Munich Massacre

Topics: Munich massacre, Israel, 1972 Summer Olympics Pages: 19 (6201 words) Published: October 3, 2010

Name: Nick KarvountzisDate: 10/5/09
Topic: 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre

Area of Investigation:
Outline the main historical debates, perspectives or interpretations you will be discussing

Discuss the role that West-German authorities played during the 1972 Munich Olympic crisis, specifically addressing their preparation prior to Black September’s terrorist, as well as their consequent actions and decisions made during the crisis. Primarily, assess whether criticisms of the West-German authorities’ handling and preparation of the 1972 Munich Massacre are valid, and thus justifiable.

Focus Inquiry Question:
Discuss and assess the preparations and actions taken by West-German authorities in response to 1972 Munich Massacre

Synopsis of Main Argument or Hypothesis

One of primary historical debates surrounding the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre is the validity of harsh criticisms regarding West-German authorities’ handling and preparation of the terrorist situation. Especially in recent years as new evidence has surfaced, there has been much scrutinization of their actions, tactics, organization and even integrity throughout the whole ordeal. This essay will, in chronological order, describe and examine these plausible ‘errors’ and hence, resolve whether harsh criticisms directed at West-German authorities are justifiable. Furthermore, Since the topic is relevantly recent and differing ‘schools of thought’ are yet to be firmly established, evidence will be validated through the incorporation of differing sociocultural points of views: predominantly German, Western and Israeli perspectives. Therefore, this essay will explore how several crucial West-German errors, as well as inadequate preparation before the Games, ultimately undermined any chance of successfully rescuing Israeli athletes — thus, justifying harsh criticisms

Description of Preliminary Research and Research Intentions
Main Areas or Issues you plan to discuss in my essay

This essay plans to investigate the actions taken by West-German authorities in response to the hostage situation at the 1972 Munich Olympics. First and foremost, I plan to recount aspects of the 21 hour ordeal, including how, why and what happened (briefly). This includes recounting important events and decisions, detailing the German ‘rescue’ attempts, and exploring the role of major West-German officials throughout the twenty-one hour ordeal. As I delve deeper into the essay I plan to focus on the specific role that the West-German authorities played, in particular, analyze any key errors or questionable decisions made. This includes; their arguably naive attitude to issues surrounding security at the Olympic Games prior to the attack, their flaws in early negotiations with Black September members, the lack of communication and cooperation with foreign bodies, deconstructing and assessing their failed rescue attempts, (e.g. Operation Sunshine) and finally analysing the poorly-planned rescue mission at Fürstenfeldbruck Airport. Whilst discussing these key areas I plan to incorporate differing historical interpretations and perspectives, effectively confirming or disproving harsh criticisms. Finally, the essay will be concluded with a personal assessment in which I reaffirm how West-German authorities were primarily at fault, and how numerous errors including disorganization, inexperience, ill-preparation and naivety ultimately jeopardized chances of any successful rescue mission, thus verifying criticisms.

Pre-reading for Topic
Review resources to be used e.g. books, journal, web sites etc

As this topic is relatively recent, there has not been much produced about the incident. Consequently, it is important to incorporate both primary and secondary sources available in order to achieve a balanced and historically accurate response. These sources range in medium including: text books, videos, feature articles, letters, blogs, web-sites,...

Bibliography: Reeve, Simon. One Day In September: The Story of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre, 2001, Faber and Faber, New York
Klein, Aaron J
Jonas, George. Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Team, 2006, Harper Perennial, London
Serge, Groussard
Calahan, Alexander B. Countering Terrorism: The Israeli Response to the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and the Development of Independent Covert Action Teams, 1995 (scholarly thesis)
Wolff, Alexander
National Geographic. Seconds From Disaster: Munich Massacre, 2006, DVD, Darlow Smithson Productions
Macdonald, Kevin
Spielberg, Munich, 2005, DVD
Kimor, Yarin
N/A,, 2002, Kesher Talk: Munich Massacre
N/A,, 2008
Wikipedia Encyclopedia,, 2009, Munich Massacre
National Geographic, Seconds From Disaster: Munich Massacre (2006)
I found this secondary source to be extremely useful throughout my historical investigation
Simon Reeve, One Day In September: The Story of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre (2001)
Simon Reeve’s text was one of the most extensively researched and accurate resources that I encountered
Aaron J. Klein, Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel 's Deadly Response (2006)
Klein’s novel was extremely useful as it provided a clear and concise Israeli view on the situation
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Munich Massacre Essay
  • One Day In Munich Essay
  • Israel and Munich Olympic Games Essay
  • The Movie Munich Essay
  • Munich Olympics Research Essay
  • The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre Essay
  • Munich Essay
  • Essay about Munich

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free