Forty-five years. It’s been forty-five years since eight buckets of chum scaled the 6 ½ foot fence with the unwitting help of some drunk Canadian athletes in to the Olympic village in Munich. When it was all said and done, I am not so sure that it had to end the way it did, with eleven of the Israeli Olympic team dead. But I do think there are some lessons worth revisiting.
I think of a tragedy as something that couldn’t have been prevented. I’m not sure this is that.
There is a documentary called One Day In September. While somethings have become known since the documentary was originally made, there are still some things in it that I’ve read elsewhere for confirmation, and somethings just are, such as the interview with the surviving bucket of chum.
Let’s exam some of those things. The entire village had no armed guards. Not a one. They wanted to show the world how liberal and progressive they were, no longer the Germany of 1936 when hitler used the Olympics to full propaganda effect. The powder blue clad “Olys” were prepared to deal with nothing more dangerous than parking tickets and drunks.
Then we can take a look at info that has come out more recently than the 1999 documentary.
For example a piece in 2012 in Der Spiegel:
The German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel wrote in a cover story in 2012 that the West German authorities had a tip-off from a Palestinian informant in Beirut three weeks before the massacre. The informant told West Germany that Palestinians were planning an “incident” at the Olympic Games, and the Foreign Ministry in Bonn viewed the tip-off seriously enough to pass it on to the secret service in Munich and urge that “all possible security measures” be taken.
However, according to Der Spiegel, the authorities failed to act on the tip, and have never acknowledged it in the following 40 years. The magazine further adds that this is only part of a 40-year cover-up by the German authorities of the mishandling its response to the massacre.
There there’s the bit about the pieceful Falistinians have been shown around the village prior to the games by the helpful East German security, so they knew the layout. Once inside the village, the chum used “stolen” keys to enter the apartments. HELLO? “Stolen” keys? Stolen from whom? I have no idea, but I do wonder if they were stolen or supplied.
Shmuel Lalkin, Israeli delegation head had told Olympic officials he did not like the location for his team, in a remote part of the village near a gate. The Olympic officials promised to provide extra security. That promise was not kept. He also asked to keep a gun with him, that was denied as well.
The Olympic committee asked West German forensic psychologist Georg Sieber to create 26 terrorism scenarios to aid the organizers in planning security.
One scenario accurately predicted what happened, but since Olympic organizers refused to implement security for any of them, it didn’t matter.
Lesson, the Olympic Committee and the German government were far more concerned with “looks” than substance. They wanted everything to appear to be “carefree games”. Appearances may matter, but not as much as substance.
The pieceful Falestinians have always claimed they did it to bring attention to their “plight”, and to win the release of 234 additional wastes of oxygen, buckets of chum. Bull Feathers. Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano fought the German government for years for more information. Ankie is the widow of fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, Illana is the widow of Yossef Romano. In a 2015 Daily Mail article a bit of the depravity of the chum was revealed. Yossef Romano who was killed early on when he attempted to overpower the chum was castrated and tortured. While they do not know if he was mutilated before or after he died, his widow believes it was after. In addition to this, we know many of the athletes were beaten, some so severely they had broken bones. And they claim they just came here to free their friend. No, they came to hurt and kill.
One German official tried to reason with them, he tried to convince them to take him as a hostage and let the Israeli athletes go. They had no interest.
One of the interviews on the documentary was a pieceful Falestinian who talked of the “poor refugee village” he grew up in, and how he never thought he’d live anywhere but the refugee village. But how learning to fight and kill Israelis when he was young gave his life meaning. So, one German official offered unlimited sum of money to free the athletes. That was turned down as well.
Hmmm, think about how that money could have gone to help better the lives in that “poor refugee village” that the unrepentant Falestinian droned on about. So actually, it would seem the “plight” of the poor Falestinians was important enough to kidnap Israelis at the Olympics, but not important enough to actually do anything to help them.
Lesson in this, nothing has changed. The U.S. and the U.N. fork over money to the Falestinian Authority. The Falestinian Authority does not use this money to make the lives of their people better, they use it to pay Falestinians to kill Israelis and then name streets after them and build statues of them. The Taylor Force Act passed the Senate with only four Demoncrats voting against it, Cory Booker (NJ), Chris Murphy (CT), Tom Udall (NM) and Jeff Merkley (OR). Does Hamass use the money they collect from Gazans to pay the electric bill? Nope, they build terror tunnels. Now before you feel all sympathetic for the poor Gazans, since a few puppy potty pad papers have seen fit to run some stories featuring sad eyed children and women bemoaning their lot in Gaza, you might want to look at a few of this series of articles. Not satire actually. And this is by no means an exhaustive list. Hamass has been elected by these people, more than once.
Next lesson, this is Israel’s “Peace Partner”? No, these are people that want to exterminate Israel and the Jews. Something Liberals might want to remember, Jews. Israeli or not. During the 1972 Olympic hostage situation, Mark Spitz had completed his competitions, and since Mark is Jewish, he was placed under heavy guard and shipped back to the US. There already is a two-state solution, it’s called Gaza and Israel. How’s that working out? The hostage operation was financed by Abu Mazen, head of the Falestinian Authority. Peace partner? The one President Trump is meeting with? The one he sends his son-in-law to talk with? How? I do not understand. Gentlemen, wash the blood of your hands if you shake hands with him. Lesson? He has not changed. He’s a murderer financing murder.
Prime Minister Golda Meir wanted to send a team, the German government refused. What angers me about this is the Germans had not a flipping clue what they were doing. Seriously. Their “snipers” were chosen because they had fired a gun, and given rifles inadequate for the job, they had no training. It has been denied that Golda wanted to send a team. In the documentary a smug German official laughs dismissively that of course the request to send a team was turned down. Of course.
During the attempted German “rescue” when the regular, untrained German Police went up on top of the hostage building there was a film crew across on a East German building. Everything the German police were doing was being shown live on TV. The code word “sunshine” never came. There was a TV in every athlete’s room, the Falestinians were watching the whole thing. Lesson? The media cared not one whit about the lives of the endangered Israelis. They cared only for their ratings. In fact in the documentary one person admits some of the stations had a very cynical attitude of “wow, look at the ratings”. Wow, just. The media has been an enemy of decency for a long time. If it were now they would portray the Falestinians as having a pieceful “sit-in”, not a hostage taking situation.
A bit more about the pathetic performance of the German police. There was a decoy Boeing 747 at Furstenfeldenbruch airport. The fake flight crew were German police, who decided seconds before the two helicopters landed with the hostages that their job was unsafe, they didn’t want to do it and left the plane. Telling no one. Of course since the “snipers” weren’t equipped with radios anyway, or helmets, or bullet proof vests along with their inadequate rifles and lack of an accurate count of terrorists. I suppose I really needn’t mention lack of a workable plan. Furstenfeldenbruch airport is where the remaining Israelis died, some by hand grenade, in the other helicopter they were shot. The German police forgot to ordered armored vehicles and by the time they did the vehicles couldn’t get through the roads because they were clogged with all the people in cars coming to watch. See, the police didn’t order the vehicles until the terrorists were at the airport and the shoot out was in progress. Were any of the German police who deserted their post in the 747 ever reprimanded for the desertion? No.
The three surviving terrorists were held prisoner by the Germans for a few days until a Lufthansa flight was “hijacked” with a grand total of twelve people aboard, no women or children. Germany immediately freed the murderers without consulting Israel. The agreement was between the Falestinians and Germany that they would free the killers in return for no more attacks on German soil. And how’s that working out? Appeasement did not work then, it does not work now. The German government lied for years to the families and said they had no further information, but when an anonymous source contacted Ankie’s lawyer after she had been on German television and then sent 80 pages of records, she used it to force the German government to release much of the data they had been denying ever existed, including the photographs.
And lastly, let’s look at the Olympic committee. In addition to inadequate security, not listening to warnings about an attack, they also resumed games as the hostage crisis was on-going. The games were also held the day of the airport slaughter.
During the memorial service, the Olympic Flag was flown at half-staff, along with the flags of most of the other competing nations at the request of Willy Brandt. Ten Arab nations objected to their flags being lowered to honor murdered Israelis; their flags were restored to the tops of their flagpoles almost immediately.
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.”
Must we? Really?
The IOC rejected an international campaign in support of a minute of silence at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics in honour of the Israeli victims on the 40th anniversary of the massacre. Jacques Rogge, the IOC President, said it would be “inappropriate,” although the opening ceremony included a memorium for the victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings.
In 2014 the International Olympic Committee agreed to contribute $250,000 towards a memorial to the murdered Israeli athletes. After 44 years, the IOC commemorated the victims of the Munich massacre for the first time in the Rio 2016 Olympic Village on 4 August 2016.
A memorial monument to the victims of the Munich Olympics massacre was opened to the public in September 2017, along a quiet path in Munich’s Olympic park. The memorial is carved into a grassy hill, and being inside evokes the feelings of being in both a sanctuary and a cavern.
In addition to the remembrance ceremony, the IOC inaugurated a new tradition in honor of the athletes; a place of mourning to be established at every future Olympics in the Olympic village. Ankie Spitzer told reporters that, “This is closure for us. This is incredibly important. We waited 44 years to have this remembrance.”
Ah yes, the Olympics they are a’changin’. The International Olympic Committee will now allow transgender men to compete as women without reassignment surgery.
But after all this, at the end of the documentary, the pieceful Falestinian says he is very proud of what he did. He would do it again. He is suppose to be the only one left of the 3 terrorists that survived that is still alive. He is somewhere in North Africa, with a wife and daughters. If he is not dead yet? May an Israeli bullet find him soon. Last lesson, some things never change. Do not delude yourself thinking they will.