TEL AVIV — The households of the 11 Israeli athletes who had been killed by way of Palestinian militants on the 1972 Munich Olympics mentioned Wednesday that they intend to boycott a memorial rite deliberate in Germany in September to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the assault as a result of a dispute with German government over repayment.
The choice will put force at the president of Israel, Yitzhak Herzog, who’s scheduled to wait the rite in Munich on Sept. 5, to additionally keep away, threatening an match aimed toward therapeutic the injuries of an assault by way of the Black September terrorist crew that surprised Israel and the arena.
Germany’s dealing with of the terrorist assault, and its aftermath, stays one of the crucial divisive problems between the 2 nations after the status quo of complete diplomatic family members between them in 1965 — a dating already fraught by way of the Holocaust.
The households have lengthy fought for extra repayment for the killings of the athletes, and Israel has maintained that Germany did not adequately offer protection to the athletes and coated up its failings sooner than and after the assault.
The assault came about on Sept. 5, 1972, when 8 Palestinian militants jumped over the fence of the Munich Olympic Village, which was once guarded by way of only some German cops, in line with an legit document by way of the Israel State Archives. Only two of the officials had been armed. The militants entered the Israeli place of abode and killed two staff participants sooner than challenging the discharge of colleagues imprisoned in Israel. Later, 9 different athletes had been killed, at the side of a German police officer, in a chaotic rescue strive.
Ankie Spitzer, the consultant of the households in conferences with Mr. Herzog, mentioned that the households seemed the repayment presented by way of Germany as “a joke” and that every one however one member deliberate to boycott the rite the place the fee was once to be introduced.
The German govt mentioned in an inside memo got by way of The New York Times that up to now the households had been paid a complete of four.6 million euros, or about $4.8 million, by way of more than a few German businesses. In a observation Wednesday, the German inner ministry mentioned that “confidential talks are currently underway with representatives of the victims’ families” however didn’t point out the boycott transfer.
“We expect President Herzog to also announce, immediately, that he is not coming,” mentioned Ms. Spitzer, who’s the widow of Andrei Spitzer, who was once the trainer of the Israeli fencing staff. “If the families don’t travel, he shouldn’t travel either because if he is there, even to lay a wreath, it will legitimize this cruel German behavior.”
Mr. Herzog and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany had a sequence of telephone calls with the households and the German inner ministry, which was once accountable for bobbing up with the repayment be offering, in an unsuccessful effort to get to the bottom of the dispute, in line with the households and their attorneys, an account subsidized by way of Israeli and German officers.
Germany is providing 5.4 million euros in general in more repayment to 23 closing members of the family, in line with the federal government German memo. But attorneys for the households say they’re in quest of about 20 occasions greater than that.
“The level of state responsibility of Germany, as we know it now, is far more extensive compared to the facts which were known in 1972-2020” mentioned Alexander Knoops, a attorney for the households. “Ample evidence was recently discovered which shows that the Government not only failed in the protection of the athletes but was also instrumental in the cover up of its failure.”
The dispute over the repayment is a unprecedented war between Germany and Israel. Germany has labored onerous to be clear in its atonement for its Nazi previous, and to have a unique dating with Israel. For instance, historically, Israel is without doubt one of the first international journeys taken by way of new German presidents.
The choice by way of the members of the family to boycott the development calls into query the participation within the rite of all the Israeli delegation of about 200 other people, which incorporates participants of the Israeli Olympic Committee and Olympic medal-winning athletes, who’ve mentioned they wouldn’t cross to Munich with out the households.
Mr. Herzog has no longer but made up our minds at the factor and continues his efforts, along side the president of Germany, to get to the bottom of the case, in line with Israeli officers. A spokesman for the Israeli president declined to remark at the factor.
Ms. Spitzer, the consultant of the households, additionally mentioned Israel had no longer helped her or others over the past decade.
“Ties with Germany are very important and probably surpass everything else,” she mentioned. But, she added, it was once time for Israel to “say publicly what everyone is saying quietly fearing to insult the Germans — it’s time to finally compensate the families of the victims for the terrible failures that led to the death of Andrei and the other 10 athletes, and for all the lies and cover-ups in the last 50 years.”
The high minister of Israel on the time of the assault, Golda Meir, refused to barter with the militants however requested to ship a unique commando unit to unfastened the athletes however Germany refused, an account showed by way of German officers in a 2012 documentary. Israel demanded that the Games be stopped — however this request was once additionally declined.
The head of Israeli intelligence, the Mossad, mentioned he was once simplest allowed to watch the rescue operation, and that every one his proposals have been rejected by way of the Germans.
“They didn’t make a minimal effort to save lives, they didn’t take a minimal risk to try to save people, neither theirs nor ours,” the Mossad head, Zvi Zamir advised govt ministers when he returned to Israel, in line with a transcript of the assembly got by way of The New York Times.
The households of the sufferers have lengthy accused German government of hiding paperwork from them and growing bureaucratic difficulties in order that they wouldn’t get get admission to to the archives and obtain monetary repayment.
Recently declassified paperwork printed within the German media display that German intelligence had warnings of an forthcoming motion in opposition to the Olympics, however did not anything.
In the center of August 1972, the German Embassy in Beirut despatched an pressing telegram to the international ministry in Bonn alerting it of an assault. The telegram was once first printed in July by way of the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
According to an inside German govt memorandum got by way of The New York Times, the purpose of the rite on Sept. 5 was once to confront the “questions of historical reckoning that remain unresolved.” The inner ministry observation mentioned Germany considered the rite as “an occasion for a clear political analysis of the events of 1972.”
As a part of that effort, Germany plans to determine a German-Israeli historical past fee, with complete get admission to to all information, “to scrutinize all available sources” and get a hold of a “scholarly account and assessment of the events.” President Steinmeier additionally deliberate to recognize the accountability of Germany for the dealing with of the fear assault, and announce the extra repayment for the sufferer’s households.
“Through these actions, the Federal Republic of Germany is fulfilling its moral and historical obligation to the victims and their surviving family members” the memo concludes.
Christopher F. Schuetze contributed reporting from Hanover, Germany.