Tuesday, September 5, 2023


On this day in 1972, Arab terrorists wearing track sweats climbed the fence surrounding the Olympic Village in Munich. Just before suppertime, they knocked on the door of Israeli wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg. He realized something was wrong and shouted a warning, but he and weightlifter Joseph Romano were killed when they attempted to block the door. The Arabs then succeeded in rounding up nine Israelis to hold as hostages.

At 9:30, the terrorists announced that they were Palestinians and demanded that Israel release 200 Arab prisoners and that the terrorists be given safe passage out of Germany. After hours of tense negotiations, the Palestinians, who it was later learned belonged to a PLO faction called Black September, agreed to a plan whereby they and their hostages would be flown to Cairo. 

At the airport, German sharpshooters attempted to kill the terrorists. A firefight erupted and quickly ended in a stalemate. Then, almost an hour later, one of the helicopters holding the Israelis was blown up by a terrorist grenade. 

At three in the morning, it was left to American sports announcer Jim McKay to inform the world, with a simple dignity that resonates to this day: "They're all gone."

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