1972 Olympics: The Munich Massacre

1972 Olympics: The Munich Massacre


– 7,134 athletes from 121 countries descended upon Munich,
Germany for the 1972 Olympics to celebrate athletic
competition and healthy rivalries at the highest of levels. The competition was going
swimmingly when, no pun intended, Mark Spitz, the Jewish American swimmer, won seven gold medals in a
dazzling display of greatness, Olga Korbut, known as
the Sparrow from Minsk, mesmerized the gymnastics
world with four medals, and the USSR outlasted
the Americans, 50 to 49, in what is still considered one of the most contentious
ends to a basketball game in sports history. But above all else, the
Munich Olympics are remembered for putting terrorism on the center stage, when 11 Israeli Olympians were massacred by Palestinian terrorists, and just as notorious, the reaction of the German government, which some consider one
of the most epic screwups in the history of terrorism, but more on that later. These events raise the
questions, how could this happen? And does terrorism work? (lively music) The Munich Olympics in 1972 were supposed to showcase
the new face of Germany. At the 1936 Olympics, held in Nazi Germany
just 36 years earlier, Hitler used the event
as a propaganda machine to demonstrate the
superiority of the Aryan race. The 1972 Olympics were determined to be
propaganda of the opposite kind. Germany actually named the upcoming events the not-so-subtle Olympics of Peace & Joy, or Die Heiteren Spiele. They wanted to show
the least militaristic, most peace-loving Germany possible, and this meant a deliberate
lack of security. Although there were some
unarmed security officers, not a single uniformed
police officer or soldier was anywhere in sight. The attendance of the
Israeli team at this event, only 27 years after the Holocaust, cannot be understated. The Israeli athletes, many of whom lost
relatives in the Holocaust, waved the Israeli flag over German soil only six miles from the
Dachau concentration camp. Israel was making a strong statement of both Jewish resilience, and Israel’s readiness to
accept a different Germany. But at 4:30 a.m. the morning
of September 5th, 1972, eight men dressed in track suits to blend in with the athletes, carrying duffel bags loaded with AK-47s, pistols, and grenades, jumped the unguarded fence and infiltrated the Israeli
team’s apartment complex. Two of the Israelis initially
fought off the terrorists, but were soon murdered. The remaining nine athletes
were then taken hostage. The terrorists’ demands: that Israel release 234
Palestinian prisoners. If not, the hostages
would soon be executed. Now, before we get into
Germany’s botched rescue attempt, let’s look at the context. In 1958, Yasser Arafat and his
colleagues founded al-Fatah, an organization that advocated armed
struggle against Israel. In 1964, they established the PLO, or the Palestinian
Liberation Organization, with the goal of destroying
Israel completely. The PLO and its affiliate, PFLP, or the Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestine, began an international terror campaign of plane hijackings and bombings. Now, at the time, the PLO headquarters
were located in Jordan, where, at the time, 2/3 of the population was actually Palestinian, but Jordan’s King Hussein was
not really a fan of the PLO, and in a period infamously
known as Black September, Jordan killed up to 15,000
Palestinian fighters and civilians. Soon, al-Fatah members
founded a splinter cell, and named themselves Black September after this atrocious massacre. Their most notorious attack was
the Munich Olympic massacre, which the plot’s
mastermind, Abu Daoud, said had been approved by Yasser Arafat. And now, back to the Olympics. After learning of the attack, Avery Brundage, then president
of the Olympics Committee, declared that the games must go on, and in typical German precision, the first athletic event of the day occurred at exactly 8:15 a.m. as two Israelis lay dead and nine Israelis were held hostage. Brundage spent his day exerting
pressure on German officials to get the Israelis out of the village and allow the Olympics
to carry on in peace. As the other athletes were
sunbathing and playing ping-pong, an international nightmare
lasting more that 20 hours was happening just a few yards away. Finally, 10 hours later, at 3:51, the Olympics Committee
finally suspended the events. Thousands of people filed
out of the Olympic stadiums and gathered on the grassy hill
overlooking the apartments, along with live television crews. Viewers were horrified to see that Jewish blood was
being spilled on German soil yet again. Israelis and Jews around
the world felt helpless, unable to defend their people. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir refused to negotiate with the terrorists. The German authorities
turned down assistance from the Israeli Mossad
who, unlike Germany, had a specialized counterterrorism unit, and instead, they began
clumsy negotiations with the terrorists. At the same time, though,
without a real operational plan, German police scaled the building and prepared to attack the terrorists, but in a tremendous oversight, they realized that their actions were being broadcast on live television to not only a worldwide audience, but also the terrorists themselves. Later, the terrorists made a new demand that they and the hostages
be flown to Egypt. The German authorities agreed to fly them in a
helicopter to the airport, where they planned to ambush them. The botched rescue attempt
became a textbook example of how not to handle a hostage situation. Six policemen disguised as flight crew were placed on the airplane, and five sharpshooters
lay on the perimeter. At the last minute, though, the flight crew voted
to abandon their mission without consulting central command, and just left the plane. The remaining five sharpshooters had no special sniper training, no radio communication, and no telescopic or infrared sights, which, if you’ve watched any TV or movies in the last, I don’t know, 50 years, you know are pretty crucial
to the job of a sniper. Israeli Mossad Chief Zvi Zamir
was present, but was ignored. It seemed to him that his presence actually made the Germans uncomfortable, and so the rescue attempt continued, lacking basic experience
and technical foresight. The helicopters landed at the
airport just after 10:30 p.m., but when the terrorists
entered the empty plane and realized it was probably a trap, they ran back to the helicopters. The snipers, if you can really
call them that, opened fire, and a shootout ensued, with the more heavily armed terrorists, during which time the
terrorists threw a grenade into one of the helicopters, killing the four bound
Israelis and the pilots inside, and then the terrorists gunned down the remaining five hostages in the other helicopter. At the end of the day, 11
Israelis had been killed, along with one policeman
and five terrorists. In the press conference
briefing the next morning, the Munich police
commissioner tried to explain. “The terrorists were too
clever, too professional. “The hostages were condemned to die. “We tried all we knew, but
they were not amateurs.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the German police’s competence
in dealing with terrorism. Later in the day, a ceremony was held in
the Olympic stadium, but it was less about
memorializing the victims, who were barely mentioned
in the chairman’s speech, and more about, in his words, “demonstrating the the Olympic ideal “is stronger than terror and violence.” During the ceremony, the Olympic flag, along with the flags of most countries, was flown at half-mast, except for 10 Arab nations that demanded their flags
remain at full-mast. The games were then
suspended for 24 hours, and then continued on as planned, but the remaining Israeli
athletes left Munich. The German government allowed the bodies of the dead terrorists to be flown to Libya where
they were buried as heroes. To this day, the Olympic Committee still refuses to dedicate a memorial
or a moment of silence to the Munich massacre victims, saying that it could alienate other members of the Olympic community, and it took 45 years of Israeli nudging for the city of Munich
to establish a memorial at their Olympic Park in 2017. Now, if you thought the series of Germany’s
screwups ended there, (speaks in foreign language): not so fast. Three terrorists remained
alive in German custody awaiting trial, but as predicted by
Mossad chief Zvi Zamir, the unthinkable happened. Palestinian terrorists then
hijacked a Lufthansa 727 and demanded the release of
the three imprisoned terrorists in exchange for the 14
passengers on the plane. The Germans agreed, and quickly
whisked the terrorists off to join their comrades. 27 years later, in the Oscar-winning documentary,
One Day in September, it was revealed that Germany
had colluded with al-Fatah in planning the hijacking of the plane in exchange for a promise not to carry out any more
terrorist attacks on German soil. For 20 years, the German
government insisted that no documents existed
relating to its failures, but then in 1992, a German archivist
smuggled a bulging folder to the wife of one of the Israeli victims. The number of files the
Germans had been hiding was over 4,000, and horrible details emerged, that the athletes had been brutalized until their bones snapped, and that one of the Israeli victims was castrated in front of his teammates. The massacre of Jews in Germany left a deep scar on Israeli society. Once again, Jews had been forced to
watch the murder of their own without the ability to intervene. So within days, Israel unleashed
Operation Wrath of God. The objective: hunt down and
assassinate the terrorists involved in planning the attack. In one operation, Prime
Minister-to-be Ehud Barak and his deputy Muki Betser, disguised as a blonde
and a brunette woman, entered Beirut with their team and assassinated several key players from both the PLO and Black September. But in a separate mission in a Norwegian ski resort in Lillehammer, an innocent Moroccan
waiter was misidentified as Black September Operations
Chief Ali Hassan Salameh, known as the Red Prince,
and mistakenly murdered. As a result, Golda Meir
chose to curb the operation. These events raise a lot of questions, so let’s work our way backwards. The ethical implications
of Operation Wrath of God remain controversial to many. According to those involved, the reason for the assassinations
was not so much revenge, but more to spread fear throughout the PLO as a method of preventing
future terrorist attacks. But should terrorist be
entitled to due process? If terrorists operate
outside the rules of war by targeting civilians, then, do we still have an obligation to treat them within the rule of law? We also have to ask
the difficult question, does terrorism work? In the case of Munich, the answer seems to be unequivocally yes. Munich was a watershed
moment for terrorism, with the Olympics providing an internationally televised audience. The whole world suddenly became aware of the Palestinian cause. Years later, one of the
only surviving terrorists looked back on 1972 with pride, saying, “It helped the
Palestinian cause enormously. “Before Munich, the world had
no idea about our struggle, “but on that day the word Palestine “was repeated all over the world.” And it’s true: the Palestinian plight did
become known to the world. In fact, only two years
after the massacre, Yasser Arafat, who endorsed the attacks, was received at the UN. It seems clear that up until
now terrorism is effective, but this begs the question: how should we, as a society, respond? (lively music)

100 Replies to “1972 Olympics: The Munich Massacre”

  1. Should the Olympics have continued, while the Israeli delegation were being held hostage? What would you have done if you were in charge?

  2. I don't know whether terrorism works.. However, I know why terrorism emerges in the first place – if you own nothing, what you could do?

  3. That is what a demilitarized Germany looks like, they became soft, and it makes sense, after WWII. A shame, because they haven't changed and still bow down to liberal propaganda and the immigrant crisis.

  4. Palestinians: own a piece of land for 3000 years
    Jews: own land for 100 years
    Zionists: okay we’ll take this land from you
    Palestinians: No you won’t.
    Zionists: omg!!???? They’re fighting back against our imperialism? Those damn terrorists!
    Palestinians now: please just give us equal rights to Jews
    Zionists: No! If democracy were to get hold of Israel, then our apartheid state would no longer exist!

  5. ok… this is way too professional for a channel with only 12k… they’re gonna blow up soon 😂 (no terrorist pun intended)

  6. Today it’s quite the opposite. Only Palestinian citizens are not athletes and the Israeli are soldiers.

  7. I like your video, totally not what I was expecting, I thought it would be based or something but this is horrible. Those Olympians were tortured and murdered yet Germany failed so hard, they should have immediately brought in special forces from allies including isreal. And turned off the broadcasting of it so at least there would be an attempt to save them.
    Rip.

  8. You should unpack the lavon affair and all the other isreali false flag operations and the selling of us miltary technology to the chinese even though we give you millions a year in military aid

  9. Dude, it’s the fricking 1970s. How do you expect Germans to have experience with terrorists, and to have an anti terrorist unit, when they have never had a terroristic event like this before. What the heck? Of course the Mosad had an anti terrorist unit, since this was happening and is happening constantly in Israel. And btw Germany back then isn’t Germany now. So cut your “GeRmAnS aRe BaD” 🥺 Bs. I know they had done a huge mistake, that lead to this tragedy, and they had learned since then, but it seems like you went very quickly over the fact, that the Israeli government refused to negotiate. 🤔 And honestly what the heck was that thing with: 1. The police didn’t think of the cameras broadcasting the event to the terrorists. *does a what the heck were they doing face* – Yea they did a big mistake there, and they should have known, but they were the police, not SAS.
    2. If you had seen a couple of movies from the past 10 years, then you would know, that that is not how you handle a terrorist hostage crisis – Dude really? You dare to compare 2000-2019 with the 1970s, where Germany had no anti terrorist experience? What kind of world do you live in?
    3. And the German snipers, if you can call them snipers? *pff like face* – Well, are you a sniper? No? Do you have a sniper training, that you can throw words like these around here? Man, get outa here.

    Look, I am not saying, that they had not done mistakes. They did, but just like the US learned from 9/11 and the Boston marathon, Germans learned a ton. And back in the day, they were not prepared for this, because it was the first time in Germany. It’s disgraceful for you to hate them to such an extent, that you twist tone of words in your favour. Shame 🧐.

    And I know, that the Holocaust was the most horrifying event, that ever took place in the history of human kind, but the victims, if they have forgiven their oppressors, had done so towards the Nazis (Worldwide) not Germans only, which of many were in concentration camps too, and died there. Germany 100 years ago, isn’t Germany now. Go to Germany today and make the Nazi “Sieg Heil” Symbol. I assure you, that within minutes, you will be arrested and that they will put heavy changes on you. Germans take this super seriously, because they don’t want this to repeat, as they are ashamed of it. Germany has changed, and so should you.

    But I do agree, that televising a terroristic event is a step towards hell, and it should be happening. But how can you stop people from streaming the event with their phones on FB, or outright filming it?

  10. There is no country called srael its #palestine there’s no place for fuckin homeless jews in the world

  11. This video better not being letting Israel play the sympathy when they killed 20,000 Palestinians in 1948. Also this will not stereotype Palestinians as terrorists. Again, I am appalled because when people have been persecuted, they go to a land and kill other people and expel them from their land. Why is this still continuing?

  12. Of course the Jews were against freeing Palestinians. America arms Israel to let them continue to bomb Palestine as Israel steals their land and kills families to take Palestinan homes. The human heart is cruel.

  13. Isreal is based it's not some hippie dystopian society where they are allowed to get trampled and Isreal never declared War on anyone but it's (*cough Muslim neighbors did ) and guess who beat not 1 but three countries at the same time it was Isreal get over it intergrate into Isreal or leave there are many Muslim countries but only one Isreal of Jewish country

  14. It is so obvious this channel is just part of the Zionist propaganda machine. Portraying the PLO (the only organization in the way of Zionists taking all of Palestine) as a complete terrorist group. Portraying the idea of Palestine wanting to be free as a result of terrorist attacks. Hence showing a free Palestine is a terrorist cause. You mess up your ideal as a Zionist propaganda machine at 9:03 when we see Israeli officers killed an Iraqi in complete foreign soil. It is obvious the Iraqi isn’t a terrorist no matter how you show the article (which is obviously changed and cut off to make Israel look great). The terrorists were Palestinian. At least have some continuity.
    The key takeaways: This is obviously Zionist propaganda. You even make a few mistakes with that goal.

  15. Free Palestine, these people weren’t terrorists they were fighting their oppressors. Israelis are still actively murdering hundreds of Palestinian people without anyone batting an eye but when a few Jews get killed in the Olympics everyone freaks out

  16. BEWARE IT'S AN ISREALI PROPAGANDA CHANNEL GO LOOK IT UP! This is why most of you received it as an ad!!!!!

  17. News: Broadcast police trying to save hostages
    Terrorist: Thanks for the info news!now we know where they are and gonna kill a few hostages

  18. These damn palestinians don't want peace, they want victory and death to the state of Israel. My full support for Israel

  19. “The competition was going swimmingly, when no pun intended-“ bitch yes that was pun intended don’t u lie

  20. Can't say I feel bad for them. Israel is a twisted and sick nation. I don't like Palestinians but Israel is as corrupt as it gets. Stop acting like Nazis and people might actually start to sympathize with you.

  21. 9:49 Did he really just fucking ask if terrorist should be giving a trail ??? Before everyone gets all butt hurt and person these are still people ????? IS EVER MAN CREATED EQUAL OR NOT?!???

  22. If we were making a list of why you shouldn’t let Palestine form, I think this would be at the top of the list. This was proper terrorism

  23. Dude Israelis literally made a documentary titled Revenge of the 1972 Munich Olympics. And it’s recommended after your video! The Israeli government most certainly set out to respond to hate and violence with greater hate and violence and their bloodlust cost an innocent life. And yes even terrorists are granted human rights and no being a terrorist does not legitimize Israel’s reasoning for leading a crusade and killing the innocent.

  24. You won't capture a terrorist to try him in a court of Law. What the plo terrorists did in Germany of all places WAS a terrorist act – innocent civilians ( athletes ). When Israel responded they simply went after the plo the only way they could. You really can't fault them.

  25. I never support terroism.
    But a country like Israel should not have been there in the first place.
    Same thing goes for South Africa during apartheid and Chile under Pinochet ect.

  26. While you all are bickering over "I am right and YOU are wrong" , take a short break and watch a short YouTube video called "Love has no Labels.". Then go back to your bickering.

  27. Of course the games should have been suspended. I know it was a disappointment to athletes who had waited and trained for 4 yrs.only to be denied their moment of glory…but human beings were murdered. That ought to mean something.

  28. I write my master thesis about the Olympic Games in 1972, I live in Munich since 2016. Setting a memorial is not that easy thing since Olympic village was sold straight after Olympics in 73', the male area s now a neighbourhood, the female area is occupied by students, and some apartments belong to different companies. Apartment, where the whole massacre began (Connollystr. 31) is still in private use of a company – no one lives there regularly, but it functions as a temporary living place for business clients, guests, visitors. So, setting any memorial point in this place, require an approvement of the owner. I'm not sure how long commemorative plaque is there. There is another plaque in Olympiapark and a memorial on Furstenfeldbruck Airport and they were there before 2017.
    the other memorial place you mentioned is a quite big, outdoor and free of charge digital presentation/exhibition with information about athletes and the whole massacre, it took a long time to set it, but it's very well done and very beautiful, you can't walk without noticing it.
    During the Olympics in Rio 2016, after 44 years the organizer commemorated the athletes. There is also a little memorial place in Rio.

  29. Israelis are actually terrorists and Palestinians freedoms fighter. But this was definitely wrong killing civilian are not good

  30. It all started when British Empire with other world powers decided that it would be nice to create a new country for the jews who helped destroy ottoman empire, in the middle of muslim world where muslim Palestinians lived.

  31. OMFG these fcking g*rms ones again prove that no one can help the jews except for themselves never will the jews trust any other people with our safety. up until now i wasn't sure but now i can tell full heartedly that the g*rms deserve all the "cultural enrichment" they are getting

  32. Of course terrorism works. The Arabs have the most feeble of claims on the Land of Israel with the invented "Palestinian nation". No one paid any attention to the tinpot dictator wannabe Arafat. So he simply kept on killing people in many countries until, exasperated with him, the international community said, okay, what do you want? The "Palestinian" cause has been killing Jews and stealing their land ever since. Incidentally, Palestine is actually in Jordan. This is how Black September came into being, when they tried to take their land back from Jordan. The Jordanian monarchy happily murdered thousands of Palestinians in just a few weeks – and, voila, no more Palestinian terrorism in Jordan. Arabs know how to deal with Arab terrorism. And it doesn't involve any kid gloves. Jordan IS Palestine!

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