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.