The German government has announced that it will compensate the relatives of the victims of the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972, after a “complete and complete reassessment of the events of the time”.
The Federal Interior Ministry said it intended to make joint payments, together with the Free State of Bavaria and the state capital, Munich, in order “to articulate the serious consequences for the surviving relatives,” a ministry spokesman told Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday. The amount of repairs remains unclear.
A commemoration ceremony on September 5, the 50th anniversary of the attack, should be an opportunity to make a clear political statement on the 1972 massacre, according to the ministry, which said it also plans to appoint a commission German and Israeli historians to “examine in detail” what happened that day.
During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, terrorists from the Palestinian organization Black September took Israeli team members hostage in the Olympic Village and attempted to free hundreds of imprisoned Palestinian sympathizers in exchange. The situation ended with a massacre at the Fürstenfeldbruck air base, where 11 Israelis and a German policeman lost their lives.
German authorities and police have been accused of serious misconduct surrounding the massacre, but no one has been held accountable. Earlier payments to victims’ families, made in 1972 and 2002, were modest and labeled as humanitarian aid by the government to avoid an official apology.
This new announcement marks a breakthrough in ongoing negotiations on reparations between Germany and victims’ representatives.
Ankie Spitzer, widow of murdered fencing coach Andre Spitzer and spokesperson for the victims’ families, had canceled a visit to Munich earlier this week due to stalled compensation talks, and had also recently rejected a invitation to speak at a university commemoration event in Munich. and take part in a joint visit to a memorial site with Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder.