The Munich Massacre was a terrorist attack during the 1972 Olympic Games. Eight Palestinian terrorists killed two members of Israeli Olympic team and then took nine others hostage.
Long-hidden German police records and interviews with the families of the athletes reveal that the some of Israeli sportsmen were beaten by Palestinian terrorists until their bones snapped.
One of the athletes, weightlifter Yossef Romano, was castrated in front of his teammates.
“What they did is that they cut off his genitals through his underwear and abused him,” his widow Ilana Romano told the New York Times. “Can you imagine the nine others sitting around tied up? They watched this.”
It remains unclear if Mr Romano was still alive when he was mutilated.
The families of the 11 athletes only learned of their loved ones’ suffering 20 years after the massacre, when German police showed them hundreds of pages of reports into the killings.
Mrs Romano said she looked at graphic photographs of her husband’s injuries because she wanted to understand what happened.
“The moment I saw the photos, it was very painful,” she said. “I remembered until that day Yossef as a young man with a big smile. I remembered his dimples until that moment.
“At that moment, it erased the entire Yossi that I knew.”
Mr Romano was shot and killed along with one other athlete when gunmen from the Palestinian Black September group stormed into the Israeli team’s rooms in the Olympic Village.
The other nine hostages were all killed during a botched rescue attempt by German police on the runway of a nearby airbase.
The massacre rocked Israel and Mossad, Israel’s equivalent of MI6, responded with a campaign of assassinations against Palestinian militants they accused of involvement in the attacks.
Know as Operation Wrath of God, the campaign involved a string of killings across Europe and the Middle East and was dramatised in the films Munich and Sword of Gideon.
A new documentary about the Munich massacre, Munich 1972 & Beyond, is due to be released next year and details how Mrs Romano and other relative of victims have campaign for greater recognition of the killings.
The families tried unsuccessfully to convince the International Olympic Committee to mark the 40th anniversary of the killings by holding a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.
Relatives said the committee’s refusal of their request was “shameful”.