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September 10, 1972 - Image 3

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Michigan Daily, 1972-09-10

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sunday, september I U, I 'i tL IflL iVlIL.A1IUP\IN L)f\ILY Page lhree

Sunday, September 10, 1972

I KE

Page Three

Munich: One day of terror for

Israelis

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Editor's Note-The following ac-
count of the day of Olympic terror in
which 11 Israeli team members, five
Arab guerrillas and a German po-
liceman were killed, is a reconstruc-
tion by Richard K. O'Malley, chief of
the Frankfurt bureau of The Asso-
ciated Press, who took part in AP
coverage of the tragedy. It is based
on official police accounts, the
stories ofawitnesses and the first-
hand reporting of AP reporters who
were at the scene.
By RICHARD K. O'MALLEY
MUNICH (P) - Anton W.,
postal clerk in the Olympic Vil-
lage yawned sleepily. It had
been a long night and he was
getting ready to go home. Out-
side the Bavarian sky was blos-
soming into early dawn.
He glanced casually out the
window. Four young men were
climbing the fence, each clutch-
ing athletic bags. Seconds ,later
he saw another four climb over
the wire.
Anton W. smiled to himself.
Fine young athletes with high
spirits returning from a party.
But not a way to win gold med-
als, he said to himself as his
Germanic sense of order dam-
pened tolerance. And so he
went on his way.
The two groups of young men
merged silently, huddling in the
shadows of an Olympics resi-
dence building. One of them
pulled out a can and smeared
blacking on his face. He passed
the can to a comrade and soon
they all were darkened, com-
mando fashion.
The leader, a small-boned man
with intense eyes,hglanced wari-
ly around him. Then he nodded
to his right, and the eight young
men slipped quietly out of the
shadows.
In - Building No. 31, Moshe
Weinberg, 33, handsome coach
of the Israeli wrestling team, lay
on his narrow, army-type cot,
his hands clasped behind his
head. He was already awake.
Outside, the eight young men
headed for the doorway of
Building 31. There they crouched
in the shadows and each opened
his plastic bag. They drew out
pistols and submachine guns.
Hand grenades were stuffed into
pockets. They looked at their
leader.
With a swift chop of his hand,
he gave the signal and the eight
burst into the building. They
knew where Weinberg and his
teammates were housed, on the
second floor of the three-storied
off-white building.
Weinberg, with the reflexes
of a trained athlete, leaped from
his bed at the pounding on his
door. He opened the door and
lunged at the lanky Arab stand-
ing in the doorway.'
The Arab pulled the trigger on
his pistol. Once, twice, three
times, and Weinberg slumped to
the floor, dying.
Down the corridor, Joseph Ro-

THE BURNED WRECKAGE of the helicopter in which the nine Israeli Olympic team members died rests at left at Fuerstenfeld-
bruck Air Base near Munich.

Aviv said no surrender to ter-
rorism.
Police sharpshooters lay in
wait at the air base. Their or-
ders: kill the terrorists when
they alighted from the helicop-
ters. The copters, their lights
extinguished, swung into view,
like giant dragon flies.
Police marksmen tensed and
got ready. Up in the control
tower, Anton Fliegerbauer, a po-
liceman, watched the drama un-
fold.
One Arab from each of the two
copters stepped down. They
were about 50 yards from the
lighted control tower.
The marksmen bided their,
time.
Two more terrorists got out
of the helicopters with their
ever-present, submachine guns.
Not far away the big airliner
stood, its lights on. The men in-
side were dressed like crew-
men. They were police, but they
were withdrawn before the heli-
copters arrived. It was judged
too frisky.
Two Arabs went over to in-
spect the airliner. As they re-
turned to the helicopters, the
police sharpshooters opened
fire. The two Arabs who had re-
mained by the helicopters spun
at the impact and went down,
clawing at the ground.
The other two,,favored by sha-
dows, were not hit and one of
them sped toward the cover un-
der a helicopter. His companion
opened fire with his supmachine
gun but was blasted down by a
police marksman.
Then the killing began in ear-
nest. Arabs in one helicopter
began gunning down their his-
tages, still tied, still blindfolded.
Anton Fliegerbauer watched
from the control tower. Suddenly
there was a splintering of glass
and before he could duck there
was a sledge-hammer blow on
his head and he fell, a bullet
through his brain. The lights
winked out. The radio system
went out but still the bullets
flowed.
It was nearly 11 p.m. by now
and firing stopped. A police
loudspeaker blared out calls for
surrender of the terrorists in
German, English and Arabic.
There was silence.
At midnight, an Arab terror-
ist leaped out of one helicopter.
As he landed he pulled the pin

mano, a weightlifter, was roused
out of a sound sleep by the
shots. Then he heard hoarse
shouts and the sound of running.
There was a sudden pounding on
his door and he sprang to it,
holding it against the heavy
thrust from outside.
"Run, Tuvia, run," he shout-
ed as he held the door. Tuvia
Sokolsky, the Israeli weightlift-
ing coach, burst out the door to
a small balcony and from there
escaped.
As he hurled himself through
the door he heard the chatter of
a submachine gun. An Arab had
fired through the door into the
body of Romano, who fell as the
door was brutally shoved against
him.
Weinberg's brief struggle and
the heroic effort of Romano
bought time enough for most of
the other Israelis to escape
through a door leading to a vol-
leyball court. '
Upstairs on the third floor
Luis Friedman, a Uruguayan
team official, was first awaken-
ed by guttural cries in Arabic
and then he listened intently to
the sound of firing.
A young Arab with a subma-
chine gun knocked on his door.
"Uruguayan?" the Arab ask-
ed. Friedman nodded.
"You got any competition to-
day?" the Arab said with an
arrogant grin. "If you have,
we'll take you over to the sta-
dium."
Friedman watched numbly.
The Arab swaggered away.

Presently the Uruguayans filed
swiftly and silently out the still-
unguarded door leading to the
volleyball court.
But nine young Israeli ath-
letes were under armed guard
by their bitterest and most re-
lentless enemies.
It was hard for young minds
to grasp. The 1972 Olympics
were "The Happy Games,"
weren't they? The Olympic
spirit was friendly competition.
The Olympic spirit didn't mean
cold-eyed looks and the menace
of pistols and submachine guns.
Presently the nine shuffled
into a corner room where Arabs
as young as themselves gave
them orders. Sit down. Don't
move. Shut up, Jew.
Dawn broke and the Bavarian
sky turnedr to gold. But the
nightmare went on in the warm
softness of the morning.
At 5:08 a.m., just five min-
utes after police had received a
phone call saying that Arab ter-
orists had opened fire in the
Israeli building, the phone rang
again. A voice made clear what
was wanted.
Two hundred guerrillas im-
prisoned in Israel must be freed
at once, If not, the young Is-
raelis would be shot.
Police cars suddenly appeared
outside the building. A young
terrorist with a heavy jaw peer-
ed out the window. He nodded
to the others with a satisfied
air. Now the bargaining would
begin.
In downtown Munich, orders

were given by Police Chief Man-
fred Schreiber. The Olympic
Village was sealed off.
Schreiber and Hans - Dietrich
Genscher, West German interior
minister, got hold of an Olympic
Games stewardess who speaks
fluent Arabic.
Would the commandos accept
an unlimited ransom for the

nine hostages?
They would not.
Would they accept
hostages in exchange
nine Israelis?
They would not.
Throughout the day,

German
for the
an Arab

The Germans stalled, trying
frantically to devise a plan that
would free the hostages without
danger to their lives.
Plans to rush the Arabs inside
Building 31 were abandoned.
Too much was at stake. A fire-
fight in Olympic Village could
cause untold harm.
Finally, around 9 p.m., the
Arab negotiator agreed to move
the hostages out of the build-
ing. He demanded a bus to take
the commandos and hostages
out of the building to a make-
shift helicopter pad.
The bargaining outcome was
that helicopters would take
Arabs and hostages to Fuer-
stenfeldbruck air base from
where a Boeing 727 would fly
them to an Arab capital.
A minibus was driven up and
quiet word was spread to re-
sponsible officials that a plan to
intercept the bus was being dis-
cussed. They never got a chance
to use it.
The Arab leader let the bus
drive up.
Take it away. We don't like

.
,T
t
:r
- ;

bargainer, wearing a mask, re-
jected all offers. The grenade
he held was a constant threat
and a reminder that this was a
pursuit of terror.
Telephone calls were made to
Tel Aviv. Would the Israeli
government accede to the de-
mand by the terrorists to free
the 200 Egyptians?
No. No yielding to terror, was
the reply.
No. No freedom for the im-
prisoned Arabs.

A GEORGE ROY HItt-PAUL MONASH PRODUCTION
SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE
-one of the
daring, rig9a
useS eve'
made: 4'
qW peed .

+ MICHAEL SACkS " RO LEIBMAN" VALMRE PERRINE
ftwm.i n, KURT VONNEGUT.Jr.
iMsw5iwrrS+M .3u" nc Ari16Mrs".*Mue-Fwt iW..a
vMiMkli~i. Aiw ~letTECN~iCOOr'

'The leader, a small-boned man with intense eyes, glanced warily
around him. Then he nodded to his right, and the eight young men
slipped quietly out of the shadows . . .
.. '

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By now the day had grown
hot and strollers sunbathed out-
side the fencewhile German of-
ficials tried vainly to persuade
the Arabs to free the nine.
German policemen, suited up
as athletes, were on other floors
of the building. A stocky police-
man put on a bullet-proof vest.
Across from Building 31 three
policemen in civilian clothing
set up a machine gun.
The Arabs played the game of
nerves well. First they gave a
noon deadline to meet their de-
mand for an airplane to take
them to an Arab nation. If not,
the leader said, they would be-
gin shooting their hostages.

this one. Bring another. There
was no time to do anything with
the second bus.
The Arabs led out their hos-
tages, hands bound and blind-
folded. They were tied together
with a rope.
The terrorists and their hos-
tages got into two helicopters.
The night air was filled with
the thump of rotor blades as
the craft took off for Fuersten-
feldbruck, 20 miles away.
But Genscher and Schreiber
were not prepared to give in. Af-
ter all, the hostages faced al-
most certain death. And Tel

on a grenade and tossed it in-
side, where other hostages sat.
In seconds the helicopter was
ablaze. Police watched in dis-
may.
A fire truck sped toward the
copter. It was met by a.blast of
submachine gun fire and had to
turn back. Another Arab fired
bursts into a helicopter.
The stuttering roar of an ar-
mored car came from behind
and it rolled toward the three
surviving terrorists. They were
slightly wounded and this time
they offered no more resistance.

I,

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Sunday, September 10
8:00 p.m.-Michigan Union

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