Movie vs. Reality: Munich

By Felix Quinonez

April 4, 2012

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Eighth kill- “Jeanette”

I remember actually rolling my eyes and thinking “Yeah, right” when I saw this part of the movie. It all just seemed so manufactured. But it turns out, it really happened. After failing to take out their main target in London, Avner is seen at the hotel bar by himself. He soon spots an attractive woman and after the two make eye contact, he walks over to her and they have an innocent yet somewhat flirty conversation. Pretty soon she suggests that they go upstairs for another drink. But Avner turns down her advances, pays his bill and says good night.

As he’s going up to his room, he runs into Carl and the two talk for a minute. Avner tells him about the woman and gets in the elevator. The next morning he smells the woman’s perfume coming from Carl’s room. He knocks on the door but becomes worried when there is no response, so he opens the door to see Carl dead on his bed.

When he breaks the news to his teammates, they all agree that they need to avenge their partner. Avner sets up a meeting with the man who provides them with information. Once they get the woman’s information the team tracks her down and they kill her at her boathouse. They used a one bullet gun made from a tubular section of their bikes.

Ninth Kill- Arab guard

The team gets info that Ali Hassan Salameh, their biggest target, will be at a mansion in Spain. Steve and Avner go there to kill him, but a young Arab guard spots them and they are forced to kill him and flee the scene.


What the movie got wrong or left out

The Hostage Situation/Rescue Attempts:
Like I mentioned before, these were the least contested parts of the movie so there aren’t too many inaccuracies I found. One of the mistakes the movie makes is the number of people that Black September wanted released. The movie puts this number at 200 and the list only includes Arabs. But the members of Black September actually wanted 234 people released and they weren’t all Arabian. The list also included German prisoners.

The movie does not actually spend too much time on the Rescue attempts, but from what I gathered it was pretty accurate. I have read that some of the news footage shown during these segments of the movie had actually aired after the events occurred.

The Mission Introduction
Before the operation “Wrath of God” even took place, Israel retaliated by launching air strikes on Palestinian refugee camps. And Ankie Spitzer, one of the athlete’s widows, stated in the documentary Munich: Mossad’s Revenge that Golda Meir invited the families of murdered athletes for a private meeting where she promised them that they will “hunt down those that were involved and have blood on their hands.”

The Team:
A former Mossad agent Gad Shimron told Reuters that there were always female agents on the field teams to avoid looking suspicious. An article from the History News Network called How Accurate is Munich? stated that unlike in the movie, not all of the members were Israeli. One of the members was actually a Danish-born volunteer who was not trained by the intelligence agency. The article also suggests that the team of assassins was most likely much larger than the five-man group in the movie. But it should be noted that towards the end of Munich the team’s boss lets Avner know that there were plenty of other teams involved in the operation and it would make sense that they wouldn’t know about each other.

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