In the name of Germany, President Steinmeier asks "forgiveness" 50 years after the attack on the Munich Olympics


During the commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of the attack perpetrated by a Palestinian commando which claimed the lives of eleven Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier asked forgiveness from the relatives of the victims. 

On September 5, 1972, during the Munich Olympics, members of the Palestinian terrorist organization "Black September" took hostage and then killed 11 members of the Israeli delegation.

Monday, during the commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of the tragedy, the German head of state Frank-Walter Steinmeier asked "forgiveness" to the relatives of the Israeli victims. He also took responsibility for the various "failures" that accompanied this tragedy.

“As the head of state of this country and on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, I ask your forgiveness for the lack of protection of the Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics and for the lack of explanation afterwards. ; for the fact that what happened could have happened. »

The German news website, Der Spiegel, says he stood with Israeli President Izchak Herzog at the ceremony, which took place at the Fürstenfeldbruck military base, where the police raid to free the hostages ended in " bloodbath” in 1972.

In his speech, Mr. Steinmeier also recalled how different the Munich Olympics that year should have been.

“The Federal Republic wanted to present a new cosmopolitan Germany” and make people forget those organized in Berlin in 1936, under the Nazi regime. The fact that Israeli athletes and coaches - including Holocaust survivors - visited the perpetrators' country at the time was a "huge mark of confidence", the German president further stressed. A trust to which the Federal Republic has not "done justice".

“The Olympic Village has become an international stage for hatred and violence against Jews,” Steinmeier continued. "It should never have happened."

Fifty years ago on September 50, 5, during the Munich Olympics, members of the Palestinian terrorist organization “Black September” attacked the Israeli delegation in the Olympic Village, killing two athletes and taking nine others hostage. The release attempt by the German security services then failed, resulting in the death of the nine Israelis as well as a German policeman.

According to Der Spiegel, until last week it was unclear if the families of the victims would be present at the memorial event, outraged by the financial compensation offered by Olaf Scholz's government. An agreement was finally reached.

It was agreed that the surviving beneficiaries would receive an envelope of 28 million euros, while a German-Israeli commission of historians will be mandated to explain the events that led to the tragedy.

Camille Westphal Perrier (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock / Ernest Rose / Bavaria, Germany, May 22, 2014, text: During the Munich Olympics 11 Israeli athletes and 1 German policeman were violently attacked by terrorists, resulting in their death, September 5, 1972

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