East versus West

Kay Schiller and Christopher Young

in The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262133
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947580 | DOI:
East versus West

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This chapter begins by explaining that the Munich Games might have coincided with the conclusion of Ostopolitik, but they were not a straightforward “Ostopolitik Olympics”. It then notes that although opinion polls in 1972 showed strong support for an acceptance of the fact of German division, they registered an equal unwillingness to recognize the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Next, the chapter clarifies that a long tradition of sports-political enmity between the Federal Republic and the GDR led to ingrained attitudes and modes of behaviour which set their own agendas in the international arena. It adds that the Federal Republic's rapprochement with the GDR's allies after 1969 threw East Berlin severely off course for the Games. It states that the IOC listened, complained about the overt politicization of sport on the part of the West German government, and voted by an overwhelming majority to grant the GDR a team of its own.

Keywords: Ostopolitik; East Germany; West Germany; GDR; Federal Republic; IOC; Munich Games

Chapter.  14605 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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