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Documents: German Police Failed to Make 'Minimal Effort' in Munich Olympics Slayings

Documents: German Police Failed to Make 'Minimal Effort' in Munich Olympics Slayings

Newly-released documents reveal German police made little effort to save lives in the 1972 massacre of eleven Israeli Olympic athletes.

With the 40th anniversary of the tragedy approaching, the Israeli State Archives just released 45 documents pertaining to the killings. The documents, which detail the hostage taking, the massacre, and the moments shortly thereafter, cast German police who responded to the hostage situation in the worst of lights. 

Among the accusations contained in the documents is a complaint by then-Mossad head Zvi Zamir that German Police “didn’t make even a minimal effort to save human lives.” 

The killings took place on September 5th and 6th, 1972. Two Israelis were killed by armed Palestinians in the Olympic village on the 5th and, after a hostage situation, nine more were killed the next day. The hostage takers sought release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

The documents also detail Germany’s release of the three surviving terrorists a mere month after the Munich massacre took place. All three were released per the demands of Palestinian terrorists who hijacked a Lufthansa plane in October 1972.

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