1975 April 24, 1975 Stockholm
Six Red Army Faction terrorists, most of whom were former members of the Heidelberg Socialist Patients Collective (SPK), take over the West German Embassy in Stockholm, taking 11 hostages. The terrorists are: Siegfried Hauser, Hanne-Elise Krabbe, Karl-Heinz Dellwo, Lutz Taufer, Bernhard-Maria Rössner, and Ullrich Wessel. Swedish police quickly occupy the lower portion of the embassy. The terrorists order them to leave, saying they will kill the military attaché if the police don’t comply. They don’t. Angry, the terrorist bind the hands of the embassy’s military attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Baron Andreas von Mirchbach, and order him to walk toward the top of the stairs of the upper floor. Then they shoot him in the leg, head and chest. Police drag the dying man away (after stripping down to their underwear to show that they were unarmed) and then move out of the building.
The terrorists pile massive amounts of TNT into the basement of the facility, and then call the German Press Agency and list their demands. The want all Baader-Meinhof defendants released immediately. This time Bonn does not respond quite as favorably as they did during the Lorenz kidnapping. The kidnappers indicate that they will begin shooting a hostage every hour until their demands are met. After one hour Dr. Heinz Hillegart, the embassy’s economic attaché is taken to an open window. A terrorist shoots him and leaves the elderly Hillegart’s body hanging like a rag doll out of the window.
Shortly before midnight a wiring short causes the TNT to explode prematurely. Ullrich Wessel is killed immediately, but all of the other terrorists and hostages survive, most with bad burns. All of the terrorists are captured without a fight. Terrorist Siegfried Hausner is particularly badly burned, and is flown to Stammheim Prison’s medical ward a few days later. He dies in prison on 5 May.
The terrorists in the operation had been handpicked by Siegfried Haag, the lawyer associate of Klaus Croissant. With the imprisonment of the leaders of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, Haag has become the de facto leader of the so-called “second generation of the RAF,” which is dedicated almost solely to freeing the first generation’s leaders from prison.