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Podcast “We are history” on Munich 1972: The sports festival that ends in a nightmare

Terrorist attack near Munich in 1972
The sports festival that ends in a nightmare

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the Munich Olympic Games. The new ntv podcast “We are history” takes you on a journey into the past. The new episode starts in 1966 with a party in a Roman beer cellar and ends with the attack on Israeli athletes in Munich.

When the Munich delegation celebrates winning the 1972 games and pops the cork in a tavern in Rome, aptly named “Birreria Bavaria”, an invisible clock begins to tick. In the days that followed, the organizers realized their huge responsibility: they had to build a stadium, the infrastructure and the conditions for the games.

A plaque in the Olympic Village in Munich commemorates the Israeli athletes who were murdered in 1972.

Above all there is the claim to want and have to be the complete opposite of the Nazi spectacle of 1936. For this purpose, the then shooting star of the design world is hired: Otl Aicher. With his pictograms as well as the colorful uniforms and costumes for the police and hostesses, he creates a light, cheerful and colorful environment for the Olympic Games.

Openness instead of security

The term “Munich Line” was also coined at this time. In order to offer a strong contrast to the propaganda games in Berlin on the security level, the police officers in Munich should not carry weapons, but focus on de-escalation and dialogue. An approach that does not meet with everyone’s approval. The police psychologist Georg Sieber in particular points to credible warnings of the so-called “Situation 21” – a scenario in which Palestinian terrorists climb over the fence of the Olympic Village, penetrate the Israeli quarters and take athletes hostage in order to free political prisoners.

Policy makers dismiss these warnings. The Germans are looking forward to the games, the support from the population is great. For ten days, the world watches enthusiastically as the “youth of the world” compete in athletic competitions, then the openness of the Olympic Village takes revenge: on the morning of September 5, armed Palestinian terrorists attack a quarter of the Israeli team and take hostages . At the end of the nightmare, eleven Israeli athletes and one Bavarian policeman are dead. These are their names:

  • David Berger
  • Anton Fliegerbauer
  • Ze’ev Friedman
  • Yossef Gutfreund
  • Eliezer Halfin
  • Yosef Romano
  • Kohat Shor
  • Amitzur Shapira
  • Mark Slavin
  • Andrei Spitzer
  • Yakov Springer
  • Moshe (Muni) Vineyard
We are history – an ntv podcast

In “We Are History” Moritz Harms steers his time travel bus over the most interesting routes that our historical road network has to offer in ten episodes. The Olympic Games in Germany, feminism, political assassinations, the nuclear arms race and much more. “We are history” – the ntv history podcast will appear every Friday from April 1st in the ntv app and wherever there are podcasts: AudioNow, Amazon Music, Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify. With the RSS feed also in other apps.

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