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German Government’s Close, post-Attack Relationship with Perpetrators of the 1972 Olympics Massacre

COMMENT: In recent, past discussion of the 1972 Olympics massacre, we have highlighted how the German government had prior warning of the attacks, yet took no significant security procedures, how the Black September terrorists received aid in the logistical planning for the attack by German neo-Nazis, and how the chief of security for the attacks was alleged to have staged terrorist incidents to be blamed on the left, as well as providing an alibi for Karlheinz Hoffman, head of the Nazi group that executed the 1980 Oktoberfest bombing in Munich.

We have also seen how the German domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain a disturbingly cozy relationship with neo-Nazi organizations.

Interestingly, the German diplomat (Walter Nowak) handling much of the discussion with the Black September terrorists has a background suggestive of involvement with the vertriebene groups, one of the most salient aspects of the Underground Reich.

The Germany Watch blog has a worthy update on the 1972 Olympics investigation, accessed in the second excerpt below. 

That post raises a number of interesting questions, including:

  • Why were there 3 more terrorists at the airport than had previously been expected?
  • Why didn’t the German security personnel bring rifles, which were essential to the rescue plan?
  • Why didn’t the Germans take more security precautions in advance of the Olympics?
  • Why did the Germans refuse Israeli intelligence assistance?

At a minimum, it is apparent that the Germans took no significant steps to interdict the terrorist attack and it is difficult to avoid the view that the Underground Reich may very well have been complicit in the attack

“Germany’s Secret Con­tacts to Pales­tin­ian Terrorists” by Felix Bohr, Gun­ther Latsch and Klaus Wiegrefe; Der Spiegel; 8/28/2012.

EXCERPT: Eleven Israelis and one Ger­man police offi­cer died in the Munich mas­sacre of 1972, when Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists took Israeli ath­letes hostage at the Olympics. Now, gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments sug­gest that Ger­many main­tained secret con­tacts with the orga­niz­ers of the attack for years after­ward and appeased the Pales­tini­ans to pre­vent fur­ther blood­shed on Ger­man soil. . . .

. . . .Wal­ter Nowak, 48, the then Ger­man ambas­sador to Lebanon, con­demned the Israeli action [killing some of the perpetrators of the 1972 Olympics attack], say­ing that the dead Pales­tini­ans were among the most “ratio­nal and respon­si­ble” mem­bers of the PLO. A day after the retal­ia­tory strike, the out­raged diplo­mat wrote a let­ter to gov­ern­ment author­i­ties in Bonn, the then-German cap­i­tal, say­ing that it was “not to be ruled out” that the Israelis had killed Abu Youssef and the oth­ers to hin­der the peace process in the Mid­dle East. “Those who don’t want to nego­ti­ate are both­ered by those they might be expected to face in nego­ti­a­tions,” he wrote.

Nowak’s idio­syn­cratic assess­ment stemmed from the mis­sion the ambas­sador was pur­su­ing at the time. Nowak had met with Abu Youssef, one of the founders of Black Sep­tem­ber, about a week before his death. In the two-hour con­ver­sa­tion, he offered Abu Youssef and other back­ers of the Munich attack the prospect of cre­at­ing “a new basis of trust” between them and the Ger­man gov­ern­ment. There was even talk of a secret meet­ing in Cairo between then For­eign Min­is­ter Wal­ter Scheel, a mem­ber of the lib­eral Free Demo­c­ra­tic Party (FDP), and Abu Youssef.

The Munich attack had occurred only six months ear­lier. Despite the still-vivid images of masked ter­ror­ists on the bal­conies of the Olympic Vil­lage and a burned-out heli­copter on the tar­mac at the NATO air­base at Fürsten­feld­bruck, there was already active but secret diplo­matic com­mu­ni­ca­tion between Ger­mans and Pales­tini­ans. West Ger­man rep­re­sen­ta­tives were talk­ing to men like Abu Youssef, Ali Salameh and Amin al-Hindi, all of them mas­ter­minds of the Munich mur­ders. Even the Ger­man Fed­eral Crim­i­nal Police Office (BKA), which is oblig­ated to pros­e­cute crim­i­nals, was involved in meet­ings, accord­ing to doc­u­ments in the Polit­i­cal Archives of the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry and the Fed­eral Archive in the west­ern city of Koblenz, which SPIEGEL has now analyzed. . . .

. . . . In the com­ing weeks, dur­ing events to mark the 40th anniver­sary of the attack, the ques­tion will once again be raised as to why the Ger­man courts never tried any of the per­pe­tra­tors or back­ers of the Munich mas­sacre. The doc­u­ments that are now avail­able sug­gest one answer in par­tic­u­lar: West Ger­many didn’t want to call them to account.

In the first few weeks after the attack, Ger­man gov­ern­ment offices in Bonn were imbued with a spirit of appease­ment. From the Israeli per­spec­tive, it felt like a bit­ter irony of his­tory that it involved Munich — a city that became a sym­bol of the West­ern pow­ers’ appease­ment of Hitler after the Munich Agree­ment per­mit­ting Nazi Germany’s annex­a­tion of the Sude­ten­land was signed there in 1938.

Although the Munich attack involved mul­ti­ple mur­ders, the lan­guage in the files oddly down­plays what hap­pened there. Then-Chancellor Brandt is quoted as say­ing that the Olympic mas­sacre was a “crazy inci­dent,” while Paul Frank, a state sec­re­tary in the For­eign Min­istry, refers to it sim­ply as the “events in Munich.” Diplo­mats and senior Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials upgraded the sta­tus of Black Sep­tem­ber by call­ing it a “resis­tance group” — as if its acts of ter­ror had been directed against Hitler and not Israeli civilians.

At the For­eign Min­istry, in par­tic­u­lar, some offi­cials were appar­ently very sym­pa­thetic to the Pales­tini­ans. Wal­ter Nowak, the Ger­man ambas­sador to Lebanon, once told Abu Youssef that the Ger­mans were a peo­ple “with a sub­stan­tial num­ber of refugees,” because of the fact that eth­nic Ger­mans had been expelled from parts of Cen­tral and East­ern Europe after World War II. (Nowak him­self was born in Sile­sia, which is now part of Poland, back when it belonged to Ger­many.) This, he added, made them more under­stand­ing of the Pales­tin­ian sit­u­a­tion than other nations. . . .

. . . .  It is clear that the Fed­eral Crim­i­nal Police Office (BKA) coop­er­ated with the PLO, as evi­denced by a telex from the embassy in Beirut report­ing on a meet­ing between Hindi and a BKA offi­cial on June 14, 1980. Accord­ing to the mes­sage, Hindi com­plained that the press had got­ten wind of the con­nec­tions between the PLO and the BKA. He also claimed that the leak was on the Ger­man side. An indis­cre­tion like this could jeop­ar­dize coop­er­a­tion, Hindi threat­ened, telling the BKA offi­cial that either the two orga­ni­za­tions “con­tinue work­ing together in secret, or not at all.”

Hindi died of can­cer in 2010, and most of the oth­ers behind the Munich mas­sacre are now dead, as well. One of the three ter­ror­ists whose release the PLO secured by hijack­ing a Lufthansa flight occa­sion­ally appears in doc­u­men­tary films. There is still a Ger­man war­rant out for his arrest, but there is noth­ing to sug­gest that Ger­man author­i­ties have ever tried to find him.

Given these cir­cum­stances, there is every indi­ca­tion that he will not be tried for the mur­der of the 11 Israelis and a Ger­man police offi­cer, at least not in a Ger­man court.

“Munich 1972: Further Disclosures”; Germany Watch; 8/30/2012.

EXCERPT: . . . . Here are just some of the highlights;

When the Black September terrorists left the Olympic site in helicopters in order to fly to the airport to meet their plane, there were 5 terrorists.

When the stand-off and shootings happened at the airport, there were suddenly 8 terrorists. (Italics added.)

The 3 extra terrorists took the Israeli Mossad Chief, who was present at the airport, by surprise. He questioned the Germans on this, and did not get a clear explanation. (Because they were the German contacts, already in the Helicopters waiting at the Olympic site. It was these three that survived the shooting and were later released – the others were expendable).

Despite requests for security of the Israeli team before the incident, German Police laughed off the need for security for the team saying it was “not in the Olympic spirit”.

Despite knowing their own plan for supposedly retrieving the hostages included sniping the terrorists at the airport, the Germans did not bring any rifles. They were armed with pistols and machinenpistol [sub-machine guns–D.E.]. This meant that when they opened fire, “German bullets were spraying about”, potentially including the possibility that some of the athletes were actually shot by Germans. . . . (Italics added.)


6 comments for “German Government’s Close, post-Attack Relationship with Perpetrators of the 1972 Olympics Massacre”

  1. Hi Dave. The link for the Spiegel article is for printing. Here is the web version:


    Keep going.

    Posted by Claude | September 2, 2012, 8:59 pm
  2. Posted by GW | September 5, 2012, 4:30 am
  3. Posted by GW | September 10, 2012, 9:05 am
  4. In a chilling story, the 9/17/12 “The internationally renowned Jewish Museum in Berlin hosted a podium discussion on Saturday with US academic Judith Butler, who renewed her calls to boycott Israel. It appears to be the first anti-Israel event held in the Jewish museum since its opening in 2001 with the aim of exhibiting the 2,000- year history of Germany’s Jews. At least 700 people attended the event.

    The German taxpayer-funded museum’s decision to showcase a speaker in the capital city, which during the Nazi period served as the launching pad for a boycott movement against German-Jewish businesses, has raised eyebrows about the management’s direction of the museum.”

    Posted by Kando | September 17, 2012, 10:03 am
  5. @GW: The whole lecture (in five parts) is amazing. Stephen Coughlin really is a true scientist, an exegete of shariah law. You listeners out there don’t want to miss that!

    Posted by Claude | September 17, 2012, 10:41 pm
  6. http://www.timesofisrael.com/new-olympic-chief-heads-arab-german-trade-group-set-up-to-boycott-israel/

    New Olympic chief heads Arab-German trade group set up to boycott Israel

    Thomas Bach supported predecessor Jacques Rogge in refusing to hold a moment of silence at 2012 Olympics for the 11 Israelis murdered at 1972 Munich Games
    By JTA and Miriam Shaviv September 11, 2013, 1:06 am 46

    The newly elected president of the International Olympic Committee heads a German-based organization that helps companies to guarantee that their products do not contain anything from Israel.

    Thomas Bach, a German who was elected Tuesday for an initial eight-year term at an IOC session in Buenos Aires, is chairman of Ghorfa, the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was set up in the 1970s by Arab countries to boycott trade with Israel.

    “It betrays the principles of sportsmanship and fair play for the IOC to be headed by someone who actively participates in ongoing Israel boycott campaign measures,” said Deidre Berger, director of the American Jewish Committee Berlin Ramer Institute.

    Ghorfa helps German companies ensure that products meet the import requirements of Arab governments, some of which ban products and services from Israel.

    The group continues to issue certificates of German origin for trade with Arab countries. Its earlier practice of certificates verifying that no product parts were produced in Israel stopped in the early 1990s when Germany enacted trade regulations forbidding the use of certificates of origin to enable de facto trade boycotts, according to the AJC.

    The Guardian said Bach had long coveted the presidency, and “ran a sophisticated lobbying campaign in which the Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad al-Sabah played a controversial role.” It said al-Sabah, an influential figure in IOC circles, “admitted to lobbying on Bach’s behalf in a breach of the IOC’s rules.”

    Bach, 59, who most recently served as IOC vice president, won a fencing gold medal in the team foil in 1976 before entering sports marketing and politics. He supported the refusal of the IOC, led by Jacques Rogge, to hold a moment of silence during the 2012 Summer Olympics for the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 members of the Israeli athletics delegation by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games.

    Bach’s candidacy for one of the most powerful jobs in world sport came under criticism in Germany in past weeks because it was strongly supported by Arab leaders. But Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Jewish Community of Bavaria and former head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement that Bach “stands for central values such as tolerance, fairness — sportsmanship in the best sense of the word — and cosmopolitanism.”
    Family and friends taking part at a ceremony for a new city square in the city of Natzrat Illit. in honor of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics games (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)

    Family and friends taking part at an August 2012 ceremony for a new square in the city of Natzrat Illit. in honor of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)

    Nine new IOC members also were elected Tuesday, including Bernard Rajzman, a Brazilian Jew. Rajzman, a native of Rio de Janeiro, where the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held, won one gold and one silver medal in volleyball. He is the president of Brazil’s National Commission of Athletes and a state congressman.

    At last summer’s Olympics, the widows of Israeli athletes killed in the Munich games led a chorus of bitter attacks on Bach’s predecessor Rogge over his refusal to allow a minute of silence at the opening ceremony.
    Ankie Spitzer, widow of one of the 11 members of the Israeli team who were killed in the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, addresses guests at a memorial ceremony at Guildhall in London on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (photo credit: Sang Tan/AP)

    Ankie Spitzer, widow of one of the 11 members of the Israeli team who were killed in the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, addresses guests at a memorial ceremony at Guildhall in London on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (photo credit: Sang Tan/AP)

    “Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person left who still believes in Olympic ideals,” Ankie Spitzer told an audience at a London memorial ceremony, which included Rogge. “Is the IOC only interested in power, money and politics?”

    “Shame on you, IOC,” said Spitzer, who was married to fencing coach Andre Spitzer. “You have forsaken the 11 members of your Olympic family. You are against them only because they are Israelis and Jews.”

    Ilana Romano, widow of weightlifter Yossef Romano, told Rogge to a standing ovation at the same event in August 2012 that “today, you submitted to terrorism.

    “You will be written down on the pages of history as a former athlete who became a president who violated the Olympic charter that calls for brotherhood, friendship and peace.”

    The widows’ campaign for a minute of silence at the opening ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1972 attack, gained more than 111,000 signatures from over 100 countries, and attracted support from US President Barack Obama and other world leaders. However, Rogge refused to allow the memorial to go ahead.

    Around 600 people attended the London service, which was organized by National Olympic Committee of Israel, the Jewish Committee for the London Games and the Israeli embassy in London. Guests included British Prime Minister David Cameron, London Mayor Boris Johnson, Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

    Rogge, who spoke before the Munich widows, did not refer to the Munich minute of silence. He said that “we are all here today because we share the duty of remembering the victims and to make sure the lessons of 1972 are never forgotten… We are here to speak with one voice against terrorism. There is no justification for terrorism, ever.”

    Posted by Vanfield | September 15, 2013, 4:09 pm

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