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  •  "They're All Gone" (13+ / 0-)

    From BBC News:

    Calls for the victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre to be remembered with a minute's silence at the opening of the London 2012 Games have been rebuffed by the organisers.

    Ankie Spitzer has campaigned unsuccessfully for the act of remembrance since the atrocity. Her husband - fencing coach Andre Spitzer - was one of 11 Israeli athletes and trainers killed when the Palestinian "Black September" organisation attacked apartments in the Olympic village and took them hostage in what was the darkest chapter in Olympic history... Mrs Spitzer told the BBC: "Our message is not one of hatred or revenge. It's the opposite. We want the world to remember what happened there so that this will never happen again."

    Beyond the horror of the murders, the incident is significant in Olympic history for other reasons. For one thing, the '72 Munich Olympics were the first Olympic Games to occur in Germany since the '36 Berlin games were used for propaganda by the Nazi regime. West German officials had hoped to present a different, better Germany to the world, and it didn't exactly work out that way. Secondly, the conduct of the IOC during the hostage standoff and the decision by IOC President Avery Brundage to continue the Munich games after the deaths of the Israeli team remains controversial to this day.

    The documentary 'One Day In September,' which won 1999's Academy Award for Best Documentary, merged interviews with various officials, family members, one of the surviving terrorists, and archived ABC News footage to tell the tale of what happened.

    A few things from the film will stick with you. One is that from years of watching World War II films, most people might think that Germans with automatic rifles wearing steel helmets would be "ruthlessly efficient" in dealing with this sort of thing, and nothing could have been further from the truth. The German police officials were horribly inept, and their incompetence contributed to the tragedy. The other thing I remember vividly from the movie is just the utter look of disgust on the face of the Mossad official, who was allowed to observe the German police, when he recounts what happened during the final failed police action to rescue the hostages at the airport.

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