If you want to know more about what happened on that day in September, it is worth a read, but don't expect a human side to the story. Oct 20, Jim Kulhawy rated it really liked it. Not only on the horrific moment by moment happenings that went on during the Munich Olympics, but the follow-up, retaliatory, assassinations by the "Wrath of God Hit Squads, as well. The author does a good job giving, not only, background information on both the Israeli and Palestinians, but brings the story forward to today, with interviews of the surviving relatives of both the murdered athletes, as well as the terrorists' families.
This was initially a covert branch that could operate without the baggage or responsibility of the PLO, a concept not too far away from what Mossad is to the country of Israel, a scapegoat of sorts, that tries to feign independence and take responsibility and attention away from the real people making the decisions. Many people today will be totally unaware of the fear and terror that the PLO and the Black September movement held over so many people and nations throughout the s. The hijacking of commercial airlines and other atrocious acts like political assassinations, and the murdering of innocent civilians in airports or other public places.
Their brand of radicalism and terror was catnip for the media and ensured that they were never too far away from the headlines. It all began at the heart of the Olympic village, where the first two victims met their death, but the real drama eventually played out away from the camera, when they all transferred to Furstenfeldbruck airport, where the terrorists tried to fly out of the country, but of course so much went so wrong for so many at the violent and tragic climax.
We see that naivety, incompetence and recklessness played a huge part of both sides. Useless, all the way. As Reeve shows, this was only the start of the many disastrous calamities that were to mar this doomed rescue mission. Reeve builds the tension and anxiety nicely, weighing up various sides of the saga, like the war of words between the woefully incompetent Germans and then Israeli Prime Minster, Golda Meir, who proved to be stubbornly inflexible to the demands of the hostage takers.
Not only did the Munich police and the Bavarian government believe that five snipers was enough to tackle eight heavily armed, trained terrorists, but they also sent their men out without walkie talkies, even though the unarmed security guards at the event had been issued with them. They also had no bullet-proof vests or steel helmets, no telescopic sights or infra-red technology to see in the dark. There were also tactical mistakes to compound these failings.
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The Munich police were warned explicitly before the games that the Palestinians might be planning an attack on the Olympics, and yet the Germans still did nothing to increase security. It is astonishing to think that the terrorists were able to fly into a major city in a major western nation during the then biggest sporting event yet to have taken place and get away with carrying ten hand grenades in their hand luggage as well as other weapons. One of the most bizarre moments in this tragedy is when some random man falsely claims that all hostages had survived and had been rescued and the global media played their part in the lie by spreading it around the world and misinforming the victims' family and friends.
Did no one in the media think that they should maybe check the validity of their sources? And of course adding insult to injury to the families the inevitable cover up, denials, contradictions and lies began to emerge. Thankfully their ability to construct a plausible alternative version of events was as doomed and incompetent as their botched rescue mission. The second part of this book is dedicated to the aftermath and the escalation of terrorism that would spill out of the Middle East and rip across continental Europe killing many innocent men, women and children along the way.
Not only did they make a series of revenge attacks in Lebanon and Syria, killing many innocent men, women and children, but then they ramped up with Operation Wrath of God. This was a further campaign across Europe, targeting various Palestinians from Cyprus to Italy, and France to Norway and beyond, they used bombs and bullets to show how seriously they were taking matters. So the situation descended into outright warfare, and as ever in such cases the biggest group of people to suffer were totally innocent bystanders, as radicals on both sides grew more obsessed in exacting revenge after revenge, blind and hardened to the fact that they were only adding to and creating more misery.
These were athletes who left 32 dependants behind, including 14 children and seven widows, so surely one of the most shocking facts concerning the aftermath and legacy of the massacre is the routine maltreatment and disrespect shown to the families of the victims.
The governments of Germany and Israel were equally if not more contemptuous towards the victims and their appeals for acknowledgement. Of course the quickest and easiest way to make an unimaginably painful event even worse is to lie and deceive people about the true events, and the Germans made a long and sustained effort to do just that.
It took twenty years and a TV interview played to millions of Germans in before a sympathetic source got in contact with one of the widows. It was an immense government lie and cover up. Other horrors soon leaked out, such as the strong possibility that the Germans may well have killed some of the Israelis, during the chaotic and fatal shootout.
So this was a fascinating, horrific, sad and yet hugely compelling piece of writing. The accounts from those who were there also adds gravity and credit to the book, making this essential reading. May 11, Michael Gerald rated it really liked it. For people who were mature enough to understand it at the time, the terrorist attacks on the US on September 11, were THE ones that defined terrorism and will forever be etched in our memories.
But for an earlier generation, the most infamous terrorist attack was the one struck at the Israeli delegation to the Olympic Games in Munich, in what was then West Germany. The book is divided into two parts: A total of eleven Israeli athletes, five terrorists, and one German policemen were killed in the gunfire and conflagration. The second part of the book is about the retaliation by Israel on the members and leaders of Black September years after the massacre.
The Israeli government certainly practiced a punitive "eye for an eye" attitude towards the three terrorists who were eventually able to escape from Munich and the others who the Israelis thought were also responsible for the massacre. But not all the Israelis killed were guilty. In Norway, the Israeli hit squad that was supposed to take down one of the leaders of Black September turned out to be an innocent waiter.
And one of the terrorists managed to elude Israeli eyes. Perhaps blinded by wrath for the terrorists they held responsible for Munich, the Israelis also committed mistakes that claimed an innocent life. Aug 04, Fiona rated it really liked it Shelves: One Day in September carefully depicts what happened at the Munich Olympics and the aftermath revenge attacks carried out under Israel's orders.
Reeve is sensitive to all sides of the story, although obviously the book is biased towards the murdered athletes. He does however give the Palestine's a voice to be heard and does not paint Israel to be just victims of a terrible act of terrorism. I wasn't born during that time being only 23 and so for me it is interesting to read about the thing One Day in September carefully depicts what happened at the Munich Olympics and the aftermath revenge attacks carried out under Israel's orders.
I wasn't born during that time being only 23 and so for me it is interesting to read about the thing that really started it all off. This is a good book to begin with and Reeve's style of writing is very engaging. I would like to read more on this subject, rather then just having to watch the depressing stories as portrayed on the news. Jul 12, Ben Summerour rated it really liked it. An absolutely spectacular account of journalism that covers the Munich Olympic hostage situation with such a keen eye towards all things that went wrong and how they could have changed to make the outcome of the crisis come out with everyone alive.
In the end, it's a fascinating read and certainly worth the time. Jan 01, Sage rated it liked it. An interesting book, very well researched and quite balanced argument with all those concerned.
September 1st to 30th
The writing style was quite engaging and well paced, given the subject matter. I'll never look at the middle eat conflict or Germany the same away again, and not sure how I feel about that. A worthwhile read then for sure, but clearly not a comfortable easy page turner. Jul 28, Robert is currently reading it. This book has the most detailed research I've ever seen. No details were left untouched. Made me feel a part of the action physically and emotionally. To bad it's true.
May 04, Martha rated it liked it. This is harrowing stuff. Reeve describes the Black September attack on Israeli athletes at the '72 Olympics, in graphic but never lurid detail. The hideously botched rescue attempt and its firestorm of death is heartbreaking, never more so than when word somehow got out -- and was proclaimed to those athletes' families -- that all had survived when none of them had. One real strength of this book is Reeve's evenhanded approach: This is no cheap "what-aboutism" equating one with the other, but a true attempt at providing clarity.
And isn't that the fruit of nonfiction, to give the reader as clear a picture of reality as possible, however mired it is in brutality, hope, righteousness, and rage? I was 14 years old when this happened, and remember seeing the haunting footage. It's almost unbelievable to compare today's terrorism with that of the 70s, the seemingly slack border regulations, the ease with which weapons were transported, the heyday of highjacking. No country emerges from this unscathed. Nov 20, Lee rated it liked it Shelves: The horrendous response and cover up of the negotiations and rescue by the German authorities.
Aug 23, Scott Holstad rated it really liked it. Excellent and fascinating book on a terrible, yet also fascinating tragedy that occurred during the Olympics. Well researched and written, and a book that needs to be read. Jan 02, Jason rated it it was amazing. I wish there was an updated version to see where the story has evolved since the initial publication. Mar 26, Todd rated it really liked it. A remarkable story that needs to be remembered.
Feb 13, Riley Feldmann rated it really liked it. While the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians continues to jaunt forward in a stop-start motion, it can appear to be a fight that has dragged on for ages. And, in a sense, that is the truth reaching back centuries when the various Abrahamic contested control over the holy sites situated in the Fertile Crescent.
Ever since the establishment of the Israeli state in and the subsequent evictions of the Arabs living within its boundaries, this war has played out on a more g While the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians continues to jaunt forward in a stop-start motion, it can appear to be a fight that has dragged on for ages. Ever since the establishment of the Israeli state in and the subsequent evictions of the Arabs living within its boundaries, this war has played out on a more global scale with the backdrop of the Cold War, continuing Jewish-Arab conflict, and the development of modern terrorism.
In the 's and 70's, however, the fight found itself being played out in locations spanning the globe and not simply within Israel. Instead of conventional warfare, a dual political-insurgent set of tactics would bring a spotlight on their cause and mount pressure on the Israeli government.
On a fateful September day in the midst of the Games, eight BSO operatives would enter the Olympic Village to take hostage members of the Israeli Olympic team in a bid to gain freedom for jailed Palestinian terrorists and to bring notoriety to the Arab cause. In One Day in September , author Simon Reeve dedicates himself to the careful piece-by-piece recreation of the events of September 5th, , as the German authorities desperately tried to come up with a solution to the threat, their spectacular failure resulting in the deaths of all hostages, and the shockwaves thereafter. The Good Reeve does an excellent job of pacing throughout the piece balancing the breakdown of minute-by-minute updates of the situation in Munich while providing a thorough breakdown of the origins of each actor within the story.
For one who is just beginning to grasp the intricacies of each side within the Israeli-Palestinian row, getting a slight introduction to each party helped facilitate a better understanding. Not only is the background fantastic, but Reeve also constructs a narrative that feels much like any piece of solid fiction writing.
Details of the situation abound, and give the reader a sense of being part of the masses of Germans who watched the drama unfold live just yards away from 31 Connoleystrasse. The final point of positive note is how concise the account is in every way. Clocking in at a quick pages, it was a pleasant departure from the page behemoths I've been used to reading for the past few months, and could conceivably be an enjoyable read for any student of history over a relaxed weekend.
Perhaps the alleged cover-up of the events on the part of the West German government is a bit belabored for the final 30 pages, and in its conciseness, readers only get any depth of character regarding a select few members of the hostages, terrorists, and would-be rescuers on all sides. Also, perhaps the supposed reconciliation of all involved by the end of the book in an attempt at a "storybook" ending is laid upon a bit thick, but isn't surprising given the circumstances of the book's publishing in the midst of major attempts at a Middle East peace process.
Overall, the fact that I blew through this in a mere day should indicate all of the chops that made ODIS a pleasure to read, and should be a fantastic jumping off point for other readers with an event that captured the globe's attention amidst chaos in the Middle East and beyond. Mar 07, Lorilee rated it it was amazing. Great book, I knew a little bit about this historical event but nothing about the aftermath. I liked the overview of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Very high level but hits the high points. Jan 05, Clive Hallam rated it liked it. I was twelve when Black September took the Israelis hostage in the Olympic village so my memory is quite black and white of the actual event. This brought a sharp reality check to my perceived knowledge of the event and the background to it. Simon Reeve does a masterful job of laying out the history behind the event, the struggle between Palestinian and Jewish cultures and history and the desire of ordinary people not to see others through political eyes.
Perhaps the most compelling bit for me was the complete ineptitude and bigotry of the Germans at the time who, apparently were incapable of organising a drinking party at a brewery. Ironic, given the locality. The needless deaths and unquenchable desire on the part of the Israeli elite for revenge, which led to years of unnecessary suffering around the world, are consequences of people being in power who will not talk, and who believe their right is the only one. A stand out moment in the book is when the fencing coach Andre Spitzer went and shook hands and spoke with athletes from the Lebanon.
His young wife recollects how they talked, laughed and embraced each other. Sometimes we can do things in spite of politicians and be better for it. This book would get more than three stars if not for the fact that I struggled with the style. For content and eye-opening it gets a five. Sep 26, Bridget rated it really liked it Shelves: I didn't like it as much this time. I noticed some sloppy errors and places where the research was so thin you could see through it. For example, the author mis-uses the word "hostages" several times when he means "hostage-takers," or "prisoners," even , and the characters are not introduced evenly.
Sometimes they're just thrown into the story without any background information, and then a few pages later is when we get the paragraph describing their history. Which is fine, excep Second reading.
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Which is fine, except it's not done consciously. Also, there were a few places in the book where the author would say something like, "the provenance of the farewell letter is unknown and has never been looked into. But it sounds like I hated the book the second time. Just pointing out some weaknesses I didn't notice the first time around. Apr 10, Andrea Watson rated it really liked it. I had already seen the documentary of the same name several times so I anticipated some of the material in the book would be familiar.
Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism , which warned of apocalyptic terrorist attacks, was the first in the world on bin Laden and al Qaeda. Originally published in , it has been a New York Times bestseller.
He is based in the UK, but has spent the last few years traveling around the world filming award-winning BBC travel documentaries. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Learn more about Amazon Prime. More than million viewers followed the chilling, twenty-hour event on television, as German authorities desperately negotiated with the terrorists. Within minutes all of the Israeli athletes, five of the terrorists, and one German policeman were dead.
Why did the rescue mission fail so miserably? And why were the reports compiled by the German authorities concealed from the public for more than two decades? Reeves takes on a catastrophe that permanently shifted the political spectrum with a fast-paced narrative that covers the events detail by detail. Based on years of exhaustive research, One Day in September is the definitive account of one of the most devastating and politically explosive tragedies of the late twentieth century, one that set the tone for nearly thirty years of renewed conflict in the Middle East.
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Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games. One Day in September. Sponsored products related to this item What's this? Beyond the Green Line: Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels. Come to The Ancient Near East. Ride beside its most famous conqueror, Suppiluliumas I of Hatti.
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Arcade Publishing; Reprint edition August 1, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention black september wrath of god day in september middle east simon reeve munich massacre munich olympics operation wrath german police israeli athletes made by many events surrounding terrorist group must read well researched well written german authorities surrounding the munich olympic village problems in the middle. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Very good coverage of the massacre of the Israeli athletes as well as events prior to the act and post the massacre Brundage as head of the IOC showed huge insensitivity and arrogance and it was appropriate that his farewell message on the Stadium score board spelt his name wrong One Day in September is a fascinating and well researched book about the events surrounding the Munich Olympics takeover and subsequent massacre of members of the Israeli Olympics team by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.
The book provides extraordinary details of events leading up to and during the takeover, the negotiations to free the hostages, the events at the airport in which all of the Israeli hostages and many of the terrorists were killed, and the aftermath; including the "Operation Wrath of God" the Israeli retaliation , the cover-up of mistakes and miscues made by the German government and police, and the thoughts of survivors on all sides in retrospect. There is also a chapter dedicated to providing a short but comprehensive history on what led to the current problems in the Middle East - an excellent lesson for someone like myself who is a novice in this department.
This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. I had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it. This book, and the documentary film, made me relive the day that I learned, in my then year-old innocence, that nothing is sacred to terrorists, not even the Olympics. To hear the words and, in the movie, see the face of the unrepentant, smug, self-righteous Jamal Al-Gashey sears me to my soul. It also strengthens my prayers that some Mossad agent will be fortunate enough to find him and send him to the same level of Hell occupied by his 7 compatriots in the massacre.
To find out that the German authorities squandered numerous opportunities to rescue the hostages and, worse, inexplicably failed to provide enough troops and snipers to pick off the terrorists at the airport, twists my guts.