Thursday, August 30, 2012

Media coverage of the Munich story - and some context

Our publication of documents on the Munich massacre yesterday received widespread coverage in the media, both in Hebrew, and in English and German as well. All the major Israeli news websites carried the story. Aside from expressing their interest in the historical events, they praised the efforts of the Archives to declassify these important documents and make them available to the public. You can see links to some of these stories below.


The story of the tragic events at Munich has been told before. But the reaction to the publication shows that there is no substitute for the original documents. The actual words of the people involved and their spontaneous and emotional reactions have an impact that no book or film produced afterwards can rival.

Even after 40 years, many commentators expressed anger at the incompetence and apparent indifference of the German authorities. One of the reasons for the failure to provide adequate security at the Olympic village was the desire of the organizers for an atmosphere of peace and friendship which would erase the memory of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, organized by the Nazi regime. International terrorism too was a fairly new phenomenon in 1972, and had mostly been directed against airlines. The German authorities may not have admitted responsibility - but they did set up a proper counter-terrorist unit after the attack.

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