As the Olympic Games open in London, I dedicate my blog post today to the 40th anniversary of the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.
As some of you might now, I grew up in the Munich area. Thus the Munich Olympics hold special meaning for me. I was a kid back then, but I remember how we stood by the roadside when the cycling race came up the hillside road we always took down to the banks of the Isar River. I also remember how the city got its first subway in preparation for the Olympics, and how excited my dad was about the new Olympic Stadium’s cool tent roof design.
Sadly, I also remember my parents glued to the radio (we didn’t have a TV) when the Israeli athletes were taken hostage.
And I most vividly remember my father’s dismay and utter embarrassment when the German police botched up the rescue mission at the Fürstenfeldbruck airstrip.
Therefore, I am particularly sad that the IOC has again refused to allow a minute of silence in memory of this tragedy at the Olympic Games.
If you’re unaware of the controversy, both the Wall Street Journal and Tablet Magazine have excellent articles on what happened and the IOC’s strange stance. Tablet Magazine is going dark for a few minutes at noon today, and I decided that was an excellent idea. Since I don’t know how to go dark on this blog, I simply offer this commemorative black post.
Ja eine sehr aufwuehlende Mixtur aus positiven und schrecklichen Erinnerungen. Du hast recht, man sollte der toten Athleten gedenken. Ich tue es mit dir, in dieser Minute.
Barbara – danke. Du hast das genau richtig getroffen: aufwuehlend, schoen und schrecklich.
Thank you for this post, Annette.
Erika – thanks for your speaking out as well.
I heard that Bob Costas was so outraged by the IOC's inaction that he was going to do his own moment of silence on NBC. I believe it will occur when Israeli athletes enter the opening ceremonies.
Jennifer – indeed Bob Costas is planning this. If you follow the Wall Street Journal link in my post you get to that story.
Thank you for this post. Thank you for remembering. I was 20 that day but I will never forget. I am outraged by the inaction, too. I am going to post this on my blog's Facebook page.
Thank you for this post Annette.
Thank you for putting a personal memory to this event. I'm not a huge Olympic follower, but I certainly don't understand why the IOC has refused a moment of silence.
bookworm – it's good to hear that you remember Munich 1972. Thanks for reposting on your FB.
Kelley – thanks for your comment.
Stephanie S – thanks!