Israeli Athlete Who Survived Olympic Massacre

“Shaul Ladany survived a concentration camp as a youngster, and returned to Germany as a race-walker for the 1972 Olympics. He was one of the Israeli athletes who escaped the massacre. Now 84, he spoke to The Associated Press. In the early hours of September 5, eight armed members of Palestinian terror group Black September climbed over the unguarded fence of the Munich Olympic village. They burst into the building where the Israeli team was staying on Connollystrasse 31, killed Weinberg and Israeli weightlifter Yossef Romano, and took nine others hostage. A lengthy negotiation with West German authorities ensued, captivating world attention with much of the drama unfolding on live television. Ultimately, 11 Israelis–five athletes and six coaches–were killed either at the village or during a botched rescue attempt at a German airfield. The massacre shocked the world, gave the Palestinian cause an audience, and ushered in a new era of global terrorism, with Israel dispatching a special Mossad unit around the world to hunt down and eliminate all those involved. Earlier in 1972, Ladany set his world record in the 50-mile walk in a time of 7 hours, 44 minutes, 47 seconds, shattering a mark that had stood since 1935. Ladany’s record still stands. He still competes, exercising every morning and marking each birthday by walking his age in kilometers. Earlier this year, he completed the full Tel Aviv Marathon.”

“Still Going Strong,” The Times of Israel, Aug. 9, 2020