Israel's Herzog Arrives in Berlin to Mark 50 Years to Munich Massacre

On his first visit to the country as Israel's president, Herzog thanked his German counterpart for striking a deal to compensate Munich massacre victims' families

Jonathan Shamir
Jonathan Shamir
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President Isaac Herzog with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the German presidential palace in Berlin, on Sunday.
President Isaac Herzog with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the German presidential palace in Berlin, on Sunday.Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO
Jonathan Shamir
Jonathan Shamir

Israel's President Isaac Herzog thanked his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, for his "tireless moral commitment to historic justice" on Sunday, after the German government struck a historic deal to compensate the families of the victims of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre.

Herzog praised the German president for his "personal involvement" in the breakthrough in the long-running negotiations, "based on the taking of responsibility by the German government for the security and rescue failures, an exhaustive historical inquiry and compensation for the bereaved families."

Herzog will be joined at the ceremony in Munich on Monday by the families of the massacre victims, who had originally threatened to boycott the event over a protracted dispute over compensation.

During his the three-day visit, his first to the country as president, Herzog will deliver a speech at the Bundestag, visit Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Prime Minister Yair Lapid will also arrive in Germany next week to hold talks with the German chancellor for "important strategic talks," the president said.

Eleven Israeli athletes and one West German police officer were killed by the Palestinian militant group Black September during the 1972 Olympic Games. To mark 50 years since the massacre, Israel will also hold its own national ceremony later in September, with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach set to attend.

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