Today in Munich, a permanent memorial was inaugurated for the 11 Israeli Olympics athletes who were murdered by the Black September Palestinian terror group at the Munich Olympic Games on September 5th, 1972.
— German Consulate BOS (@GermanyinBoston) September 4, 2017
According to i24 News, the centerpiece of the the memorial is the pictures and biographies of the 11 Israelis and one German police officer who were killed in the attack.
Attending the inauguration of the memorial were Israeli President Rivlin, accompanied by his wife Nechama, alongside German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
“Forty-five years after the massacre, international terrorism continues to threaten and strike innocent civilians. There are still those who see the massacre of the sportsmen as an heroic act,” Rivlin said before departing Israel.
“There can be no apologizing for terror. Terror must be condemned unequivocally, everywhere. In Barcelona, in London, in Paris, in Berlin, in Jerusalem, everywhere. We, the international community, must stand untied in the struggle against terror, determined to fight and defeat it.”
Ankie Spitzer, the wife of murdered Israeli Olympic fencing coach Andre Spitzer, worked since 1972 to have her husband and the other victims of the attack memorialized, including by lobbying the German government, in Olympic ceremonies and in a more permanent way.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had controversially rejected the idea of holding a minute of silence at the Games up until last year at the Rio Olympic Games. During the London 2012 Summer Olympics, for example, a memorial was held in Guildhall, separate from the games.
Jacques Rogge, the IOC President at the time, rejected the idea of holding a minute of silence for the Munich Massacre victims. He tried to silence the idea, stating that, “The IOC has officially paid tribute to the memory of the athletes on several occasions,” suggesting this was sufficient. However, the death of athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili was recognized as were the 9/11 terrorist attacks during the Olympic games.
Despite some of the ridiculous excuses the IOC has given in the past for refusing to memorialize Israeli victims at official Olympic ceremonies, to finally have a permanent memorial in Munich – 45 years later – surely holds incredible significance to the families of the victims.
Contributed by Lia Lands, Campus Communications for CAMERA.