Steinmeier: Slow processing of Olympic attack "shameful"

The breakthrough to the agreement on compensation payments to the bereaved came literally at the last minute, said Herzog.

Steinmeier: Slow processing of Olympic attack "shameful"

The breakthrough to the agreement on compensation payments to the bereaved came literally at the last minute, said Herzog. In this context, the Israeli President particularly praised Steinmeier's commitment.

At the joint commemoration on Monday in Fürstenfeldbruck, Steinmeier said he would also comment on the "suppression, forgetting and misjudgment" of the time. "It is indeed shameful that it took 50 years," stressed the Federal President.

"I am very aware that the threefold agreement - recognition of part of the responsibility, compensation and historians' commission - of course not all wounds can be healed, but we can be optimistic that we will find each other again through this agreement and that this will not remain the case, which puts a strain on German-Israeli relations for the present or the future," said Steinmeier.

Herzog recalled that the Israeli families of the bereaved had tried in vain for decades to raise the issue. He hopes that "historians will now look reality in the face and our relationships will become healthier as a result". It is now a matter of "examining human behavior, dealing with the pain and mistakes and learning from them for future generations".

The survivors of the victims had initially canceled their participation in the memorial service on Monday in Fürstenfeldbruck. On Wednesday, however, the federal government announced an agreement with the bereaved on compensation payments, so that the commemoration is now taking place together with the bereaved and the presidents of both countries.

A Palestinian commando broke into the Munich Olympic grounds on September 5, 1972 and took members of the Israeli team hostage. Eleven Israeli athletes and a German policeman were killed during the hostage-taking and a failed rescue operation. The behavior of the police and the German security authorities was then sharply criticized and also triggered outrage in Israel.

The Israeli head of state wants to give a speech in the German Bundestag on Tuesday. Finally, a visit together with Steinmeier to the former Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen is planned.

Isaac Herzog's father, former Israeli President Chaim Herzog, was one of the camp's liberators in April 1945, while he was an officer in the ranks of the British armed forces. Chaim Herzog was also the first Israeli President to pay a state visit to Germany in 1987 after the Second World War.

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