Monday, June 17, 2019

Puma History; The Olympic Games in Munich, 1972

At the 1972 Olympia Massacre in Munich, the german police failed 
miserably to free Israeli hostages from the Palestinian terrorists group 
„Black September", partly because they did not ban the press from 
the olympic village and therefore the eight terrorists were able to 
watch the police approach the building on TV. 

Maybe you have seen pictures of those Olympics, maybe you are even 
old enough to have seen it live on TV. Apart from all the atrocities and 
failures that the worlds witnessed that day, a certain detail always 
made me wonder; why did the police team wear Puma tracksuits 
during their deployment on the olympic campus? 

Officially, the attack of the 'Black September' in is considered to be the 
birth of the GSG 9th Infantry Division in the Federal Republic of 
Germany. The truth however is, that this elite reaction force already 
existed in Germany in 1972, but was not used in Munich because it was 
to remain secret during the Cold War. (german source)

Part of the police team that conducted the mission in Munich, was the 
then 24 year old border patrol official Helmut Fischer from Herzogen-
aurach. When they arrived at the olympic village, they wanted to blend 
in to not instantly alarm the terrorists, so Fischer (who had good contacts 
to Puma being from the same town as the renowned sports brand) ran 
down to the Puma Shop and asked employee and friend Irmgard Hacker 
to equip the team with some tracksuits. (german source)

Fischer later became head of advertisement at Puma, celebrated his 40th 
anniversary as an employee of the company in 2018 and is senior advisor 
and in charge of the archive today.

Show love