Archives For Munich Massacre ’72

The IOC Pulls a Fast One on Munich Families

Israeli Ilana Romano, widow of an Israeli Olympian Yossef Romano killed by Palestinian Terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972

In college someone once told me that he who seeks to sit on both sides of the fence ruptures himself. The International Olympic Committee is seeking to do just that, as on Monday they held a hastily prepared ‘Surprise’ Memorial for the victims of the 1972 Munich Massacre.

On the one hand, it was the first time EVER that the cowardly committee publicly acknowledged the memory of the eleven Israelis who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists in cold blood in an Olympic village. On the other hand, it happened so quickly that I doubt any of the widows or children of the victims were in attendance.



In another bizarre twist, “Following the ceremony London Mayor Johnson pumped his fist and said ‘Great speech.’”[i] I think that would be equivalent to high-fiving someone after a eulogy.


Back Story

This hastily arranged, under promoted, secret memorial (lest Arab nations be offended that the murdered Israelis were honored) would not have happened at all were it not for the international pressure that has been mounted upon the IOC in recent months. It all started when Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, began to tweet that people needed to call upon the IOC to have a moment of silence, in order to remember the Munich Eleven.

On April 23rd, Ayalon sent this letter to the IOC asking for a minute of silence during this year’s Olympic games, marking the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre. Ayalon’s gesture was rejected. Mounting pressure continued, and even President Obama and Governor Romney called upon the IOC to give in.

I do understand the position of the IOC. There are one billion Arabs in the world. Many of the presidents/kings/dictators of these nations look at the Palestinian terrorists who carried out the crime as heroes. As we reported previously  the bodies were buried in Libya with full military honors and the three surviving terrorists were delivered as heroes to Libya (in a staged hijacking of a Lufthansa passenger jet).


too late! already political

The IOC doesn’t want to politicize the Olympics. But they already were when the Israelis were killed. You can’t make believe that Moshe Weinberg (wrestling coach) and Yossef Romano (weightlifter) were not murdered in the initial attack as they sought to protect other athletes by political terrorists. Or that a carefully placed grenade by one of the Black September members did not end the lives of Ze’ev Friedman (weightlifter), David Berger (weightlifter), Yakov Springer (weightlifting judge) and Eliezer Halfin (wrestler).

You can’t pretend that bullets from the gun of a militant savage did not rip through the bodies of Yossef Gutfreund (wrestling referee), Kehat Shorr (shooting coach), Mark Slavin (wrestler), Andre Spitzer (fencing coach) and Amitzur Shapira (track coach).

Hence, a brief, hastily prepared ceremony was arranged earlier this week. “Not enough,” was the response of Munich Massacre widows Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano. They met with IOC President Jacques Rogge where they presented him with their online petition of 107,000 signatures. Their request was once again denied.

They didn’t mince words in response to the denial:

“We are outraged by the denial of the request, which comes not only from us but from so many people around the world,” Spitzer said in a statement. “Our husbands were murdered at the Olympics in Munich. To observe a minute of silence in their memory would let the world know where the IOC stands in the fight against terrorism. President Rogge’s callous disregard for what he certainly knows is right is a severe blow to the Olympic ideals.”[ii]

In the past, the IOC President has told Ankie Spitzer that his hands are tied. Her response:

“Your hands are not tied. My husband’s hands were tied. So were his feet, when he was murdered. That was having your hands tied.”[iii]


Bob Costas, one of the better known sportscasters in America was dumbfounded by the IOC’s decision and plans to do something about it.

“I intend to note that the IOC denied the request…Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive. Here’s a minute of silence right now.”

Costas intends to acknowledge the Munich Massacre when the Israeli delegation enters the 80,000 seat stadium.

Note of Footnote: His comments were made and maybe contributed to the IOC’s impromptu ceremony on Monday. It is not clear if Costas still plans to point out the IOC’s lack of courage, but we sure hope so.

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[i] IOC holds surprise Munich massacre commemoration, By KAROLOS GROHMANN, July 23, 2012

[ii] Munich Widows’ Request for Moment of Silence Is Turned Down, JOANNE C. GERSTNER, July 25, 2012

[iii] ibid


King Hussein of Jordan was the only Arab leader to condemn the attack calling it “a savage crime against humanity.” Of course, this is most likely less in support of Israel, and more in an effort to discredit the PLO whom he had crushed two years earlier, as they were clearly seeking to assassinate him and take over Jordan.


A Heroes Welcome…for the dead and the living

The bodies of five of the terrorists were delivered to Libya where they were buried as heroes with full military honors. On October 9th, in response to the hijacking of a Lufthansa passenger jet by two Black September members, the remaining three hijackers were released by West Germany and received as heroes—even having the opportunity to give their account of the operation at a press conference.  The press conference was broadcast worldwide. The Israelis were not consulted on the decision to capitulate to the hijackers demands.


a demonic deal?

There is a theory that the hijacking was staged by the Germans and the PLO.

“Why were there no passengers on the plane as it left Damascus? Why were there only 12 passengers and no women or children on the plane as it left Beirut? Why had the German government so quickly agreed to the demands? When Jamal Al-Gashey was back on Arab soil he found out why: Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leaders told him that the entire hijacking had been a setup between the PLO and the German government.”[i]

While the president of the Munich organizing committee, Willi Daume, wanted to cancel the remainder of the games, IOC President Avery Brundage countered, “The games must go on, and we must… continue our efforts to keep them clean, pure and honest.” He prevailed with the blessing of Israel.

The Terrorists of Palestinian Group Black September

Dutch runner Jos Hermens stated, “You give a party, and someone is killed at the party, you don’t continue the party. I’m going home.” Many other athletes left, including whole delegations.

“The families of some victims have asked the IOC to establish a permanent memorial to the athletes. The IOC has declined, saying that to introduce a specific reference to the victims could ‘alienate other members of the Olympic community,’ according to the BBC.”[ii]

The shameless actions of the IOC continue even today, as they have refused to acknowledge during opening ceremonies this Friday the deaths of the Israeli Olympians.

As for the Israelis, they commenced a number of secret missions to assassinate everyone connected to the Munich attacks. The attacks continued for twenty years, ending with the killing of the PLO head of intelligence in Paris in 1992.


The surviving terrorists

The final question is what happened to the three terrorists who were released as heroes to Libya? Two of the three were killed as part of the Mossad Operation Wrath of God and the third lives in hiding in North Africa or Syria, fearing for his life.

After several failed attempts, an Israeli spy in Lebanon posing as a university student rented a flat one block from Ali Hassan Salameh, thought to be the mastermind of the attack and the chief of operations for Black September. A Volkswagen (ironic) full of explosives was placed in a car below the woman’s apartment. One report has her signaling a Mossad agent who then remotely detonated the explosives, while another has her as the killer. In both scenarios, the Palestinian terrorist ceased to be in this world.


Ehud Barak: A Cross-dresser with a purpose!

One of the better-known operations of Wrath of God has former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak dressing as a woman in 1973, along with several other Israeli commandos. They entered Lebanon from the sea and posed as tourist couples. They had information three senior PLO leaders were living in a certain apartment building. All three targets were eliminated.

In 1999, Jamal Al-Gashey, the lone survivor, was interviewed for the Academy award winning documentary, One Day in September. In this film, German officials admit that the hijacking that secured the surviving terrorists’ release was staged.

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[i] The Bizarre Aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympic Disaster, John S. Craig

[ii] ibid


When you Google “1972 Olympics Munich” the first few sites that come up have nothing to do with Gold Medals, Mark Spitz or world records. Instead they highlight the coldblooded murdering of eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team by Palestinian terrorists, known as Black September.


Lack of Security

In an effort to create a relaxed environment and distract people from the images of Nazi Germany, the Germans failed to provide the proper security for the Olympics in 1972. Even when a Palestinian informant warned of the attack three weeks before (according to a 2012 article in Der Spiegel) and local authorities in Munich did not respond in a way that could have easily prevented the murders.

The documentary film One Day in September claims that “security in the athletes’ village was intentionally lax and that athletes often came and went from the village without presenting proper identification. Many athletes bypassed security checkpoints, and climbed over the chain-link fence surrounding the village.”[i]

The Attack

The initial attack was on September 5th in the early hours of the morning. Several of the Israelis resisted the attackers, giving their friends and fellow athletes time to escape. Yossef Gutfreund who saw the masked attackers seeking to enter his dorm ran towards the door shouting, alerting others, and threw his massive 300lb physique against the door.

Another Israeli, Moshe Weinberg, who was captured after being shot in the face, purposely lied about where his fellow countrymen were, providing them time to escape. “As the athletes were marched back to the coaches’ apartment, the wounded Weinberg … attacked the kidnappers, allowing one of his wrestlers, Gad Tsobari, to escape via the underground parking garage. The burly Weinberg knocked one of the intruders unconscious and slashed another with a fruit knife before being shot to death. Weightlifter Yossef Romano, a veteran of the Six-Day War, also attacked and wounded one of the intruders before being shot and killed.”[ii]

The terrorists had two dead bodies and nine hostages. Then they listed their de

mands. They placed one bullet-ridden body next to the hostages and threw one outside, to illustrate their resolve. They wanted Israel to release over 200 prisoners in exchange for the hostages.


Germans Embarrassed and a Noble Gesture

The Germans were quite embarrassed that only a few decades after the Holocaust, Jews were again being killed on their own soil. To his credit, Munich police chief Manfred Schreiber offered the terrorists a significant amount of cash and himself along with two high-ranking German officials in exchange for the Israelis. The offer was rebuffed. Despite repeated offers of money, the world would soon find out that terrorists by definition are unyielding. They claimed, “money means nothing to us; our lives mean nothing to us.”

German police, dressed as athletes took up positions. However, the media’s filming of their actions, and then broadcasting it on television only aided the terrorists, who demanded that the police leave… which they did.


A Plan Gone Awry

In the end, the Germans feigned agreement to the demands of the terrorists and convinced them to go to a nearby airfield where an ambush was being set. However, when they realized there were more gunmen than they had originally thought, the Germans abandoned the idea. When the Palestinians arrived at the airfield, they discovered an empty airplane—as the ‘crew’, German police—had already fled.

The Palestinian terrorists realized they had been lured there on false pretenses and a gunfight broke out. The Germans had positioned snipers at the airfield, one of which admitted later he was unqualified, and they sought to take out the terrorist leader. Sadly, they missed.

Then chaos broke out. Several of the hostages were killed at point blank range. The leader of the Palestinians, realizing this would be a fight to the death, attacked the police who quickly shot him dead. However, there is much speculation as to what happened to the remaining hostages. A later German investigation revealed the authorities might have not only killed one of their own snipers, but the remaining hostages. However, a Time Magazine reconstruction concluded that a surviving terrorist raked the five remaining hostages with machine gun fire.


“They’re All Dead”

When the dust settled, all of the Israeli athletes were dead and three Palestinian terrorists were captured.

Jim McKay, whose intro the ABC’s Wide World of Sports has become as famous as the man himself, was hosting the Olympics. How ironic—the man who weekly spoke of the “agony of defeat” was the one to share the fate of the Israelis with the world. McKay was on air for fourteen hours without a break and at 3:24 A.M. he reported:

“When I was a kid, my father used to say ‘Our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized.’ Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They’ve now said that there were eleven hostages. Two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning; nine were killed at the airport tonight. They’re all gone.” (See Video)

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[ii]  ibid