ignored them for decades. But after a day of missed deadlines, "Issa", the Black September leader, wearied of negotiations. During the evening he demanded a plane to fly his men and the Israelis to the Middle East. German officials agreed to move the group in helicopters to Fürstenfeldbruck airfield base on the outskirts of Munich, where a Boeing 727 would be waiting to fly them to Cairo. Secretly, however, the Germans began planning a rescue operation at the airfield.
The investigation of the attack revealed that before the massacre the Palestinians walked by the quarters of the Israeli delegation in the Olympic village, and even ran into athletes from Hong-Kong in one of the upper stories of a village building. Still, Munich police claimed, after running an "analytical appraisal" of the attack, that the terrorists "did not explore the area," before the attack. The Spiegel report presents documents proving that the Munich Prosecutor's office launched a "causing death by negligence" inquiry against the chief of police Manfred Schreiber and the commander of his special unit. These details were never made public.
On Sept. 5, 1972, Palestinian militants with a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist group called "Black September" took nine Israeli athletes hostage and demanded the release of several hundred Palestinians from Israeli prisons. When the police attempted to free the Israelis at the Fürstenfeldbruck military airport, where they were being held in two helicopters, the terrorists murdered all of their hostages. A police officer also died in the firefight. Three of the Palestinians survived, and the judge to whom the letter found in Pohl's and Abramowski's luggage was addressed was in charge of the case against them.