(July 28, 2022 / JNS) The families of the 11 Israeli athletes killed during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich have rejected as “insulting” a proposal by the German government, announced publicly on Wednesday, to increase their compensation payments.
If the current offer stands, they are threatening to boycott the 50th anniversary commemoration of the attack in Munich in September, according to an AP report.
The German Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that it was in talks with the relatives and that the “serious consequences for the surviving dependents of the victims in immaterial and material terms” should be reassessed, according to the report. An offer of further recognition payments was planned, but the amount has not been publicly revealed, the report stated.
On Sept. 5, 1972, members of the Palestinian Black September terror group broke into the Olympic Village and took athletes from Israel’s national team hostage, with the goal of forcing the release of prisoners held by Israel and two left-wing extremists in jails in what was then West Germany.
Immediately after the attack, Germany paid the relatives of the victims 4.19 million marks (about $2.09 million), according to the Associated Press, citing the German Interior Ministry. In 2002, the surviving relatives reportedly received an additional $3.07 million, the report said.
A claim for compensation amounting to some 40 million marks ($20.7 million) citing massive errors in the police operation was dismissed because of the statute of limitations, according to the report.
Ilana Romano, the widow of weightlifter Yossef Romano, who was one of the first Israelis killed, told Kan News on Tuesday that Germany’s current reparations offer was “degrading” and that the families had rejected it.
“The offer is degrading, and we are standing by our stance that we are boycotting the [anniversary] ceremony,” she said, adding that Germany “threw us to the dogs. They mistreated us for 50 years.
“They decided to take responsibility—very nice after 50 years,” Romano said, calling for proper compensation for the families and “not pennies.”
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