On September 6, 1972, the Munich Massacre ended with the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes at the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany (now Germany).A day earlier, a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) took members of the Israeli wrestling, weightlifting, shooting, fencing, and track teams hostage in their apartments in the Olympic Village. The terrorists demanded the release of Palestinian and other prisoners held in Israeli and German jails.Negotiations and rescue operations failed, and the crisis ended with all the athletes, one German police officer, and most of the terrorists dead after a rooftop shootout. American broadcaster Jim McKay famously announced the news: “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.”The Olympic community was devastated. Many Jewish athletes received heightened security details. Other Jewish athletes, including legendary American swimmer Mark Spitz, left Munich entirely during the crisis. The entire Israeli delegation immediately withdrew from the games. The International Olympic Committee refused to create a memorial to the slain athletes or commemorate their deaths with a moment of silence at the 2012 Olympics in London, England, the 40th anniversary of the attacks.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry athlete Noun
person who participates or competes in sporting events.
person or organization who participates in television or radio communication.
to honor an event on a specific date.
group of organisms or a social group interacting in a specific region under similar environmental conditions.
event or situation leading to dramatic change.
group chosen to represent a larger group or organization.
to ask for in an authoritative way.
group within a larger group.
individual or team sport where athletes practice attack and defense with bladed weapons (swords) to score points on an opponent's body.
to increase, especially in height.
person held as security until certain terms and conditions (such as payment of a ransom) are met.
at once or quickly.
having to do with the religion or culture of people tracing their ancestry to the ancient Middle East and the spiritual leaders Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
mass killing of large number of people.
memorial adjective, noun
something designed or written to preserve the memory of an event or person.
discussion or discourse leading to terms of an agreement.
Olympic Village Noun
residential facilities constructed by the host city for visiting athletes, trainers, and officials of the Olympics.
region in the Middle East now occupied by Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
(Palestine Liberation Organization) organization recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by states with which it holds diplomatic relations.
local, state, or national government organization for law enforcement.
to make real or call vividly to mind.
rescue operation Noun
planning and delivering aid to people in an emergency situation.
security detail Noun
team assigned to protect the safety of an individual or group.
Summer Olympics Noun
international sports competition held every four years in summer or early fall.
having to do with the use of non-military violence and/or threats of violence to achieve or advocate political change.
track adjective, noun
individual or team (relay) foot races.
individual sport where athletes compete to lift the most.
individual sport where athletes use their bodies to try to pin, or force their opponent's shoulders to the ground.