We remember the Munich massacre: The slaughter of 11 Israeli athletes on German soil
On this day 47 years ago, on September 5, 1972, eleven members of Israel’s Olympic team were taken hostage and murdered by Muslim terrorists during the Olympics Games in Germany.
We remember these athletes whose lives and bright futures were cut short by hate and terror.
The Olympics celebrate the best of humanity, and in 1972 Germany welcomed the Games to exalt its athletes, tout its democracy and purge the stench of Hitler’s 1936 Games.
The Germans called it “the Games of peace and joy.” Security was lax so as to project the feeling of harmony.
This made it easy on September 5 for eight Muslim terrorists members of the so-called Palestinian terrorist group Black September to raid the Munich Olympic Village building housing Israeli Olympians.
Armed with grenades and assault rifles, the terrorists murdered wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg and weightlifter Yossef Romano during an initial struggle and took nine hostages: Yossef Gutfreund, a wrestling referee, sharpshooting coach Kehat Shorr, track and field coach Amitzur Shapira, fencing master Andre Spitzer, weightlifting judge Yakov Springer, wrestlers Eliezer Halfin and Mark Slavin, and weightlifters David Berger and Ze’ev Friedman.
Soon after the massacre began, a Black September spokesman called for the release of 234 Muslim terrorists prisoners and West German-held founders of the Red Army Faction, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof.
For the next 24 hours, there was a tense stand-off between the German police and the eight highly-trained terrorists. An attempt to storm the building was aborted when the terrorists, who were watching the police’s preparations live on television, threatened to kill hostages if the police followed through.
The hostage standoff presented the world with its first live window on terrorism, and 900 million people tuned in.
In the end, the Black September terrorists were given two helicopters to fly to the Munich airport. German snipers opened fire when the terrorists landed. The shootout killed the nine hostages and five of the terrorists. Three of the terrorists were captured.