Speaking at a ceremony marking 50 years since the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Germany must bear some responsibility for the attack which killed 11 Israeli victims.
“Today is a day of sorrow, remembrance and contemplation,” says Steinmeier at the ceremony at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base in southern Germany, near Munich.
The president notes that German police officers “catastrophically failed” to protect the Israeli athletes and to rescue them after they were taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists. “That acknowledgement is overdue.”
Steinmeir says while the Palestinian terrorists are responsible for the murders of the 11 Israeli victims, “that does not absolve us; we bear responsibility for not preventing what we should have prevented.”
Steinmeier says he is “profoundly grateful that you, the families of the victims, are here today.” He adds that he “cannot fathom what suffering, what pain you have been through.”