I was born in Haifa in 1939 and now live in Tel Aviv with my wife Mimi and my one-month old son Guri. I love sports – my wife says sports are my everything, and teases me that I love wrestling more than her!
When I was young, I was the national youth champion in my sport, an honor I also held for eight years as the adult champion as well. Once my career as a wrestler came to a close, I pursued coaching, getting my certification at the Wingate Institute. My hard work led to my appointment as the national wrestling coach and, I am humbled to be part of the 1972 Olympic team headed to Munich. But I am especially excited for the potential of friendly competition between Israeli and Arab athletes at the game – a rare opportunity indeed!
Around four o’clock in the morning on September 5, 1972 eight terrorists (with the help of local Neo-Nazis) entered the Olympic city in Munich, brazenly walking into the dormitories where our team slept. One of my roommates, another Israeli coach, was woken by strange noises at the door. Realizing what was happening, he jumped up to stall their entry, shouting warnings to us to run. Overpowered, and having been shot in the cheek, the terrorists forced me to take them to the other athletes. With little choice, and bleeding badly, I made the quick decision to take them to the room with the wrestlers and weightlifters, knowing the fencers, shooters and track athletes in the other room would have less of a fighting chance. But the six sleeping men were quickly taken hostage with us.
As the terrorists led us back to the other room, I took one more chance to attack. I dove for a nearby knife and tried to stab their leader, Luttif Afif (whose mother was Jewish) while knocking another terrorist, Mohammed Safady, unconscious. In the chaos, one of my teammates was able to escape but I was shot and killed. The terrorists dumped my body in the street, where it lay for all the world to see. 11 of my friends were killed before the 36 hour siege came to a tragic end during an attempted to escape at the Munich airport. Terrorist’s Luttif Afif, Yusuf Nazzal, Afif Ahmed Hamid, Khalid Jawad, and Ahmed Chic Thaa were killed but terrorist’s Mohammed Safady, Adnan Al-Gashey and Jamal Al-Gashey escaped.
My name is Moshe Weinberg. I am 32 years old. And I am one of The Fallen Faces.
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