Son of Munich Massacre victim speaks out on the IOC’s Opening Ceremony omission

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

In 1972, Israeli Olympic wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg was the first person to encounter Palestinian terrorists who invaded the Olympic Village in Munich. He fought with them as they broke into his apartment, and he was shot in the cheek.

When they asked him where the other Israeli athletes were, Weinberg led them past apartment two, which housed fencers and track athletes, and brought them to apartment three, which housed wrestlers and weightlifters. After being shot, Weinberg had the presence of mind to save the smaller athletes, and have the bigger, stronger ones take on the terrorists.

Weinberg's brand of heroism  should be celebrated by the International Olympic Committee. Instead, it ignored the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre during Friday's Opening Ceremony. Guri Weinberg, Moshe's son, spoke to the Wiesenthal Center about the omission of a moment of silence from the IOC.

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"It's nothing more than racism and anti-Semitism. They had a memorial for the bombing in England, which is, I think, a wonderful thing. Every terrorist attack should be remembered, and we should all be against terrorism," Weinberg said.

According to Weinberg, he and the other victims' families met with Alex Gilady, an Israeli member of the IOC. He informed the group there wouldn't be a moment of silence because then they would also have to remember the Palestinians who died in the terrorist attacks. Five of the terrorists were killed during the attacks by the German police.

When one of the widows asked, "Are you equating the murder of my husband to the death of the terrorist who killed them?" Weinberg says Gilady wouldn't answer, and left the meeting soon after.

Weinberg said the Munich Massacre opened the door for the problems of terrorism that are still affecting the world today.

"When you deny a terrorist attack -- the first big terrorist to happen on a global basis -- that's why 9/11 happened and all these other big attacks happened -- because it worked. When the Munich Massacre happened, and it was the first time the Olympics were broadcast worldwide on TV, it showed the terrorist one thing. If you take a big stage, and you create a big terrorist attack, it will get you a lot of attention."

Moshe Weinberg was the first Israeli killed in Munich. When he tried to fight the terrorists for the second time, they shot him. They then threw his bullet-riddled body out to show how serious they were. Later, they killed the rest of the hostages.

Guri, who was 1 month old when his father was murdered, thinks the IOC ignoring the anniversary should bother people, regardless of religion or country, because standing up to terrorism is everyone's job.

"If you don't stand up to terrorism, if you don't stand up and do what's right, it will come to your doorstep, whether you like it or not."

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