Status: 08/03/2022 2:38 p.m.
Concrete jungle for some, futuristic residential design for others: the Olympic Village in Munich was already controversial 50 years ago. But many who live here never want to go anywhere else.
It is a living monument, the Olympic village north of Munich. It has long fulfilled its function of hosting athletes, but it still has the flair of the Olympic Games. Almost nothing has changed since the 1972 Summer Games. In 1998, the village was listed as a historic monument along with the Olympic Stadium which is just an Olympic javelin throw away.
From the penthouse to the cubic bungalow
From townhouses to condominiums to sophisticated two-story penthouses: almost every type of property can be found in the planned complex in the late 1960s. The lower part of the village is administered by the Munich Student Union . About 2000 students live here in small cubic bungalows which have been completely renovated.
Bruni Hülle was one of the first inhabitants. She lived here before the games, because from April 1971 to March 1972 the small bungalows were tested by students for athletes. Huel, later a high school teacher, particularly liked living alone.
Bruni Hülle was one of the first residents and later also the “Olympic hostess”. The hostess dress of the time still suits her today.
The “great freedom” – with visiting gentlemen
Because at the beginning of the 1970s it was “in fact still common to sublet somewhere – often with an elderly widow with a large apartment”, explains Hülle. “But with the visitors it was very limited – especially with the men.” In the new bungalows you then had “great freedom” – with gentlemen visiting even after 10 p.m.
Hull had to strip during the games, but she was still there – as a so-called Olympic hostess. After the games she returned to the village, met her husband Wolfgang and moved with him in 1975 to one of the white apartment buildings in the so-called Oberdorf. The two were almost the only ones living there at first. Because the Olympic Village was anything but popular after the Games.
Futuristic and lots of concrete: Initially, apartments in the Olympic Village were anything but in demand.
Today the trees are tall, the concrete has remained – but hardly any “villagers” want to move.
Below cars, above only pedestrians and cyclists
With the help of special funding programs, among others, the village gradually filled up. In 1975, Hildegard Schmid and her husband also moved into one of the terraced houses. At first, she was not at all convinced of the construction method, says Schmid. But soon after, she realized the benefits.
One of them: she could let her children run around outside unsupervised. Because the planners had separated the living, circulation and play areas from each other – this still applies today. Cars only drive underground in the village. Residents come directly from the car park level to their apartment or terraced house. On the surface, pedestrians and cyclists are alone.
Today, Hildegard Schmid is the “nursing grandmother” at the Nies. “I never want to go anywhere else,” she says, referring to good neighborliness.
“I just crawled down the street”
In the meantime, Sandra and Stefan Niese have bought the Schmid house. Besides the greenery, they are particularly impressed by the special character of the construction. As soon as they could crawl, their children “just crawled in the street”, explains Sandra Niese – no problem if there are no cars driving there.
Incidentally, Hildegard Schmid has moved into an apartment across the street – and is now the adoptive grandmother of the Nies’ two daughters. We often hear about the good and close neighbors of the Olympic Village. This is also due to the way the village is built, as meetings and conversations in the pedestrian areas are scheduled without cars.
Right in the middle of the Munich Olympic Village: 50 years after the Games
Moritz Steinbacher, BR, Daily Topics 10:15 p.m., Aug 2, 2022
The 1972 assassination – sometimes still a problem today
But living in the village also means living with contemporary history. The “merry” games in Munich ended on September 5, 1972, when a Palestinian terrorist team broke into the quarters of the Israeli men’s team at Connollystrasse 31 and took eleven athletes hostage. None of the hostages survived the attack.
Connollystrasse 31 still looks the same today as it did then. As a villager, you only sometimes think about what happened 50 years ago, says Stefan Niese. But every once in a while, according to Niese, the place’s past quickly comes to life. This was also the case recently when he was approached by a gentleman who was looking for the place of the assassination. It turned out that the man was a wrestler in the 72 East German Olympic team, lived exactly opposite Connollystrasse 31 during the games and could still vividly tell about the events of September 5, 1972.
Despite the history: the approximately 6,000 people who live there appreciate the advantages offered by the former Olympic Village. You can tell by the fact that as a “foreigner” you rarely find an apartment. The “villagers” prefer to trade with each other. Not a bad sign for a facility no one initially wanted to move into.