Germans Killed Israeli Athletes at Munich Olympics, Widow Charges

The Dutch-born widow of one of the 11 Israeli athletes killed during the Munich Olympic games in 1972 has stated there is evidence that nine of the Israelis were killed by bullets fired by the German security police.

Making her accusations during an interview with the Dutch daily Het Parool, Ankie Spitzer-Rechess said that 32 relatives of the murdered athletes are now planning to file suit against the German government.

Spitzer-Rechess said that her charges — which have been repeatedly denied by the West German authorities — are based on a secret report which was recently smuggled out of Munich by a German sympathetic to Israel. The report was subsequently made available to the next of kin.

Early on the morning of Sept. 5, 1972, eight Palestinian terrorists belonging to the “Black September” group entered the apartment complex where the Israeli athletes were staying. One of the Israelis was immediately killed and another was fatally wounded. Nine athletes were later taken hostage. Among them was the late husband of Spitzer-Rechess, Andre Spitzer, who was the coach of the Israeli fencing team.

After protracted negotiations with the German authorities, the Palestinians and their hostages were taken to an airfield in the vicinity of Munich. From there, the Palestinians had been promised, they and their hostages were to be flown to Cairo.

But instead, the West German security police who had been stationed there opened fire on the terrorists. In the ensuing exchange of gunfire, all nine hostages, five of the Palestinians and one West German security policeman were killed.

The West German government later offered $57,000 to each of the widows of the Israeli victims and $30,000 to each orphan.

A journalist working for Dutch newspapers in Israel, Spitzer-Rechess said she never accepted any payment from the German government.

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