web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 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
Photo from President Barack Obama's past visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences
Latest Indepth Stories
Photo from President Barack Obama's past visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

{Originally posted to author’s website, FirstOne Through} TRUST Trust is the bedrock of a functional relationship. It enables one party to rely on the other. A trust that includes both intention and capability permits a sharing of responsibility and workload. The relationship between US President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu started off badly and further […]

jabotinsky with sword

Jabotinsky said “Go To Hell” was a good retort to opponents of the Jewish people; fitting for Obama.

Obama Racine

Obama pulled off one of US history’s greatest cons,twice fooling a gullible electorate and most Jews

Auschwitz Entrance

While in Auschwitz I felt a tangible intensity. I could sense that I was in a place of sheer evil.

Obama needs to wake up. The real enemy is not Netanyahu but Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad,IS

My beliefs & actions have led to numerous death threats against me; my excommunication by my church

In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]

Many so-called “humanitarian NGOs” frequently abuse Israel by applying false moral equivalencies

Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers

In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

In any event, Mr. Netanyahu after the election sought to soften his statement on Palestinian statehood and apologized for what he conceded were remarks that “offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli Arab community.”

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: