Details presented for Olympic honour to Munich massacre victims

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
Justice at last?Munich victims to be honoured at the Olympics

Details presented for Olympic honour to Munich massacre victims

A major ceremony will be conducted in the Olympic village days before the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Victims’ names will be read out in front of families, athletes and journalists.

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

A member of Black September on the balcony of the hotel where the Israeli athletes were held hostage
A member of Black September on the balcony of the hotel where the Israeli athletes were held hostage

Details of the International Olympic Committee’s plans to honour the victims of the Munich massacre in Rio have been presented to the families by the organisation’s new president.

Thomas Bach today met two of the widows from the 1972 attack which claimed the lives of 11 athletes and coaches in the darkest moment in the history of the Games.

He confirmed that a major ceremony would be conducted inside the Olympic village days before the opening ceremony, during which the victims’ names will be read out in front of families, athletes and journalists. In a mourning area set up in the Village throughout the two-week event, a stone brought from Olympia will be placed on top of a monument, in a nod to Jewish tradition.

Following an “extremely warm” meeting lasting more than two hours at IOC headquarters in Lausanne with Bach and his deputy, Ankie Spitzer hailed the “historic and courageous” steps taken by the IOC.

“It’s much more than we’ve had before. We hope it will teach young athletes who may not be aware about the darkest days in the history of the Olympics. Our message is that it must not happen again. From the moment he came to office Thomas Bach wanted to do something.” Spitzer, who was joined by Ilana Romano, said Bach was “moved” to learn for the first time of the invitation that the families had issued to the Palestinian delegation to a commemoration organised by the Israeli Olympic Committee at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

The families have spent decades campaigning for a tribute during the Games opening ceremony – with a petition ahead of the London Olympics gaining tens of thousands of supporters.

A moment of reflection will be held during the closing ceremony to enable participants and viewers to remember loved ones but no plans have been revealed to explicitly mention the Munich victims as the families would like to see.

But Spitzer, whose husband Andre was among 11 who lost their lives, said she had not given up hope of such a tribute being incorporated into the moment.


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: