Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit

Munich Massacre Memorial: Visit from Israel

Siegerentwurf des Büros Brückner & Brückner Architekten


Bavarian State Minister  of Educatione and Culture Affairs Dr. Ludwig Spaenle und Ankie Spitzer (r.), widow of fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, and Ilana Romano (l.), widow of Yossef Romano


On 27th November , Ankie Spitzer, widow of fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, and Ilana Romano, widow of Yossef Romano, visited the Bavarian Parliament and met with the State Minister of Cultural Affairs, Dr. Ludwig Spaenle, to discuss the progress of the project “Munich Massacre Memorial ´72”. Both women were 26 years old as their husbands and nine other athletes were killed during an attack by the Palestinian terror organization, Black September, on the Israeli Olympic team.

At the time, Ilana Romano had three small daughters. Ankie Spitzer had just become a mother of a baby that was a few weeks old. Almost all the athletes who were killed had, only a few years or even months earlier, immigrated to Israel from Europe and the former Soviet Union to escape reprisals in their homelands.

Likewise, Ankie Spitzer, who is actually Dutch, had only been in Israel for one year as the massacre occurred: “Up until that  moment, I had never really understood what terrorism was”, she explained during the visit. Since then, both widows have fought to keep the memory of the massacre alive and for a dignified commemoration for the murdered athletes.
Opening of the 30th plenary session in the Bavarian parliament on 27th November 2014. (Barbara Stamm, Parliament president): Click on the picture to start the video.  

Spitzer and Romano were in Munich for three days to acquaint themselves with the memorial project. After meeting with the Israeli Consulate General, Dr. Dan Shaham, they visited the potential site locations within the vicinity of the historic scene of the massacre situated next to the Olympic Village. At the beginning of the 30th plenary session of the parliament on 27th November, Ms. Spitzer and Ms.Romano were welcomed by the parliament president, Barbara Stamm. She thanked both women for their commitment and contribution towards the memorial.

Afterwards, Ms. Spitzer and Ms. Romano met with Minister Dr. Ludwig Spaenle to discuss the progress of the memorial site project. Spaenle informed them about the ongoing debates involving the residents of Olympic Village. Its residents had collected signatures against the plan to set up the memorial in Connollyberg, and as a result, the site had now been moved 100 meters further eastwards.

Ankie Spitzer sees the new location as a compromise which – despite holding the view that Connollyberg was more suitable – she can gladly accept. She indicates that for over 40 years, she and Ilana Romano had vigorously campaigned for a memorial site: “We do not want to remember the massacre in a negative sense. No, we want people to learn from history. And we want people to learn about the personalities of the victims. They were at the prime of their lives when they were murdered”.

Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano are grateful that finally – in addition to the memorial plaques in place that bear the names of the victims – a dignified memorial site will be established: A memorial that will tell the story of the tragedy as well as provide information about the historic events surrounding the terror attack.

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© Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit   •   letzte Änderung am: 16.09.2016 14:11