Andre Spitzer

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Andre Spitzer (1945 in Romania – September 6, 1972 at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base, near Munich, West Germany), was a fencing master and coach of Israel's 1972 Summer Olympics team. He was one of 11 athletes and coaches taken hostage and subsequently killed by Palestinians in the Munich massacre.

Early life

Spitzer was born in Romania, and emigrated to the Netherlands in 1964 to coach fencing with "Master Abrahams" in The Hague. Most of his first year in the Netherlands he stayed with the Smitsloo family in Scheveningen. He and one of his students, Ankie, were married in 1971. They moved to Israel, where Spitzer helped found the national fencing academy. Their daughter Anouk was born a few months before the Olympic Games.

Spitzer, though only 27, was Israel's top fencing coach. Spitzer was chief fencing instructor at the Orde Wingate Physical Education Institute, Israel's top institution for sports instruction.

Munich Olympics

The Spitzers went to Munich with the rest of the Israeli team, but young Anouk was left in the Netherlands, in the care of her grandparents.



Ankie Spitzer recalled her husband's idealism and attitude towards the Olympics:

<blockquote style="">(While strolling in the Olympic Village)... he spotted members of the Lebanese team, and told (me) he was going to go and say hello to them... I said to him, "Are you out of your mind? They're from Lebanon!" Israel was in a state of war with Lebanon at the time. ...
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