After seeing the film of the same name, I wanted to learn more about the events of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. The film focused on the kidnapping and the Germans’ abortive attempts at freeing the hostages.
The book by Simon Reeve, journalist, writer and author of “The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism (1999)”, fills in a lot of information by giving the background to the rise of Black September, the massacre in Munich, the German government’s attempts at covering up their mistakes and release of the remaining three hostages through a staged hijacking of a Lufthansa jet. The Israeli government lauched a covert operation named Operating Wrath of God to hunt down the perpetrators. I enjoy books written by journalists, as opposed to academics, and the history is explained in chronological sequence.
More information is available on the dust jacket:
“In the early hours of 5 September 1972 the perimeter fence surrounding the Olympic Village in Munich was scaled by terrorists. Their target was the temporary home of the Israeli Olympic Team, and within 24 hours seventeen men were dead: eleven Israelis, five terrorists and a German policemen.
The attach by Black September, an ultra-violet faction of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, was seen on television by more than 900 million viewers. The world watched as Jews suffered again on German soil. Yet despite the immediate attention given to the disaster crucial questions went unanswered. Why did so many die? And why have German officials covered up details of the massacre.
Based largely on exhaustive investigations for the film One Day in September, this book is the definitive account of the tragedy. With the help of previously secret documents, photographs and dozens of interviews, it reconstructs the tension of the day – and exposes the full extent of the Israeli ‘Wrath of God’ revenge mission, which over the next twenty years saw Israeli agents systematically murder their way across Europe and the Middle East.
One Day in September is the most compelling account yet written of events in Municj, of the devastating impact the attach had on the relatives of terrorists and athletes alike – and of the long shadow the massacre still casts over the modern word.