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A Thorough Reappraisal

The 1972 Munich Olympics attack is an event that has resonated in history and has raised a long-standing demand for a thorough investigation. Germany’s commitment to conducting a reappraisal is evident in the establishment of an international commission of experts to investigate the events surrounding the attack.

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A Significant Panel of Experts

The panel of eight historians named by the German Interior Ministry is composed mostly of experts from Israel and Germany. This composition is significant as it indicates a willingness to confront the past and work towards a better future. The commission’s work will be documented transparently for the public and will include other experts with additional expertise on various topics.

Germany’s Apology and Compensation

Last September, during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the attack, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier apologized for his country’s multiple failures before, during, and after the attack. Germany also agreed to pay a total of 28 million euros in compensation to the victims’ families. This agreement averted a threatened boycott of the event and recognized the failures by authorities at the time.

The Attack and its Aftermath

Before dawn on September 5, 1972, eight members of the Palestinian group Black September climbed over the unguarded fence of the Olympic village and entered the building where the Israeli team was staying. They killed wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg and weightlifter Yossi Romano, and took nine athletes hostage. After a day of negotiations, the captors and hostages were allowed to leave on two helicopters for the Fuerstenfeldbruck airfield outside Munich, where sharpshooters opened fire. The botched rescue attempt left a West German police officer, five assailants, and all the hostages dead.

A Transparent Documentation of the Commission’s Work and Findings

The Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History will conduct an accompanying research project and help the expert commission. The commission’s work and findings will be transparently documented for the public, providing an opportunity to reassess the events surrounding the attack and to gain a better understanding of what happened before, during, and after the incident.

A Positive Development for Truth and Reconciliation

The establishment of this commission of experts is a testament to Germany’s commitment to confronting its past and promoting truth and reconciliation. The victims’ families have expressed appreciation for the commission and the opening of archives. Hopefully, the commission’s work will provide some measure of closure to the victims’ families and contribute to a better understanding of this tragic event in history.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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