German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier apologized Monday at a party marking the 50th anniversary of the attacks at the 1972 Munich Olympics against Israeli athletes and team members at an airport near Munich, where a rescue attempt failed.
Steinmeier said that Germany It must take its share of responsibility for failing to protect athletes and taking contracts to compensate victims’ families.
“We cannot correct what happened,” Steinmeier said in his speech. “I am ashamed. As Head of State of this country and on behalf of the Federal Republic GermanyI apologize for the insufficient protection of the athletes for the insufficient resolution of this matter.”
Munich Olympics (1972)
Members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage on September 5, 1972 in the Athletes’ Village by Palestinians from the Black September group.
Eleven Israelis, a German police officer and five Palestinian gunmen were killed after a clash in the Olympic Village and Fuerstenfeldbruck Airport when rescue efforts exploded in gunfire.
The Games continued despite the attacks, and for nearly half a century the International Olympic Committee ignored requests from the victims’ families for an official commemoration at the Olympics ceremony.
The IOC ended up with a moment of silence and a nod to last year’s Munich Olympic victims at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, the first time in nearly half a century.
While flags were raised over all government buildings in the half-mast Bavarian capital, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Steinmeier laid a wreath at the site.
The ceremony was attended by IOC President Thomas Bach and other officials.
The German government and Israeli families agreed on Friday to offer compensation totaling 28 million euros, with the federal government contributing 22.5 million euros), while 5 million euros (25.63 million Brazilian reais) will come from the state of Bavaria and 500,000 euros. (2.5 million R4) from Munich.
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