World: A new book for Olympia 1972 in Munich: A German summer, beautiful and eerily

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What started and airy, ended in terror: A new book tells the history of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Leicht und luftig wollte sich Deutschland unter dem markanten Zeltdach des Olympiastadions 1972 in München der Welt präsentieren. © Photo: dpa/dpaweb light and airy wanted to present Germany under the striking tent roof of the Olympic Stadium in 1972 in Munich.

in November 2013 the citizens decide. And they say no. No to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Munich. In a citizens' decision, 52 percent of Munich votes that their city organizes Olympic Games for the second time after 1972. Triumph the opponents of the idea. "I think all over Germany are out of the table with today's day," says Ludwig Hartmann from the Nolympia Alliance.

Olympia - This has long been for gigantism and corruption, for hybris and commerce . It can be read in “Munich 72” by Markus Brauckmann and Gregor Schöllgen in “Munich 72”.

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"A German summer" is that Subtitle of her book. But maybe Munich 72 was even more than just a German summer.

When the events were "the German autumn" five years later - Schleyer, Mogadischu, Stammheim - then Munich can be described as "German summer". "Munich 72 is for the Germans, which was the moon landing for the Americans: a departure into a new time," write the two authors.

Brauckmann, author and documentary filmmaker, and Schöllgen, professor of newer and latest history, spoke to mass sources and spoke to a number of protagonists. Her book breathes the spirit of time, at least that of the first few days: The two authors tell the history of the games cheerfully and lively, just as Munich 72 is at the beginning: "The German summer was a lifestyle."

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still stands today 72 With the architecturally breathtaking Olympic Stadium and the corporate design by OTL Aicher for the beginning of modernity in the Federal Republic. A quarter of a century after the Second World War and 36 years after Hitler's propaganda games in Berlin, the world is amazed at the Germans. Apparently they can do it differently. Yes, Munich 72 is also "exorcism that is supposed to drive out the damn curse of the games under the swastika".

But the beautiful summer comes to an end: On September 5, a Tuesday, around 4.30 a.m. when Palestinian terrorists attack the Olympic village, killing two Israelis and taking nine others as hostages. According to Brauckmann/Schöllgen, it is "the first terrorist attack that is shown live on television".

For the second time, the world is amazed at the German

. This reveals the whole helplessness of the German authorities, which comes to a terrible end with the failed prisoner exemption at Fürstenfeldbruck Airport. "The world is amazed at the Germans a second time," write Brauckmann/Schöllgen. “After the international guests are surprised by the lightness prevailing in the country at the beginning of the games, they now amaze

the incompetence and helplessness of the otherwise well organized Germans.

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This is the tragedy of these games. Joy and grief still determine the picture that we have from Munich 72. They cannot be separated from each other as little as the two sides of an Olympic gold medal. Because that cheerfulness is against security is a conscious decision by the organizers of these games.

"Nobody in the new Germany wanted a weapon-staring police Olympia," write Brauckmann and Schöllgen. This is how the ambiguous games become the cheerful games: "It was a summer of triumph and defeats, lightness and passion, but also the

helplessness and failure ."

Markus Brauckmann, Gregor Schöllgen: Munich 72. A German summer . German publishing house, 364 pages, 25 euros.

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