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Memorial Service Held in Munich for Israelis Slain 20 Years Ago

A commemorative service was held last Friday at the Olympic Village in Munich for the 11 Israeli athletes who were killed in a hostage-taking attack by Arab terrorists during the 1972 summer Olympics.

The ceremony was organized by the German Olympic Committee, which was represented by its president, Willi Daume.

Among the Israelis present were the widows of slain athletes Andre Spitzer and Yosef Romano and the fathers of slain athletes Eliezer Halfin and Mark Slavin.

Nachum Rogel, who competed recently at the summer Olympics in Barcelona, represented active Israeli athletes. Shlomit Tor of the Israeli Olympic Committee also attended the commemoration.

After laying a wreath at the memorial plaque for the 11 Israelis, the participants drove along the route taken by the terrorists and their hostages to the Furstenfeldbruck airfield near Munich.

It is there, crowded in two helicopters with the terrorists who captured them, that most victims were killed during an unsuccessful rescue attempt by German police.

The terrorists were members of the so-called Black September group, an affiliate of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Participants at last Friday’s ceremony also laid a wreath at the gravestone of the German policeman who was killed during the rescue attempt.

The German media gave prominence to the commemorative ceremonies, and many publications carried detailed reports on the events of 20 years ago.

The relatives of the victims have demanded a full investigation into the failed attack and have asked for substantial financial compensation.

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