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Germans Had Prior Warning about Olympics Massacre

COMMENT: Der Spiegel gives us anoth­er jolt­ing rev­e­la­tion con­cern­ing the 1972 Olympics Mas­sacre in Munich. Ger­man author­i­ties had been warned almost a month in advance of Pales­tin­ian inten­tions to cre­ate an inci­dent at the Olympics. 

Despite a warn­ing from the for­eign min­istry, the Munich secu­ri­ty offi­cials took no sig­nif­i­cant action, this despite the fact that the Black Sep­tem­ber group appears to have been method­olog­i­cal­ly ama­teur­ish.

The secu­ri­ty offi­cials at the games per­mit­ted Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists to walk right past the build­ing where the Israeli ath­letes were quar­tered.

In the past, we’ve exam­ined sev­er­al con­sid­er­a­tions that weigh heav­i­ly on this issue;

  • Secu­ri­ty at the games was under the super­vi­sion of a BND offi­cer names Hans Lange­mann. (BND is the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vice, descend­ed from the Gehlen spy out­fit.)
  • Lange­mann alleged­ly con­spired with Hans Koll­mar (head of the BKA–the Ger­man Fed­er­al Police) to stage ter­ror­ist inci­dents to be blamed on the left.
  • Lange­mann, while work­ing for the Ger­man domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice, pro­vid­ed an ali­bi for Karl Heinz Hoff­man, head of the neo-Nazi ter­ror group that per­pe­trat­ed the 1980 Okto­ber­fest bomb­ing in Munich.
  • The Ger­man author­i­ties tried to blame the Okto­ber­fest bomb­ing on the left, despite evi­dence that the crime was part of a series of attacks per­pe­trat­ed by the post­war fas­cist inter­na­tion­al.
  • The Black Sep­tem­ber ter­ror­ists who exe­cut­ed the Olympics mas­sacre were aid­ed by Ger­man neo-Nazis.
  • Ger­man neo-Nazi ter­ror­ists appear to have received assis­tance from the very domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice that is sup­posed to keep them in check.
  • Doc­u­ments indi­cat­ing com­plic­i­ty by the domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice in Nazi ter­ror were destroyed the day before being turned over to a pros­e­cu­tor.
  • The leader of the Olympics ter­ror squad (Ali Has­san  Salameh) was the son of one of the Grand Mufti’s top aides.
  • At the time of his assas­si­na­tion by the Mossad, Salameh was work­ing for the CIA.

“Ger­many Had a Tip-Off Three Weeks Ahead of Munich Mas­sacre, Der Spiegel Claims” by Raphael Ahren; Times of Israel; 7/22/2012.

EXCERPT: Ger­many had a tip-off from a Pales­tin­ian infor­mant in Beirut three weeks before the 1972 Munich Olympic mas­sacre that Pales­tini­ans were plan­ning an “inci­dent” at the Games, a Ger­man news mag­a­zine charged Sun­day.

The For­eign Min­istry in Bonn took the tip-off suf­fi­cient­ly seri­ous­ly to pass it on to the secret ser­vice in Munich and urge that “all pos­si­ble secu­ri­ty mea­sures” be tak­en.

But the Munich author­i­ties failed to act on the tip, which was passed on to Bonn by the Ger­man Embassy in Beirut, and have nev­er acknowl­edged it in the ensu­ing 40 years, Der Spiegel said in a front-page sto­ry to be pub­lished Mon­day but made avail­able online in Ger­man on Sun­day.

The fail­ure to act upon that tip-off at the time, and the sub­se­quent fail­ure to acknowl­edge that it had even been received, Der Spiegel added, is only part of a 40-year cov­er-up by the Ger­man author­i­ties of the mis­han­dling of the 1972 ter­ror attack, in which 11 mem­bers of the Israeli team were mas­sa­cred by Pales­tin­ian Black Sep­tem­ber ter­ror­ists.

“The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment [in Bonn] and the local gov­ern­ment of the state of Bavaria com­mit­ted grave errors in their han­dling of the attack on Israeli ath­letes dur­ing the Olympic Games in Munich, and have kept the true extent of the fail­ure true under wraps until today,” Der Spiegel assert­ed.

For the first 20 years after the mas­sacre in Munich, the Ger­man author­i­ties refused to release any infor­ma­tion about the attack; nor did they accept any respon­si­bil­i­ty for the trag­ic results. . . . .

. . . . On Sun­day, Der Spiegel said it obtained hith­er­to secret reports by author­i­ties, embassy cables and min­utes of cab­i­net meet­ings that demon­strate just how ama­teur­ish the Ger­man offi­cials were ahead of the Sep­tem­ber 5 attack, which also claimed the life of one Ger­man police­man.

Accord­ing to Bonn’s offi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion of the event, the Pales­tin­ian Black Sep­tem­ber ter­ror group car­ried out its dead­ly mis­sion with “pre­ci­sion.” But the Ger­man author­i­ties knew the Black Sep­tem­ber was a bad­ly pre­pared group that bare­ly man­aged to find hotel rooms in Munich, Der Spiegel stat­ed.

As far back as August 14, 1972, three weeks before the mas­sacre, the Ger­man Embassy in Beirut report­ed to Bonn that an infor­mant had talked about Pales­tin­ian plans for “an inci­dent” dur­ing the Olympics, accord­ing to the report. Four days lat­er, the For­eign Min­istry in Bonn told the secret service’s Munich branch about this and advised author­i­ties to “take all pos­si­ble secu­ri­ty mea­sures.”

Need­less to say, the nec­es­sary secu­ri­ty mea­sures were nev­er tak­en. The report revealed, for instance, that the ter­ror­ists were strolling by the apart­ments of the Israeli ath­letes with­out any­body stop­ping them from doing so.

All these facts are miss­ing from the offi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion of the Ger­man gov­ern­ment.

The offi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion also con­ceals the fact that the Munich pros­e­cu­tion inves­ti­gat­ed the city’s police chiefs for sus­pect­ed neg­li­gent homi­cide, the mag­a­zine report­ed.

“Mutu­al accu­sa­tions should be avoid­ed, as well as self-crit­i­cism,” a For­eign Min­istry offi­cial told a spe­cial cab­i­net ses­sion just two days after the dead­ly attack. “From that moment on, this appar­ent­ly became the mot­to of the gov­ern­ments in Bonn and Munich,” the mag­a­zine wrote.


6 comments for “Germans Had Prior Warning about Olympics Massacre”

  1. Hi Dave.

    Nice post as usu­al. This is on our radar too...


    Posted by GW | July 29, 2012, 7:27 am
  2. Inter­est­ing Olympic neo-nazi kerfuffle...while I don’t think­ing kick­ing her out of the Olympic Vil­lage over this makes sense (she got to com­pete and is leav­ing ear­ly), kick­ing her out of the police force last year was prob­a­bly a good idea:

    August 3, 2012 11:26 AM
    Ties to neo-Nazi group prompt Ger­man row­er to leave Lon­don Olympics

    (CBS/AP) Here’s an unof­fi­cial tal­ly of rea­sons Olympic ath­letes and coach­es have been rep­ri­mand­ed or sent pack­ing from the 2012 Lon­don Games: racist tweets, dop­ing, drunk dri­ving, booze-fueled ram­pages, and throw­ing bad­minton match­es.

    Now we can add ties to a neo-Nazi group.

    Ger­man Olympic offi­cials said Fri­day that a row­er had left the Olympics after a broad­cast­er report­ed that her boyfriend is a sup­port­er of an extreme right-wing par­ty in Ger­many.

    Nad­ja Dry­gal­la, a mem­ber of the wom­en’s eight crew, planned to leave the Olympic vil­lage to avoid any “bur­den for the Olympic team,” said Michael Ves­per, gen­er­al direc­tor of the nation­al Olympic asso­ci­a­tion.

    Accord­ing to Yahoo Sports, “Dry­gal­la’s boyfriend is report­ed­ly a leader of the Ros­tock Nation­al Social­ists, a group Ger­man intel­li­gence describes as neo-Nazi and racist.”


    Dry­gal­la is a for­mer police trainee. The state inte­ri­or min­istry in Meck­len­burg-West­ern Pomera­nia said it learned last year that her acquain­tances includ­ed peo­ple who belong to the far-right scene.

    A min­istry state­ment said that “inten­sive talks” were held with Dry­gal­la and she resigned from the force last Sep­tem­ber.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 3, 2012, 8:38 am
  3. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/germany-maintained-contacts-with-palestinians-after-munich-massacre-a-852322-druck.html

    08/28/2012 11:51 AM
    1972 Olympics Mas­sacre
    Ger­many’s Secret Con­tacts to Pales­tin­ian Ter­ror­ists

    By Felix Bohr, Gun­ther Latsch and Klaus Wiegrefe

    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.

    In the busy streets of Beirut, the Lebanese cap­i­tal, hard­ly any­one noticed the three Buick sedans that came to a stop just before the cor­ner of Rue Ver­dun. Sev­er­al cou­ples got out of the cars. They were dressed casu­al­ly and looked like tourists. Some of the peo­ple were in fact wear­ing blonde wigs and wom­en’s cloth­ing, which was­n’t rec­og­niz­able from a dis­tance.

    In fact, the cou­ples were all men, mem­bers of an Israeli spe­cial forces unit oper­at­ing in ene­my ter­ri­to­ry.

    At about 1:30 a.m., they entered an apart­ment build­ing. They rushed up the stairs to the upper floors, pulled Uzi sub­ma­chine guns and explo­sives out from under their bag­gy cloth­ing and received a radio mes­sage from their com­man­der order­ing them to blow open the doors to sev­er­al apart­ments. They imme­di­ate­ly opened fire, shoot­ing and killing Abu Youssef, Kamal Nass­er and Kamal Adwan, three senior offi­cials with the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion (PLO). Yousse­f’s wife and a female neigh­bor were also killed.

    At the time, Oper­a­tion Spring of Youth, car­ried out by Israel’s Mossad intel­li­gence agency and the Israeli army in the ear­ly morn­ing hours of April 10, 1973, was prob­a­bly the most spec­tac­u­lar coun­tert­er­ror­ism oper­a­tion in the his­to­ry of the Jew­ish state. After the attack, the men fled in their Buicks to the Beirut sea front, where they board­ed inflat­able boats and were tak­en back out to a wait­ing speed­boat. The episode was vivid­ly por­trayed as a high-speed escape in the dead of night in direc­tor Steven Spiel­berg’s film “Munich.”

    ‘New Basis of Trust’

    Oper­a­tion Spring of Youth was part of a revenge cam­paign the Israelis waged against the back­ers of the Munich mas­sacre of Sept. 5–6, 1972. Black Sep­tem­ber, a ter­ror­ist group with ties to the PLO, had killed 11 Israeli ath­letes and coach­es in an attack dur­ing the Munich Olympics. After the Lebanon oper­a­tion, the gov­ern­ment in Tel Aviv gave the return­ing Israeli elite troops a hero’s wel­come.

    Wal­ter Nowak, 48, the then Ger­man ambas­sador to Lebanon, con­demned the Israeli action, 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.

    The motives were plain. Bonn knew that the Pales­tini­ans craved inter­na­tion­al recog­ni­tion. Any con­tact with West Ger­man rep­re­sen­ta­tives, even in secret, upgrad­ed the PLO’s sta­tus as an insti­tu­tion. In return, the gov­ern­ment of then Chan­cel­lor Willy Brandt and Vice-Chan­cel­lor Wal­ter Scheel hoped to pro­tect Ger­many from fur­ther attacks. But the price they had to pay in return appears to have been high.

    Spir­it of Appease­ment

    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.

    A num­ber of com­ments even cre­ate the impres­sion that it was­n’t only Black Sep­tem­ber but also the Israelis who had com­mit­ted mur­der in West Ger­many. Accord­ing to speak­ing notes for For­eign Min­is­ter Scheel dat­ed Octo­ber 1972, the par­ties in the Mid­dle East con­flict had a ten­den­cy to take their dis­putes to non­in­volved coun­tries. It was up to Bonn to defend itself against such actions “by both sides of the con­flict” (empha­sis in the orig­i­nal).

    ‘The Munich Chap­ter Was Closed’

    At the time, there were wide­spread fears of fur­ther attacks. The intel­li­gence ser­vices reg­u­lar­ly report­ed on plans to hijack Ger­man air­lin­ers. In most cas­es, they warned that hijack­ings could be used to secure the release of the three Olympic killers who had sur­vived the fire­fight with the police in Fürsten­feld­bruck.

    And then, on Oct. 29, the warn­ings became real­i­ty. A group of PLO ter­ror­ists hijacked a Lufthansa flight en route to Frank­furt. The Bavar­i­an state gov­ern­ment imme­di­ate­ly released the three pris­on­ers, who were flown to Libya via Zagreb.

    Paul Frank, the senior For­eign Min­istry offi­cial, told the Libyan ambas­sador with relief that, from Ger­many’s stand­point, “the Munich chap­ter was closed” as a result of the release. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment chose not to request the extra­di­tion of the three ter­ror­ists from Libya. In a memo to the Chan­cellery, Frank wrote: “We should be pleased that the whole thing has calmed down suf­fi­cient­ly.”

    Frank pushed for a “fun­da­men­tal clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the rela­tion­ship with the Pales­tini­ans.” Because the con­ser­v­a­tive-led Ger­man gov­ern­ment in the mid-1960s was con­sid­ered point­ed­ly pro-Israel, key Arab coun­tries had bro­ken off diplo­mat­ic rela­tions with Bonn. Egypt and Alge­ria had only brought ambas­sadors back to Bonn short­ly before the 1972 Olympics. Frank spec­u­lat­ed that fur­ther attacks by Black Sep­tem­ber could threat­en the Ger­man-Arab rap­proche­ment. That, in turn, could jeop­ar­dize Ger­many’s oil sup­ply and export con­tracts. This prompt­ed Frank and his diplo­mats to seek direct con­tact with the PLO at the end of 1972, first in Cairo and then in Beirut.

    While Chan­cel­lor Brandt issued a pub­lic promise to the Israelis that he would “not capit­u­late to ter­ror­ism,” For­eign Min­istry sources sug­gest a dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tion of events. Hel­mut Redies, a Mid­dle East expert at the For­eign Min­istry, mere­ly asked the PLO to exclude West Ger­many and its cit­i­zens from its attacks. “It is crit­i­cal to us that the Pales­tini­ans respect pub­lic safe­ty in West Ger­many, and that no oper­a­tions are con­duct­ed on the soil of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic, or against Ger­man indi­vid­u­als and facil­i­ties abroad.”

    Ger­many Did Not Push for Ter­ror­ist’s Extra­di­tion
    PLO leader Yass­er Arafat relent­ed, and on Jan­u­ary 1973, he made it clear that he had “offi­cial­ly decid­ed” to com­ply with Ger­many’s wish­es. In return, he asked to be allowed to send an envoy to Bonn. Arafat want­ed to secure his influ­ence among the sev­er­al thou­sand Pales­tini­ans liv­ing in West Ger­many at the time, whose dona­tions were one of his most impor­tant sources of fund­ing. His wish was grant­ed, and in 1975 Abdal­lah Fran­gi, an Arafat con­fi­dant who was the jovial son of a Bedouin, became the head of the so-called Pales­tine Infor­ma­tion Office on Kaiser­strasse in Bonn.

    The Black Sep­tem­ber ter­ror­ists had tried to reach Fran­gi sev­er­al times by tele­phone on the day of the Olympic mas­sacre. Fran­gi nar­row­ly escaped death in a Mossad revenge attack in Octo­ber 1972.

    In Bonn, Fran­gi open­ly cham­pi­oned the PLO’s inter­ests. Pho­tos of recep­tions in the West Ger­man cap­i­tal show the Arab lob­by­ist with Brandt, Scheel and for­mer Chan­cel­lor Hel­mut Schmidt.

    Frangi’s chutz­pah was espe­cial­ly appar­ent ahead of the 1974 soc­cer World Cup, which was host­ed by West Ger­many. Accord­ing to the files, Fran­gi offered the For­eign Min­istry a sort of anti-ter­ror hot­line. The PLO rep­re­sen­ta­tive, who was mar­ried to a Ger­man woman from the west­ern state of Hesse, explained that the Ger­mans had noth­ing to fear in the way of attacks dur­ing the World Cup, because there were “no plans of this nature.” Nev­er­the­less, he added, he would make him­self “avail­able” just in case, and could be reached at the home of his wife’s par­ents. In his mem­oirs, Fran­gi writes that the Munich mur­ders were “no longer an issue” dur­ing talks in Bonn at the time.

    Awk­ward Issue

    This did­n’t change when the French police arrest­ed one of the main cul­prits in 1977. Abu Daoud, a teacher from Jerusalem, had coor­di­nat­ed the Black Sep­tem­ber oper­a­tion in Munich and left the coun­try on the morn­ing of the attack. When the Ger­man Jus­tice Min­istry received an inquiry from Paris as to whether there was any inter­est in an extra­di­tion, it referred the request to the rel­e­vant author­i­ties in Bavaria.

    In Munich, Alfred Sei­dl, a senior offi­cial in the state’s Jus­tice Min­istry, rec­om­mend­ed that Bonn sup­port an extra­di­tion request by Israel instead of becom­ing direct­ly involved. In this way, he argued, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment “could pos­si­bly avoid hav­ing to issue its own extra­di­tion request or hav­ing Abu Daoud extra­dit­ed to Ger­many.”

    The mat­ter became too awk­ward for the French after a few days, and they allowed Abu Daoud to fly to Alge­ria. They too were wor­ried about attacks being car­ried out on their ter­ri­to­ry.

    The gov­ern­ment of then Chan­cel­lor Schmidt and For­eign Min­is­ter Hans-Diet­rich Gen­sch­er also viewed the Olympic mas­sacre with cold prag­ma­tism. A Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment in exile would emerge from the PLO “soon­er or lat­er,” a For­eign Min­istry offi­cial not­ed, and charges of ter­ror­ism were not help­ful in that respect. The Ger­man ambas­sador in Beirut wrote that because the attack had occurred a long time pre­vi­ous­ly, the “bad blood on both sides has been cleared up,” and that Bonn ought to try to objec­ti­fy its rela­tion­ship with the Pales­tini­ans.

    In the fall of 1977, a mem­ber of Schmidt’s staff at the Chan­cellery even met with Ali Salameh, prob­a­bly the key mas­ter­mind of the Munich attack. As a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Pales­tini­ans, Salameh, nick­named the “Red Prince,” demand­ed recog­ni­tion of the PLO. In return, he offered that the PLO would not only dis­tance itself from ter­ror­ism, but also become “active­ly involved in fight­ing ter­ror­ism.” To its cred­it, Bonn turned down the deal.

    Tac­it Per­mis­sion

    Whether or not Ger­many’s appease­ment pol­i­cy was a suc­cess is debat­able. Despite Arafat’s guar­an­tee of secu­ri­ty, it was most­ly luck and focused police work that pre­vent­ed fur­ther PLO attacks in Ger­many or against Ger­mans abroad. When in 1979 the police arrest­ed 11 Pales­tini­ans with explo­sives in West Berlin and at a num­ber of bor­der cross­ings, Frangi’s friend, the arm­chair ter­ror­ist Hin­di, asked the Ger­man Embassy in Beirut for a meet­ing. The files indi­cate that the mood was “relaxed and friend­ly.”

    Hin­di open­ly admit­ted that the men had had orders to send par­cel bombs to Israel. He also said that he would con­tin­ue to “con­duct such oper­a­tions against Israel” and that he would have to “use oth­er coun­tries as oper­at­ing bases.” Hin­di advised the Ger­mans to take the Ital­ians’ approach, say­ing that Rome “tac­it­ly” allowed him and his com­pa­tri­ots to oper­ate in Italy.

    What hap­pened after that remains one of the secrets of the for­mer West Ger­many. 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.

    Trans­lat­ed from the Ger­man by Christo­pher Sul­tan



    Posted by Vanfield | August 28, 2012, 3:47 pm
  4. http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=5602

    August 29, 2012
    ‘Ger­mans did­n’t even make min­i­mal effort to save Munich 11’

    Doc­u­ments released Wednes­day by State Archives reveal then-Mossad chief Zvi Zamir’s reports to the Israeli gov­ern­ment and how it dealt with the unfold­ing hor­rors of the 1972 ter­ror­ist attack on Israel’s Olympic del­e­ga­tion.

    Israel Hay­om Staff

    Ger­man secu­ri­ty forces did not make even “a min­i­mal effort” to save the lives of the Israeli ath­letes and coach­es mur­dered at the 1972 Munich efforts, accord­ing to the then head of Israel’s intel­li­gence agency, the Mossad.

    Accord­ing to offi­cial doc­u­ments released Wednes­day ahead of the 40th anniver­sary of the mas­sacre, Mossad chief Zvi Zamir returned to Israel from Munich on the evening of Sep­tem­ber 6 and report­ed to then-Prime Min­is­ter Gol­da Meir and Min­is­ters Yigal Allon, Abba Eban and Yis­rael Galili. Zamir described to the hor­ri­fied offi­cials how Ger­many had reject­ed his attempts to assist in the oper­a­tion, as well as the total chaos, lack of pro­fes­sion­al­ism and apa­thy dis­played by the Ger­man forces. “They did­n’t make even a min­i­mal effort to save lives, did­n’t take even a min­i­mal risk to save peo­ple, nei­ther theirs nor ours”, he said. He said that in his opin­ion, the Ger­mans only want­ed to end the oper­a­tion, at any cost, in order to get on with the Olympics. Zamir con­clud­ed that the oper­a­tion was car­ried out “poor­ly and inept­ly, which led to the trag­ic out­come.”

    Among the 45 doc­u­ments released by the State Archives is the detailed report Zamir pre­sent­ed to Meir, which was trans­lat­ed to Eng­lish and sent to the West Ger­man author­i­ties. The doc­u­ment can be found here.

    Zamir acknowl­edges in his report that the deci­sion to draw the ter­ror­ists out of the Olympic vil­lage was a cor­rect one, but he also includ­ed a num­ber of crit­i­cisms. He points to basic oper­a­tional fail­ures, such as the fact that the Ger­man author­i­ties did not know how many ter­ror­ists were involved, even though they could have count­ed them as they left the Olympic vil­lage. He also remarks that there were no snipers sta­tioned at the air­field to pick off the ter­ror­ists, nor did he see any rifles or even binoc­u­lars which would have been bet­ter suit­ed for pre­cise shoot­ing at the ranges involved in the oper­a­tion.

    Zamir tes­ti­fied to the Knes­set For­eign Affairs and Defense Com­mit­tee a few weeks lat­er and said that though the Ger­mans had a plan and ful­ly intend­ed to res­cue the hostages, they were unable to impro­vise and devise solu­tions as the events unfold­ed. This par­tial­ly account­ed for the fail­ure of the oper­a­tion.

    There was a detailed exchange between Israel and Ger­many over the coun­tries’ dif­fer­ing find­ings into the ter­ror attack, which is also revealed in the released doc­u­ments. The Ger­mans took issue with Zamir’s report, and found that giv­en the ter­ror­ists’ intent, even sig­nif­i­cant rein­force­ment of the secu­ri­ty arrange­ments would not have pre­vent­ed a ter­ror­ist attack on the Israelis in the Olympic Vil­lage or else­where.

    Around half of the 45 doc­u­ments released Wednes­day were specif­i­cal­ly declas­si­fied ahead of the pub­li­ca­tion. The doc­u­ments detail the Israeli gov­ern­men­t’s actions as events devel­oped, as well as the after­math and delib­er­a­tions over an inquiry com­mit­tee. Sev­er­al sec­tions of the doc­u­ments have been redact­ed, and some still remain secret, pos­si­bly under the orders of the Mossad.

    The doc­u­ments also include state dis­cus­sions over West Ger­many’s release of the sur­viv­ing ter­ror­ists in late Octo­ber 1972, as a result of the hijack­ing of a Lufthansa plane.

    Israel was out­raged at the deci­sion to release the ter­ror­ists, and For­eign Min­is­ter Abba Eban met with the Ger­man ambas­sador in Israel, and expressed this anger in no uncer­tain terms, say­ing: “The main result is that the three ter­ror­ists have been released, and they are now free to com­mit addi­tion­al crimes and mur­der more Israelis. To some degree, it is as if the action pass­es a death sen­tence on oth­er Israelis.”

    The State Archives’ doc­u­ments from this painful peri­od in Israeli his­to­ry are divid­ed into nine sec­tions and can be accessed using the fol­low­ing links:

    The pub­li­ca­tion is divid­ed into nine sec­tions:

    • “The attack­ers are hold­ing hostages and demand the release of Arabs, appar­ent­ly in Israel.” First reports on the kid­nap­ping of the ath­letes and devel­op­ments until the fail­ure of the Ger­man res­cue oper­a­tion.

    • “Ger­man tele­vi­sion has no alter­na­tive pro­gram.” The issue of stop­ping the Olympic Games.

    • “I fear that the whole busi­ness will turn into an issue against Ger­many.” Deal­ing with the dimen­sions of the dis­as­ter and its effect on rela­tions with West Ger­many.

    • “They did­n’t make even a min­i­mal effort to save human lives.” Zvi Zamir’s reports on the events in Munich.

    • Gen­sch­er: Gen­er­al Zamir’s report includes a num­ber of inac­cu­ra­cies or incor­rect state­ments. The Ger­man com­mis­sion of inquiry report and the dis­pute with the Ger­mans.

    • The Kop­pel Com­mit­tee report: The GSS arrange­ments regard­ing secu­ri­ty abroad did not keep up with the chang­ing needs. The Israeli inves­ti­ga­tion.

    • Gol­da Meir: “It is a sad and bit­ter busi­ness, that I am in the posi­tion that my res­ig­na­tion would drag the gov­ern­ment into a cri­sis.” Dis­cus­sions on the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the Kop­pel report.

    • “We must change them from hunters to prey.” Dis­cus­sions of the Knes­set For­eign Affairs and Defense Com­mit­tee on the Kop­pel report and the war against ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

    • Eban: “To some degree, it is as if this pass­es a death sen­tence on oth­er Israelis.” The hijack­ing of a Lufthansa plane and release of the Munich ter­ror­ists.

    Posted by Vanfield | August 29, 2012, 10:25 am
  5. Posted by GW | August 31, 2012, 7:10 am
  6. @GW–

    We’ll be includ­ing some of this infor­ma­tion in a new post on the ’72 Olympics that will be appear­ing in the next sev­er­al days.


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | September 1, 2012, 4:11 pm

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