In 1985, Donald Trump was Chairman and Host of the American Friends of Hebrew University 9th Annual Sports Fundraising Dinner in Held in Honor of the 11 Murdered Israeli Athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics
Donald Trump was Chairman and Host of the American Friends of Hebrew University 9th Annual Sports Fundraising Dinner
SOCIAL CALENDAR BY JEAN HERSCHAFT
Peter V. Ueberroth, commissioner of baseball who was active in solving the player’s strike recently was the honored guest at the American Friends of Hebrew University’s ninth annual sports dinner recently.
Ueberroth, former president of the Lou Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, was Time Magazine’s selection for the 1984 “Man of the Year Award” for his supreme skill in “making the Games work and work brilliantly.” Under his direction the Los Angeles Olympic Games resulted in a $150 million surplus, which goes to youth and sports’ programs throughout the United States.
His selection as AFHU Torch of Leaning Laureate was announced by S. Slavin, chairman of the AFHL National Munich Eleven Sports program. The Munich Eleven dinner has become a major annual event for athletes, sports figures and enthusiasts. Among those involved each year are Bowie Kuhn, Ueberroth’s predecessor as baseball commissioner; David “Sonny” Werblin, president of Madison Square Garden: Edward Bennet Williams and Lee MacPhail.
Proceeds from the dinner provide aid for needy students at the HU Jerusalem.
Chairman of the affair and host of the evening was the young business tycoon, Donald Trump. He had introduced the Westchester Jewish Center’s Rabbi Irving Kosslow, who requested the guests to stand for a “moment of prayer” for the 11 athletes killed by terrorists at the Munich Olympics, in 1972.
Each year noted sportscaster Howard Cosell shares the same recollection of the Munich massacre with guests at the sports dinner, titled “A Tragedy Recalled”.
“I lay there, on top of that little slope, forty, maybe fifty feet from building 31.
The hours passed, and my feelings of helplessness, frustration , outrage, and despair grew. How many, if any were still alive? How could this have happened? Where were the West German police? The whole thing was a dream.
But it wasnt. Occasionally there were those Arab faces at the windows. Suddenly, there were dozens of West German police (where were they last night?) strapping on their guns, encircling the building, climbing to the roof.
I thought of a thousand things, Dachau only a few miles away. Hitler. Six million. Emmy, who I knew was at Barnathan’s Bungalow, ABC’s operations headquarters just outside the athletes’ entrance to the village. Was she all right? Was she worried? What the hell was going on? How the hell did this horror happen? I just wanted her safe.
I thought of my girls, Jill and Hilary, at home. How frightened and unbelieving they must be. And of David Berger, in that building, the kid from Cleveland for whom moving to Israel was a lifetime crusade. Would they ever stop killing Jews, I wondered bitterly. I looked behind me. I could see athletes in the distance, from many countries, playing pingpong, basketball, fun and games. ‘God damn them,’ I thought, ‘their goddamn games.’ But, I realized, they don’t know. They don’t haves clue as to what’s happening-not yet anyway. They were all killed – all 11 of them. Make it six million and eleven. And how many more only God knows. But they’ll never kill us all. Sept. 6, 1972, the Games went on – Avery Brundage saw to that.”
Former Israel Ambassador to the United States Simcha Dinitz, now president of Hebrew University, was in for the dinner as well.
Dinitz spoke of Israel’s severe economic measures. “Our University faculty, “he said, “took an 8 percent cut in salary in order that services at Hebrew University won’t he cut, assuring all students maintenance of the same high Standards in education.” He referred to terrorism assuring that Israel will stand with the United States together against terrorism.”
The grand ballroom of the Hilton Hotel was studded with stars of the sports world, leading Ueberroth to remark, “It’s the finest group of athletes ever assembled anywhere- in memorial tribute to the Munich 11.”
Among the sports greats. Nat Holman, Floyd Patterson, Rusty Staub, Jerry Cooney, Lee McPhail, Mel Allen, Jose Torres, Herschel Walker, Wesley Walker, Gordie How, Al Sherman, Eddie Mo and Ralph Kiner.