34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre

34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre

Jacob Miller - August 11, 2017

The Munich massacre was an attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. Eleven Israeli Olympic team members were held hostage and subsequently killed, along with a German police officer, by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.

Black September demanded the release of 234 political prisoners jailed in Israel. Black September called the operation “Iqrit and Biram” after two Palestinian Christian villages whose inhabitants were expelled by the Israeli Defense Force in 1948.

At 4:30 in the morning on September 5, eight members of the Black September faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization snuck into the Olympic Villages. The terrorists used stolen keys to enter two apartments being used by the Israeli team. During the attack, wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg knocked one intruder unconscious and cut a second with a knife before being shot to death. Weightlifter Youssef Romano, a veteran of the Six-Days War, also attacked and wounded a terrorist before being castrated and murdered.

Two Bell UH-1 military helicopters were the terrorists were lead to believe would transport the terrorists and hostages to a NATO airbase. An armed assault was planned to take place at the airport. Five German policemen were deployed around the airport in sniper positions however, none had the appropriate training. A Boeing 727 jet was ready on the tarmac with sixteen German police inside dressed as flight crew. At the last minute, the German police voted to abandon the mission when the crisis team discovered that there were eight terrorists rather than two or three.

When the terrorists realized they had been lured into a trap the snipers started to fire. The terrorist then started to execute the Israeli athletes.

Police officers killed five of the eight Black September terrorists during a failed rescue attempt. The three survivors were released from West German prison after Lufthansa Flight 615 was hijacked by Palestinian Black September sympathizers in order to liberate the imprisoned terrorists. West German authorities complied and the liberated terrorists were granted asylum by Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Nazi Propagandist Leni Riefenstahl, pictured at the Olympic Stadium, and the remnants of past atrocities, casts a shadow over the games. CNN
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
The Israeli attendance was meaningful. Just 27 years after the end of the Holocaust, the memory of the atrocities was fresh in all the minds of the coaches and athletes. The team marked its arrival with a visit to the Dachau concentration camp. CNN
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A Palestinian terrorist stands guard as Israeli hostages are held captive as leverage to demand the release of political prisoners by the Israeli government. CNN
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Israeli Olympic Team members being held captive by Black September before their eventual murders during the Munich Massacre of 1972. cameraoncampus
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
With terrorists holed up in the Israeli athletes’ quarters, swarms of German policemen, in uniform and plain clothes, move in and seal off the area, Munich, September 1972. Getty Images
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
West German sharpshooters work their way up buildings and over roofs in the Olympic Village in a futile attempt to get into position to confront the terrorists who were holding 11 Israeli athletes hostage Sept. 5, 1972. (AP Photo)
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A German policeman, dressed as an athlete, is lowered over the edge of the roof of the building where Israeli hostages are held, Munich, September 1972. Getty Images
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Perched on a terrace directly above the Israeli quarters, a German policeman checks his submachine gun before advancing further, Munich, September 1972. Life Magazine
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
An Arabic-speaking German policewoman talks to a terrorist, Munich 1972. Co Rentmeester—Time & Life Pictures: Getty Images
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
An Arabic-speaking German policewoman relays information to authorities by walkie-talkie after speaking with a Black September terrorist, Munich, September 1972
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A Black September terrorist talks with German officials, Munich, September 1972. Time
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Two West German policemen, armed with submachine guns and wearing tracksuits, get into position on the roof of the building where armed Palestinian terrorists were holding Israel Olympic team members hostage, September 5, 1972. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
West German policemen wearing sweatsuits, bullet-proof vests and armed with submachine guns, take up positions on September 5, 1972, on Olympic Village rooftops where armed Palestinians were holding Israeli team members hostage. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A German policeman leans against a wall outside an apartment where Israeli hostages are held, Munich, September 1972. Getty Images
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A German policeman outside an apartment where Israeli hostages are held, Munich, September 1972. Getty Images

34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A crowd gathers to get updates on the unfolding events. Black September demanded the release of 200 political prisoners. The Israeli government refused to negotiate. The German authorities, without anti-terrorist response unit, didn’t know what to do. CNN
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Blood stains and bullet holes mark the place where the armed Palestinian terrorists killed two of the Olympians, the other nine died just hours later. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Ankie Spitzer in the room where her husband, Andre, the Israeli fencing coach, was killed by terrorists in 1972. She has urged the I.O.C. to hold a moment of silence at the Olympic Games. Credit Associated Press
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A German Army bus is parked underneath the hotel that nine of the Israeli hostages were inside at the time. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Helicopters were prepped and ready on the tarmac. The rescue mission failed and all the hostages were killed. CNN
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
The wrecked helicopter that was the center of a failed rescue attempt at a military airport in Fürstenfeldbruck. All nine hostages left, five Arab terrorists and a Munich police officer lost their lives during the operation. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
The world watched as the crisis was televised. The world showed its support for Israel. CNN
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
The stunned Israeli athletes and officials return home. CNN
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A coffin with one of the slain Israeli Olympians is carried out of the Munich Olympic Village a day after the horrendous attacks unfolded. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
A military escort transports the coffins of the dead athletes and officials back to Israel. CNN
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
The Olympic flag hangs at half-mast during the funeral ceremony in the Olympic Stadium for the victims of the terrorist attack. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
There were plans for then-German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel (right, seen here with Chancellor Willy Brandt in September 1972) to meet in secret with one of the founders of Black September in Cairo. spiegel
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
The German Foreign Ministry later asked the PLO not to carry out operations on German soil. The then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat apparently complied. In return, he was allowed to send an envoy to Bonn who championed the PLO’s interests. Spiegel
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Weightlifter Yossef Romano was mutilated and tortured by Palestinian terrorists during the attack. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Dan Alon is seen in his fencing gear when he was a member of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team. Alon, who survived the Munich Massacre, gave up the sport after the tragic event. naplesnews
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Members of Israel’s Olympic team placed black ribbons in their pockets mourning for their comrades killed in the Arab terrorist attack and subsequent police shootout as they leave the Olympic stadium in Munich, West Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 1972, after a memorial service. All 11 Israeli hostages were killed. AP Photo
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
Six of the 11 Israeli hostages killed by the Palestinian ‘Black September’ cell at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Yossef Romano, the torture victim, is top center. Daily Mail
34 Photographs of the Horrific 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre
From left to right- Sirimer Mohammed Abdullah, Ibrahim Mosoud Badran and Abed Kair Al Dnawly, three of the Arab terrorists who broke into the Munich Olympic Village. Pinterest

 

Keep Reading:

New York Times – Long-Hidden Details Reveal Cruelty of 1972 Munich Attackers

The Guardian – 50 Stunning Olympic Moments No 26: The Terrorist Outrage in Munich in 1972

Daily Mail – First Hooded Palestinian Terrorists Tortured 11 Israeli Olympic Athletes in Munich

BBC News – Mastermind Behind Munich Olympics Attacks Dies

Time Magazine – 100 Photographs of Munich Massacre

CNN – The Munich Massacre: A Survivor’s Story

Haaretz – Israel in Shock as Munich Killers Freed

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