Lod Airport was the scene of a solemn funeral service this afternoon for the 11 Israeli Olympians. Israeli dignitaries, top military and sports figures, foreign envoys and diplomats, and the families and friends of the victims were joined by thousands on the airfield tarmac to witness the rites. Hundreds of thousands of others watched or listened as they were relayed by television and Kol Israel radio. City streets were deserted and almost devoid of traffic during the ceremonies.
Acting Premier Yigal Allon and the entire Cabinet were present. Premier Golda Meir was absent because she was attending the funeral of her sister, Mrs. Shana Kreingold, who died last night. The coffins at the airport were draped in black and wreathed with flowers. Each was placed on a military command car surrounded by a guard of honor. The services at Lod represented the nation’s final tribute to the athletes who fell victim to the terrorist atrocity.
Separate funeral services were held later in the day for each of the ten whose bodies were flown here from Munich this morning–one in Haifa, one in Jerusalem, two in Herzliah, one in Petach Tikvah and five in Tel Aviv. The remains of the 11th victim, American-born weight-lifter David Berger, was flown from Munich to Cleveland, Ohio, at the request of his parents.
Rabbi Mordechai Firon, chief chaplain of Israel’s armed forces, chanted the Kaddish, the Hebrew prayer for the dead, and the chant was taken up by the thousands assembled on the airfield. Army officers and police officials, diplomats and foreign representatives did not conceal their tears.
Allon, speaking on behalf of the government, delivered a strong warning to the Arab countries to end their support of terrorists and called on the nations of the world to be on the alert against terrorist acts on their soil. (See separate story). The Munich victims laid to rest today were Joseph Gutfreund; Moshe Weinberg; Eliezer Halfin; Mark Slavin; Zeev Friedman; Joseph Romano; Kehat Shour; Andre Spitzer; Amitzur Shapiro and Jacob Springer, who had earlier been identified as Jacob Sperling.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.