Germany OKs $28-million settlement over Munich Olympics terrorist attack

Israelis with Israeli flag in the Munich Olympic stadium in 1972
Israelis hold a national flag covered in black crepe at the 1972 Munich Olympics to mourn 11 athletes killed there in a Palestinian terrorist attack.
(Associated Press)

The German government confirmed Friday that families of 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian militants at the 1972 Munich Olympics will receive a total of $28 million in compensation.

The figure — which includes payments already made — had previously been reported by German and Israeli media but not officially communicated by the government.

It’s a significant increase from the initial $10-million offer to the families ahead of the 50th anniversary of the attack, which will be commemorated Monday.


As part of its agreement with the families, Germany has agreed to acknowledge failures that authorities made at the time and to allow German and Israeli historians to review the events surrounding the attack.

Photos from the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by Palestinian militants.

May 12, 2016

Members of the Palestinian group Black September broke into the Olympic Village, killed two athletes from Israel’s national team and took nine more hostage Sept. 5, 1972. The attackers hoped to force the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as well as two left-wing extremists in West German jails.

All nine hostages and a West German police officer died in a rescue attempt by German forces. Relatives of the athletes accuse Germany of failing to secure the Olympic Village, refusing Israeli help and then botching the rescue operation.

Immediately after the attack, Germany made payments to relatives of the victims amounting to about $2 million, according to the German Interior Ministry. In 2002, the surviving relatives received an additional $3 million, Germany’s DPA news agency reported.