27 July 2012

Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Munich Olympics Massacre

Masked Black September terrorist holding hostages during 1972 Munich Summer Olympics

Forty years ago, the International Olympics movement was stained in blood by terrorism by by one day in September during the second week of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany.  In the second week of the XX Summer Olympiad, a group of Palestinian terrorists known as Black September killed two Israeli athletes and took nine Olympians hostage.  None of the Israeli hostages returned home alive.

The terrorists demanded that the Israeli government release 234 prisoners. The Palestianian gunmen also demanded that the Federal Republic of Germany release two inmates from their prisons.  To prove their resolve, the Black September terrorists tossed the body of wrestling coach Weinberg out the door (although the coach had been killed during the Palestinian terrorists raid).  

Initially, the games continued during this terrorist hostage situation. Twelve hours after the hostages were taken, Munich Olympic officials suspended the games. Negotiators offered an unlimited amount of money or substituting high ranking Germans but the Palestinian terrorists reply reportedly was "money means nothing to us; our lives mean nothing to us."  

A small squad of German Police tried to slink into the Olympic Village dressed in Olympic sweatsuits and carrying sub-machine guns.  As the redeployed border guards took up positions, the media broadcast the scene, giving the terrorists real time tactical information.  In response, the terrorists threatened to kill two hostages and the police presence disappeared. 

[L] Kehart Schorr [R] Andre Spitzer held hostage
 During the two days of being held hostage, negotiators wanted to have direct contact with the hostages to prove that they were still alive.  Fencing coach Andre Spitzer and shooting coach Kehat Schorr briefly had a dialogue with German officials from the second floor balcony as the Palestinian abductors held guns on them. Spitzer was fluent in German so as he attempted to answer a question, he was clubbed with a butt of an AK-47 machine gun and was pulled away from the window. Shortly afterwards, the German Interior Minister and the Mayor of the Olympic Village briefly spoke with the abducted Olympic athletes.

German officials feigned agreement to demands and convinced the Palestinian terrorists to be evacuated at F├╝rstenfeldbruck NATO airbase. The German military had planned an ambush on the airplane but decided to abort without informing the whole team. The Black September terrorists broke their word as they took the German helicopter pilot hostage as the shuttled their Israeli hostages in staggered groups. When the two lead terrorists realized that it was a trap, they headed back towards the helicopter.  The snipers failed to fell the Black September leader and just grazed the other terrorist. In the ensuing chaos, five of the eight terrorists were killed, a West German policeman died in the firefight but the terrorists tossed a grenade in the helicopter killing the remaining bound Israelis.

During the five hour Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, they could not find one minute to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre.   Officially, International Olympic Committee Chief Jaques Rogge stated that a moment of silence  for the Munich Massacre: "[W]as not appropriate".  During the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the script was rewritten to commemorate the death of a luger the day of the Opening Ceremonies. What was more likely is that the IOC feared a boycott or withdrawal from the games by Arab countries.  The head of the Palestinian IOC team labeled the Munich Massacre minute of silence campaign as "racism".  

So many of those interested in the Olympics will enthuse about the Olympic ideals and international brotherhood.  The silence of the Olympic movement for not remembering the barbarism which stained the Olympic ideal speaks volumes.

Despite the fecklessness of the IOC and the London Olympics, the dignity of the murdered Israeli Olympians has not been forgotten, nor the barbarism of the terrorists. The silence of the international community shows the true character of the idealism of the Olympics. Moreover, the intolerance displayed by the Palestinian IOC is quite revealing to those who are willing to take off their rose colored glasses.

h/t: One Day In September

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