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Israeli, German Documentary to Chronicle Massacre of Israeli Athletes at Munich Olympics

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

An image of one of the Palestinian terrorists who took part in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The German brand Global Screen has partnered with the Israeli production company Tadmor Entertainment and Israel’s Channel 8 to co-produce a documentary series about the Palestinian terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, it was announced on Tuesday.

The project, titled “Munich ’72,” is led in part by Ronen Machlis-Balzam, one of Israel’s top television producers, and award-winning Israeli director Roman Shmunov, whose credits include “Back to Chernobyl” and “Babylon Dreamers.”

It will be the first Israeli television series to chronicle what transpired on Sept. 5, 1972, when the Palestinian terrorist group Black September infiltrated the Olympic Village in Munich and abducted and tortured members of the Israeli Olympic team. Eleven Israelis were ultimately murdered.

Shumunov said the three-part documentary “will shed new light on the tragic events of the Munich Olympics, which continue to cast a shadow upon us to this day.”

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The series combines real-life documentary footage with fiction. Newly revealed historical information will also be featured, such as declassified conversations among Israel’s Cabinet during the crisis and never-before-seen German documents that share details about what took place in the German crisis room.

“Through interviews with athletes, security personnel, high-ranking politicians, and experts, [the docuseries] will unpack what really happened on this tragic day in a manner that was not possible until now,” Global Screen said in a press release. “The series will reconstruct the terrorists‘ perspectives on the story and understand their thoughts as they planned and carried out the horrific abduction, while also dramatizing newly declassified protocols from both the Israeli and German governments – two paralyzed authorities unable to act while human beings’ lives are on the line.”

“The events of the Munich massacre, in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict erupted onto a global stage, also tell the story of the Jewish and German nations, two nations struggling to leave the events of the Second World War behind them only to be met with another tragedy,” Global Screen added.

“Munich ’72” will also be available as a full-length theatrical film.

“We are highly committed and honored to contribute to this documentary as co-producers and engage people in conversation about the Munich attack at the Olympic Games ahead of the 50th anniversary in September 2022,” said Julia Weber, head of international sales and acquisitions at Global Screen. “For the first time, this terrible chain of events and failures in Germany at the time will be told, from an Israeli perspective, including newly revealed material reflecting the historical background and different correlations of the political groups involved.”

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