Between Documentation and Fiction: The 1972 Olympic Assassination in Munich

There are many films, reports and news about the Olympic offensive in Munich. On Sky and in the ARD media library, there are pieces worth seeing.

Munich – There are films, reports and news about the Olympic offensive Munich many. In Sky and in the ARD media library there are particularly noteworthy pieces. In one, his horror still unfolds today.

Scene from “Black September in Munich”: The work planned for the release of the hostages had many flaws. © Jan Marcello Kahl / Bilderfest / Sky / Wow / dpa

Muhammad Safadi still remembers September 5, 1972 well when he and seven other Palestinians attacked the Summer Olympics in the state capital.

Eleven Israelis and a German policeman were killed. The old man is still very proud of this act.

“I do not regret it, I will never regret it,” he explains admirably in the documentary series “Death and Games – Munich 72” in the ARD Media Library.

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Crime scene
The next actor outside Tatort Dresden

Sky has also made the Olympic assassination an issue – once with the docudrama “1972 – Black September in Munich” and with the fantasy thriller “Munich Games”. Both works can currently be seen at WOW.

The Sky documentary and the four-part ARD series raise many questions. Police officers and politicians have their say, as well as eyewitnesses and Israeli athletes who were lucky not to be taken hostage at the time.

There is space for the environment of terrorism and the struggles of the Palestinians and their wars with Israel.

Families of the dead also recount their grief and helpless anger at having to wait decades for an apology and compensation. Sky’s documentation complements the interviews with re-enacted scenes.

Former sprinter Shaul Ladani looks at the documentary

Former runner Shaul Ladani looks back at the events of the documentary “Black September in Munich”. © Moritz Frisch / Bilderfest / Sky / Wow / dpa

The common denominator is policeman Guido Schlosser. At that time, he and his colleagues were supposed to control terrorists on a plane in Fürsten Feldbrück. A suicide mission that they barely escaped the fears of officials who then withdrew at the site.

Was that cowardly or understandable? The first is the question Schlosser has been dealing with ever since.

To seek forgiveness and an apology, he traveled to Tel Aviv in 2021 to Anki Spitzer, the widow of slain fencing coach Andrei. A very touching encounter, which can also be heard on the Bavarian Radio podcast “Himmelfahrtskommando”, where Schlosser’s daughter Patricia tells the story of her father.

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Director Philip Kadelbach (“Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo”) finds an unusual twist in the six-part thriller series Munich Games.

She is playing at the moment. A friendly match between football teams from Munich and Tel Aviv is scheduled to commemorate the assassination 50 years ago. But Israeli agent Oren Simon (Yousef Sweid) found evidence of a possible terrorist attack in the game. Together with the German-Lebanese Maria Koehler (Senep Saleh) of the Bavarian Criminal Police Office, he desperately tries to find the mastermind and prevent the assassination. A difficult race against time begins.

Cadelbach rotates his works impressively and with exciting intricacies. The story is especially original in the original version – it was filmed in German, Hebrew, Arabic and English.

The atrocities of September 5, 1972 are always present – as a threatening backdrop in the background. And the disturbing realization soon emerges that even 50 years later, it is still difficult to fight terrorism.

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