Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic assassination, the German government reaffirmed Germany's responsibility for the events of that time. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is very happy about the agreement reached with the families of the Israeli victims, said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Friday in Berlin. "It's good that coming to terms with what happened is also part of this agreement. Germany is taking responsibility here." There are still unanswered questions that hopefully can now be answered.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior officially confirmed on Friday that the agreement provides for compensation of 28 million euros for the victims' families. The federal government will pay 22.5 million euros, the state of Bavaria 5 million euros and the city of Munich 500,000 euros, said a spokesman.
On September 5, 1972, Palestinian terrorists attacked the Israeli team at the Olympic Games in Munich. Eleven members of the team and one police officer were killed during the failed rescue operation by the police at the Fürstenfeldbruck air base. The safety precautions were considered inadequate. Adequate compensation for the survivors of the victims was fought for decades. An agreement was only reached shortly before the anniversary.
There will be a memorial event in Fürstenfeldbruck on Monday. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Israel's President Izchak Herzog and survivors will take part. In his speech, Steinmeier will probably acknowledge Germany's responsibility for the events and apologize to the bereaved. In Berlin, the flags are flown at half-mast at the official residence of the Federal President and at the Reichstag building. This was announced by the Office of the Federal President and the Bundestag on Friday.
From Steinmeier's point of view, the German state bears responsibility in three ways, as the Federal President's Office said on Friday. For example, he failed to fulfill his duty to protect Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games. Then the liberation action was catastrophic. This was followed by the refusal to clarify the events and to tell the victims' relatives the truth about what happened and what went wrong. "50 years is an embarrassingly long time," it said. It was long overdue to draw conclusions from this responsibility, as has now happened with the agreement with the families.
Hebestreit said at the federal press conference that the government was taking the commemoration as an opportunity for a clear political assessment: "Germany reaffirms its responsibility for the mistakes that were made locally in 1972, but also in the decades that followed. In addition, the families will receive appropriate compensation in recognition of their decades of suffering." The commemoration at the site of the terrible events and exactly 50 years later will be a "difficult walk" for the bereaved, said the government spokesman. "Especially on this day, Germany will stand side by side with the bereaved."