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munich massacre

As soon as Ilana Romana heard about the situation in Munich, she expected the worst: “I knew who he was. He would not sit quietly. He was not the type. I knew it would end badly.”She spoke of her husband, and, unfortunately, her prediction was correct. Earlier that day, her husband, Yossef, and his teammates were awoken by Arab terrorists beginning an episode that would result in the death of eleven Israeli athletes and forever scar the 1972 Olympics, leaving the games to be remembered for the years to come as the “Munich Massacre.”
Most Germans hoped that the 1972 Olympics would help to heal the racial damage caused by the 1936 Olympics. It was thefirst time the games had returned to the state since Nazism and Adolph Hitler were in full stride; thefirst time the games were held in Germany since Hitler had tried to use them as a way to show the superiority of his Aryan race on a world’s stage. At this time, the world was still in political unrest as the Vietnam War raged on, racial tensions in the United States continued, and violence persisted in the Middle East. German president Gustav Heinemann welcomed the Olympics as “a milestone on the road to a new way of life with the aim of realizing peaceful coexistence among peoples.”
His goal was not meant to be, however. At approximately four o’clock in the morning on September 5, 1972 (six days before the end of the games), Yossef Gutfreund, a 275 pound wrestling referee, reacted to the sound of Arab voices behind the door of the apartment where he and other Israeli athletes were staying.The terrorists had accessed the building unnoticed as they were dressed in athletic warm-ups and carried their weapons in gym bags. Gutfreund quickly alerted his roommates that something was wrong and proceeded to push his body against the door in an effort to prevent Arab entrance.
His efforts were successful for only a few moments, howe…

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