Germany confirms $28m settlement with 1972 Munich attack families

The figure is a significant increase from the previous offer which comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of the attack.

Memorial for the families of 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian attackers at the 1972 Summer Olympics
A memorial plaque for the 11 athletes from Israel and one German police officer [File:Matthias Schrader/AP]

The German government has confirmed that the families of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics would receive a total of 28 million euros ($28m) in compensation.

The figure – which includes payments already made – had previously been reported by German and Israeli media but not officially communicated by the government.

It is a significant increase from the initial 10 million-euro ($10m) offer to the families ahead of the 50th anniversary of the attack, which will be commemorated on Monday.

As part of an agreement with the families, Germany has agreed to acknowledge failures that authorities made at the time and to allow German and Israeli historians to review the events surrounding the attack.

Members of the Palestinian Black September Organization broke into the Olympic Village, killed two athletes from Israel’s national team and took nine more hostages on September 5, 1972.

The attackers hoped to force the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

A member of the Arab Commando group
A member of the group which seized members of the Israeli Olympic team [File: Kurt Strumpf/AP]

All nine hostages and a West German police officer died during a rescue attempt by German forces.

Relatives of the athletes accuse Germany of failing to secure the Olympic Village, refusing Israeli help and then botching the rescue operation.

Immediately after the attack, Germany made payments to relatives of the victims amounting to about 4.19 million marks (about 2 million euros or $2m), according to the country’s interior ministry.

In 2002, the surviving relatives received an additional 3 million euros ($3m), Germany’s DPA news agency reported.

Source: AP