A German security guard has been arrested for giving a Nazi salute to a group of Israeli athletes visiting the site of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. Sixteen athletes from Israel’s European Championship squad reportedly performed a gesture banned in Germany to pay tribute to their slain compatriots.
The suspect, a 19-year-old from Berlin, was immediately arrested and banned from all future European Championships. It is known that the visiting Israeli team did not comply with the gesture.
“Around 7:20 p.m. one of the four security guards present was observed making a National Socialist gesture (the forbidden ‘Hitler salute’),” local police said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel. He was detained for using symbols of unconstitutional organizations.
“We will not accept such despicable actions and are pleased that the police have been able to arrest the perpetrator,” said Marion Schon, head of the organizing committee and the Olympic Park. “We deeply regret this incident and hope that our Israeli guests will remain comfortable in Munich despite this unspeakable incident.
The Olympic Park stands for cosmopolitanism and diversity. We welcome people from all over the world and we have a special responsibility because of the 1972 murder.” She added:
Meanwhile, the 1972 incident is considered the darkest day in Olympic history. On September 5, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s apartment. He immediately shot two people dead and took nine more hostages, threatening to kill the remaining hostages unless the 232 Palestinian prisoners were released from custody.
The ensuing rescue resulted in the deaths of all Israeli hostages, five of the eight Palestinians and one local police officer. The families of the Israeli team killed in the incident have vowed to ignore upcoming commemorations of the incident and have not received satisfactory compensation from the authorities.