München 72

Project Munich 72

The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich were the first major sporting event to be held in Germany since the end of World War II. The Federal Republic of Germany welcomed this signal opportunity to show the rest of the world that it was an open, democratic and peace-loving nation.

Every aspect of the Games, from content to visual appearance, was designed to stand in marked contrast to the 1936 Olympics held under Nazi Germany, when the summer and winter editions were held in Berlin and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The 1972 Olympics showcased and celebrated democracy, participation and contemporary arts and culture. Otl Aicher’s studio, with its groundbreaking designs and distinctive style, was central to this endeavor.

The upbeat, almost euphoric mood, that had prevailed in the run-up to the Games, came to an abrupt end with the terrorist attack on the Israeli Olympic team on the morning of September 5. To this day, the shock of the attack and overwhelming grief at the murder of eleven Israeli athletes and one police officer still cast a shadow over the memory of the Games within Germany and beyond its borders.

The Münchner Stadtmuseum’s “Munich 72” project seeks to uncover the hidden traces of the 1972 Summer Olympics. Please help us enrich this collective memory and discover, reinterpret, and discuss the footprint left by this major event. You can submit your personal recollections at the Museum, selected locations throughout the city or online.

Project Overview

From July 1, 2022, the “Munich 72. In Search of Traces of the Olympic Games” discovery tour, via its 20 temporary information points, will tell you all about activities and events connected with the Games at selected locations around the city.  Olympic trackers with an inquisitive mind can use a QR code to access additional information, images and video content, including interviews with a number of people who witnessed the events firsthand.

The “Munich 72. Fashion, People, and Music” exhibition that opens on July 2, 2022, traces the visions, aesthetics, lifestyle and recollections of the time. The exhibition will showcase items from the Museum’s Music and Fashion / Textiles / Costume Library Collections that convey the upbeat vibe of the “Cheerful Games”. It will also feature the recollections of Munich residents and former participants of the events connected with the Games and how they have left their mark on the city.

Earlier this year, the “Munich 72” Storytelling Café opened in the Münchner Stadtmuseum Lounge. The Storytelling Cafٞé, a space for reminiscing and sharing, welcomes anecdotes, objects, images and films connected with the Games. Our aim is to enrich the official history of the Olympics with hitherto undiscovered personal accounts. We can then build up an ever-growing and multifaceted analog and digital collective memory map.

 “Munich 72. FORUM 054: INA KWON. Piles of Earth and Rubble” is a contemporary photography project. Ina Kwon has produced a number of works that explore Munich’s Olympiaberg (Olympic Hill). Partly built with rubble left behind after World War II, this hill is now an important design feature of the Olympic Park. The artist juxtaposes the Olympiaberg with the tumuli scattered throughout the South Korean city of Gyeongju. Kwon’s work examines how piles of earth and rubble can be used variously to bury, expose, construct and rewrite history.

In the true spirit of the 1972 Summer Olympics, “Munich 72” seeks to involve you, share your views, and co-create a history at one or more of our events: city and exhibition tours, concerts (including a revival of “Exotica” by Mauricio Kagel), discussions, talks, media workshops and a musical construction site.


"Munich 72. Fashion, People and Music" is a project brought to you by the Münchner Stadtmuseum in cooperation with the JFF Media Centre Munich – Institute for Media Research and Media Education, Münchner Stadtbibliothek, Münchner Volkshochschule, Bayrischer Rundfunk and numerous other partners.

“Munich 72 – Recollections. Analog Exchange Meets Digital Dialog” has been developed as part of the German Federal Cultural Foundation’s “dive in. Program for Digital Interactions”, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) under the NEUSTART KULTUR program.