Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Wife's Plea, A Wife's Demand

Three weeks after giving birth to her baby daughter, Ankie Spitzer walked into the room where her husband, Andrei had been held as a hostage in Munich. By then, at age 26, she was a widow. She has told of the horrendous security - how she would enter the Olympic village through the exit because to the Germans it was only logical to guard the entrance where people were supposed to enter. She has described how the games continued for hours while the Israelis were held prisoner - only stopping hours later 12 hours later, after the conclusion of a volleyball game.

She tells of the announcement that all the Israelis had survived the bungled German attempt to rescue the hostages and of how her parents, so excited, wanted to celebrate with champagne. She told them to wait until Andrei called; he never did.

Her husband was one of the Munich 11 and for the last 40 years she has spearheaded a request, a plea, a demand for two things. The first was that the Germans admit how they blundered the handling of the terrorist attack  - this has been done in part by the German government and even more so by the media. If you read the Wikipedia article about the Munich Massacre, you are filled with such anger. It is hard to think how they could possibly have been more incompetent - first in the handling of the security and second in every facet of the hostage situation.

Ankie's second request was that the International Olympic Committee honor the murdered Israeli athletes and coaches with a moment of silence. Each time, she has been denied.

Last week, Andrei's daughter was married in Israel - within a few days, it seems, the International Olympic Committee will again ignore her request and that of thousands of others for one minute, one stinking minute of silence.

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