January 29, 2006

The man who lost his job over Munich '72

No, that was neither Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who went on to become foreign minister of the FRG, nor Polizeipräsident Dr. Manfred Schreiber. He remained Polizeipräsident until he retired in 1983 and became something like an authority on terrorism and a published author. Not any of the soldiers either who refused to raid the terrorists because they thought it was too dangerous. That was fully covered by German law. Everything (but EVERYTHING!) not to be called "militarist" anymore!

It was the police psychologist Dr. Georg Sieber, the only one of the lethal 1972 travesty show who did his job, and therefore lost it.
For a citizen of a country manacled to its past, Dr. Georg Sieber had a remarkable knack for seeing the future. In the months leading up to the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, West German organizers asked Sieber, then a 39-year-old police psychologist, to "tabletop" the event, as security experts call the exercise of sketching out worst-case scenarios. Sieber looks a bit like the writer Tom Clancy, and the crises he limned drew from every element of the airport novelist's genre: kidnappers and hostages, superpower patrons and smuggled arms, hijacked jets and remote-controlled bombs. Studying the most ruthless groups of that era, from the Irish Republican Army and the Palestine Liberation Organization to the Basque separatist group ETA and West Germany's own Baader-Meinhof Gang, he came up with 26 cases, each imagined in apocalyptic detail. Most of Sieber's scenarios focused on the Olympic Village, the Games' symbolic global community; one that did not — a jet hired by a Swedish right-wing group crashes into a crowded Olympic Stadium — foreshadowed a September day in another city many years later.
I don't know what gave Alexander Wolff, the author of the article from which I took the above quote the idiot idea that their past might have rendered the Germans with a limited capacity to think. Nothing wrong with their brains. Not now, nor ever. It's BACKBONE and MORAL COMPASS, that are lacking.

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