Munich 1972: Games of Happiness, Terror and Revenge


In 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Its motto is “Happy Games”. The German security chiefs could not think of anything else but to do without the police in the Olympic Village. 2,000 security agents were unarmed. Well, not completely unarmed: the cops had warrants shoot candy and give flowers to potential protesters. Yes, I know it sounds like I’m making this up, but if you don’t believe me, all you have to do is listen to the “responsible” security officer and then say it yourself in documentary black september (2012).

Munich Police Chief Manfred Schreiber, West German Interior Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher and an Arab negotiator talk to a Palestinian terrorist.

It was the time of the hippies and John Lennon singing introduce. It was also a time when far-left terrorism was rampant in Europe (Red Army Faction in Germany, ETA in Spain, Red Brigades in Italy) and Islamist terrorism bled the Middle East and vowed to exterminate the Jews of Israel. Which spirit will prevail: the pacifist but clueless John Lennon and Yoko Ono, or the ideological criminal from the Marxist-Leninist duo? Baader Meinhof?

Not everyone was naive. George Seeber, a police psychologist, spoke of various scenarios, among which was the possibility of an attack, in particular by Palestinian terrorists. They ignored him. Germans at the time usually took the security warning, as did Trump’s advice about their current dependence on Russian gas: with a laugh.

no laughter from Golda Meir, which made it clear that they did not intend to succumb to terrorist blackmail, since it would mean little less than an invitation to kidnap any Israeli citizen for some kind of compensation. The fact that the Germans even raised the possibility of negotiations shows the degree of alienation from the reality in which they find themselves. Especially if it is possible that they were surprised that the leader of the Palestinian terrorists received an engineering education in Germany, as if this was a guarantee of civilization when For every Goethe, there are three Carl Schmitts. and a couple of Rosa Luxembourg.

Despite all this, the Games were not suspended, the athletes competed as if nothing had happened, and Israeli athletes were kidnapped and threatened with death when none of them were killed (it was later revealed that American IOC President Avery Brundage was a vicious anti-Semite). ). It should be understood that the left has launched a campaign not only against the police, but also against against the rule of law, which they described as an oppressive fascist state and bourgeois. German political leaders feared they would be branded as fascists and even more like Nazis by followers of the Frankfurt School or, from neighboring France, by Stalinist philosophers close to Jean-Paul Sartre. The atmosphere of intimidation of the state security forces on the part of the left, this incompetence and passivity, bordering on the complicity of the leaders of the German police, who, by the way, did not allow those who were much more prepared and with more will to solve the problem, Israeli agents, to intervene.

Eleven Israeli athletes and a German policeman were killed, five terrorists were killed.. In Palestine, many were proud of their killers. Something we won’t be surprised to see in Spain, where ETA members are greeted in their Basque villages with welcome songs by those who value mythical blood more than shed blood.

Israeli Hostages Detained for Black September

The motto of the show “The show must go on” was applied after the mourning ceremony (with the exception of those who remained from the Israeli team and some athletes who sympathized with the dead). Allegedly so that the terrorists do not feel like winners, despite the failure to fulfill their tasks. But for the victims, it meant adding the humiliation of invisibility to the pain for their dead.

Said invisibility and said pain were welcomed in Israel not in the spirit of turning the other cheek, but rather in accordance with the law of Talion. To illustrate how Israel’s revenge on the terrorists took place, we must move from documentary to fact-based fiction. Munich Steven Spielberg. The difference is that the Israelis did not strike at civilians, but at soldiers and terrorists. But still, dozens of innocent civilians were killed when Israeli forces killed those responsible about the killings in Munich. The Israeli campaign to eliminate Palestinian terrorists was supported by communist Germany, which was a safe haven for international terrorism against liberal countries.

Munich Steven Spielberg

There are several issues that Spielberg deals with in Munich. First, the reality of violence. And the question is how to deal with this reality. Is it right to respond with violence to violence? This is what Prime Minister Golda Meir is considering from the sewers of Power. And he says yes:

“Massacre again… Eleven Jews killed in Germany… and the world goes on with its flags and its games… these people swore to destroy us. Forget about the world for now, we will show them that we are strong. We have laws, we represent a civilization… but we don’t know who these maniacs are… tell me what laws protect such people… each civilization had to come to a compromise with its own values. made a decision, the responsibility lies with me alone”

This movie could be called History of violence. Violence in a crescendo from the beautiful -cinematic-assassination of an interpreter Arabian Nightsup to the hardest killer Dutch (large detail Hitchcockian spirits in the corridor).

In addition to asking about violence, without naivete, facing the need to respond with violence to violence, at the same time the question is introduced as to whether the collective, in this case the Israeli nation, is superior to the individual. Hence the links to Eichmann that he stood trial, or Agent Avner’s persistence after a painful evolution in the need to find incriminating evidence.

A day of mourning after the attacks. In the background, the Israeli delegation

The sequence in which, due to a “mistake”, the Palestinian terrorists and Mossad agents they meet in a safe house becomes a metaphor for a common and competitive land. Spielberg’s courage leads him to let the Palestinian terrorist speak on his own terms, leaving the viewer free to choose which of the two perspectives they choose. The fact that some claim it is an anti-Israeli film and others an anti-Palestinian one is a sign that Spielberg gave the closest to the goal this can certainly be achieved. Think of the Chinese Maoist leader who was asked what he thought of the French Revolution, and he replied that we were still too close to judge.

On the forum in El País, Vargas Llosa they asked him:

Have you seen Steven Spielberg’s Munich? If yes, what do you think?

R. It seems to me an extraordinary film that, along with the fact that it tells a story with extraordinary artistic consistency, poses an extremely topical moral dilemma. What this film describes goes beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Terribly unfair that they call Munich antisemitic film; I think it’s the other way around, it’s in the Jewish tradition to present politics as a moral issue.”

50 years later, politics continues to be, as it cannot be otherwise, a moral problem. The question is, have we learned the terrible lessons that history has forced us to learn. I am afraid no. antisemitism lives onand terrorism continues to hide. These commemorations can serve us both to honor the victims of the past and to prevent future disasters. Let’s be optimistic no matter what.



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