If you start an anniversary year, you usually first look back. And so, for Munich’s Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD), the journey through time to the most defining major event of the post-war period, the 1972 Summer Olympics, began not just 50 years ago. “On October 28, 1965, two men met in Munich City Hall who had visions for Munich and Germany, for sport and culture, for the democratic future,” he said at the press conference in the Rathausgalerie Kunsthalle, in which the annual program for the Anniversary of Olympia ’72 is presented.
The two men were Reiters vor-vor-vor-vor-predecessor Hans-Jochen Vogel (SPD) and sports official Willi Daume, who brought the summer games to Munich at the time. Your message – “more relevant today than ever” as Reiter says – should also be decisive during the more than 150 events as part of the celebrations in 2022. “Open-mindedness, peace, diversity, courage, play, tolerance and encounter were important terms,” says Reiter. It is therefore also a personal concern of his “that our city makes the commemoration of the tragic assassination attempt on the Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village on September 5, 1972 an integral part of the anniversary program on the 50th anniversary”. It will be the first anniversary year in which the whole city will commemorate the Munich Olympic Games – both the cheerful and the tragic sides of the Games. A selection of what is planned under the motto “Munich on the way into the future 1972-2022-2072”:
Arts and Culture
150 events with around 60 project partners have already been tied down, but there is still room for new proposals, says cultural advisor Anton Biebl. 2.9 million euros have been made available as a budget for the spectacle, in which his presentation is the pen. “People should get an idea of what happened in 1972 and that it takes courage to shape the future,” says Biebl.
The jubilee year starts with an exhibition in the Rathausgalerie on Marienplatz. A show entitled “50 Years of the Olympic Park – Impulses for Munich’s Future” will start there on Friday, January 14th. Until March 11th, it will be devoted to urban planning and architectural aspects that were significantly advanced by the Olympic bid in Munich. The exhibition is free and open daily between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In addition to the 53 lectures and guided tours related to the 1972 Olympics, the major Munich cultural institutions have also integrated Olympic highlights into their annual programs. In the Bavarian National Museum, on the other hand, an exhibition dedicated to sporting competitions will start in April. There it is not about modern sporting events, but the tournament models in the Middle Ages. From the end of June, the Munich City Museum invites you to take a tour of the city to (re) discover long-forgotten places related to the Olympics. And on May 13th, on the 100th birthday of Olympic designer Otl Aicher, a show will open in pavilion 333 in the art area, dedicated to his design concepts.
The questions of the future are the subject of an international conference planned for November. There visions for urban design, mobility or society are to be discussed with international guests.
Sport and exercise
In the Olympic Park itself, the most famous and popular relic of the Olympic Games today, there is a summer celebration. Between July 1st and 9th, the park will host a “Festival of Games, Sports and Art”. The opening ceremony is planned for the evening of July 1st, with a parade from the city center to the Olympic Park on July 2nd. During the whole time, artists from the visual arts, music, theater and dance will be performing around the Olympic lake and showing their works.
The “Munich Sports Games” will conclude between July 2nd and 3rd. There, the people of Munich should be able to compete with professional athletes – from tug-of-war to tennis. There will be projects to participate in in the districts around the park, but also in Neuperlach. All of this is intended to be a reminder of the 1972 Olympic Games Street, where visitors to the Olympic Games could take part in art and sports activities around the Olympic lake.
The “European Championships Munich 2022” are the sporting climax. Between August 11 and 21, a total of nine European championships will be held, mostly in the Olympic Park. It is the largest multi-sport event that has taken place in Munich since 1972.
Remember the victims
With the terrorist attack on the athletes of the Israeli Olympic team on September 5, 1972, the cheerful Munich Sports Games suddenly became a political issue. An anniversary without a memory of the attack is therefore ruled out for the organizers. “I am convinced that we will be able to present the balancing act between the positive aspects, but also the commemoration of the terrible assassination attempt, in a sensible way,” says Mayor Reiter.
In addition to the official commemorative events of the city on the morning of September 5 in the Olympic Village and those of the Free State on the same day from 2 p.m. at the air base in Fürstenfeldbruck, the Jewish Museum and the Nazi Documentation Center have designed a commemorative project. Every month of the year one of the twelve victims, eleven Israeli hostages and a police officer, is to be commemorated and so the memory is to be kept present all year round.
An installation has been on the facade of the America House on Karolinenplatz since Thursday. It shows the weightlifter David Berger, who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1970 he moved to Israel and was nominated as an athlete for the Israeli team in 1972. He died of smoke inhalation after being taken hostage by the Palestinian terrorists in a burning helicopter in Fürstenfeldbruck.