KCET COMMEMORATES 40TH ANNIVERSAY OF THE MUNICH MASSACRE WITH BUD GREENSPAN DOCUMENTARY 'THE 1972 MUNICH OLYMPIC GAMES: BUD GREENSPAN REMEMBERS'

Los Angeles (August 24, 2012) - KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station serving Southern and Central California, will commemorate the 40th Anniversary of  "The Munich Massacre" with a special airing of Bud Greenspan's powerful documentary, The 1972 Munich Olympic Games: Bud Greenspan Remembers with a special introduction by KCET's President and Chief Executive Officer, Al Jerome on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 9 p.m. (www.kcet.org/munich)

 

The 1972 Munich Olympic Games: Bud Greenspan Remembers documents one of the first major terrorist attacks the world had ever seen - the horrific murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Arab terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.  Since the attack in 1972, the families of the Israeli victims have asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to schedule some commemorative ceremony at the Olympics. It has never been done.

 

"With this year's successful Olympic Games in London still fresh on our minds, we wanted to pause and remember those we lost 40 years ago in Munich," said Al Jerome, president and CEO of KCET. "Bud was the consummate Olympiad documentarian, so we wanted to use his work to honor this somber event that was not formally acknowledged during the Opening Ceremonies this year."

 

Written, produced and directed by Emmy® and Peabody award-winning sports chronicler, Bud Greenspan, The 1972 Munich Olympic Games: Bud Greenspan Remembers features rare archival footage and interviews with many of the significant participants, family and friends of the murdered athletes and witnesses to the Games such as: Shmuel Lalkin, head of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team; Gad Tsobari, a wrestler who was held hostage by the terrorists and escaped; Walter Troeger, mayor of the 1972 Olympic Village who was involved in negotiations with the terrorists; and General Ulrich Wegener, former head of Germany's GSG9 counter terrorism force.

Greenspan, who was a 44-year-old NBC radio reporter at the time, witnessed the tragic events first hand.  The film features Greenspan's actual radio broadcasts from Munich as well as his on-camera reflections. 

While focused on the tragic events in Munich, the film also includes many remarkable athletic achievements of the Olympics.  Several star athletes are highlighted in the film including: Russian gymnast Olga Korbut, American swimmer Mark Spitz, Ukranian sprinter Valeri Borzov and American runner Dave Wottle, among many others.     

The terrorist attack began in the early morning of September 5, 1972 when eight Arabs, who belonged to a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) faction called Black September, breached security of the Olympic Games.  Wearing track sweat suits, the terrorists scaled the wall surrounding the Olympic Village and proceeded to kill two members of the Israeli team and hold several more as hostages.  For a few hours that night there was a false sense of relief that the hostages - after 21 hours as captives - were eventually freed, but the world woke to news the next morning that the hostages were killed during the German authorities' botched attempt to kill the terrorists. In the end, 11 Israelis, five Arab terrorists and one German police officer were dead. 

Internationally known for his humanistic approach to Olympic filmmaking, Greenspan, featured both popular and little-known stories of courage, pride and endurance that were often overlooked by broadcast coverage.  He has also been heralded as the foremost writer, producer, director of sports films and one of the world's leading sports historians. He earned eight Emmy® awards, a Peabody and high praise for his Cappy Productions films, most of which were Olympic documentaries. He was the recipient of an Olympic Order, the International Olympic Committee's highest award, and in 2004 was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame as a special contributor.  He died on Christmas Day 2010 at his home in New York City.

 

ABOUT KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 48-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.

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