680 cyclists commemorate the victims of the attack

Their names will not be forgotten. Whether Moshe Weinberg or André Spitzer or Anton Fliegerbauer, they and all the other names of the twelve victims of the 1972 Olympic attack can be seen printed on bright blue T-shirts on Sunday. On the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic assassination, the Israeli Consulate General, together with the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC) in Munich, once again organized a public bike tour from the Munich Olympic Park to the memorial at the Fürstenfeldbruck air base under the motto “Cycling and remembering”. And more participants than expected came.

Normally, the cyclists would have gone on September 5th, but since a state ceremony with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Israel’s President Isaac Herzog is taking place at the air base on that day, the 50th anniversary, the bike tour was brought forward. The Bavarian Minister for Family Affairs Ulrike Scharf, the Israeli Consul General Carmela Shamir, the cabaret artist Christian Springer, the President of FC Bayern, Herbert Hainer, and the Mayor of Munich Kathrin Habenschaden came to Fürstenfeldbruck. The deputy district administrator Martina Drechsler put on her bicycle helmet and cycled along. The celebrities arrived in Bruck earlier for safety and scheduling reasons and the tour symbolically ended. At the memorial of the assassination, the prominent guests laid down stones according to Jewish tradition.

Olympic assassination attempt in 1972: moving moments: Munich's Deputy Mayor Katrin Habenschaden (left) and Fürstenfeldbruck's Deputy District Administrator Martina Drechsler.

Moving moments: Munich’s Deputy Mayor Katrin habenschaden (left) and Fürstenfeldbruck’s Deputy District Administrator Martina Drechsler.

(Photo: Johannes Simon)

“There is still anti-Semitism. Hatred of the State of Israel is also a kind of anti-Semitism. We will not accept that, we will always fight against anti-Semitism in Bavaria,” says Minister Scharf. She is happy that politicians are now taking responsibility and that the bereaved have accepted the offer of compensation: “For me it is important that we not only cultivate compassion and togetherness, but that we also take responsibility – then as now. I’m really happy that this thread of conversation has not broken, that an agreement could be reached.”

Olympic assassination attempt in 1972: Bavaria's family minister, Ulrike Scharf, places a stone on the memorial site.

Bavaria’s family minister, Ulrike Scharf, places a commemorative stone on the memorial site.

(Photo: Johannes Simon)

FC Bayern President Herbert Hainer attended the Olympic Games in Munich as a young man. However, the commemoration event is not just a personal matter for him. Due to FC Bayern’s popularity, the club must also be aware of its social responsibility. This also includes coming to terms with the history of the club: “You saw that there were of course victims at FCB, but also perpetrators and that is a special responsibility for us. That’s why I’m here today.”

Olympic assassination attempt in 1972: Great media interest: The President of FC Bayern, Herbert Hainer, provides information.

Great media interest: The President of FC Bayern, Herbert Hainer, provides information.

(Photo: Johannes Simon)

After the prominent representatives had left the memorial event, the group of bicycles arrived at the air base a short time later. The group was led by organizers from the ADFC, among others. The commemorative trip is a “sporting connection between the two assassination sites and a sign of remembrance,” says Adi Stumper from the ADFC. He was overwhelmed by the large number of participants. The day before there were 630 registrations for the bike tour, but at least 680 cyclists came. “It was definitely too much for the drivers,” says Stumper, laughing.

1972 Olympic Assassination: Initiated the tour: Israel's Consul General Carmela Shamir.

Initiated the tour: Israel’s Consul General Carmela Shamir.

(Photo: Johannes Simon)

A group from Fürstenfeldbruck was also represented at the memorial trip. CSU City Councilor Andreas Lohde, who is taking part in the event for the third year, launched a call to mobilize some cyclists from Fürstenfeldbruck. Together with Mayor Erich Raff, his city council colleague Christian Götz (BBV) and Alexa Zierl (ÖDP) as well as other Bruckers, the group of ten drove at seven in the morning from Fürstenfeldbruck town hall to the Olympic Park. After attending the memorial event there, the participants drove back to the Brucker Memorial with the others from Munich. “The bike tour was a moving, but also light-hearted story,” says the mayor after his arrival. “Fürstenfeldbruck is part of the Olympic Games. It’s not just a moral obligation. It’s part of the city’s history. We mustn’t forget it,” says Raff. The international participants made it clear once again that the Olympic assassination was not just matter of Munich and Fürstenfeldbruck, but has an international dimension.

Olympic assassination attempt in 1972: probably more than 680 cyclists take part in the commemorative ride.

Probably more than 680 cyclists take part in the commemorative ride.

(Photo: Johannes Simon)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You might like