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Munich Widows Condemn IOC Chief to his Face at London Memorial Service

Widow Ankie Spitzer

Widow Ankie Spitzer

Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of two of the 11 Israelis killed at the Munich Olympics in 1972, blasted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its president at a London commemoration on Monday.

The two said they had tried for four decades to convince the IOC to organize an official commemoration for their slain loved ones, but to no avail. They vowed to continue their efforts at future Games.

Israel’s Olympic Committee hosted Monday’s commemoration at Guildhall in London, with International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge in attendance, along with top British politicians, Israel’s sports minister and Germany’s foreign minister.

Spitzer condemned Rogge to his face for his refusal to hold the one minute silence, saying the “call was heard all over the world, but only the International Olympic Committee remains deaf and blind.”

Spitzer received a standing ovation when she accused the IOC of having the wrong priorities and values.

“Is the IOC only interested in power, money and politics that they have forgotten what they are supposed to promote: peace brotherhood and fair play?” she said.

“Shame on you International Olympic Committee because you have forsaken the 11 members of your Olympic family, you are discriminating against them only because they are Israelis and Jews,” Spitzer added, and then promised: “We will be back because until we hear the words you need to say because you owe it to them.”

Romano, in her turn, said of her husband and his teammates: “They were killed on Olympic soil and the appropriate place to remember them is at the opening ceremony.”

The hundreds of invited guests, who stood for a minute of silence.

Rogge told the audience how everybody remembered the “horrific events of 1972″ even if they had not yet been born, saying the mass murder was “the worst days of the Olympic movement.”

“We are all here today because we share a duty those innocent victims and to history to make sure the lessons of 1972 are never forgotten … we are here to speak with one voice against terrorism,” he said.

President Obama sent his greeting, which was read by U.S. Ambassador to Britain, Louis Susman: “While the United States supported a moment of silence in their honor, we welcome any effort to recall the terrible loss that was suffered in Munich and the lives of those who were lost.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the Munich massacre was “a sickening act of terrorism that betrayed everything the Olympic movement stands for and everything that we in Britain believe in.”

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10 Responses to “Munich Widows Condemn IOC Chief to his Face at London Memorial Service”

  1. Liad Bar-el says:

    Sorry to say but from what I have read concerning your plan of action, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, it will get you nowhere fast. You all need to contact people like Sheldon Adelson to support your cause so as to enlist attorney legislators who will sue to change the Olympic charter (laws) or whatever they may be called so as to acknowledge the deaths of all Olympic athletes not just 11 of them. Special mention can be made as to how they died; however, presently, you’re just wishing on the good will of anti-Semites which will not materialize.

  2. Ned Ludd says:

    That man Rogge is a hypocrite. He comes out with these mealy-mouthed platitudes attempting to placate the two Israeli widows and yet he's photographed with a Gazan Arab banner around his neck. Gaza-Arabia isn't even a country. Shame on you, Rogge, do the honourable deed and resign!

  3. Liad Bar-el says:

    I might add that there is great hope that you will succeed because your efforts will be for the benefit of everyone which is the Jewish destiny to establish justice in the world for the benefit of all.

  4. Ryan Mervin says:

    Seriously?

  5. Colorado Springs, CO is the home of one of the Olympic Training Centers. They do not have a plaque or any symbol of remembrance for the Munich Masacre. They told me it was political, and therefore they will not respect the memory of the killings with a memorial.

  6. Tony Jacobs says:

    We should be spitting on these hypocrites, not attending their functions. No diplomacy with these scum. Well done Ankie Spitzer, you told it like it is. Shame you didn't get to kick Rogue between the legs and tell him it's an ancient Palestinian act of remembrance and respect.

  7. Ian Stern says:

    LOL!! "Shame you didn't get to kick Rogue between the legs and tell him it's an ancient Palestinian act of remembrance and respect." Spot on…pmsl!!

  8. Murray Freedman says:

    I think Liad Bar-el (posting below), has a good point. People like Rogge have no ethics or scruples so you can not appeal to their better nature – they don't have one. BUT he will no doubt respond to a legal challenge which will cost him and his organisation money. Sue the bastard – it's the only thing that will get his attention, and keep it in the media until it is settled.

  9. The reason the Munich murders were not commemorated is because they were one of the Olympic events, just like the pole vault and the 200 meter freestyle. Just as there is no moment of silence for the pole vault, there is no silence for the murdered Israeli athletes. As neo-nazi Avery Brundage, IOC fuhrer said in 1972- The games must go on. Obersturmbahnfuhrer Jacques von Rogge is just following orders.

  10. Liad Bar-el says:

    All the more reason why this effort should be through a legislative process.

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