Munich Olympics massacre
Munich Olympics massacre
Photo: AP
Munich Olympics massacre

Israeli families of 1972 Munich Olympics victims demand more compensation

Families spokesperson says they won't attend memorial ceremony next month in Germany until Berlin takes issue seriously; 'Palestinian terrorists can't be given more money than the victims,' one of the widows says

Reuters |
Published: 08.12.22, 20:04
The families of Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics are unhappy with fresh German compensation offers and plan to boycott a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the attack in protest, their spokesperson told Reuters on Friday.
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  • An official ceremony is planned for Sept. 5 in Munich.
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    Munich Olympics massacre
    Munich Olympics massacre
    Munich Olympics massacre
    (Photo: AP)
    "I don't want some euros to be thrown in my direction. We are not going to accept that," Ankie Spitzer, spokesperson for the families, told Reuters Television. The sums under discussion have not been disclosed.
    "We are not going to the memorial ceremony until Germany takes real, responsibility, not only by words," added Spitzer, whose husband was killed in the attack.
    A German government spokesperson said Berlin regretted the families' decision not to attend.
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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)
    On Sept. 5, 1972, Israeli Olympic team members were taken hostage at the poorly secured athletes' village by Palestinian gunmen from the Black September group.
    Within 24 hours, 11 Israelis, five Palestinians, and a German policeman were dead after a standoff and subsequent rescue effort erupted into gunfire.
    "After the murder of our loved ones, I was in the room and I will never forget standing there," Spitzer said. "I was only 26 years old then, 50 years ago, and I looked around me and I saw the total chaos in that room ... blood all over the place".
    "We want compensation, which is not a gesture," she added.
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    House where eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were kidnapped and then killed by the radical Palestinian group Black September
    House where eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were kidnapped and then killed by the radical Palestinian group Black September
    House where eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were kidnapped and then killed by the radical Palestinian group Black September
    (Photo: Reuters)
    “The offer is degrading, and we are standing by our stance that we are boycotting the (anniversary) ceremony,” Ilana Romano, widow of Israeli weightlifter Yossef Romano said, adding that Germany “threw us to the dogs. They mistreated us for 50 years.”
    "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.
    The government spokesperson said Berlin had decided to make further payments to the families in addition to compensation already paid. The government, he said, "regrets it has not yet been possible to reach a consensus on this basis with all the survivors and emphasizes its readiness for further talks."
    Since the end of the Holocaust and World War Two, Berlin has felt a special responsibility towards Israel.
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