Audio Interview: Bob Berwyn, Witness to 1972 and 1976 Bombings

Bob Berwyn has the rare distinction to have witnessed two separate Red Army Faction Bombings as well as a deadly neo-Nazi bombing at the Munich Oktoberfest in 1980.

On May 11, 1972, 15-year-old Bob Berwyn was watching a film at the US Army base’s theater when he heard an muffled explosion nearby. After a few minutes the theater was evacuated and Bob made his way near where the blast when off (in an annex building of the enormous IG Farben building). The bomb, one of three pipe bombs left by Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe, and Holger Meins, killed Lt. Col. Paul Bloomquist and injured more than a dozen others.

Four years later, members of the Red Army Faction again bombed the IG Farben building. calling themselved the “Ulrike Meinhof Commando” in honor of the recent prison death of Ulrike Meinhof, this unit’s bomb injured 17 people. And Bob happened to be in in an adjoining section of the building.

And as if to prove the terrorism has no true ideology, Bob was attending Munich’s famed Oktoberfest celebration in 1980 when a neo-Nazi’s pipe bomb went off, killing more than a dozen revelers.


The massive IG Farben building of Frankfurt, site of a 1972 bombing by the Baader-Meinhof Gang. The large annex building behind the main building is the Terrace Club, home of the Officer's Club, where Lt. Col Paul Bloomquist lost his life and 17 people wer injured when two bombs went off (smaller green circle). Another bomb, placed inside the main building, destroyed a magazine stand and injured many more (larger green circle). The bombs caused and estimated $718,000 in damage.