Munich massacre memorialized in Athens

athens | Several political and sports dignitaries attended a memorial service held here for the 11 Israelis killed at the 1972 Summer Olympics at Munich.

But the widow of one of the Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Games stole the show at the Israeli ambassador’s residence.

In her speech, Ankie Spitzer pressed Dr. Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, to hold a memorial for those killed as part of the Olympic Games.

“Dr. Rogge, you were an Olympian in Munich; you were the brother of the 11 murdered athletes. All of you were part of this great Olympic family,” said Spitzer, whose husband, fencing coach Andre Spitzer, was among the 11 killed. “Then why is it that tonight we are standing here at the Israeli ambassador’s residence? We should have this memorial in front of all athletes sponsored by the IOC, because this is not an Israeli issue. This concerns the whole Olympic family.”

Many of the nearly 300 people in attendance at the Aug. 19 service gave Spitzer a standing ovation.

Israel’s ambassador to Greece, Ram Aviram, was pleased with the ceremony. “The event was marked by the Greek government in a very honorable way. The perception in Greece, along with the other free nations of the world, is that terror must be fought in all of its forms.”