Munich Massacre


The Munich massacre was an attack during the Olympic games in Munich, West Germany in 1972. Eleven athletes of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed, along with a German police officer, by the Palestinian group Black September. The hostage taking, which resulted in the death of the eleven athletes, took place almost entirely in the glare of the world’s media. The world watched as the horror unfolded, terrorism was brought into their homes for the first time. Security considerations and media coverage of terrorist incidents, nor the way the western world view’s terrorism has ever been the same since.

Event Map

At approximately 5am, 5 September 1972 five terrorists dressed in tracksuits, carrying duffle bags containing assault rifles, pistols and grenades, climbed over a two-metre chain-link fence with the assistance of unsuspecting athletes who were also sneaking in to the Olympic Village. The athletes were originally thought to be American but were eventually claimed to be Canadian decades later. [Cathal, Kelly] They where met by three more terrorists who had obtained credentials to enter the village. [Kushner, Harvey] The terrorists made their way to 31 Connollystrasse, home to the Israeli Olympic delegation athletes and coaches. [Ladany, Shaul]

It was Yossef Gutfruend, a wrestling referee, who was first awakened at the sound of faint scratching on apartment 1. On investigation Gutfreund saw masked men with guns. On seeing them he alerted his flat mates and threw himself against the apartment door to stop the terrorists from entering. It was Gutfreund’s actions that gave his roommate Tuvia Sokolovsky, a weightlifting coach, time to smash the apartment window and escape. Moshe Weinberg, a wrestling coach, assisted in preventing the terrorists from gaining access to the apartment and in doing so, was shot in the cheek.

Weinberg, having been shot, was then forced to lead the intruders to find more hostages. It...