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Remembering David Berger – New Orleans Jewish weightlifter killed at 1972 Olympics – 51 years later

Today – Sept. 5, 2023 – marks 51 years since the massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics, when members of a Palestinian terrorist organization murdered 11 athletes competing for Israel. One of the victims was David Berger, a Jewish-American Tulane graduate who lived in New Orleans before moving to Israel, the country he would represent as a weightlifter on the world stage.

Lafayette attorney and Cajun historian Warren Perrin’s recent book, “The Weight of History, the Power of Apology,” chronicles his own weightlifting journey alongside that of Berger and Walter Imahara, a Japanese-American weightlifter who spent his youth in an internment camp before becoming a national champion. Perrin writes about their cultural differences, the ways they all understood oppression and trauma – and why it’s important to remember Berger today.

Perrin spoke with Louisiana Considered’s managing producer, Alana Schreiber, about Berger’s legacy and the ways Berger’s life intersected with his own.

But first, the Musaica Chamber Ensemble is gearing up for its 18th season with an adventurous repertoire. Musaica president – and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra assistant principal violist – Bruce Owen joins us with details about the group’s upcoming concerts.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Diane Mack. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our assistant producer is Aubry Procell. Our engineer is Garrett Pittman.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Diane hosts Louisiana Considered on Tuesdays on WRKF and WWNO.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.