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Ankie Spitzer Has Harsh Words At Munich 11 Ceremony (VIDEO)

By Jspace Staff on 9/6/2012 at 1:14 PM

Categories: History, Europe, Israel

Ankie Spitzer spoke at a memorial in Germany yesterday, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.

Spitzer is the widow of Andre Spitzer, one of the 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympic games.

The tragedy was marked with a ceremony at the Furstenfeldbruck airfield in Munich, where the final showdown between German police and the terrorists took place four decades ago.

In her remarks, Spitzer criticized the International Olympic Committee, which refused to honor the occasion with a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of this summer’s London games. She criticized "the incompetence, the stupidity and the arrogance" of officials who should have protected the slain athletes.

"Today 40 years ago, our lives changed forever," she added. "For us, the families of the victims and for those of the 1972 Israeli Olympic delegation who were fortunate enough to escape the massacre, Munich and Germany will be forever connected to that darkest day in our lives.”

Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, also had harsh words for the IOC, criticizing the committee’s ultimate decision to continue the Olympics after the 11 murders.

"I will never forget 'The Games must go on' of [then-IOC head] Avery Brundage," Graumann said. "I understood the words as, 'Who cares that the Jews are gone?'"

"That day wasn't an attack against Israel, wasn't an attack against Jews," added Charlotte Knobloch, head of Munich's Jewish community. "It was an attack against us all. Against the Olympic idea, the vision of freedom and peace for all human beings."

Germany's Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich addressed the gathering as well.

"We — the ones who had and have a special obligation to protect Israel — we were not able to protect the Israeli athletes," Friedrich said. "Were we too naive? Did we underestimate the dangers? These are questions that remain. We were not able to protect those who had come to Germany, unsuspectingly and peacefully, three decades after the Holocaust."

The memorial was also attended by Israeli Deputy Prime Minster Silvan Shalom and surviving members of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team.