BERLIN – Germany joins a long list of leading politicians and advocacy groups calling for a moment of silence during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, in order to commemorate the 11 Israeli athletes who were massacred by Palestinian terrorists in the 1972 Munich Games.
Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle sent a letter to the president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, urging him to hold a moment of silence, during the opening ceremony of this summer's games in London, to mark 40 years since the Munich massacre.
The IOC last month scotched any possibility of a tribute to the athletes, claiming that politics and sports should not be mixed.
"Holding a moment of silence in memory of the fallen Israeli athletes during the London Olympics will count as a kind humanitarian gesture and will send the message that violence and terror do not comply with the Olympic idea," said Westerwelle.
"The 1972 Munich massacre should not cast a shadow on the London Olympic Games, yet neither should it be forgotten," he added.
"The tragic terrorist attack that took place in Germany forty years ago was directed not only at the Israeli Olympic team, but was rather an attack on the Olympic Games and the Olympic idea of promoting peace and mutual understanding among the nations," he said, adding that "Germany looks back on the tragedy with deep regret and anguish."
"This was a tragedy that should not have happened and cannot happen again," he added.
Meanwhile, Germany's Green Party has recently raised demands which call to form a special committee which will be tasked with probing the 1972 massacre in all its aspects – the preparation, the execution and the outcome. Information regarding the committee's findings has yet to be released.