What happens when you decide to trade imprisoned terrorists for hostages? What message are you sending to other terrorists?
An all-star cast of terrorists, led by the infamous Carlos the Jackal, bursts into a OPEC conference. Among the terrorists were Gabriele Kröcher-Tiedemann, the Movement 2 June member who had been released as part of the Lorenz kidnapping, and Hans-Joachim Klein, a member of the little-known German terrorist group Revolutionary Cells, who had served as Jean-Paul Sartre’s chauffeur when he visited Baader in Stammheim. Kröcher-Tiedemann kills two men in the raid, an Austrian policeman Anton Tichler, and an Iraqi guard, Khafali. Carlos kills a Libyan civil servant, Yousef Ismirli. Klein is seriously wounded in the mêlée, but the operation otherwise works out well; Carlos secures $5 million ransom for Palestinian causes and the terrorists are able to disappear into the Middle East.
Heinrich Albertz and the rest of the Lufthansa crew fly back to Frankfurt from Aden, South Yemen, having released Pohle, Becker, Heissler, Siepmann, and Kröcher-Tiedemann (who had a second change of heart and elected to make the trip after all). A car screams through Berlin’s Wilmersdorf district shortly before midnight. Lorenz is pushed out of the back seat, his blindfold removed, and given a 50-fenning coin. He stumbles over to a phone booth as the car tears off. Lorenz calls his wife and lets her know that the ordeal is over. Within minutes police begin raiding suspected radical hideouts throughout Berlin and the Federal Republic.
Newspapers worldwide print the image of Ettore Canella sprinting to freedom out of his Berlin jail. Behind him, Gerhard Jagdmann strolls out assuredly. During their evening broadcasts, the German news programs show interviews with Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann from her Essen jail cell, and Horst Mahler from his Berlin cell; both refuse to be released, electing to stay in prison.
A Polaroid photo is released early in the morning showing Lorenz with a sign around his neck: “Peter Lorenz, prisoner of the 2 June Movement.” With the photo is a demand for the immediate release of six terrorists: Horst Mahler, Verena Becker, Gabriele Kröcher-Tiedemann, Ingrid Siepmann, Rolf Heissler, and Rolf Pohle. Except for Mahler, all are either members of Movement 2 June, or connected to it. A message is attached to the demands: “to our [Baader-Meinhof] comrades in jail. We would like to get more of you out, but at our present strength we’re not in a position to do it.” The kidnappers have been careful in making their selections; no terrorist accused of murder is on the list. 28 February 1975, Berlin – “Peter Lorenz, captive of Movement 2 June” reads the Polaroid photo sent to police the day after the capture of Lorenz, the CDU Berlin mayoral candidate. The kidnappers demand that authorities provide a Boeing 707 within three days. Three of the prisoners, Pohle, Kröcher-Tiedemann, and Heissler, must be flown from their jails throughout the Federal Republic to Berlin within two days. The others are already in Berlin. When all six are ready to fly on the [read all]
Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann is sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for the attempted murder of a policeman.
Movement 2 June member Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann is arrested after a shootout.
This Associated Press article appeared in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal on September 25, 1977, just as West Germany was descending into the horror of the “German Autumn”. The article is a general news analysis detailing how German terror groups were so heavily populated by women. It’s almost a curio-timepiece: the conclusions are often so hyperbolic and overwrought. We learn that the presence of women in terrorist groups is the “dark side of women’s liberation” and that the universities are also clearly to blame as well. While much of the article does try to offer some kind of flavorful balance, it feels very much an article directed towards an older generation to confirm their suspicions about all of the “changes” that have gone on in society PDF: Women terrorist Groups Flourish in Germany