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East Germany Once Gave Safe Haven to Mastermind of Munich Massacre

July 12, 1990
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One of the Palestinians who allegedly masterminded the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympics in Munich was given safe haven by the ousted Communist regime in East Germany, according to a top official of the country’s new conservative regime.

Interior Minister Peter-Michel Diestel disclosed in a newspaper interview published Tuesday that Abu Daoud was assisted and protected by East German authorities after the massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes were killed.

Diestel’s revelation was the latest of several reports about cooperation between the former Communist regime and some of the world’s most notorious terrorists, many of them Palestinians.

Another whom the East Germans assisted was the Venezuelan-born terrorist known as Carlos, alleged mastermind of the June 1976 Air France hijacking to Entebbe, Uganda. Carlos also received protection from the former Communist regime in Hungary, that country’s interior minister, Balzas Horvath, disclosed last month.

Diestel said the East German regime maintained close contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization almost to the end of its tenure, supplying the PLO with equipment and training.

Diestel said terrorists seeking sanctuary in East Germany received medical treatment and were accorded various privileges, including the right to stay in the country and help in obtaining forged passports.

That situation prevailed for more than 10 years, through the late 1980s, Diestel said.

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