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Munich massacre

Munich massacre

Overview
The Munich massacre is an informal name for events that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics
1972 Summer Olympics
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972....

 in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 in southern West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

, when members of the Israeli Olympic team
Israel at the 1972 Summer Olympics
Israel competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, which began on August 26. On September 5 and 6, eleven members of the Israeli team were captured and murdered by terrorists. The remainder of the team left Munich the day after the conclusion of the horrific event Israel competed...

 were taken hostage
Hostage
A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war...

 and eventually killed by the Palestinian group Black September
Black September (group)
The Black September Organization was a Palestinian paramilitary group, founded in 1970. It was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials, and fatal shooting of a West German policeman, during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, their most publicized event...

. Members of Black September contended that Yasir Arafat's Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 organization secretly endorsed the operation. Fatah, however, disputed this. Black September called the operation "Ikrit and Biram
Kafr Bir'im
Kafr Bir'im, also Kefr Berem , was an Arab Christian village in Palestine located south of the Lebanese border and northwest of Safed. The village was situated above sea level, with a church overlooking it at an elevation of . The church was built on the ruins of an older church destroyed in an...

", after two Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 villages whose inhabitants were killed or expelled by the Haganah
Haganah
Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.- Origins :...

 in 1948.

By the end of the ordeal, the kidnappers had killed eleven Israeli athletes and coaches
Coach (sport)
In sports, a coach is an individual involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople.-Staff:...

 and a West German police officer
Police officer
A police officer is a warranted employee of a police force...

.
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Encyclopedia
The Munich massacre is an informal name for events that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics
1972 Summer Olympics
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972....

 in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 in southern West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

, when members of the Israeli Olympic team
Israel at the 1972 Summer Olympics
Israel competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, which began on August 26. On September 5 and 6, eleven members of the Israeli team were captured and murdered by terrorists. The remainder of the team left Munich the day after the conclusion of the horrific event Israel competed...

 were taken hostage
Hostage
A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war...

 and eventually killed by the Palestinian group Black September
Black September (group)
The Black September Organization was a Palestinian paramilitary group, founded in 1970. It was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials, and fatal shooting of a West German policeman, during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, their most publicized event...

. Members of Black September contended that Yasir Arafat's Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 organization secretly endorsed the operation. Fatah, however, disputed this. Black September called the operation "Ikrit and Biram
Kafr Bir'im
Kafr Bir'im, also Kefr Berem , was an Arab Christian village in Palestine located south of the Lebanese border and northwest of Safed. The village was situated above sea level, with a church overlooking it at an elevation of . The church was built on the ruins of an older church destroyed in an...

", after two Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 villages whose inhabitants were killed or expelled by the Haganah
Haganah
Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.- Origins :...

 in 1948.

By the end of the ordeal, the kidnappers had killed eleven Israeli athletes and coaches
Coach (sport)
In sports, a coach is an individual involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople.-Staff:...

 and a West German police officer
Police officer
A police officer is a warranted employee of a police force...

. Five of the eight members of Black September were killed by police officers during a failed rescue attempt. The three surviving kidnappers were captured, but later released by West Germany following the hijacking by Black September of a Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

 airliner. Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 responded to the killings with Operation Spring of Youth and Operation Wrath of God
Operation Wrath of God
Operation Wrath of God ,This title was an invention of later writers, and was most likely not used by the Mossad itself. also called Operation Bayonet, was a covert operation directed by Israel and the Mossad to assassinate individuals alleged to have been directly or indirectly involved in the...

, during which Palestinians suspected of involvement in the massacre were systematically tracked down and killed by Israeli intelligence and special forces.

Prelude


At the time of the hostage-taking, the 1972 Munich Olympic Games
1972 Summer Olympics
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972....

 were well into their second week, and there was a joyous mood.
The West German Olympic Organizing Committee had encouraged an open and friendly atmosphere in the Olympic Village, to help erase memories of the militaristic image of wartime Germany and, specifically, of the 1936 Berlin Olympics
1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain on April 26, 1931, at the 29th IOC Session in Barcelona...

, which had been exploited by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 for propaganda purposes.
The documentary film One Day in September
One Day in September
One Day in September is a 1999 documentary film directed by Kevin Macdonald examining the 5 September 1972 murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany...

 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.

The absence of armed security guards had worried Israeli delegation head Shmuel Lalkin even before his team arrived in Munich. In later interviews with journalists Serge Groussard and Aaron Klein, Lalkin said that he had also expressed concern with the relevant authorities about his team's lodgings. They were housed in a relatively isolated part of the Olympic Village, in a small building close to a gate, which he felt made his team particularly vulnerable to an outside assault. The German authorities apparently assured Lalkin that extra security would be provided to look after the Israeli team, but Lalkin doubts that these additional measures were ever taken.
General Ulrich Wegener
Ulrich Wegener
Ulrich K. "Ricky" Wegener is a retired German police officer and founding member of the counter-terrorist force GSG 9. He was born in Jüterbog, Brandenburg...

, of the West German Border Police, who served as the military advisor to West German Interior Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Hans-Dietrich Genscher is a German politician of the liberal Free Democratic Party . He served as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany from 1974 to 1982 and, after a two-week pause, from 1982 to 1992, making him Germany's longest serving Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor...

, was the only member of the West German military allowed to listen to the planning by the Munich police. Although he was the only person connected to Munich who had any military experience, the leaders of the Munich Police Department completely ignored any tactical knowledge he might have been able to provide. Wegener confirms that the Israelis repeatedly asked not to be housed in the building assigned to them by the West German Olympic Organizing Committee. Wegener says Israeli experts far above Lalkin's level repeatedly asked that the Israeli team be housed either in the building with the American team or in a building near the Americans. Both the IOC and the German organizing committees refused to do anything about the Israelis' security concerns.

A West German forensic psychologist, Dr. Georg Sieber, had been asked by Olympic security experts to come up with 26 "worst-case" scenarios to aid them in planning Olympic security. His Situation 21 predicted with almost eerie accuracy the events of 5 September, but it was dismissed by the security specialists as preposterous. Organizers balked since guarding the 1972 Games against Sieber's scenarios would have gone against their goal of "the Carefree Games", as heavy security would be reminiscent of the 1936 Games.

Hostage-taking



On the evening of 4 September, the Israeli athletes enjoyed a night out, watching a performance of Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in Tsarist Russia in 1905. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters by Sholem Aleichem...

 and dining with the play's star, Israeli actor Shmuel Rodensky, before returning to the Olympic Village
Olympiapark, Munich
The Olympiapark in Munich, Germany, is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Found in the area of Munich known as the "Oberwiesenfeld" , the Park continues to serve as a venue for cultural, social, and religious events such as events of worship...

. On the return trip in the team bus, Lalkin denied his 13-year-old son, who had befriended weightlifter Yossef Romano
Yossef Romano
Yossef Romano was a Libyan-born, Jewish Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He was the second of eleven Israeli team members murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists during that Olympics...

 and wrestler Eliezer Halfin
Eliezer Halfin
Eliezer Halfin was a wrestler for the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. Along with 10 other athletes and coaches he was taken hostage by Palestinian Black September terrorists...

, permission to spend the night in their apartment—an innocent refusal that probably saved the boy's life. At 4:30 a.m. local time on 5 September, as the athletes slept, eight tracksuit-clad members of Black September carrying duffel bag
Duffel bag
A duffel bag is a large cylindrical bag made of cloth with a drawstring closure at the top....

s loaded with AKM
AKM
The AKM is a 7.62mm assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is an upgraded version of the AK-47 rifle and was developed in the 1950s....

 assault rifles, Tokarev pistols
TT-33
The TT-30 is a Russian semi-automatic pistol. It was developed in the early 1930s by Fedor Tokarev as a service pistol for the Soviet military to replace the Nagant M1895 revolver that had been in use since tsarist times, though it never fully replaced the M1895.-Development:In 1930, the...

, and grenades scaled a two-meter chain-link fence with the assistance of unsuspecting athletes who were also sneaking into the Olympic Village. Once inside, they used stolen keys to enter two apartments being used by the Israeli team at 31 Connollystraße.

Yossef Gutfreund
Yossef Gutfreund
Yossef Gutfreund was an Israeli wrestling judge for his country's 1972 Olympic team. He was murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists along with 10 other members of the Israeli team.-Biography:...

, a wrestling referee, was awakened by a faint scratching noise at the door of Apartment 1, which housed the Israeli coaches and officials. When he investigated, he saw the door begin to open and masked men with guns on the other side. He shouted a warning to his sleeping roommates and threw his nearly 300 lb. (135 kg) weight against the door in a futile attempt to stop the intruders from forcing their way in. Gutfreund's actions gave his roommate, weightlifting coach Tuvia Sokolovsky, enough time to smash a window and escape. Wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg
Moshe Weinberg
Moshe Weinberg was the coach of the Israeli international wrestling team as well as being the coach of Hapoel Tel Aviv. He was the Israeli youth champion in wrestling and also the adult champion for a period of 8 years. He began his career in Hapoel Haifa, later becoming a certified coach at...

 fought the intruders, who shot him through his cheek and then forced him to help them find more hostages. Leading the kidnappers past Apartment 2, Weinberg lied to the kidnappers by telling them that the residents of the apartment were not Israelis. Instead, Weinberg led them to Apartment 3, where the terrorists corralled six wrestlers and weightlifters as additional hostages. It is possible that Weinberg hoped that the stronger men would have a better chance of fighting off the terrorists, but they were all surprised in their sleep.

As the athletes from Apartment 3 were marched back to the coaches' apartment, the wounded Weinberg again attacked the kidnappers, allowing one of his wrestlers, Gad Tsobari
Gad Tsobari
Gad Tsobari is an Israeli-born light-flyweight freestyle wrestler and a member of Israel's 1972 Olympic team. He finished 12th in his event, and was considered a possible medal threat at the Montreal Games of 1976...

, 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
Yossef Romano
Yossef Romano was a Libyan-born, Jewish Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He was the second of eleven Israeli team members murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists during that Olympics...

, a veteran of the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, also attacked and wounded one of the intruders before being shot and killed.

The terrorists were left with nine hostages. They were, in addition to Gutfreund, sharpshooting coach Kehat Shorr
Kehat Shorr
Kehat Shorr was the shooting coach for the 1972 Israeli Olympic team. He was one of the 11 members of Israel's Olympic team killed in the Munich massacre.-Biography:...

, track and field coach Amitzur Shapira
Amitzur Shapira
Amitzur Shapira was an Israeli short distance runners in the 1950s and a coach for the Israeli track and field team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. At the time of his death he was also one of the country's best track coaches.-Early life:...

, fencing master Andre Spitzer
Andre Spitzer
Andre Spitzer , was a fencing master and coach of Israel's 1972 Summer Olympics team. He was one of 11 athletes and coaches taken hostage and subsequently killed by Palestinians in the Munich massacre.-Early life:...

, weightlifting judge Yakov Springer
Yakov Springer
Yakov Springer , was a wrestler and a weightlifting coach and judge, but is best known as one of the victims of the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics....

, wrestlers Eliezer Halfin
Eliezer Halfin
Eliezer Halfin was a wrestler for the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. Along with 10 other athletes and coaches he was taken hostage by Palestinian Black September terrorists...

 and Mark Slavin
Mark Slavin
Mark Slavin , was an Israeli Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler and victim of the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics....

, and weightlifters David Berger
David Mark Berger
David Mark Berger was an American-born weightlifter for the Israeli Olympic team in 1972. A lawyer by education, Berger was one of 11 members of Israel’s Olympic team who were taken hostage and subsequently murdered by Arab terrorists at the Munich Olympic Games.Berger was born in Cleveland, Ohio...

 and Ze'ev Friedman
Ze'ev Friedman
Ze'ev Friedman , was an Israeli flyweight weightlifter. A member of the Israeli Olympic team, he was murdered by terrorists in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. -Biography:...

. Gutfreund, physically the largest of the hostages, was bound to a chair (Groussard describes him as being tied up like a mummy); the rest were lined up four apiece on the two beds in Springer and Shapira's room, and bound at the wrists and ankles and then to each other. Romano's bullet-riddled corpse was left at his bound comrades' feet as a warning.

Of the other members of Israel's team, racewalker Prof. Shaul Ladany had been jolted awake in Apartment 2 by Gutfreund's screams and escaped by jumping off a balcony and running through the rear yard of the building. The other four residents of Apartment 2 (sharpshooters Henry Hershkowitz and Zelig Stroch, and fencers Dan Alon
Dan Alon
Dan Alon is a former Israeli fencer. He competed in the individual foil event at the 1972 Summer Olympics.He was placed fourth in round one with three wins and two losses and advanced to round two, where he placed fifth with two wins and three losses, and was eliminated.He was among several...

 and Yehuda Weisenstein
Yehuda Weisenstein
Yehuda Weisenstein , known also as Moshe Yehuda Weinstain, is a former Israeli fencer. He competed in the individual foil event at the 1972 Summer Olympics....

), plus Chef De Mission Shmuel Lalkin and the two team doctors, managed to hide and later fled the besieged building. The two female members of Israel's Olympic team, sprinter and hurdler Esther Roth-Shahamorov and swimmer Shlomit Nir, were housed in a separate part of the Olympic Village inaccessible to the terrorists. Three more members of Israel's Olympic team, two sailors and their manager, were housed in Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

, 550 miles (885.1 km) from Munich.

Black September's demands


The terrorists were subsequently reported to be part of the Palestinian fedayeen
Fedayeen
Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

 from refugee camps in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

. They were identified as Luttif Afif
Luttif Afif
Luttif Afif , possible true name Mohammad Massalha, alias Issa , was the commander of the group of Palestinian terrorists who invaded the Munich Olympic Village on September 5, 1972 and took as hostage nine members of Israel's Olympic team after killing two members who resisted...

 (Issa), the leader (three of Issa's brothers were also reportedly members of Black September, two of them in Israeli jails), his deputy Yusuf Nazzal (Tony), and junior members Afif Ahmed Hamid (Paolo), Khalid Jawad (Salah), Ahmed Chic Thaa (Abu Halla), Mohammed Safady (Badran), Adnan Al-Gashey (Denawi), and his cousin Jamal Al-Gashey
Jamal Al-Gashey
Jamal Al-Gashey was a member of the Black September offshoot of the Palestine Liberation Organization and is believed to be the last surviving member of the group of eight terrorists who carried out the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. He is visible several...

 (Samir). According to Simon Reeve, Afif, Nazzal and one of their confederates had all worked in various capacities in the Olympic Village, and had spent a couple of weeks scouting out their potential target. A member of the Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

an Olympic delegation, which shared housing with the Israelis, claims that he found Nazzal actually inside 31 Connollystraße less than 24 hours before the attack, but since he was recognized as a worker in the Village, nothing was thought of it at the time. The other members of the hostage-taking group entered Munich via train and plane in the days before the attack. All of the members of the Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 and Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 Olympic teams, which also shared the building with the Israelis, were released unharmed during the crisis.

The terrorists demanded the release and safe passage to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 of 234 Palestinians and non-Arabs jailed in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, along with two German radicals held by the German penitentiary system, Andreas Baader
Andreas Baader
Andreas Bernd Baader was one of the first leaders of the German left-wing militant organization Red Army Faction, also commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.- Life :...

 and Ulrike Meinhof
Ulrike Meinhof
Ulrike Marie Meinhof was a German left-wing militant. She co-founded the Red Army Faction in 1970 after having previously worked as a journalist for the monthly left-wing magazine Konkret. She was arrested in 1972, and eventually charged with numerous murders and the formation of a criminal...

, who were founders of the German Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

. The hostage-takers threw the body of Weinberg out the front door of the residence to demonstrate their resolve. Israel's response was immediate and absolute: there would be no negotiation. It has been claimed that the German authorities, under the leadership of Chancellor Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm , was a German politician, Mayor of West Berlin 1957–1966, Chancellor of West Germany 1969–1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1964–1987....

 and Minister for the Interior Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Hans-Dietrich Genscher is a German politician of the liberal Free Democratic Party . He served as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany from 1974 to 1982 and, after a two-week pause, from 1982 to 1992, making him Germany's longest serving Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor...

, rejected Israel's offer to send an Israeli special forces
Israeli Security Forces
Security forces in Israel include a variety of organizations, including law enforcement, military, paramilitary, governmental, and intelligence agencies.-Military:...

 unit to Germany. The Bavarian interior minister Bruno Merk, who headed the crisis centre jointly with Genscher and Munich's police chief Manfred Schreiber, denies that such an Israeli offer ever existed. One consequence was that the German police who took part in the attempted rescue operation, with no special training in hostage crisis
Hostage crisis
A hostage crisis develops when one or more terrorists or criminals hold people against their will and try to hold off the authorities by force, threatening to kill the hostages if provoked or attacked....

 operations, were deprived of specialized technical assistance.

According to journalist John K. Cooley
John K. Cooley
John Kent Cooley was an American journalist and author who specialized in terrorism and the Middle East. Based in Athens, he worked as a radio and off-air television correspondent for ABC News and was a long-time contributing editor to the Christian Science Monitor.Cooley was one of only a handful...

, the hostage situation presented an extremely difficult political situation for the Germans because the hostages were Jewish. Cooley reported that the Germans offered the Palestinians an unlimited amount of money for the release of the athletes, as well as the substitution of high-ranking Germans. However, the kidnappers refused both offers.

Munich police chief Manfred Schreiber and Bruno Merk, interior minister for the Free State of Bavaria, negotiated directly with the kidnappers, repeating the offer of an unlimited amount of money. According to Cooley, the reply was that "money means nothing to us; our lives mean nothing to us." Magdi Gohary and Mohammad Khadif, both Egyptian advisers to the Arab League, and A.D. Touny, an Egyptian member of the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

, also helped try to win concessions from the kidnappers, but to no avail. However, the negotiators apparently were able to convince the kidnappers that their demands were being considered, as Issa granted a total of five extensions to their deadlines. Elsewhere in the village, athletes carried on as normal, seemingly oblivious of the events unfolding nearby. The Games continued until mounting pressure on the IOC forced a suspension of activities some 12 hours after the first athlete had been murdered. American marathon runner Frank Shorter
Frank Shorter
Frank Charles Shorter is a former American long-distance runner who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics. His victory is credited with igniting the running boom in the United States of the 1970s....

, observing the unfolding events from the balcony of his nearby lodging, was quoted as saying, "Imagine those poor guys over there. Every five minutes a psycho with a machine gun says, 'Let's kill 'em now,' and someone else says, 'No, let's wait a while.' How long could you stand that?"


A small squad of German police was dispatched to the Olympic village. Dressed in Olympic sweatsuits and carrying sub-machine guns, these were members of the German border-police, poorly trained, and without specific operational plans in place for the rescue. The police took up positions awaiting orders that never came. In the meantime, camera crews filmed the actions of the police from German apartments, and broadcast the images live on television. The kidnappers were therefore able to watch the police as they prepared to attack. Footage shows the kidnappers leaning over to look at the police who were in hiding on the roof. In the end, after Issa threatened to kill two of the hostages, the police left the premises.

At one point during the crisis, the negotiators demanded direct contact with the hostages to satisfy themselves the Israelis were still alive. Fencing coach Andre Spitzer
Andre Spitzer
Andre Spitzer , was a fencing master and coach of Israel's 1972 Summer Olympics team. He was one of 11 athletes and coaches taken hostage and subsequently killed by Palestinians in the Munich massacre.-Early life:...

, who spoke fluent German, and shooting coach Kehat Shorr
Kehat Shorr
Kehat Shorr was the shooting coach for the 1972 Israeli Olympic team. He was one of the 11 members of Israel's Olympic team killed in the Munich massacre.-Biography:...

, the senior member of the Israeli delegation, had a brief conversation with German officials while standing at the second-floor window of the besieged building, with two kidnappers holding guns on them. When Spitzer attempted to answer a question, the coach was clubbed with the butt of an AK-47
AK-47
The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

 in full view of international television cameras and pulled away from the window. A few minutes later, Genscher and Walter Tröger, the mayor of the Olympic Village, were briefly allowed into the apartments and spoke with the hostages. Tröger spoke of being very moved by the dignity with which the Israelis held themselves, and that they seemed resigned to their fate. He also noticed that several of the hostages, especially Gutfreund, showed signs of having suffered physical abuse
Physical abuse
Physical abuse is abuse involving contact intended to cause feelings of intimidation, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm.-Forms of physical abuse:*Striking*Punching*Belting*Pushing, pulling*Slapping*Whipping*Striking with an object...

 at the hands of the kidnappers, and that David Berger had been shot in his left shoulder. While being debriefed by the crisis team, Genscher and Tröger told them that they had seen "four or five" terrorists inside the apartment. Crucially, these numbers were accepted as definitive.

Relocation to Fürstenfeldbruck


While Genscher and Tröger were talking with the hostages, shooting coach Kehat Shorr
Kehat Shorr
Kehat Shorr was the shooting coach for the 1972 Israeli Olympic team. He was one of the 11 members of Israel's Olympic team killed in the Munich massacre.-Biography:...

, speaking for his captive teammates, had told the Germans that the Israelis would not object to being flown to an Arab country, provided that strict guarantees for their safety were made by the Germans and whichever nation they landed in. At 6 p.m. Munich time, the terrorists issued a new dictate, demanding transportation to Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

. The authorities feigned agreement (although Egyptian Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Aziz Sedki
Aziz Sedki
Aziz Sedki was an Egyptian politician and engineer. Sedki served as the Prime Minister of Egypt from January 17, 1972 until March 23, 1976. He was nicknamed the "father of Egyptian industry."-Early life:...

 had already told the German authorities that the Egyptians did not wish to become involved in the hostage crisis), and at 10:10 p.m. a bus carried the terrorists and their hostages from 31 Connollystraße to two Bell UH-1 military helicopters, which were to transport them to nearby Fürstenfeldbruck
Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base
Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base is a German Air Force airfield located near the town of Fürstenfeldbruck in Bavaria, near Munich, Germany....

, a NATO airbase. Initially, the terrorists had wanted to go to Riem
Munich-Riem Airport
Munich-Riem Airport was the main, international airport of Munich until it was closed down on 16 May 1992, the day before the new airport near Freising commenced operation. It was located near the old village of Riem in the Munich borough of Trudering-Riem.-History:Construction on the airport...

, the international airport near Munich at that time, but the negotiators convinced them that Fürstenfeldbruck would be more practical. The authorities, who preceded the Black Septemberists and hostages in a third helicopter, had an ulterior motive: they planned an armed assault on the terrorists at the airport.

The five German snipers who were chosen to ambush the kidnappers had been selected because they shot competitively on weekends. During a subsequent German investigation, an officer identified as “Sniper No. 2” stated: “I am of the opinion that I am not a sharpshooter.” The five snipers were deployed around the airport—three on the roof of the control tower, one hidden behind a service truck and one behind a small signal tower at ground level—but none of them had any special training. The members of the crisis team—Schreiber, Genscher, Merk and Schreiber's deputy Georg Wolf—supervised and observed the attempted rescue from the airport control tower. Cooley, Reeve and Groussard all place Mossad
Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

 chief Zvi Zamir
Zvi Zamir
Zvi Zamir born Zvicka Zarzevsky was a Major General in the Israel Defense Forces and the Director of the Mossad from 1968 to 1974. Born in Poland, Zamir immigrated with his family to the then British Mandate of Palestine when only seven months old...

 and Victor Cohen, one of Zamir's senior assistants, at the scene as well, but as observers only. Zamir has stated repeatedly in interviews over the years that he was never consulted by the Germans at any time during the rescue attempt and that he thought that his presence actually made the Germans uncomfortable.

A Boeing 727
Boeing 727
The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner, manufactured by Boeing. The Boeing 727 first flew in 1963, and for over a decade more were built per year than any other jet airliner. When production ended in 1984 a total of 1,832 aircraft had been produced...

 jet was positioned on the tarmac with five or six armed German police inside dressed as flight crew. It was agreed that Issa and Tony would inspect the plane. The plan was that the Germans would overpower the two terrorists as they boarded, giving the snipers a chance to kill the remaining terrorists at the helicopters. These were believed to number no more than two or three, according to what Genscher and Tröger had seen inside 31 Connollystraße. However, during the transfer from the bus to the helicopters, the crisis team discovered that there were actually eight terrorists.

At the last minute, as the helicopters were arriving at Fürstenfeldbruck, the German police aboard the airplane voted to abandon their mission, without consulting the central command. This left only the five sharpshooters to try to overpower a larger and more heavily armed group of terrorists. At that point, General Ulrich Wegener
Ulrich Wegener
Ulrich K. "Ricky" Wegener is a retired German police officer and founding member of the counter-terrorist force GSG 9. He was born in Jüterbog, Brandenburg...

, Genscher's senior aide and later the founder of the elite German counter-terrorist unit GSG 9
GSG 9
The GSG 9 der Bundespolizei , is the elite counter-terrorism and special operations unit of the German Federal Police.-History and name:...

, said "I'm sure this will blow the whole affair!"

Gunfire commences


The helicopters landed just after 10:30 p.m. and the four pilots and six of the kidnappers emerged. While four of the Black September members held the pilots at gunpoint (breaking an earlier promise that they would not take any Germans hostage), Issa and Tony walked over to inspect the jet, only to find it empty. Realizing they had been lured into a trap, the two terrorists sprinted back toward the helicopters. As they ran past the control tower, Sniper 3 took one last opportunity to eliminate Issa, which would have left the terrorists leaderless. However, due to the poor lighting, he struggled to see his target and missed, hitting Tony in the thigh instead. Meanwhile, the German authorities gave the order for snipers positioned nearby to open fire, which occurred around 11:00 p.m.

In the ensuing chaos, two of the kidnappers holding the helicopter pilots (Ahmed Chic Thaa and Afif Ahmed Hamid) were killed, and the remaining terrorists (one or two of whom may have already been wounded) scrambled to safety, returning fire from behind and beneath the helicopters, out of the snipers' line of sight, shooting out many of the airport lights. A German policeman in the control tower, Anton Fliegerbauer, was killed by the gunfire. The helicopter pilots fled; the hostages, tied up inside the craft, could not. During the gun battle, the hostages secretly worked on loosening their bonds and teeth marks were found on some of the ropes after the gunfire had ended.

Frustrated at the Germans' seeming indifference to the gravity of the situation, Zamir and Cohen went up on the roof of the control tower with a megaphone and tried to talk the kidnappers into surrendering. The terrorists replied by firing upon the two Israelis, making it clear that the time for negotiation had long since passed.

Death of hostages


The Germans had not arranged for armored personnel carriers ahead of time and only at this point were they called in to break the deadlock. Since the roads to the airport had not been cleared, the carriers became stuck in traffic and finally arrived around midnight. With their appearance, the terrorists felt the shift in the status quo, and possibly panicked at the thought of the failure of their operation. At four minutes past midnight of 6 September, one of the terrorists (likely Issa) turned on the hostages in the eastern helicopter and fired at them with a Kalashnikov assault rifle from point-blank range. Springer, Halfin and Friedman were killed instantly; Berger, shot twice in the leg, is believed to have survived the initial onslaught (as his autopsy later found he had succumbed to smoke inhalation). The terrorist then pulled the pin on a hand grenade and tossed it into the cockpit; the ensuing explosion destroyed the helicopter and incinerated the bound Israelis inside.

Issa then dashed across the tarmac and began firing at the police, who killed the terrorist leader with return fire. Another terrorist, Khalid Jawad, attempted to escape and was gunned down by one of the snipers. What happened to the remaining hostages is still a matter of dispute. A German police investigation indicated that one of their snipers and a few of the hostages may have been shot inadvertently by the police. However, a Time Magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 reconstruction of the long-suppressed Bavarian prosecutor's report indicates that a third kidnapper (Reeve identifies Adnan Al-Gashey) stood at the door of the western helicopter and raked the remaining five hostages with machine gun fire; Gutfreund, Shorr, Slavin, Spitzer and Shapira were shot an average of four times each. Of the four hostages in the eastern helicopter, only Ze'ev Friedman
Ze'ev Friedman
Ze'ev Friedman , was an Israeli flyweight weightlifter. A member of the Israeli Olympic team, he was murdered by terrorists in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. -Biography:...

's body was relatively intact; he had been blown clear of the helicopter by the explosion. In some cases, the exact cause of death for the hostages in the eastern helicopter was difficult to establish because the rest of the corpses were burned almost beyond recognition in the explosion and subsequent fire.

Aftermath of unsuccessful rescue


Three of the remaining terrorists lay on the ground, one of them feigning death, and were captured by police. Jamal Al-Gashey
Jamal Al-Gashey
Jamal Al-Gashey was a member of the Black September offshoot of the Palestine Liberation Organization and is believed to be the last surviving member of the group of eight terrorists who carried out the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. He is visible several...

 had been shot through his right wrist, and Mohammed Safady had sustained a flesh wound to his leg. Adnan Al-Gashey had escaped injury completely. Tony, the final terrorist, escaped the scene, but was tracked down with police dogs 40 minutes later in an airbase parking lot. Cornered and bombarded with tear gas, he was shot dead after a brief gunfight. By around 1:30 a.m., the battle was over.

Initial news reports, published all over the world, indicated that all the hostages were alive, and that all the terrorists had been killed. Only later did a representative for the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 (IOC) suggest that "initial reports were overly optimistic." Jim McKay
Jim McKay
James Kenneth McManus , better known by his professional name of Jim McKay, was an American television sports journalist....

, who was covering the Olympics that year for ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, had taken on the job of reporting the events as Roone Arledge
Roone Arledge
Roone Pickney Arledge, Jr. was an American sports broadcasting pioneer who was chairman of ABC News from 1977 until several years before his death, and a key part of the company's rise to competition with the two other main television networks, NBC and CBS, in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.-Early...

 fed them into his earpiece. At 3:24 a.m., McKay received the official confirmation:

The massacre prompted many European countries to establish permanent, professional, and immediately available counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 forces, or reorganize already existing units to such purpose. The massacre also prompted prominent arms designers and manufacturers to produce new types of weapons more suitable for counter-terrorists.

Criticisms of West German rescue attempt


Author Simon Reeve
Simon Reeve (UK television presenter)
Simon Reeve is a British author, adventurer and TV presenter. Based in London, he makes travel documentaries in little-known areas of the world and has written books on international terrorism, modern history and about his adventures...

, among others, writes that the shootout with the well-trained Black September members showed an egregious lack of preparation on the part of the German authorities. They were not prepared to deal with this sort of situation. This costly lesson led directly to the founding, less than two months later, of GSG 9
GSG 9
The GSG 9 der Bundespolizei , is the elite counter-terrorism and special operations unit of the German Federal Police.-History and name:...

.

The authors argue that German authorities made a number of mistakes. First, because of restrictions in the post-war West German constitution, the army
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

 could not participate in the attempted rescue, as the German armed forces are not allowed to operate inside Germany during peacetime. The responsibility was entirely in the hands of the Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 police and the Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

n authorities.

It was known a full half-hour before the terrorists and hostages had even arrived at Fürstenfeldbruck
Fürstenfeldbruck
Fürstenfeldbruck is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Fürstenfeldbruck. it has a population of 35,494. Since the 1930s, Fürstenfeldbruck has had an air force base....

 that the number of terrorists was larger than first believed. Despite this new information, Schreiber stubbornly decided to continue with the rescue operation as originally planned and the new information could not reach the snipers since they had no radios. It is a basic tenet of sniping operations that there are enough snipers (at least two for each known target, or in this case a minimum of ten) deployed to neutralize as many of the terrorists as possible with the first volley of shots. It was this most basic failure of experience and technical foresight that led to the subsequent disaster.

The 2006 National Geographic Channel's Seconds From Disaster
Seconds From Disaster
-By original broadcast date:National Geographic Channel has broadcast many episodes under multiple titles. The title currently or most recently listed on the NGC Calendar is shown first...

 profile on the massacre stated that the helicopters were supposed to land sideways and to the west of the control tower, a maneuver which would have allowed the snipers clear shots into them as the kidnappers threw open the helicopter doors. Instead, the helicopters were landed facing the control tower and at the centre of the airstrip. This not only gave the terrorists a place to hide after the gunfight began, but put Snipers 1 and 2 in the line of fire of the other three snipers on the control tower. The snipers were denied valuable shooting opportunities as a result of the positioning of the helicopters, as well as the fact that the fight effectively became a clearly untenable one of three snipers versus eight heavily armed terrorists.

According to the same program, the crisis committee delegated to make decisions on how to deal with the incident consisted of Bruno Merk (the Bavarian interior minister), Hans-Dietrich Genscher (the West German interior minister) and Manfred Schreiber (Munich's Chief of Police); in other words, two politicians and only one tactician. The program mentioned that a year before the Games, Schreiber had participated in another hostage crisis (a failed bank robbery) in which he ordered a marksman to shoot one of the perpetrators, who was only wounded. As a result, the robbers shot dead an innocent woman and Schreiber had been charged with involuntary manslaughter. An investigation ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing, but the program suggested that the prior incident affected his judgment in the subsequent Olympic hostage crisis. Had the committee been made up of more experienced people, the situation might well have been handled differently.

As mentioned earlier, the five German snipers at Fürstenfeldbruck
Fürstenfeldbruck
Fürstenfeldbruck is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Fürstenfeldbruck. it has a population of 35,494. Since the 1930s, Fürstenfeldbruck has had an air force base....

 did not have radio contact with one another (nor with the German authorities conducting the rescue operation) and therefore were unable to coordinate their fire. The only contact the snipers had with the operational leadership was with Georg Wolf, who was lying next to the three snipers on the control tower giving orders directly to them. The two snipers at ground level had been given vague instructions to shoot when the other snipers began shooting, and were basically left to fend for themselves.

In addition, the snipers did not have the proper equipment for this anti-terrorism operation. The Heckler & Koch G3
Heckler & Koch G3
The G3 is a 7.62mm battle rifle developed in the 1950s by the German armament manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH in collaboration with the Spanish state-owned design and development agency CETME ....

 battle rifle
Battle rifle
A battle rifle is a military service rifle that fires a full power rifle cartridge, such as 7.62x51mm NATO. While the designation of battle rifle is usually given to post-World War II select fire infantry rifles such as the H&K G3, the FN FAL or the M14, this term can also apply to older military...

s used were considered by several experts to be inadequate for the distance at which the snipers were trying to shoot the terrorists. The G3, the standard service rifle of the Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

 at that time, had a 20 inches (508 mm) barrel; at the distances the snipers were required to shoot, a 27 inches (685.8 mm) barrel would have ensured far greater accuracy. None of the rifles were equipped with telescopic or infrared sights. Additionally, none of the snipers were equipped with steel helmets or bullet-proof vests. No armored vehicles were at the scene at Fürstenfeldbruck, and were only called in after the gunfight was well underway.

There were also numerous tactical errors. As mentioned earlier, "Sniper 2," stationed behind the signal tower, wound up directly in the line of fire of his fellow snipers on the control tower, without any protective gear and without any other police being aware of his location. Because of this, "Sniper 2" didn't fire a single shot until late in the gunfight, when hostage-taker Khalid Jawad attempted to escape on foot and ran right at the exposed sniper. "Sniper 2" killed the fleeing terrorist but was in turn wounded heavily by a fellow police officer, who was unaware that he was shooting at one of his own men. One of the helicopter pilots, Ganner Ebel, was lying near "Sniper 2" and was also wounded by friendly fire. Both Ebel and the sniper recovered from their injuries.

None of the police officers posing as the fake crew on the Boeing 727 were prosecuted or reprimanded for abandoning their posts. Many of the police officers and border guards who were approached for interviews by the One Day in September
One Day in September
One Day in September is a 1999 documentary film directed by Kevin Macdonald examining the 5 September 1972 murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany...

 production team were threatened with the loss of their pension rights if they talked for the film. Some authors argue that this suggests an attempt at cover-up by the German authorities. Many of the errors made by the Germans during the rescue attempt were ultimately detailed by Heinz Hohensinn, who had participated in the operation, but had taken early retirement and had no pension to lose.

Effect on the Games


In the wake of the hostage-taking, competition was suspended for the first time in modern Olympic history. On 6 September, a memorial service attended by 80,000 spectators and 3,000 athletes was held in the Olympic Stadium. IOC President Avery Brundage
Avery Brundage
Avery Brundage was an American amateur athlete, sports official, art collector, and philanthropist. Brundage competed in the 1912 Olympics and was the US national all-around athlete in 1914, 1916 and 1918...

 made little reference to the murdered athletes during a speech praising the strength of the Olympic movement and equating the attack on the Israeli sportsmen with the recent arguments about encroaching professionalism and disallowing Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

's participation in the Games, which outraged many listeners. The victims' families were represented by Andre Spitzer's widow Ankie, Moshe Weinberg's mother, and a cousin of Weinberg's, Carmel Eliash. During the memorial service, Eliash collapsed and died of a heart attack.

Many of the 80,000 people who filled the Olympic Stadium for West Germany's football match with Hungary
Hungary national football team
The Hungary national football team represents Hungary in international football and is controlled by the Hungarian Football Federation....

 carried noisemakers and waved flags, but when several spectators unfurled a banner reading “17 dead, already forgotten?” security officers removed the sign and expelled those responsible from the grounds. During the memorial service, the Olympic Flag was flown at half-staff
Half-staff
Half-staff is the American term for to describe a flag flying a flag below the summit of the flagpole . The rest of the English-speaking world uses the term half-mast. Technically the flag should be flown one breadth lower to allow for the invisible flag of death...

, along with the flags of most of the other competing nations at the request of Willy Brandt. Ten Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 nations objected to their flags being lowered to honor murdered Israelis; their flags were restored to the tops of their flagpoles almost immediately.

Willi Daume, president of the Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 organizing committee, initially sought to cancel the remainder of the Games, but in the afternoon Brundage and others who wished to continue the Games prevailed, stating that they could not let the incident halt the Games. Brundage stated "The games must go on, and we must... and we must continue our efforts to keep them clean, pure and honest." The decision was endorsed by the Israeli government and Israeli Olympic team chef de mission Shmuel Lalkin.

On 6 September, after the memorial service, the remaining members of the Israeli team withdrew from the Games and left Munich. All Jewish sportsmen were placed under guard. Mark Spitz
Mark Spitz
Mark Andrew Spitz is a retired American swimmer. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, an achievement only surpassed by Michael Phelps who won eight golds at the 2008 Olympics....

, the American swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...

 star who had already completed his competitions, left Munich during the hostage crisis (it was feared that as a prominent Jew, Spitz might now be a kidnapping target). The Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian team left the Games on 7 September, stating they feared reprisals. The Philippine
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

n teams also left the Games, as did some members of the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and Norwegian teams. American marathon runner Kenny Moore
Kenny Moore
Kenneth Clark "Kenny" Moore is an American athlete and journalist. At the University of Oregon, Moore was one of Bill Bowerman's finest distance runners. After college, Moore ran in the Olympic marathon at both Mexico City and Munich, finishing fourth in 1972...

, who wrote about the incident for Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated is an American sports media company owned by media conglomerate Time Warner. Its self titled magazine has over 3.5 million subscribers and is read by 23 million adults each week, including over 18 million men. It was the first magazine with circulation over one million to win the...

, quoted Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 distance runner Jos Hermens
Jos Hermens
Josephus Maria Melchior Hermens is a former Dutch long-distance runner, also known for his latter career as a sports manager....

 as saying, “You give a party, and someone is killed at the party, you don't continue the party. I'm going home.” Many athletes, dazed by the tragedy, similarly felt that their desire to compete had been destroyed, although they stayed at the Games.

Four years later at the 1976 Summer Olympics
1976 Summer Olympics
The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1976. Montreal was awarded the rights to the 1976 Games on May 12, 1970, at the 69th IOC Session in Amsterdam, over the bids of Moscow and...

 in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, the public was curious to see if Israel would make any gesture to commemorate the massacre. When the Israeli team entered the stadium at the Opening Ceremonies, Jim McKay noted that their national flag was adorned with a black ribbon.

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. Alex Gilady, an Israeli IOC official, told the BBC: "We must consider what this could do to other members of the delegations that are hostile to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

."

There is, however, a memorial outside the Olympic stadium in Munich in the form of a stone tablet at the bridge linking the stadium to the former Olympic village. There is also a memorial tablet to the slain Israelis outside the front door of their former lodging at 31 Connollystraße. On 15 October 1999 (almost a year before the Sydney 2000 Games), a memorial plaque was unveiled in one of the large light towers (Tower 14) outside the Sydney Olympic Stadium.

Aftermath


On 5 September, Golda Meir
Golda Meir
Golda Meir ; May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was a teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of the State of Israel....

, then-Prime Minister of Israel, appealed to other countries to "save our citizens and condemn the unspeakable criminal acts committed." King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 of Jordan—the only leader of an Arab country to publicly denounce the Olympic attack—called it a "savage crime against civilization… perpetrated by sick minds."

The bodies of the five Palestinians—Afif, Nazzal, Chic Thaa, Hamid and Jawad—killed during the Fürstenfeldbruck gun battle were delivered to Libya, where they received heroes' funerals and were buried with full military honors. On 8 September, Israeli planes bombed ten PLO bases in Syria and Lebanon, killing 200 PLO fighters in response to the massacre.

On 29 October, hijackers of a West German Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

 passenger jet demanded the release of the three surviving terrorists, who had been arrested after the Fürstenfeldbruck
Fürstenfeldbruck
Fürstenfeldbruck is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Fürstenfeldbruck. it has a population of 35,494. Since the 1930s, Fürstenfeldbruck has had an air force base....

 gunfight and were being held for trial. Safady and the Al-Gasheys were immediately released by West Germany, receiving a tumultuous welcome when they touched down in Libya and (as seen in One Day in September) giving their own firsthand account of their operation at a press conference broadcast worldwide.

Operations Wrath of God and Spring of Youth


Golda Meir
Golda Meir
Golda Meir ; May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was a teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of the State of Israel....

 and the Israeli Defense Committee secretly authorized the Mossad
Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

 to track down and kill those allegedly responsible for the Munich massacre, a claim which was disputed by Zvi Zamir
Zvi Zamir
Zvi Zamir born Zvicka Zarzevsky was a Major General in the Israel Defense Forces and the Director of the Mossad from 1968 to 1974. Born in Poland, Zamir immigrated with his family to the then British Mandate of Palestine when only seven months old...

, who described the mission as “putting an end to the type of terror that was perpetrated” (in Europe). To this end the Mossad set up a number of special teams to locate and kill these terrorists, aided by the agency's stations in Europe.

In a February 2006 interview, former Mossad chief Zvi Zamir is answering a direct question:
The Israeli mission later became known as Operation Wrath of God or Mivtza Za'am Ha'El. Reeve quotes General Aharon Yariv
Aharon Yariv
Aharon "Aharale" Rabinovich Yariv was an Israeli politician and soldier.Born in Moscow in the Soviet Union. When he was 15 he immigrated to Israel and studied at the Pardes Hanna Agricultural High School. Yariv began his military service in the Haganah and later the British Army. He then joined...

—who, he writes, was the general overseer of the operation—as stating that after Munich the Israeli government felt it had no alternative but to exact justice.
Benny Morris writes that a target list was created using information from “turned” PLO personnel and friendly European intelligence services. Once completed, a wave of assassinations of suspected Black September operatives began across Europe.

On 9 April 1973, Israel launched Operation Spring of Youth
Operation Spring of Youth
The 1973 Israeli raid on Lebanon took place on the night of April 9 and early morning of April 10, 1973 when Israel Defense Forces special forces units attacked several Palestine Liberation Organization targets in Beirut and Sidon, Lebanon...

, a joint Mossad-IDF
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 operation in Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

. The targets were Mohammad Yusuf al-Najjar (Abu Yusuf), head of Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

's intelligence arm, which ran Black September, according to Morris; Kamal Adwan, who headed the PLO's so-called Western Sector, which controlled PLO action inside Israel; and Kamal Nassir, the PLO spokesman. A group of Sayeret
Sayeret
Sayeret , literally means "reconnaissance unit" in the Israel Defense Forces . In practice, these units specialize in commando and other special forces roles, in addition to reconnaissance...

 commandos were taken in nine missile boats and a small fleet of patrol boats to a deserted Lebanese beach, before driving in two cars to downtown Beirut, where they killed Najjar, Adwan and Nassir. Two further detachments of commandos blew up the PFLP's headquarters in Beirut and a Fatah explosives plant. The leader of the commando team that conducted the operations was Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

.

On 21 July 1973, in the so-called Lillehammer affair
Lillehammer affair
The Lillehammer affair was the killing by Mossad agents of a Moroccan waiter, Ahmed Bouchiki, in Lillehammer, Norway on July 21, 1973. The Israeli agents had mistaken their victim for Ali Hassan Salameh, the chief of operations for Black September...

, a team of Mossad agents murdered Ahmed Bouchiki, a Moroccan
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 man unrelated to the Munich attack, in Lillehammer
Lillehammer
is a town and municipality in Oppland county, Norway, globally known for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics. It is part of the traditional region of Gudbrandsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Lillehammer. As of May 2011, the population of the town of Lillehammer was...

, Norway, after an informant mistakenly said Bouchiki was Ali Hassan Salameh
Ali Hassan Salameh
Ali Hassan Salameh was the chief of operations—code name Abu Hassan—for Black September, the organization responsible for the 1972 Munich massacre and other attacks. He was also the founder of Force 17...

, the head of Force 17
Force 17
Force 17 was a commando and special operations terror unit of the Palestinian Fatah movement and later of the Office of the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority. It was formed in the early 1970s by Ali Hassan Salameh ....

 and a Black September operative. Five Mossad agents, including two women, were captured by the Norwegian authorities, while others managed to slip away. The five were convicted of the killing and imprisoned, but were released and returned to Israel in 1975. The Mossad later found Ali Hassan Salameh
Ali Hassan Salameh
Ali Hassan Salameh was the chief of operations—code name Abu Hassan—for Black September, the organization responsible for the 1972 Munich massacre and other attacks. He was also the founder of Force 17...

 in Beirut and killed him on 22 January 1979 with a remote-controlled car bomb. According to CIA officer Duane "Dewey" Claridge, chief of operations of the CIA Near East Division from 1975 to 1978, in mid-1976, Salameh offered Americans assistance and protection with Arafat's blessings during the American embassy pull-out from Beirut during the down-spiraling chaos of the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

. There was a general feeling that Americans could be trusted. However, the scene of cooperation came to an end abruptly after the assassination of Salameh. Americans were generally blamed as Israel's principal benefactors.

Simon Reeve
Simon Reeve (UK television presenter)
Simon Reeve is a British author, adventurer and TV presenter. Based in London, he makes travel documentaries in little-known areas of the world and has written books on international terrorism, modern history and about his adventures...

 writes that the Israeli operations continued for more than 20 years. He details the assassination in Paris in 1992 of Atef Bseiso
Atef Bseiso
Atef Bseiso was the PLO head of intelligence. He was killed in Paris in 1992. Yasser Arafat blamed the Israeli secret service Mossad for the killing. This involvement, to date, has not been proven...

, the PLO's head of intelligence, and says that an Israeli general confirmed there was a link back to Munich. Reeve also writes that while Israeli officials have stated Operation Wrath of God was intended to exact vengeance for the families of the athletes killed in Munich, “few relatives wanted such a violent reckoning with the Palestinians”. Reeve states the families were instead desperate to know the truth of the events surrounding the Munich massacre. Reeve outlines what he sees as a lengthy cover-up by German authorities to hide the truth. After 20 years of fighting the German government, the families, led by Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano (widows of fencing coach Andre
Andre Spitzer
Andre Spitzer , was a fencing master and coach of Israel's 1972 Summer Olympics team. He was one of 11 athletes and coaches taken hostage and subsequently killed by Palestinians in the Munich massacre.-Early life:...

 and weightlifter Yossef
Yossef Romano
Yossef Romano was a Libyan-born, Jewish Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He was the second of eleven Israeli team members murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists during that Olympics...

, respectively), acquired official documentation proving the depth of the cover-up. After a lengthy court fight, in 2004 the families of the Munich victims reached a financial settlement with the German government.

Surviving terrorists


Two of the three surviving terrorists, Mohammed Safady and Adnan Al-Gashey, were apparently killed by the Mossad as part of Operation Wrath of God. Al-Gashey was allegedly located after making contact with a cousin in a Gulf State
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, and Safady was found by remaining in touch with family in Lebanon. This account was challenged in a book by Aaron Klein, who claims that Al-Gashey died of heart failure in the 1970s, and that Safady was either killed by Christian Phalangists
Kataeb Party
The Lebanese Phalanges , better known in English as the Phalange , is a traditional right-wing Lebanese political party. Although it is officially secular, it is mainly supported by Maronite Christians. The party played a major role in the Lebanese War...

 in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 in the early 1980s, or, according to a PLO operative friendly with Safady, is still alive (as of 2010).

Jamal Al-Gashey


The prevailing belief is that Jamal Al-Gashey
Jamal Al-Gashey
Jamal Al-Gashey was a member of the Black September offshoot of the Palestine Liberation Organization and is believed to be the last surviving member of the group of eight terrorists who carried out the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. He is visible several...

 is the sole remaining terrorist alive, as of October 2011, hiding in Northern Africa or in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, claiming to still fear retribution from Israeli authorities. He is the only one of the surviving terrorists to consent to interviews since 1972, having granted an interview in 1992 to a Palestinian newspaper, and having briefly emerged from hiding in 1999 to participate in an interview for the film One Day in September
One Day in September
One Day in September is a 1999 documentary film directed by Kevin Macdonald examining the 5 September 1972 murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany...

, during which he was disguised and his face shown only in blurry shadow.

Abu Daoud


Of those believed to have planned the Munich massacre, only Abu Daoud
Abu Daoud
Mohammad Daoud Oudeh , commonly known by his nom de guerre Abu Daoud or Abu Dawud was a Palestinian militant known as the planner, architect and mastermind of the Munich massacre...

, the man who claims that the attack was his idea, is known to have died of natural causes. In January 1977, Daoud was intercepted by French police in Paris while traveling from Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 under an assumed name. Under protest from the PLO, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, who claimed that because Daoud was traveling to a PLO comrade's funeral he should receive diplomatic immunity
Diplomatic immunity
Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity and a policy held between governments that ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country's laws...

, the French government refused a West German extradition request on grounds that forms had not been filled in properly, and put him on a plane to Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 before Germany could submit another request. On 27 July 1981, he was shot 13 times from a distance of around two meters in a Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 Victoria (now Sofitel) hotel coffee shop, but survived the attack, chasing his would-be assassin down to the coffee shop's front entrance before collapsing.

Abu Daoud was allowed safe passage through Israel in 1996 so he could attend a PLO meeting convened in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 for the purpose of rescinding an article in its charter that called for Israel's eradication. In his autobiography, From Jerusalem to Munich, first published in France in 1999, and later in a written interview with Sports Illustrated, Abu Daoud wrote that funds for Munich were provided by Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

, Chairman of the PLO since 11 November 2004 and President of the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 since 15 January 2005.

Though he claims he didn't know what the money was being spent for, longtime Fatah official Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

, aka Abu Mazen, was responsible for the financing of the Munich attack.


Abu Daoud, who lived with his wife on a pension
Pension
In general, a pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular installments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.The terms retirement...

 provided by the Palestinian Authority, has said that “the [Munich] operation had the endorsement of Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

,” although Arafat was not involved in conceiving or implementing the attack. In his autobiography, Daoud writes that Arafat saw the team off on the mission with the words “Allah protect you.” Arafat rejected this claim.

Ankie Spitzer, widow of fencing coach Andre
Andre Spitzer
Andre Spitzer , was a fencing master and coach of Israel's 1972 Summer Olympics team. He was one of 11 athletes and coaches taken hostage and subsequently killed by Palestinians in the Munich massacre.-Early life:...

, declined several offers to meet with Abu Daoud, saying that the only place she wants to meet him is in a courtroom. According to Spitzer, “He [Abu Daoud] didn't pay the price for what he did.” In 2006 during the release of Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

's film, Munich, Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. It is one of Europe's largest publications of its kind, with a weekly circulation of more than one million.-Overview:...

 interviewed Daoud regarding the Munich massacre. He was quoted as saying: "I regret nothing. You can only dream that I would apologize."

He died on 3 July 2010 in Syria of kidney failure at the age of 73.

Shot during the initial break-in

  • Moshe Weinberg
    Moshe Weinberg
    Moshe Weinberg was the coach of the Israeli international wrestling team as well as being the coach of Hapoel Tel Aviv. He was the Israeli youth champion in wrestling and also the adult champion for a period of 8 years. He began his career in Hapoel Haifa, later becoming a certified coach at...

     (wrestling coach)
  • Yossef Romano
    Yossef Romano
    Yossef Romano was a Libyan-born, Jewish Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He was the second of eleven Israeli team members murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists during that Olympics...

     (weightlifter)

Shot and killed by grenade in helicopter D-HAQO

D-HAQO was the eastern helicopter.
According to the order in which they were seated, from left to right:
  • Ze'ev Friedman
    Ze'ev Friedman
    Ze'ev Friedman , was an Israeli flyweight weightlifter. A member of the Israeli Olympic team, he was murdered by terrorists in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. -Biography:...

     (weightlifter)
  • David Berger
    David Mark Berger
    David Mark Berger was an American-born weightlifter for the Israeli Olympic team in 1972. A lawyer by education, Berger was one of 11 members of Israel’s Olympic team who were taken hostage and subsequently murdered by Arab terrorists at the Munich Olympic Games.Berger was born in Cleveland, Ohio...

     (weightlifter)
  • Yakov Springer
    Yakov Springer
    Yakov Springer , was a wrestler and a weightlifting coach and judge, but is best known as one of the victims of the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics....

     (weightlifting judge)
  • Eliezer Halfin
    Eliezer Halfin
    Eliezer Halfin was a wrestler for the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. Along with 10 other athletes and coaches he was taken hostage by Palestinian Black September terrorists...

     (wrestler)

Shot in helicopter D-HAQU

D-HAQU was the western helicopter.
According to the order in which they were seated, from left to right:
  • Yossef Gutfreund
    Yossef Gutfreund
    Yossef Gutfreund was an Israeli wrestling judge for his country's 1972 Olympic team. He was murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists along with 10 other members of the Israeli team.-Biography:...

     (wrestling referee)
  • Kehat Shorr
    Kehat Shorr
    Kehat Shorr was the shooting coach for the 1972 Israeli Olympic team. He was one of the 11 members of Israel's Olympic team killed in the Munich massacre.-Biography:...

     (shooting coach)
  • Mark Slavin
    Mark Slavin
    Mark Slavin , was an Israeli Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler and victim of the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics....

     (wrestler)
  • Andre Spitzer
    Andre Spitzer
    Andre Spitzer , was a fencing master and coach of Israel's 1972 Summer Olympics team. He was one of 11 athletes and coaches taken hostage and subsequently killed by Palestinians in the Munich massacre.-Early life:...

     (fencing coach)
  • Amitzur Shapira
    Amitzur Shapira
    Amitzur Shapira was an Israeli short distance runners in the 1950s and a coach for the Israeli track and field team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. At the time of his death he was also one of the country's best track coaches.-Early life:...

     (track coach)

Palestinians shot dead by German police

  • Luttif Afif
    Luttif Afif
    Luttif Afif , possible true name Mohammad Massalha, alias Issa , was the commander of the group of Palestinian terrorists who invaded the Munich Olympic Village on September 5, 1972 and took as hostage nine members of Israel's Olympic team after killing two members who resisted...

     (known as Issa)
  • Yusuf Nazzal (Tony)
  • Afif Ahmed Hamid (Paolo)
  • Khalid Jawad (Salah)
  • Ahmed Chic Thaa (Abu Halla)

Media

  • Munich (film)
    Munich (film)
    Munich is a 2005 historical fiction film about the Israeli government's secret retaliation attacks after the massacre of Israeli athletes by the Black September terrorist group during the 1972 Summer Olympics. The film stars Eric Bana and was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg...

  • 21 Hours at Munich
  • One Day in September
    One Day in September
    One Day in September is a 1999 documentary film directed by Kevin Macdonald examining the 5 September 1972 murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany...

  • Sword of Gideon
    Sword of Gideon
    Sword of Gideon is a 1986 television film about Mossad agents hunting down terrorists associated with the 1972 Munich massacre. It was first shown on the CTV network in Canada as a four hour miniseries and later on the HBO television network. Directed by Michael Anderson and written by Chris...

  • National Geographic Seconds From Disaster episodes
  • 1972, by Sarah Morris
    Sarah Morris
    Sarah Morris , is a British-born American artist.-Education and exhibitions:Morris double majored in Semiotics and Political Philosophy at Brown University, graduating magna cum laude...


See also


  • Lod Airport massacre
    Lod Airport massacre
    The Lod Airport massacre was a terrorist attack that occurred on May 30, 1972, in which three members of the Japanese Red Army, on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine , killed 26 people and injured 80 others at Tel Aviv's Lod airport...

  • Israeli casualties of war
  • Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the Palestinian cause. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the liberation of Palestine and establishment of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and...



Further reading

  • Calahan, A. B. (1995 Thesis) "The Israeli Response to the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and the Development of Independent Covert Action Teams"
  • Cooley, John K. (London 1973), Green March Black September: The Story of the Palestinian Arabs ISBN 0-7146-2987-1
  • Dahlke, Matthias (Munich 2006), Der Anschlag auf Olympia '72. Die politischen Reaktionen auf den internationalen in Deutschland Martin Meidenbauer ISBN 3-89975-583-9 (German text)
  • Daoud, M. (Abu Daoud) (New York, 2002) ISBN 1-55970-429-2
  • Groussard, Serge (New York, 1975), The Blood of Israel: the massacre of the Israeli athletes, the Olympics, 1972 ISBN 0-688-02910-8
  • Jonas, George. (New York, 2005), Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Team.", Simon & Schuster
  • Khalaf, Salah (Abu Iyad) (Tel Aviv, 1983) Without a Homeland: Conversations with Eric Rouleau
  • Klein, A. J. (New York, 2005), Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response, Random House ISBN 1-920769-80-3
  • Morris, Benny. (New York, 1999 and 2001), Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist–Arab conflict, 1881–2000, Vintage Books edition ISBN 0-679-74475-4
  • Reeve, Simon. (New York, 2001), One Day in September: the full story of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre and Israeli revenge operation "Wrath of God" ISBN 1-55970-547-7
  • Tinnin, David B. & Dag Christensen. (1976), The Hit Team ISBN 0-440-13644-X
  • Yossi Melman (17 February 2006), Interview with Head of Mossad, "Preventive measures" By Yossi Melman "Haaretz.com"
  • Mohammad Daoud Odeh (August 2008), interview with NOX magazine, "Rings Of Fire" http://www.nox-mag.com/article/Rings+Of+Fire/

Movies


External links