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Germany to Honor 11 Israelis Killed at 1972 Munich Olympics

September 18, 1995
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Israeli and German Jewish officials have dropped their plans to boycott the dedication ceremony of a monument honoring the 11 Israeli athletes killed in a terror attack during the 1972 Munich Olympic games.

The officials lifted their boycott of next week’s ceremony after the German Olympic Committee assured them that the plaque on the monument would explicitly mention the fact that the Israelis were victims of a terrorist attack.

The plaque’s original text said the athletes were the victims of “violence,” without specific mention of the attack by Palestinian terrorists.

The omission enraged the Israeli and German Jewish officials invited to the Sept. 27 ceremony.

Among those who stated their intention to boycott the ceremony were Israeli Ambassador Avi Primor; Ignatz Bubis, chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany; and Yoram Oberkovitz, a member of the Israeli Olympic Committee.

The German Olympic Committee changed the plaque’s text after intensive negotiations with the Jewish officials.

Committee members said they would not be able to change the text in time for the ceremony, but they pledged to do so as soon as possible.

Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Black September movement infiltrated the Olympic village on Sept. 5, 1972, the 11th day of the Munich Olympics.

The terrorists killed two Israeli athletes and took nine others hostage, demanding the release of 200 Arab prisoners in Israel.

In a shoot-out at the airport later that day when German police attempted to free the hostages, all nine hostages were killed, as were a German policeman and five of the terrorists. Three of the Palestinians were arrested.

The games were halted for 24 hours.

Relatives of the Israeli victims blamed the German police for botching the airport rescue attempt and sued the local authorities for compensation.

The trial is still pending.

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