The Baader-Meinhof Gang Horst Mahler

In many ways Horst Mahler (born in January of 1936) can be considered the founder of the Baader-Meinhof Gang. A brilliant socialist lawyer and architect, Mahler began to look for ways to turn his Marxist theory into praxis. His idea was to create a band of Urban Guerillas who would help foment a Marxist revolution. Among his first recruits in the spring of 1970: a couple of fugitive arsonists, Gudrun Ensslin and her boyfriend Andreas Baader.

As brilliant as Mahler was, he was prone to fouling things up occasionally. Once, when Baader was in custody but the police did not know his identity yet, Mahler called up the police station as asked for information about a “Herr Baader” that they had arrested the previous night. Needless to say there was little question as to Baader’s identity after that.

Mahler participated, and possibly organized, the Baader-Meinhof trip to the Jordan training camp. Mahler was arrested along with Ingrid Schubert, Brigitte Asdonk, and Irene Goergens in October of 1970 shortly after the group’s return from Jordan.

In prison Mahler set to work on a manifesto for the group. When it is released, the other members of the group disavowed it, and essentially kicked Mahler out of the group that he founded. Mahler was ultimately convicted of several charges.

In 1975 the Berlin mayoral candidate Peter Lorenz was kidnapped. The terrorists demanded the releases of several of their imprisoned comrades, including Mahler. Their demands were accepted but Mahler refused to go.

Mahler was released from prison early in the 1980’s. His politics have completely reversed since the 1960s and 1970s, and now Mahler preaches anti-semetic neo-Nazi arguments. Currently Mahler is serving an 8 year prison sentence for giving a Nazi salute to a jewish journalist.