What is special about 1972

The cheerful games

The idea of ​​the modern Olympic Games was based on the idea of ​​overcoming national egoisms in the spirit of international understanding. In any case, the Olympic Games have always presented themselves as an alternative to the laws inherent in the historical world. This idea persists to this day and - besides the sporting event - the importance for the image cultivation of the respective venue can hardly be overestimated.

At the international level, the Summer Olympics offered the Federal Republic of Germany a chance to generate cultural prestige as a cosmopolitan, liberal and democratic country. In 1972 the international significance and perception of the Federal Republic was not particularly pronounced or subject to clear foreign policy stipulations. The political action of the Federal Republic always stood under the aspect of the probation after the civilization break through the National Socialism.

For West Germany, the 1972 Summer Games were of the greatest importance from this point of view: The Nazi past and in particular the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936 were contrasted with a modern and plural Federal Republic within the framework of cheerful and peaceful games.

The 1972 Games were an attempt to finish with the post-war era. Munich presented itself openly and modern, the organizers wanted to present a new, democratic Germany. The security concept of the games should in no way remind of the past and - for example with an offensive presence of the security forces - evoke associations of the police state. This goodwill has proven to be a fatal misjudgment of the real coordinates.

Photo: Behnisch & Partner / Christian Kandzia, Stuttgart