A panel of historians begins a 3-year examination of the 1972 Munich Olympics attack

BERLIN (AP) — A group of historians set up to examine the 1972 attack on the Munich Olympics begins its three-year mission to examine what happened before, during and after the events of it. five decades ago on Tuesday, the German government said.

In April, the German Interior Ministry appointed the international commission of experts made up of eight members, most based in Israel or Germany. It was part of a deal last year with relatives of 11 Israeli squad members who were killed by Palestinian militants.

The first meeting of the panel was held on Tuesday at the Ministry of the Interior. Home Secretary Nancy Faeser promised that “the events surrounding this terrible attack will finally be fully and transparently examined”.

“The research results should provide answers to many unresolved questions – answers that the German government has owed to family members of the victims and to the public for more than 50 years,” Faeser said in a statement. His ministry said there would be “regular publications and events”.

In September, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier apologized for Germany’s multiple failures before, during and after the attack as he joined his Israeli counterpart and relatives of the slain athletes at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary .

Days earlier, an agreement for relatives to receive a total of 28 million euros ($30 million) in compensation averted a threat of a boycott of the event. The sum included much smaller payments made earlier.

Germany also agreed to recognize the shortcomings of the authorities of the time and to put in place the expertise.

On September 5, 1972, eight members of a Palestinian group called Black September scaled the unguarded fence of the Olympic Village. They broke into the building where the Israeli team was located, killing wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg and weightlifter Yossi Romano.

Some Israeli athletes managed to escape but nine were captured. The kidnappers demanded the release of more than 200 Palestinians held by Israel and two German left-wing extremists in West German prisons.

The attackers demanded a plane and safe passage to Cairo. After a day of negotiations, the attackers and their hostages were allowed to depart in two helicopters for Fuerstenfeldbruck airfield, outside Munich.

Airfield snipers opened fire. The attackers threw a grenade into one of the helicopters carrying the hostages, which exploded, and fired at the hostages in the other helicopter. The failed rescue attempt also left a West German policeman and five of the attackers dead.

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