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Munich Olympians memorialized in Moscow

A Moscow synagogue held a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of the massacre of the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Wednesday’s service at the Memorial Synagogue in Moscow’s Victory Park was sponsored by the Russian Jewish Congress and included a delegation from the Israeli Embassy. Speaking at the service, Jewish Soviet Olympic athlete Mark Rakita, who won a medal at the Munich Games, said the massacre changed the way he saw the Olympics.

“The Olympics were a celebration for everyone, for all countries and for all people,” he said. “After that it was finished.”

The chief Reform rabbi of Russia, Alexander Lyskovoi, said kaddish for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered on Sept. 6, 1972 by Palestinian terrorists from Black September.

“This is a feature of our people. We don’t forget anything,” Lyskovoi told JTA after the service. “Everything that happened in the past is a message and we should remember. Surely these 11 guys we can put together with the victims of the Holocaust because the cause of their death was the same.”

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