German Jewish leader slams IOC at memorial for Munich 11

BERLIN (JTA) — The head of Germany’s Jewish community at a memorial ceremony for the Munich 11 lamented the “icy coldness” of the International Olympic Committee in refusing to mark the 40th anniversary of the massacre.

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Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said Wednesday that he is “still angry” and his “tears had not dried” after the IOC failed to publicly honor at this summer’s London Games the memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists on Sept. 5, 1972 at the Munich Olympics.

Graumann’s remarks came as Germany held its own memorial ceremony in Munich attended by family members of the athletes, members of the 1972 Israeli team, and German and Israeli government officials, including Israel’s vice premier, Silvan Shalom. The ceremony took place at the Furstenfeldbruck Air Base, where 40 years
ago nine of the Israeli hostages and one German police officer were killed in a botched rescue attempt.

“The security authorities back then revealed a disastrous dilettantism,” Graumann said at the ceremony.

According to Ynet, Ankie Spitzer — the widow of Israeli athlete Andre Spitzer — demanded that all documents related to the events of the massacre be made public. Last week, the Israel State Archives released 45 classified documents related to Israel’s deliberations and actions as the tragedy developed.

Graumann said he would never forget the “casual flippancy” with which German sports officials reacted to the tragedy at the time. He said he had “never [encountered] an ounce of self-criticism” from them.

Then-IOC President Avery Brundage uttered the words “the Games must go on” without a hint of compassion, Graumann said. “Jewish blood was cheap in the eyes of the world.”

Graumann said the current IOC president, Jacques Rogge, is no better for refusing to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the London Games.

“One minute of mourning — was that too much to ask?” Graumann said.

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