Dr. Steven Ungerleider, founding board member of GSD, recently traveled to Munich, Germany to take part in the beginnings of the Munich Memorial Project. During this trip Dr. Ungerleider was able to visit the future site of the memorial. Watch the video and learn more about this endeavor.
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As meetings in Munich regarding the Munich Memorial project have come to a close, we are pleased to share details regarding the architecture of the memorial.
DESIGN OF MUNICH MEMORIAL
The local Munich architecture firm, Brückner & Brückner, was chosen by the selection jury for this project, which is scheduled to open in Autumn of 2016. The planned memorial will be built on a hill in near the Tennis Courts of the Olympic Park in Munich. Their design concept focuses on the loss of life, which will be recognized symbolically as the whole memorial will be a series of cuts into the hill.
After the cuts are made into the hill, eleven columns will support the roof of the memorial. Each column will be dedicated to one of the 11 members of the Israeli Olympic Team killed by the terrorist group, Black September, on September 5, 1972. The columns will share details from the Olympians’ lives as well as their photos.
In the center of the memorial, visitors will find a circular display retelling the events from that day. Between each of the columns will be further discussion on particular topics surrounding the event, such as the political significance of the 1972 Games, German-Israeli relations, global terrorism, and the aftermath of the attack. These displays will be light projections.
The Foundation for Global Sports Development is proud to be financially supporting this project. We are joining the International Olympic Committee, The City of Munich, the German National Olympic Committee, and the Bavarian State government to fully fund this important and educational memorial.
The competition for the memorial to commemorate the victims of the Olympic killing is decided. The winning design provides a freely accessible space in front under a roof that looks like a hill on stilts.
Written by Kassian Stroh
There will soon be a memorial to commemorate the victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attacks. It will be located on a cut hill in the Olympic Park in Munich. With this concept, the architectural firm of Brückner & Brückner office has prevailed in an architectural competition for the planned memorial. It will be built on a hill on Kolehmainenweg, south of the Olympic Village and north of the tennis courts near the Olympic Stadium. Brückner & Brückner’s concept is to make a one meter horizontal cut from this little hill, symbolizing the cut that the terrorist attack had on the lives of the victims. The resulting roof is to be supported by columns.
The exhibition space underneath will be placed around three feet deep, so that a good two meters high, open on all sides space is created. “A cut” the brothers Peter and Christian Brückner call their plan – “nothing added, they take something away – namely the lives of eleven athletes”, commented the Zurich architect Barbara Holzer, who chaired the jury.
The directive to create the memorial that was issued two years ago by the State Government has taken a big step forward. Standing next to the Bavarian State Minister for Education and Culture, Ludwig Spaenle, at Monday’s press conference was another financial backer of the memorial – the Los Angeles-based Foundation for Global Sports Development, represented by Dr. Steven Ungerleider and David Ulich, which will contribute approximately 200,000 euros. The International Olympic Committee is providing a grant in the same amount, while the German National Olympic Committee has pledged 350,000 euros. The City of Munich will contribute 420,000 euros – a figure announced by Cultural Officer Bernhard Küppers on Monday. The remaining approximately 500,000 Euros will come from the Bavarian State government.
For the memorial, the architects have proposed that eleven columns will support the roof. Each column will be dedicated to one of eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team who died in the attack of the Palestinian terror squads on September 5, 1972.
On these columns a photo of each athlete will be displayed, as well as additional biographical information. Here, however, the jury sees the possibility for improvement, as was to be heard on Monday. Also unclear is whether there will be a column for the only German victim, specifically the Munich policeman Anton Fliegerbauer, who was killed during the failed rescue attempt at the military airport Fürstenfeldbruck. In the middle of the room will be a bright 24-hour circle to represent the events of that day. Between the columns will be information on four other issues: the political significance of the Games of 1972, the German-Israeli relations, transnational terrorism and the aftermath of the assassination. Some of this can be accomplished with light projections from the ceiling to the floor. These also have the advantage of being less prone to vandalism than information boards or tables.
The memorial will be freely accessible around the clock, and will not be a museum in the conventional sense. The roof will allow it to act as a place to stay and contemplate, even on a rainy day. The covered area will comprise about 130 square meters. Since the space is completely open, the visitor has both the Olympic sites in view as well as the apartments at the Connolly Street 31, the location of the hostage-taking.
Scheduled to open in autumn 2016, the initiative for this is largely due to the former Israeli Consul General in Munich, Tibor Shalev Schlosser. Prime Minister Horst Seehofer made the idea his own and pushed it forward. The architectural competition included six different architectural firms.
The submitted designs are on show until October 5 in the foyer of the Jewish Museum at Jacob’s Place: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 18 clock, but not on 25 and 26 September and 4 October.
The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich have long been remembered for the horrific and tragic events that took place as terrorists from the group “Black September” kidnapped and killed 11 Israeli Olympians and one German police officer. Now, after many years, a permanent memorial will be built to honor the victims and their families.
The Memorial Project was initiated by the German States Ministry for Education, Science and Culture. One of the goals of the project is to provide a more visual and deeper understanding of the events that transpired on September 5th and 6th in 1972. The memorial will be strategically placed between the Olympic Village and Olympic Stadium in Munich, with a significant focus given to the biographies of each victim.
The Foundation for Global Sports Development is honored to pledge $250,000 in support of the Munich Memorial project. It is important to acknowledge these tragic events which have long cast a dark shadow in many hearts and allow sport to be a force for good as we move forward. “As someone who has been in and around the Olympic family for over 35 years and attended 12 Olympiads, it is clearly time for us to heal the deep wounds of the past,” said GSD executive board member, Dr. Steven Ungerleider.
The International Olympic Committee has also pledged $250,000 in support of the memorial and we are happy to join them and the German government in aiding this endeavor. It is time to bring some peace to the families of the victims while also educating the world and future generations of athletes.
Stay tuned for updates on the Munich Memorial project, as the journey toward its creation will be as important as the memorial itself.