Newly revealed details and photos from the 1972 Olympic games terror attack prove that the terrorists came to kill and maim – not to free their friends from Israeli imprisonment, as they claimed.
Members of the Israeli Olympic delegation to the 1972 games in Munich were tortured and brutalized by their Palestinian captors prior to their murder, their families have revealed after years of silence.
Relatives of the 11 Israeli team members who were murdered by Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists during the Munich games revealed new details of the grizzly attack, including how the Israelis were brutalized and, in at least one case, even castrated by the terrorists.
“What they did is that they cut off his genitals through his underwear and abused him,” Ilana Romano, widow of champion weight lifter Yossef Romano, told the New York Times of her husband, who was shot in the beginning of the attack and left to die.
“Can you imagine the nine others sitting around tied up?” she added. “They watched this.”
The photographs were “as bad I could have imagined,” Romano said.
“The moment I saw the photos, it was very painful,” she shared. “I remembered until that day Yossef as a young man with a big smile. I remembered his dimples until that moment. At that moment, it erased the entire Yossi that I knew,” she said.
Speaking to IDF Radio on Wednesday, she said she did not regret viewing the photos.
In 1972, six Israeli coaches and five athletes were taken hostage for 20 hours and then murdered by the PLO terror group Black September after a botched pre-dawn rescue attempt by German forces at an airport near the Munich Olympic village.
The family members of the victims learned the details of how they were mistreated only nearly 20 years after the massacre, when German authorities were forced to release reports of the attack that the authorities previously denied existed, the New York Times reported.
“The terrorists always claimed that they didn’t come to murder anyone—they only wanted to free their friends from prison in Israel,” said Ankie Spitzer, widow of Andre Spitzer, a fencing coach. “They said it was only because of the botched-up rescue operation at the airport that they killed the rest of the hostages, but it’s not true. They came to hurt people. They came to kill.”
After years of silence on their part, the widows first shared their harrowing accounts in the coming film “Munich 1972 & Beyond,” a documentary that chronicles the long fight by families of the victims to gain public and official acknowledgment for their loved ones. The film is expected to be released early next year.
After decades of failed attempts, the families of the slain Israeli athletes recently finally gained recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). There will be a moment of remembrance for the athletes at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and the IOC will also fund a permanent memorial to the athletes in Munich.
By: United with Israel Staff and JNS