Saturday, August 23, 2008

One Day in September

While I was waiting for the basketball games to come on last night, I found myself thinking of the 1972 Munich Olympics. I was still pure energy back then, waiting for my parents to somehow find each other. ;) I don't know when I first found out about what happened back then but I know that when I first heard the story, I was fascinated.

So last night, I decided to refresh my memory and did some reading on the Munich Massacre, as it was called. A little lesson on history coming up...

Early in the morning of September 5, armed members of the Black September, a radical group which was tied up with Yasser Arafat's organization Fatah, stormed the building hosting the Israeli contingent at the Olympic Village in Munich. They took a total of 9 living hostages - a couple of others were killed. Some other athletes and coaches were able to escape while others were living in different quarters and were inaccessible to the terrorists.

The terrorists demanded for an airplane to take them out of Germany and the showdown occurred at the airport. According to reports, the whole operation, led by the West German police was a disaster and it ended with all of the hostages being killed, together with some of the terrorists. Today, there is only one terrorist remaining and he is supposed to be in hiding.

After the incident, the Mossad supposedly carried out secret operations to hunt down those responsible or involved in the attack. These were called Operation Wrath of God and Operation Spring of Youth.

I just read about this Wikipedia but I want to watch the documentary One Day in September, which won awards in 2000. I should also watch Munich, the newer movie about the Mossad agents who were assigned to carry out the operations after the hostage-taking.

Anyhow, almost 4 decades later, the Olympics is still alive and kicking. It still has its share of controversies but I am glad that nothing of the sort of the 1972 Olympics has happened since then.

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