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
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.
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.)