Ze'ev Friedman

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Ze'ev Friedman
Born (1944-06-10)June 10, 1944
Prokopyevsk, Soviet Union
Died September 6, 1972(1972-09-06) (aged 28)
Munich, West Germany
Cause of death Homicide by gunshot
Nationality Israel

Ze'ev Friedman (June 10, 1944 – September 6, 1972), was an Israeli flyweight weightlifter. A member of the Israeli Olympic team, he was murdered by terrorists in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.[1]


Commemorative plaque, Munich

Ze'ev Friedman was born in Prokopyevsk, Soviet Union in 1944. In 1960, he moved from Poland to Israel. He began his sports career as a gymnast, but later switched to weightlifting. He was a member of Hapoel Kiryat Haim sports club.[2]

In 1972, Ze'ev Friedman competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany as a weightlifter. He placed 12th, one of the best achievements of any Israeli athlete at the time. On September 5, members of the Palestinian Black September group broke into the Israeli team's dormitory and took hostage several Israeli athletes and coaches including Friedman. After protracted negotiations, the kidnappers brought the hostages to an airport via helicopter and killed them during an attempted rescue by Munich police and Bavarian border guards. The autopsy report, by the Forensic Institute of the University of Munich, concluded that Friedman had died from internal bleeding and also noted that a watch worn by the 28-year old weight lifter was still ticking when the autopsy began, giving a time of 7:51pm.[3]


Further reading[edit]

  • Groussard, S. (New York, 1975), The Blood of Israel: The massacre of the Israeli athletes, The Olympics, 1972 ISBN 0-688-02910-8