In Munich, a tribute to Israeli athletes and families’ persistence
MUNICH — The gray space is carved directly into a grassy hillside, evoking an open wound.
In this way, the Munich 1972 Massacre Memorial, set to open Sept. 6, is emblematic of the pain that has endured for many since that year’s Olympic Games, when 11 members of the Israeli team and one German police officer were killed by members of the Palestinian group Black September.
The memorial, family members of the victims said, will bring them yet another step closer to peace.
“There are no happier people, no more satisfied people, than us,” said Ankie Spitzer, whose husband, Andre, a fencing coach, was among those killed at the Munich Games. “It took 45 years, but like I tell my kids, if you have a dream, pursue it, if you feel that it is just.”
Satisfaction has been a long time coming. The healing process? That still feels incomplete.
Family members of the victims — organized by Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widow of weight lifter Yossef Romano — spent decades asking the International Olympic Committee for a formal acknowledgment of the massacre at the games. Last year, at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, one finally took place, with a ceremony and the installation of a monument in the Olympic Village.
But Spitzer and the other families had also urged the Bavarian