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One Day in September: The Full Story of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and the Israeli Revenge Operation "Wrath of God"

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  788 ratings  ·  56 reviews
At 4:30 a.m. on September 5, 1972, a band of Palestinian terrorists took eleven Israeli athletes and coaches hostage at the Summer Olympics in Munich. More than 900 million viewers followed the chilling, twenty-hour event on television, as German authorities desperately negotiated with the terrorists. Finally, late in the evening, two helicopters bore the terrorists and ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 4th 2006 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2000)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  788 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Start your review of One Day in September: The Full Story of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and the Israeli Revenge Operation "Wrath of God"
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terrorism
I’ve had terrorism on my mind lately. Now, I know what you’re going to say. Thanks, Matt, for giving my day that little extra something. Why don’t you go ahead and pour hot coffee on my lap? It's a hell of a thought to start a new year. Still, I can’t help it. The bombing of Metrojet 9268. The Paris attacks. The San Bernardino massacre. Every month, it seems, someone is blowing up or shooting someone else for vague political goals. The list probably grew as I finished this sentence. It’s hard to ...more
Jim Kulhawy
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good read. Not only on the horrific moment by moment happenings that went on during the 1972 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.
Karen Mitchell
Jan 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Hmmm I had high hopes for this book. The heartbreaking story of the Israeli athletes competing under the Olympic ideal and losing their lives had intrigued me enough to buy this book.
I found it interesting, but lacking in humanity and detail - it was very matter of fact, but lacking the factual depth I needed.

Don't get me wrong, it's a well written and well researched book about the Munich situation, and it definitely gave me an insight into the Israel/Palestine conflict that I was lacking in
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

4.5 Stars!

“The inescapable conclusion of this extensive 30 year cover up is that German officers were unprepared to risk their lives for a group of Jews, and that senior figures in successive German and Bavarian governments have been frightened to reveal the true story for fear that Germany would once again be accused of institutionalised anti-Semitism.”

Black September traces its messy origins back to the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation), naming itself after an ugly conflict with Jordan,
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Threw this book at the wall a few times out of anger! The ineptitude of the Germans and the heartbreak of the Israelis was killing me.
Michael Gerald
May 11, 2015 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, 2001 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 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, in what was then West Germany.

"One Day in September" is a book that will grip the reader as it recalls the events of that infamous day in 1972, when
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
One Day in September carefully depicts what happened at the 1972 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
Ben Summerour
Jul 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
An absolutely spectacular account of journalism that covers the 1972 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, 2012 rated it liked it
That was intense.
An interesting book, very well researched and quite balanced argument with all those concerned. 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, 2013 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. Well written. To bad it's true.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All
Wanted to read this for ages as the images of the 1972 Games left a mark on me as a young boy with the creepy hooded terrorist on the balcony especially staying in my mind. It only took me over a decade to finally do ca change....well worth the ahem tardiness...engrossing and enthralling -- perhaps the same thing oh well what the heck -- and extremely moving account of the darkest moment in the Olympics history.....not many are spared from criticism and rightly so for the murders of ...more
May 04, 2018 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 attack was horrific, but also horrific were the conditions of ...more
Steve Angelkov
Very detailed account of the Israeli Olympian hostage taking and massacre at the Munich 1972 Olympics.

I'm embarrassed to say that I knew very little about this historical event (in the year I was born).

The writing style is akin to a thriller, constructed with constant references to sources, which puts the reader at the heart of this fascinating story.

From the botched works of the German authorities, the retribution of Operations Wrath of God and Spring of Youth and the heartbreaking prolonged
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good straight forward look at the hostage taking of the Israeli athlete’s during the 1972 Munich Olympics by Black September. The horrendous response and cover up of the negotiations and rescue by the German authorities. Lastly the revenge operation taken by the Israeli’s to kill the surviving terrorists and the members of Black September who plotted and supported the plot.
Dipra Lahiri
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cracking read, with the pace of a thriller. The chapter on the Israel Palestine conflict is succinct and comprehensive. The human element in the midst of all the carnage makes this book stand apart from a dry historical account.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A remarkable story that needs to be remembered.
Debra N
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew very little about what happened at the Munich Olympics in 1972. This book is an eye opener as to what happened and what went wrong in the rescue plan.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enlightening and frightening. I wish there was an updated version to see where the story has evolved since the initial publication.
Kate Smith
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely mind blowing read and very thought provoking.
Paul Winston
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An interesting read that gives fact on the Munich Olympic massacre. Then the revenge taken by Mosad.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superb book. Detailed, informative and balanced. Well worth the time to read.
Scott Holstad
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Excellent and fascinating book on a terrible, yet also fascinating tragedy that occurred during the 1972 Olympics. Well researched and written, and a book that needs to be read.
Riley Feldmann
Feb 13, 2016 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 1948 and the subsequent evictions of the Arabs living within its boundaries, this war has played out on a more ...more
Mar 07, 2017 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.
Clive Hallam
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I completed reading this during the Christmas break, partly as research into my latest novel, which involves the Israeli/Palestinian question. 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 ...more
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been in love with Simon Reeve ever since 'Places that don't exist'. I find his attitude and kind engaging persona so attractive, so when I found out that he had written books also, well I was over the moon! This book in particular is about one day in September during the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. The Palestinian terrorist group holds Israeli athletes hostage. Now I've seen the Eric Bana movie 'Munich' so I already know a little about the 'Wrath of God', it was a harrowing visual ...more
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2006, 2011
Second reading.

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,
Andrea Watson
Apr 10, 2013 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. While that was true for the first portion of the book, what made this book fascinating was the second half that detailed Operation Wrath if God - the Israeli response. That's the part the world no longer hears much about. I continue to be mystified at the response of Olympic committee members who seem all too willing this many years later to acknowledge the ...more
May 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Good book about the 1972 attack, but could have used one more round of editing. It opens with a description of the attack, followed by it's effects on the family, followed by a story about the survivors (i.e. the family again), and finally, about a cover-up regarding records, which only really repeated the ham-fisted operation initially described in the first few chapters.

Overall, an interested read that probably should have been chopped in half. I also really wanted more information on the
Josh Bradham
Factually heavy, which is never a bad thing, it seemed rather slanted against Israel. It seemed like, yea they did this really bad thing, but what choice did they have? When it came to other attacks, the Palestinian ones were a couple of sentences long where as the Israeli attacks carried out by Mossad were sometimes at 2-3 pages. They spent 5 pages talking about Mossad accidentally killing 1 man but 1 paragraph talking about how the Palestinians shot and killed 20+ people in an airport. Just ...more
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Simon Reeve is an author and broadcaster. In recent years he's been travelling around little-known regions of the world for a series of BBC television documentaries.