A terrorist receives $2,000 for a documentary, “Death and Games.”

eIt was hard to listen to one of the killers who survived the attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Muhammad Safadi flaunts his crime, saying to the camera that he would kill Jews again at any time. His act was “heroic” and unrepentant, we hear the 69-year-old saying in the documentary “Tod und Spiele – München ’72”, which was broadcast on ARD. At that time, 11 Israeli athletes and a Bavarian policeman were killed.

Michael Hanfield

Editor in charge of online feuilleton and “media”.

Acceptance has been more difficult since it was revealed that Safadi was paid $2,000 from the producer of the four-part documentary for his appearance on camera.

ARD . media scandal

“For me, it’s a media scandal from the ARD that the killers are being paid for their inhumane statements,” a spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Anki Spitzer, who is allegedly Mohammed Safadi, told Focus magazine. Which covered the story was announced. The Central Council of Jews in Germany was stunned and asked, “How could this happen?” Killers should not be “rewarded” for their “intolerable” crimes, especially to the “families of the victims”. The Secretary-General of the European Rabbinical Conference (CER), Gadi Gruenich, in Munich, said giving a theater killer in a TV documentary was “shameful enough”. It was a “slap in the face to the victims and their relatives” for feeding his “crude anti-Semitic worldview and hatred of Israel”.

And how did that happen? ARD only found out about it through an inquiry from “Focus”. Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg on behalf of the respective ARD broadcasters said: “Death and Games – Munich ’72” is an international co-production, more precisely LOOKSfilm co-production with RBB, SWR (Joint Command) and BR for ARD in collaboration with France Télévisions and VPRO”. A prerequisite for the ARD broadcasters involved was “not to pay a corresponding fee to surviving strikers from the 1972 Olympics”. Producer Gunnar Didio asserted “many times – also in writing” that “no fees were paid for the interviews that were given to the Palestinian hostage-takers. Only the usual expenses in the industry, particularly in terms of security precautions during the interview with one of the killers, were incurred by production.” But then the product had some use rights—“both the interview and because documents and photos were provided.” After months of filming, “I agreed a limited-time exclusivity with a hostage-taker, for which the production company paid $2,000. Our editors were not notified of this by the producer – LOOKSfilm assured us of this.”

The product confirms

Producer Gunnar Didio also made this at the request of FAZ. He asserted that “interviews conducted as part of the ‘Death and Games’ production with surviving hostage-takers of the 1972 Olympics to ARD broadcasters participating in the production were sent to the indispensable condition or linked to the prerequisite not to pay corresponding fees to the killers.” He had “among broadcasters several times – orally and in writing”. He also asserted that “months after recording, LOOKSfilm compensated one of the killers by paying $2,000 for limited exclusivity of the rights to use – both for the interview and for available documents and photos. Gunnar Didio says the editors of the ARD broadcasters involved in the production “knew nothing about these payments.” Producer: “I’m so sorry.” “I should have coordinated with them – even at the risk that they wouldn’t agree to a subsequent exclusive commitment.”


“Death and Games – Munich 72”

Video: ARD, Photo: OCEANIX / BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Didio explained, that his actions seemed “necessary” to him, “because after months of interviewing, an international broadcasting platform not involved in our series published a press release that it was using exclusively contemporary witnesses in their production about the Olympics. The assassination will present.” Only then, “that is, months after completing the interviews,” he decided “to secure the results of the production, for which I am responsible, and also through a temporary agreement of exclusivity with a hostage-taker for a sum of US$2,000. That turned out to be a mistake,” he said. The producer “It” deeply regrets if the feelings of the families of the victims are hurt by this amount. That was never my intention. After all, the perspective of the victims and their relatives is precisely the focus of the descriptions and rightly occupies the largest space in the production. My solidarity goes unreservedly to the victims and their families. “

The producer wanted to secure the interview with the terrorist, which one could classify a journalist as a “scoop” – because the directors found Muhammad al-Safadi and this was the first time he spoke in a film, however unbearable his words were, which was marked by a murderous hatred of Jews, as he finds one’s. There was $2000 for that.

But what follows from this? Apart from the somewhat “technical” interpretation? Bad luck, and you continue filming? There is no explanation for the bereaved and for the Jewish associations? No notification in media library? We ask questions on the ARD. We are still waiting for the answer.

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