Germany says panel of historians begin probe into 1972 Munich Olympics attack

A member of the terrorist group which seized members of the Israeli Olympic Team at their quarters at the Olympic Village appearing with a hood over his face stands on the balcony of the building where they held members of the Israeli team hostage in Munich, September 5, 1972. (AP/Kurt Strumpf)
A member of the terrorist group which seized members of the Israeli Olympic Team at their quarters at the Olympic Village appearing with a hood over his face stands on the balcony of the building where they held members of the Israeli team hostage in Munich, September 5, 1972. (AP/Kurt Strumpf)

A panel of historians set up to review the 1972 attack on the Munich Olympics is starting its three-year mission to examine what happened before, during and after the events of five decades ago today, the German government says.

In April, Germany’s Interior Ministry named the eight-member international commission of experts, most based in Israel or Germany. That was part of an agreement last year with relatives of the 11 Israeli team members who were killed by Palestinian terrorists, who demanded Berlin take responsibilities for its failings.

The panel’s first meeting is being held at the Interior Ministry today. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser pledges that “the events surrounding this terrible attack will finally be examined thoroughly and transparently.”

“The research findings should deliver answers to the many unresolved questions — answers which the German government has owed the victims’ family members and the public for more than 50 years,” Faeser says in a statement. Her ministry says there will be “regular publications and events.”

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