Lest we forget!
Words easily uttered and often forgotten. Nonetheless, the eleven athletes and the German policeman, who lost their lives during the attack of Palestinian Terrorists on Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympic Games on the 5th September 1972, were never forgotten in Israel or by Jews worldwide. Most of them were killed during the murderous event as a result of a failed police rescue attack at Fliegerhorst Fürstenfeldbruck.
The German police had been unprepared, untrained and carried no guns, only revolvers. The Israeli Mossad too had not asked for any special protection of the athletes, despite a vague warning that allegedly an attack was being hatched.
Despite this horrendous incident, the Games continued without a break. Not to defy either violence or terrorism, but allegedly because the TV channels would not have been able to produce suitable programmes. A lame and shameful reason – later to be matched by decades of haggling over suitable compensation for the bereaved families. This was only settled ahead of the 50th anniversary of the tragedy in September 2022, thus enabling a three-day visit of the Israeli President Herzog to take place at the invitation of President Steinmeier.
Subsequently the Presidents Frank-Walter Steinmeier und Izchak Herzog participated in a moving ceremony in memory of the victims of the 1972 attack. In his address to the Bundestag the Israeli President said he was proud of his country’s relations with Germany, adding: “We greatly appreciate Germany’s contribution to Israel’s security and success.”
Sadly, various initiatives have yet to lead to an amicable settlement of the complex Palestinian-Israeli conflict. An end that would contribute to a longed peace in the Middle East.