October September 26h, 1980: Thousands of visitors are entering the Octoberfest in Munich through the main entrance. Suddenly a detonation shreds the constant flow of people: A right-wing extremist had detonated a bomb inmidst the crowd, killing 13 and wounding hundreds. The attacker, too, got killed in the explosion.

At that time Germany was still in a state of fear of terrorist attacks – from the left side. And in that climate a right wing bomber did not fit in. The ruling conservative party in the state of Bavaria very fast came to the conclusion that this had to be a single perpetrator, and the state attorneys after a while agreed. As the culprit was dead, this of course was the most convenient solution. Already in 1982 all court exhibits were destroyed, long before DNA analyis for example could have helped to identify the contacts of the attacker.

Today, as every year, the Lord Mayor of Munich laid down flowers in a small commemorative event. There are multiple wishes, supported from his side, to take up the investigations again, yet the Bavarian State Government (still the same conservative party does rule) up to now does block.

The image shows the memorial for the victims of this crime, with an innocent, typically masqueraded Octoberfest visitor, probably using the memorial as a meeting point.

Update: Steve notified me that I had given the wrong date of the bomb blast in the original post. Thanks!

Octoberfest Bomb Blast’s 30th Anniversary

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6 thoughts

  1. Markus, should the date in the test be September 26, 1980 rather than October? If memory serves Oktoberfest usually ends before the first of October.
    I still have fond memories of the 1966 Oktoberfest. Mind boggling for a small town American to experience.
    Wonderful image and great back story.
    Steve

    1. Steve, of course you are right. I’ll immedately correct this.
      I am glad you enjoyed your Oktoberfest visit – 1966 it was definitely smaller and the extremes (binge drinkers, flashers etc) you would see now were unknown then. So many of the locals go there around noon when you can enjoy your beer and grilled chicken outside of a tent under blue sky and get the best of the “Wies’n”.

      1. Markus, ah, the Weis’n, I forgot about that term. I am sure it doesn’t resemble today what I experienced. Often asked if I want to go back I honestly can say “I don’t know”. I have my chromes and memories and as all things, it would never be the same. What I do in honor is buy a case of Spatenbrau Oktoberfest and enjoy them over the 3 weeks.

        Out of curiosity I did a Google search and went to the street view of old Muenchen to see if it was still the way I remember and I do have to say, much of it, yes does look familiar.

        I did find it ironic that Hard Rock took a spot across from Hofbrauhaus am Platzl. Hofbrau built a similar building to the one am Platzl here in Las Vegas and placed it opposite the existing Hard Rock. After having been to the original, the one in Vegas needs aging. Although I do have to say it was close enough that when I ordered a “halbes helles” and the waitress had no clue I was taken by surprise. Old habits.
        Be well and I look forward to your images and thoughts.

  2. I certainly don’t fancy the Oktoberfest. Not at all.

    But such attacks makes one remember how vulnerable our society is, and that we are most vulnerable when we’re enjoying things. And how much political bias is (might be) involved when it comes to assessing such threats.

    I’m not sure that I like that thought…

    1. Thomas, I might have not been that sensibly regarding political monophthalmia, were it not for the current Verena Becker trial in Stammheim, where the right left side of the murderers gets all the machinery going again, 33 years after the assassination. But in Munich, with a right-wing criminal…

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