In September 1972, during the Munich olympic games, 8 palestinian terrorists from the group ‘Black September’ attacked 11 members of the Israeli olympic team and took them hostage, demanding the release of over 200 prisoners. This event became known as the ‘Munich Massacre’, as all 11 members were murdered.
Pictured above is the iconic image of one of the terrorists on the balcony of Apartment 1, where the hostages were initially held. Two of the hostages were shot and killed while in the apartment building during the initial attack. The remaining hostages were kept in this blood spattered apartment for less than 24 hours, during which the siege was widely televised and reported, and numerous rescue attempts failed. The terrorists had been specifically instructed not to hold the hostages for more than a day, and should their demands not be met they were to request an airplane to transport them and the hostages to a middle-eastern country of their choice.
During this process the German authorities saw another opportunity to ambush the terrorists at the runway, however the whole operation was poorly orchestrated and resulted in a fire fight that lasted over an hour. During this fight the hostages were bound together in two helicopters that had transported both them and the 8 terrorists to the air strip. In the middle of the gun fight the terrorists took the opportunity to throw a live grenade into one of these helicopters, while another terrorist emptied a machine gun into the remaining helicopter, killing all 9 of the surviving hostages.
Your Majesty, this past 19th of June, the Queen and you celebrated your 40th wedding anniversary. Although it is known that you met at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, could you tell us a bit more about that first meeting?
The King: I can not tell much, you know … (Laughter). The Queen: Everything happened during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Personalities from all over the world had traveled to Germany for the big sports party and I was part of the reception committee that was responsible for entertaining them. Among this group was His Majesty, who by that time was still an heir to the throne, and who, without great concern and despite being only a meter from me, was looking at me through binoculars.
The King: It was much more than a meter…
The Queen: “Okay, two at the most. (Laughter). But I must confess that it was an extremely amusing moment, since no one in my life had ever observed me through binoculars at such a short distance. Of course, there came a time when I could not help smiling because the situation was really very funny.
The King: "Did you really think I was watching you?” I was looking at something else! (Laughter).
“And then what happened?”
The Queen: Nothing special, since we try to be discreet.
But at some point they began to know each other better…
The Queen: Yes of course. I invite myself to dinner a few days after having met at a reception.
The King: “I remember that during that reception I told a waitress to ask the lady who had seen through the binoculars to bring me a glass of wine.
The Queen: "Something that was not my duty, I want to clarify …” (Laughter).
The King: “And it was at that moment that I dared to invite her to dinner. Something totally unusual, since I was with my uncle Prince Bertil and my sister, Brigitta. I was the heir to the Swedish Throne and had to keep the formalities of the protocol, but I do not really care, because I wanted to know better who the Queen is today. I remember it was a fantastic evening, in an informal restaurant, where we even danced. We had a really good time.
"And when did you realize, Your Majesty, that she would be Queen?”
The Queen: “I’m dying to hear this answer, because you’ve never told me!” (Laughter).
The King: “I realized that I liked her from the first moment when I perceived her gift of hospitality. I was also very surprised by the number of languages he spoke, apart from his organizational skills and his ability to help others. She was perfect for the role of Queen Consort. On the other hand, she had visited Sweden as a young girl and had a wonderful family. What more could I ask for?
The Queen: "I thought it was because she was a pretty, lovely girl …”
The King: That’s obvious! And I’m very happy that you’re by my side.
Your Majesty, how was it for you to enter a world marked by protocol and, from one day to the next, dedicate your life to public service?
The Queen: For many people, the protocol may seem complicated, but if it exists, it is to make things easier. If you know the rules well, everything is much simpler. The Swedish court is very protocolary and I learned very quickly all its codes, so to become Queen Consort I did not have any headache. On the contrary, it was very easy.
What was the first thing you learned when you entered the Bernadotte Court?
The Queen: “Things happened naturally because I had the support of His Majesty at all times. My mother-in-law, Princess Sibylla, had died a year before our wedding, so I really did not have a figure of reference who loved me and advised me. Equally, I can not fail to mention my sister-in-law, Princess Christina, who was very affectionate to me and gave me very valuable advice on how to approach the Swedish people.
"Your father was German and your mother, Brazilian. How have your origins helped you to play the role as Queen Consort?
The Queen: I was born in Germany, during the Second World War, and with only two years I moved my family to Brazil. Twelve years later, in 1957, we returned to live in Germany, so these two countries marked me a lot. You can say that I have remnants of both cultures, something that has served me to know the best of both worlds. My mother was Catholic and my father, a Protestant, grew up in a home where tolerance and respect were always present.
The King: The Queen has a personality with Brazilian hints and a very German touch. Having spent his childhood in Brazil allowed her to have a very happy and lively spirit, although I must confess that her German side is reflected in his great gifts as an organizer. It reminds me a lot of my mother, who, like her, had a big heart. The two have a very similar form of expression.
The Queen: "I can say that I have a Brazilian heart, a German mind and a Swedish soul.
"Your Majesty, you will be seventy on April 30, of which forty-three have served as King. What are, in your opinion, the values that have shaped the identity of Swedes in recent years?
The King: Sweden is a country that, over the centuries, has had a lot of influence from various parts of the world. My generation, for example, was marked by the consequences of the Second World War because, despite not being in the front, we had many sacrifices, which helped us to become aware of the terrible things that had happened in Europe. At that time, Sweden felt obliged to contribute something to the nations of Europe that so much speak suffered during the war. Thus, over the years, our country became a stable and secure place that received with open arms people from all over the world who sought to live in peace. In fact, we are now a country that has hosted many refugees. How would you describe the personalities of your children? The Queen: The three are very different. As each one has a very definite character, our life with them is exciting and wonderful. We always try to be fair and support them unconditionally. Princess Victoria, however, was in a particular situation as the heir to the Throne. She had to learn and understand the Constitution perfectly, in addition to receiving military training. Anyway, we try to instill the same principles and values for all three of us. Prince Carl Philip, for example, decided to be a designer and we accompany him in his dream.
The King: Although all three are wonderful, I would like to emphasize Princess Victoria, my heiress, who has proven herself to be a very organized woman and committed to her role. I am proud to see the seriousness with which she takes her work and the great effort he makes to prepare for when it comes to occupy the Throne.
So Prince Carl Philip is a designer?
The Queen: Yes. He has cutlery, glassware and crockery, but before turning to design, he was in the Navy, like his father. Although he had several destinations, for what he told us, he had a great time when he had to cook. (Laughter). I am very proud of him because he concluded his military training as commander in a ship to fight you in the Amphibious Battalion of Infantry of the Coastal Artillery of Vaxholm, at the end of 2000. He is currently a reserve officer for the Swedish Navy.
"What can you tell us about the life in London of your daughter, Princess Madeleine?”
The Queen: My youngest daughter is also a very organized woman and is very happy with her life in the UK. In addition to the love of a mother, I am united with her interest in children and their vocation for social work. Shee is a very active member of several of the organizations I chair. I can not be happier. Since she is at my side in this titanic task, she has had very clear ideas and she has done a fantastic job. I would like to highlight her role in the Eyes Wide Open campaign, which occupied the Times Square screens in New York for her tenacious fight against sexual abuse of children. It is a task that we have taken very seriously and that gives us the strength to continue working for the little ones.
How did the arrival of their grandchildren change their lives?
The King: “They are still very small and, unfortunately, we do not see them as much as we would like.”
The Queen: They’re so funny! My mother always said that the grandchildren are the “dessert of life” and had all the reason of the world. Being a grandmother makes me very happy.
What does it mean that the Nobel, the most prestigious awards in the world, were created by a Swede?
The King: Every year, I am proud to be able to deliver these awards to personalities from the sciences and humanities around the world, but I would like to applaud and applaud the great work that Swedish scientists do, since it is they who evaluate and check each one of the proposals nominated by the different committees. Therefore, I can say that Swedish science is one of the most advanced and equipped on the planet. That is, without doubt, one of the great legacies that Alfred Nobel left us.
“Your Majesty, your sister, Princess Birgitta, turns eighty next month. Will they organize a celebration to celebrate?
The King: "Of course, a private party will be organized to celebrate.
How will they celebrate Christmas?
The Queen: "In Sweden, the celebration of Christmas is an ancient tradition. Generally, we spend as a family and we give to all the blessings that life gives us. It’s a party that I love and in which we feel very close to people from all over the world. That is why the King and I want to take this opportunity to send all our love to the people of Spain on these special dates.
Mark Spitz poses underwater during a photo shoot in Beverly Hills in Oct. 1975. A nine-time Olympic champion, Spitz won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, an achievement only surpassed by Michael Phelps who won eight golds at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Spitz turned 65 years old today. (Neil Leifer/SI)
A unique 9x19mm semi-auto pistol that was designed in response to the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre. The strict requirements eventually led to the culmination and creation of the P7 and its siblings.Considered very accurate and reliable, they do have some flaws; particularly weight which concerns some people for concealed carry use, lack of spare parts and aftermarket parts, and a tendency to get rather warm around the trigger guard area due to the low bore axis. (GRH)
43 years ago today (September 5th 1972) during the 1972 Munich Olympic games, a Palestinian terror group called Black September took the Israeli Olympic team hostage. This is known as the Munich Massacre. As a end result:6 coaches, 5 athletes, 5 terrorists and 1 German police officer died. There has been allegations of German involvement and German Neo-Nazis were said to have helped with logistics of this event.
43 years ago Yesterday, at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian terrorists of “Black September,” in the event that came to be known as the Munich Massacre.
Today, we remember Ze’ev Friedman, Eliezer Halfin, Amitzur Shapira, Kehat Shorr, Mark Slavin, Andrei Spitzer, Yakov Springer, Yossef Romano, Yossef Gutfreund, Moshe Weinberg, and David Mark Berger.
May their memories be blessed. We will never forget you.