Munich 11 Widow Ankie Spitzer will lead a to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the murders at the Munich Olympic Games during the opening ceremony of JCC Rockland’s Maccabi Games. The observance will take place between 8 and 9 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12 before an audience of 5,000 people and worldwide in real time via social media.
Spitzer, along with fellow Munich 11 Widow Ilana Romano and the other Munich families and JCC representatives, asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a Minute of Silence at the London Games but the request was rejected. They promise to continue their efforts for a Minute Of Silence at the Rio de Janeiro games in 2016. The online petition calling for the Minute of Silence remains live and has increased to more than 111,000 signatures.
During the 1972 Olympics, Andrei Spitzer and 10 other members of the Israeli delegation to the XX Olympiad were taken hostage and murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Since the Montreal Olympics in 1976, the IOC has refused to hold a Minute Of Silence in their memory or to recognize them officially during the Olympic opening ceremony.
The widows met with the IOC president last week to present the petition, which at that time had more than 106,000 supporters from 150 countries, and to press for the observance. Their request has the support of the President of the United States, plus the governments of Israel, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Italy and others.
The JCC Rockland launched the petition with the Munich 11 families two years and dedicated its Maccabi Games to the 11 murdered Israelis. The opening ceremony of the JCC Maccabi Games will be the 11th and final of a series of events commemorating the slain athletes, coaches and officials.