In 1972, West Germany had an opportunity to host the Olympic Games. Israel decided to compete, despite some uneasiness since they were only 27 years removed from the atrocities of the Holocaust.
Two weeks into the games terrorists from the organization Black September, which has connections to Yasser Arafat, broke into the apartments of the Israelis and took some of the athletes hostage. After contact with police, their demands were not met and they threw a body out the window.
The Germans attempted to negotiate with the terrorists, even offering an “unlimited sum of money,” but the Palestinians would not cooperate. The German police did not have adequate training for this situation and set up an unsuccessful rescue attempt.
The terrorists demanded a jet to Egypt, which was promised, as a bluff. They brought the hostages and terrorists into the airport via helicopter, where gunfire began. The terrorists, in fear of their plot failing, began shooting the hostages.
In the end, 11 Israeli athletes and coaches had been killed, as well as one German police officer, and five of the eight terrorists.
Millions will remember the coverage broadcast by Jim McKay of ABC News reported, “Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They’ve now said that there were 11 hostages. Two were killed in their rooms’ yesterday morning; nine were killed at the airport tonight. They’re all gone.”