Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit

Munich Massacre Memorial: Historical Background

Siegerentwurf des Büros Brückner & Brückner Architekten


Entrance of the Israeli delegation (Photo: Privately owned)


In the morning of 5th September 1972, during the XXth summer Olympics in Munich, eight members of the terrorist organization Black September forced their way into the Olympic Village. Their goal was to get to Connolly Street 31 where the apartments of the Israeli team were located.

The terrorists took eleven Israeli athletes hostage and demanded the release of over 300 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel as well as the release of RAF (Red Army Faction) members, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof. Two of the Israeli athletes were killed in Connolly Street 31 as they attempted to fight back against the terrorists.

An emergency task force, consisting of members from the German government and the Bavarian state, was quickly set up to handle the unfolding crisis. After long and tough negotiations, the terrorists and the remaining nine Israeli hostages were transported to the airport of Fürstenfeldbruck. Under the pretext that the terrorists and the hostages would later be flown from the airport to Cairo, the emergency task force instead prepared to launch a rescue operation to free the hostages. The operation, however, ended in a disaster. All the hostages, along with a German police officer, and five Arab terrorists were killed.

The hostage-taking in Munich was the first terrorist attack that became a global media event, thereby attracting worldwide attention. Hence, the Munich Massacre has a special significance in the history of international terrorism.

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© Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit   •   letzte Änderung am: 16.09.2016 14:08