BERLIN, Sep. 5 (DPA/EP) –
The president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has apologized to the families of the victims of the attack against the Israeli delegation at the Munich Olympics in 1972, and has lamented the “lack of subsequent clarification”.
The air base of the city of Fürstenfeldbruck, on the outskirts of Munich, has been the scene this Monday of an act in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the attack, and has been attended by both relatives of victims and the Israeli president, Isaac Herzog .
“Without all of you, without your relatives and without the presence of the State of Israel, I could not imagine a worthy commemoration,” said Steinmeier, who already on Sunday called the delay in paying compensation to the victims “shameful.”
In addition, the German leader has valued the “great sign of confidence” that the Israelis gave by participating in the Olympic Games held “in the country of the authorities of the crime against humanity that was the Shoah (Holocaust)”.
In this line, Steinmeier has recognized that the Germany of 1972 was not prepared to face an attack of such characteristics, and that, therefore, the Central European country did not live up to the trust placed by Israel, also failing in its efforts to present itself to the world as a “peaceful and friendly democracy”.
Therefore, the German president has apologized not only for the fact that the Olympic Games were “an international scene of hatred of Jews and violence”, but also because the attack “was followed by years and decades of silence and lack of interest “.
On the morning of September 5, 1972, eight members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September stormed the Olympic Village, entered the Israeli team facility and killed two of its members and held nine more hostage.
Led to the Fürstenfeldbruck airfield, the German police launched a liberation operation that ended with the Israeli hostages and a police officer killed by the terrorists. More than 200 Palestinians, including civilians, were killed in the Israeli military response to the attack on Palestinian positions in Jordan and Syria.
After decades of dispute, the German government agreed with the families of the deceased to pay compensation of 28 million euros shortly before the 50th anniversary. This prevented a scandal, since for some time it was unclear whether relatives of the deceased and Herzog would participate in the commemoration ceremony.