web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

In Memory Of The Munich 11, Heroes All

By:
Lion-090712

Eliezer Halfin

Eliezer Halfin, 24, a wrestler, had completed his military service just two months before the Olympics. He was born in Riga, the son of a survivor who had lost his family in the Holocaust. Halfin’s family had applied for exit visas for Israel in 1963 but were forced to wait six years before leaving. Halfin had refused to serve in the Russian army and was barred from all sports competitions even though he ranked fourth in the Soviet Union in his weight class. When his family finally arrived in Israel, Halfin began his Israeli military service almost immediately. He left grieving parents and a sister.

Ze’ev Friedman

Ze’ev Friedman, 28, a weightlifter, was born in Siberia to parents who fled Poland after their families were murdered by the Nazis. He was an outstanding gymnast as a youth, first in Siberia and then in Poland. His family made aliyahwhen he was 16, settling near Haifa. Friedman switched to weightlifting and became the Israeli featherweight champion for seven years. He was a physical education teacher, and a veteran of the Israeli Air Force.

Amitzur Shapira

Amitzur Shapira, 40, Israel’s track and field coach, was born in Tel Aviv and lived in Herzliya with his wife and four children. In the 1950s he was a top runner and became an instructor at the Orde Wingate Institute. He trained many of Israel’s top athletes, including Esther Roth who competed at Munich. He had discovered her at age 14 and promised he would train her for the Olympics. She came to consider him like a father.

Andre Spitzer

Andrei Spitzer, 27, Israel’s top fencing coach, was born in Transylvania, Romania. His father died when he was 11, and at 19 he made aliyah with his mother. He served in the Israeli Air Force and studied fencing at the Israeli National Sports Academy. In 1968 he went to Holland to study and teach fencing. There he fell in love with one of his Dutch students, Ankie. She converted to Judaism and they married and moved to Israel, where Spitzer became head coach of the Israeli fencing academy.

Only two weeks before the Munich Olympics, his wife gave birth to their daughter, Anouk. They all traveled to Europe, Spitzer coaching the team while his wife and daughter stayed at her parents’ home in nearby Holland.

He was a firm believer in the Olympic ideal of promoting peace and harmony between nations through sports. His wife remembers him approaching athletes from Lebanon, a state hostile to Israel. He insisted on speaking to them, and they all shook hands. Spitzer was happy that his belief in the Olympic spirit had been confirmed. Tragically, his Olympic ideal would soon be shattered.

Spitzer and his fellow Olympic martyrs are well remembered in Israel. Before Israeli athletes leave the country to compete at the Olympics, they go to a special memorial dedicated to the Munich 11. Israelis, not just athletes but the public at large, know the backgrounds and accomplishments of these men, as Jews everywhere should. We are bound together as one nation, one family, the living and those killed by our enemies.

May their memories be blessed.

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

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
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2012.
Hillary Clinton Says She Will Be Better Friend than Obama to Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
Jelgava Synagogue, Latvia

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

United Nations Building, New York City

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Zuckerman-070315

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

wedding cake

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

More Articles from Ed Lion
Eli Cohen

PM Netanyahu has pledged the nation won’t rest until the hero Eli Cohen is returned home to Israel

Lion-052215

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

Each craved more out life and within a few months they’d mastered English, received their high school equivalencies, and begun climbing the rungs of the ladder of the American Dream.

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

“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.

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: