web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

In Memory Of The Munich 11, Heroes All

By:
Lion-090712

A generation before, during the Nazi era, the Germans had been lethally efficient in hunting down Jews, but now, trying to save them, they acted more like Keystone Cops. They repeatedly refused advice from the Mossad chief who had rushed to Munich to help. They bungled almost every aspect of the rescue, and it ended in tragedy with all the Israeli hostages gunned down by the Arabs as they sat, helplessly bound, in the helicopters.

Mark Slavin

Mark Slavin, 18, had arrived in Israel only a few months before the Olympics. He had been beaten by anti-Semites in his native Minsk, and his family had encouraged him to fight back. A gym teacher was so impressed with Slavin that he had him sent to Moscow for training in wrestling. At 17 he was the junior Soviet champion. When his family applied for visas for Israel, he was pressured to stay, then barred from wrestling. Slavin and his family had to wait fifteen months before being allowed to leave. When he arrived in Israel, he kissed the ground. His international debut representing the Jewish state was to have been on September 5. Instead, he was held hostage at gunpoint.

Yossef Gutfreund

Yossef Gutfreund, 40, was born in Romania. He had studied to be a veterinarian. He had been imprisoned for months for “distributing Zionist propaganda” and left for Israel. Gutfreund had served in Israel’s wars in 1956 and 1967. Although he was wounded in Gaza in 1967, he had refused evacuation, insisting on remaining with his comrades. There he had saved a group of injured Egyptian soldiers, giving them food and water, tending their injuries, showing the Arab enemy Jewish chesed. Gutfreund means “good friend” and the kindly Yossef fully lived up to it, always willing to help everyone. When his wife, Miriam, learned he had been taken hostage, she prayed at the Kotel for her beloved husband.

 

Yaakov Shpringer

Yaakov Springer, 51, an international weightlifting referee, was born in Poland. He had fled east to Russia to escape the Nazis at age 18. His entire family was murdered – brother, sisters and parents. After the war he returned to Poland to study at its Academy of Sports, the only Jew to do so. He held a position at the Ministry of Sports before deciding to make aliyahin 1957 with his wife, Rosa, and their two children. He taught weightlifting, helping to establish it as a national sport, and became a judge in international competitions. As a judge he could have stayed outside the Olympic Village but preferred to share accommodations with his friends there.

The decision to attend the Olympics on German soil had been a painful one for Springer – he refused even to buy appliances made in Germany. But in the words of his daughter, Mayo, “I assume when he stepped on German land…he wanted to say, ‘I’m coming back, and look, I survived!’ ”

David Berger

David Berger, 28, a weightlifter, was born in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights. While earning graduate degrees in business and law from Columbia, he pursued his other passion, competing in weightlifting. He made aliyah in 1970, moving to Tel Aviv where he intended to set up a law office. He would have begun his Israeli military service just a month after the Olympics. Though he did not win a medal, he had lived his dream of competing in the Olympics for Israel. When the terrorists rounded up the Israelis, Berger whispered in Hebrew, “Let’s pounce on them! We have nothing to lose!” Though he was to die along with the others, his words galvanized a teammate who managed to escape.

Kehat Shorr

Kehat Shorr, 53, a marksmanship coach who worked in Israel’s Defense Ministry, was Romanian born. He had fought the Nazis in the Carpathian Mountains during the war, and with other Jewish partisans had made raids to rescue Jews in hiding. He was a national marksman champion in Romania, making aliyahin 1963 and teaching marksmanship in Israel. He left a wife and daughter.

About the Author: Ed Lion is a former reporter for United Press International now living in the Poconos.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “In Memory Of The Munich 11, Heroes All”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Amb. Thomas Pickering testified before the  House Armed Services Committee,  about Iran's nuclear program on June 19, 2014.
Brandeis Commencement Speaker Leads Iran Cheerleader Squad
Latest Indepth Stories
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

What was supposed to have been a 15 minute interview, turned into an intense learning session and intellectual battle, the likes of which I had never experienced in my entire life.

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

Rav Lichtenstein did not learn Tanaim, Amoraim, Rishonim and Achronim, rather he learned with them

Israel Supreme Court at Night

How can NIF claim they don’t support BDS when they try to repeal laws forbidding boycotts of Israel?

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

“Rav Lichtenstein’s vision and inspiration served to guide the development of Tzohar.”

As Holocaust survivors decline rapidly attacks on the veracity of the Holocaust rapidly escalates

The Constitution created history’s most powerful legislature & inherent foreign policy power battle

The S-300 poses a major problem; Israel will have to get creative as to if, when & where it strikes

“The resentment towards us (Jews/Israelis) was really intense. They clearly hate Zionism & Zionists”

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

More Articles from Ed Lion
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

Rose Lion

“These are good matzah balls,” my aunt Robertine would say, but her sister Irma would counter “No, not compared to Mama’s. They were always so light yet they never fell apart.”

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

The risks were great, but certain death awaited them if they remained. The gamble paid off, though the family was separated for the next four years of the war.

Beyond the severe discomfort there was also the danger of getting sunk by enemy submarines prowling the seas.

As his bomber lost altitude with the ground rushing up, my father remembered his last thought: “How am I going to get out of this?

Seventy-five years ago on November 10 the Nazis unleashed a wave of terror, destruction and death known as Kristallnacht upon Germany’s Jews, a fearsome presage of the Holocaust. On that day, the childhood of my then-12-year-old father, Kurt Lion, of blessed memory, was abruptly and savagely ended.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/in-memory-of-the-munich-11-heroes-all/2012/09/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: