Thirty years ago, on September 5, 1972, the most tragic event over the entire history of the Olympics occurred at the XX Olympic Games in Munich. Eight armed terrorists belonging to the Black September terrorist movement rushed into an Olympic Village hotel early in the morning, at 3:30 a.m. Eight Israeli athletes were taken hostages, and two more were killed at the site. The terrorists demanded that 200 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel be released; otherwise, all the hostages would be killed.
Negotiations lasted for about twenty hours, which drew the attention of the whole world to the Munich Olympic Village. The negotiations were broadcast on TV. At first, the terrorists demanded that their demands be fulfilled before the noon; later, the deadline was postponed until 5:00 p.m. Israel couldn’t fulfill the demands of the terrorists. Finally, the terrorists demanded a plane with a crew to escape to Morocco or Egypt. Soon after 10:00 a.m., the terrorists with the hostages were given two helicopters to reach the Furstenfeldbrucke military aerodrome. A Boeing-757 was already ready for them at the aerodrome. At the same time, Bayern police planned to launch a special release operation.
However, someone was right when he said that Europe was not ready for terrorist manifestations of this kind; German leaders lacked decisions, and all actions in the situation were ill-coordinated. As a result, the operation failed. A skirmish broke out at the aerodrome, all the Israeli hostages, five Palestinians, and two Germans (a policeman and a helicopter pilot) were killed. The remains of ten athletes were delivered to Israel. Mourning was declared at the Olympic Games.
The documentary "One Day in September" by Kevin McDonald dedicated to the tragedy at the Olympics appeared in Germany in 1999.
In several weeks, three Palestinians who managed to stay alive, were exchanged for new hostages who had been captured when a German Damask-Frankfurt plane was hijacked and landed in Libya. Hijackers from Black September demanded that the terrorists be released from a Munich jail. The latter departed to Tripoli, where they disappeared without a trace. The Palestinians held a press-conference to talk about the year 1967. They were happy that the whole of the world had learnt about the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. The Palestinians declared they would continue their struggle for liberty.
Israeli special services, in their turn, have been tracking down and killing organizers of the action within the framework of a special anti-terrorist operation. Several official Palestinian representatives were liquidated in Europe and the Middle East. One of the operations was commanded by former prime minister of Israel Ehud Barak.
Igor Tufeld with Vestnik Online wrote: “Right after the Munich massacre, the Israeli security service, the MOSSAD, started the preparation of a retribution operation by order of the prime minister. Three or four groups were created for this purpose. Officers from the Israeli Army specially trained in the MOSSAD were in every group. The security service compiled a list of 11 terrorists who had been connected to the incident in Munich. No exact date for the operation was fixed. Right before the operation, members of all groups had to sign documents on voluntary dismissal from the MOSSAD; after that, a contract for a special task was concluded. This was done so that Israel couldn’t be accused of violating international laws if some of their agents were arrested. Therefore, it looked as if members of the operation acted independently and had no connection to the Israeli state.”
The retribution operation lasted for nine years. Only one man from the black list, Doctor Wadi Hadad, who was an active participant of international acts of terrorism, remained alive during the course of the operation. He died of cancer in 1978. Pyotr Bely PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/09/05/46623.html
Since the likes of the traditional Inauguration Day in the national Capitol are likely never to be witnessed again, take this opportunity from one who has been there to relate some truth about the experience