German Prof.: Israeli athletes willfully sacrificed themselves in Munich massacre

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The iconic picture of a Black September terrorist standing on the balcony of an Olympic Village apartment after the Israeli athletes were taken hostage. (AP)

“Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.”
—Jeremiah 31:10-11

“Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.”
—Jeremiah 46:28

Berlin – A German academic has claimed that there is a possibility that the 11 Israeli athletes who were massacred by Palestinian militants during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich knew of the attack in advance but willfully sacrificed themselves, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.

At an academic conference last week, Prof. Arnd Kruger of the Institute for Sport Studies at the University of Gottingen compared the 1929 massacre of Hebron Jews with the athletes’ refusal to leave the Olympic Village despite alleged prior knowledge of the attack.

During the 1972 Summer Olympics an offshoot of the Palestinian Fatah movement called Black September took over the apartment of the Israeli team, taking them hostage. After nerve wrecking negotiations, the 11 athletes, as well as a German police officer and five of the eight perpetrators, were killed in a botched rescue attempt.

Der Spiegel’s Web site quoted Kruger as saying that “the athletes sacrificed themselves in Israel’s service.”

Kruger told Haaretz he did not remember making such statement. He said he only sought to address unanswered questions about the massacre.

He said he was a journalist in Munich in 1972 and that he remembered Israelis telling him they think security at the Olympic Village was not tight enough.

The possibility that the Israeli team chose not to leave despite being well aware of the risk must be voiced, he said.

Kruger maintained that that the fact that some of them did not run away when the terrorists came in was because of the self-sacrifice ideal of the Israeli ethos.

He said he wonders how it is possible that Shaul Ladany, who was a racewalker, managed to escape and others didn’t, bearing in mind he was neither a sprinter nor a long jumper, and was visually impaired.

Kruger said he had sought to bolster his claims with sociological explanations. He said Israelis have a “different perception of the body,” and that the abortion rate in Israel is relatively high.

Israeli officials in Germany were infuriated by Kruger’s remarks. Ilan Mor of the Israeli embassy in Berlin told Der Spiegel that he sees it as a disturbing attempt to de-humanize Israel, and called on the university management to take disciplinary action against Kruger, who is a former dean of the social science department.

Mor said Kruger’s remarks are a symptom of the “rampant anti-Semitism in Germany, often veiled under criticism of Israel.”

The German Sports Sciences Association dubbed Kruger’s remarks “unfortunate,” and said the disciplinary board will convene next week to discuss the case.

  1. Remnant, 28 June, 2008

    The similarity of Arnd Kruger to Nazi Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Paul Joseph Goebbels is very apparent. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”

    While not a suggestion for Kruger to follow, in In his final hours Goebbels allowed his wife, Magda, to kill their six young children. Shortly after, Goebbels and his wife both committed suicide.

    I pray Kruger finds the Messiah and repents. I pray for Germany as a Nation and that it’s History does not repeat itself.

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