Sep 06, 2017
By Michael Kramer
It’s been 45 years coming but finally a memorial has been inaugurated – to the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches and a West German police officer – who were murdered at the Munich Olympics by Palestinian terrorists.
German president Frank-Walter Steinmeir and Israeli president Reuven Rivlin were joined at the new memorial in Munich’s Olympic Park by relatives of the victims.
Rivlin told a sombre crowd, “We’ve come here today to close a circle, a circle that can never really be closed.”
He said the 1972 Munich Olympics – which were called “the cheerful games” because they were the first in Germany since the nazis hosted the 1936 games in Berlin,”Turned into an Olympiad of blood.”
On September 5th, 1972, eight members of the Palestinian group Black September climbed the unguarded fence of the Olympic Village, burst into the building where the Israeli Olympic team was staying – and took the athletes hostage.
Five athletes,six coaches and a West German policeman were killed at the village – or during a botched rescue attempt.
Rivlin also said,”The family members and the State of Israel had to wait for this moment for 45 years,” referring to the massive criticism by the Israeli families about the fact that it took more than four decades to dedicate a memorial to the victims – in the city where they were killed.