Hackney plaque commemorates victims of Munich Olympics terrorist attack

A plaque commemorating athletes killed by terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972 was unveiled in Hackney last week.

Boris Johnson, Secretary of State Eric Pickles, President of the Israeli Olympics Committee Efraim Zinger, and Yosi Romano, the nephew of a murdered weightlifter, spoke at the ceremony at Arthaus, Richmond Road, which marked the 40th anniversary of the kidnap and killing of 11 Israeli athletes and a German policeman.

The London Mayor said he remembered the “sense of numb disbelief” at the tragedy though he was eight at the time. “What sticks in my memory is that sense of sacrilege and a feeling of horror that the world’s greatest sporting event should suffer such an attack.”

Leabridge Cllr Linda Kelly, co-chair of the Britain and Israel Olympic Plaque Committee with Martin Sugarman, said the plaque was a “fitting memorial”. “The Commemorative Plaque in memory of the murdered athletes has been forty years overdue, despite continual lobbying from the families of the athletes.”

Martin Sugarman said: “Legacy is important for us. When the Olympics have gone the plaque will be something people can see for decades to come. We wanted it as near to the Olympic village as possible.

“It’s fantastic. For several days after I walked past it every day to see it. It was hard work along the way but it’s a very rewarding thing and we are very glad we did it.”

The Simon Marks Jewish Primary School choir sang at the unveiling ceremony, which was attended by around 200 people. War veterans placed wreaths in front of the plaque and a minute’s silence was held.

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The plaque was mounted on the wall at Arthaus, 205 Richmond Road, on Wednesday July 25.