Her husband, Israel’s fencing coach, was murdered at the Olympics, as an Olympian. His widow will never relent until the Olympic authorities commemorate him and Israel’s 10 other Munich 1972 massacre victims within the Olympic framework. In London this month, anti-Semitism and greed, she says, will continue to thwart that moral obligation.
On September 6, 1972, at eight in the morning, Ankie Spitzer stood at the foot of the stairs and watched the trickling current of blood. The man by her side put a hand out and said, ‘Don’t go up there.’ But Spitzer, the Dutch-born wife of Israel’s Olympic fencing coach, who had given birth to their first daughter only three weeks earlier, wanted to see where her husband Andrei had spent his last hours on earth.
She walked up the stairs, alone, and looked into the dormitory room in the Olympic Village. This was where the athletes had been held. This was where Yossef Romano, an Israeli weightlifter, had been executed, his body brutalized as a warning. She opened the door.
“After looking at that room I said to myself, ‘If this is what happened to that peace-loving man, my husband, who wanted nothing more than to take part in the Olympics, then I will never shut up, never stop talking about the travesty to the Olympic ideals,’” she said. More