Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer
Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer
Photo: Courtesy of the Olympic Committee of Israel
Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre

Families of Munich Olympics massacre victims snub German compensation offer

Süddeutsche Zeitung says government agrees to pay compensation, without specifying sum; families say they plan to boycott memorial event in September and that it is unacceptable to them that the terrorists would receive more than the victims

Ynet, Associated Press |
Published: 07.27.22, 16:57
A possible breakthrough in negotiations over compensation for the families of the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre victims, may be underway, the South German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung said on Wednesday.
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  • According to the report, the German government agreed to pay compensation to the families, but the paper did not specify the sum.
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    Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre
    Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre
    Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre
    (Photo: Courtesy of the Olympic Committee of Israel )
    The families rejected the offer, calling the sum an insult.
    A spokesperson for Germany's Interior Ministry said the repercussions of the terror attack on the families, were "re-drawn" and that now, 50 years since the event, the Bavarian state would be willing to provide them with the "necessary financial services."
    According to the spokesperson, discussions are ongoing to determine the amount of compensation. He added that in the review of the events at the time, it was important to the parties in the negotiations, to highlight the special relations between Germany and Israel.
    The families did receive some compensation in 1972 and again in 2002 but those were of small sums of money and described by the German government as "humanitarian assistance," in order to avoid an admission of guilt on the part of the West German authorities, over the death of the Israeli Olympians.
    A group of Palestinian terrorists broke into the residence of the Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympic village during the 1972 games, killing two and taking others hostage. They demanded the release of 234 Palestinians held in Israel as well as members of the German Baader Meinhoff terror group, arrested in Germany.
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    הטבח באולימפיאדת מינכן
    הטבח באולימפיאדת מינכן
    Munich Olympics massacre
    (Photo: AP)
    The hostages and most of the terrorists were killed in a failed rescue attempt carried out by the West German police.
    Ilana Romano, widow of Israeli weightlifter Yossef Romano said that in light of the offer made by the German government, all the families of the victims will remain away from a memorial service in Germany, scheduled for September 5.
    “The offer is degrading, and we are standing by our stance that we are boycotting the (anniversary) ceremony,” she said, adding that Germany “threw us to the dogs. They mistreated us for 50 years.”
    “They decided to take responsibility — very nice after 50 years,” Romano said, calling for proper compensation for the families “not pennies.”
    "If the German government thinks it can wrap-up this matter according to terms set for of a domestic terror attack, they are wrong," she said. "They will pay in accordance to international standards in terror attacks. The Palestinian terrorists cannot be given more money than the victims," Romano said.
    "Three of the terrorists survived, and were soon freed after a trumped up plane hijacking, and the pursuant negotiations, with $9 million," she said.
    3 View gallery
    Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer
    Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer
    Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer
    (Photo: Courtesy of the Olympic Committee of Israel)
    Ankie Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, who acts as spokesperson for the families said that the offer was too low.
    "We don't demand billions, but we request proper compensation, that will make a significant change for our the younger generation in our families," she said.
    "My daughter has no memories of her father, except for a few photos and a stuffed animal that he bought for her in Munich. This money will not bring back the dead, but it will allow the children, who have lived their entire lives with the tragedy of the 1972 Olympics in Munich, to breathe a little," Spitzer said.

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