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Munich-Riem Memorial Site Febuary 10th 1970

June 27, 2023

A press conference was held on June 21, 2023, to announce the memorial plans dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attack at Munich-Riem Airport in 1970.

The attack occurred on February 10, 1970, during check-in for an El Al flight from Munich to London. Terrorists opened fire and threw explosive devices at passengers and the security forces that had rushed to the scene. One of the passengers, Arie Katzenstein – who held German and Israeli citizenship – threw himself on an explosive device and sacrificed his life to protect the other passengers. The attack left nine injured and one dead.

Today, the airport tower is part of the Brainlab corporate headquarters in Munich. In partnership with the city of Munich, artist Alicja Kwade and the Katzenstein family from Israel, a memorial to honor Arie Katzenstein and the victims of this terrorist attack is planned to be built across from the Brainlab Tower.

Anton Biebl, Cultural Officer of the City of Munich, and Stefan Vilsmeier, founder and CEO of Brainlab, would like to commemorate the incident:
Anton Biebl: “Munich attracted international attention in the 1970s and was, unfortunately, a target for terrorists during that time period. They hit the budding cosmopolitan city right in the heart. We keep the memory alive by commemorating the victims and actively dealing with our and, in this case, international history. Alicja Kwade’s sculpture will be essential to the planned Munich-Riem 1970 memorial site. When words are insufficient, art opens up new perspectives.”

Stefan Vilsmeier: “We develop innovative medical technology and see the partnership with the city of Munich as an opportunity to make a contribution to society. Art and culture play a multi-layered role in our company; we actively promote a wide variety of cultural projects and give them space. For me, it is a special responsibility to commemorate an incisive historical event at the location of our corporate headquarters – not only for our international employees but also for the entire local community.”

In memory of the heroic death of Arie Katzenstein, a metal sculpture over eight meters high by artist Alicija Kwade will be erected by 2024.

With the help of mixed reality technology, a virtual recreation of the artwork was projected into the room and viewed during the press conference. This enabled Arie Katzenstein’s children and grandchildren who traveled from Israel to see the memorial site in advance.

More information can be found in the press release of the city of Munich: Gedenkort München-Riem 10. Februar 1970