Sunday, July 29, 2012

40 Years Later

I was astonished when I watched the Olympics opening ceremony in London on Friday – a great performance by all those who took part, by the way – and there was a minute of silence. At first I thought that the IOC had finally given in to the pleas of so many people who had been asking for a minute to commemorate the Israeli athletes who got killed in the Munich Massacre 40 years ago. But no – this minute of silence was dedicated exclusively to other people – the Israelis were not even included which would have been easy, as there was this minute of silence anyway. Whatever the reason was – ignorance, cowardice or something else – shame on you, IOC!

I remember very well this horrible event. My family were all very keen on sports (I was a little bit of a “black sheep” with regard to that), so we watched much of the event and cheered mainly the German athletes, of course. It was also the year in which my four year old brother and I (six at the time) learned to swim. My brother was a huge fan of US American swimmer Mark Spitz and because he did very well in the water (much better than his older sister) he was soon named “Mark Spitz” by our swimming instructor :) My parents bought him stars and stripes swimming trunks and he was so proud. And whenever Mark Spitz (the real one) won yet another medal my brother and I were happy.


And then suddenly all the fun was spoiled by some Arab terrorists who abused this wonderful event for their satanic aims. Until then my parents had taken much effort to spare my brother and me from the knowledge that the world was bad – but now we saw it all, and we couldn’t believe what we saw! We felt with the poor athletes who were held hostage by the terrorists and we watched the futile attempts of the German authorities to free them. And in the end we saw everything go wrong – and even worse: while all eleven hostages and one policeman got killed this applied only to four of the terrorists. Three of them escaped. This was a huge blow to my strong sense of justice.

Including these twelve people – the eleven athletes and the policeman – in the minute of silence which took place anyway would have been a strong sign against terrorism. But maybe the IOC people were afraid of offending those countries who have been and are still supporting Arab and other terrorism against Israel!

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