All posts for Gudrun Ensslin

10-9-1972 Watch Out Here is a Lotta Bull – Der Spiegel

This article appeared in Der Spiegel on October 8, 1972. It is the first person account of Connie Konieczny, who had been a member of the Baader-Meinhof group briefly during their most intense and violent period. PDF: 10-9-1972WatchOutHereIsALottaBull – Der Spiegel – German Google English Translation Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Help clean up this bizarre, robot-like translation! [read all]

6-27-1972 Cops Wounded In Shootout On Autobahn (Stars and Stripes)

An AP article, appearing in Stars and Stripes,detailing the shooting of Scottish businessman Ian MacLeod, as well the capture of other Baader-Meinhof members. PDF: 6-27-1972 Cops Wounded In Shootout On Autobahn Part1 PDF: 6-27-1972 Cops Wounded In Shootout On Autobahn Part2

6-20-1972 Germans Ready Bomb Trial (Stars and Stripes)

A Stars and Stripes article about the recent arrests of several Baader-Meinhof members. PDF: 6-20-1972 Germans Ready Bomb Trial

6-19-1972 Faces Of Ulrike Meinhof (Stars and Stripes)

A relatively long United Press International article, appearing in Stars and Stripes, about Ulrike Meinhof. The article covers many aspects of the Baader-Meinhof group and the recent capture of many members. The article is especially notable for an account of how BMWs were targeted by police for being the supposed favored car among the group [read all]

6-3-1972 Terrorists Odd Solidarity (Stars and Stripes)

A Stars and Stripes exclusive article detailing the public support that helped the Baader-Meinhof group, as well as background descriptions of various members of the group. PDF: 6-3-1972 Terrorists Odd Solidarity

11-23-1977 Arms Cache Found in Prison (NY Times)

Short article on discovery of arms within Stammheim one month after “death night”. PDF: 11-23-1977 Arms Cache Found in Prison (NY Times)

11-14-1977 Woman Terrorist Dies In Jail Cell (AP)

Report on the death of Ingrid Schubert. PDF: 11-14-1977 Woman Terrorist Dies In Jail Cell (AP)

11-14-1977 Latest Terrorist Death Confirmed As Suicide (AP)

Report on inquest after the suicide of Ingrid Schubert. PDF: 11-14-1977 Latest Terrorist Death Confirmed As Suicide (AP)

11-7-1977 West Germany Tightens Security Near Its Airports (NY Times)

PDF: 11-7-1977 West Germany Tightens Security Near Its Airports (NY Times)

11-3-1977 Three Guerrillas Hinted of Suicide (Reuters)

PDF: 11-3-1977 Three Guerrillas Hinted of Suicide (Reuters)

10-24-1977 We’ve Won! Terrorists Exulted Just Before They Died (AP)

PDF: 10-24-1977 We’ve Won! Terrorists Exulted Just Before They Died (AP)

10-24-1977 Violence Provokes Wide Debate in West German Society (NY Times)

PDF: 10-24-1977 Violence Provokes Wide Debate in West German Society (NY Times)

10-24-1977 Baader Told Lawyer We Will Be Bumped Off (UPI)

PDF: 10-24-1977 Baader Told Lawyer We Will Be Bumped Off (UPI)

10-21-1977 Red Army Guerrillas Waging German Battle (AP)

PDF: 10-21-1977 Red Army Guerrillas Waging German Battle (AP)

10-20-1977 Kidnapped German Business Leader is Found Slain (AP)

PDF: 10-20-1977 Kidnapped German Business Leader is Found Slain (AP)

11-14-1977 Another Guerilla Suicide in Prison (AP-Reuters)

Report on the suicide of Ingrid Schubert. PDF: 11-14-1977 Another Guerilla Suicide in Prison (AP-Reuters)

5-21-1975 German Bonnie, Clyde on Trial (AP)

Article on the eve of the Stammheim trial, still casting Baader and Meinhof as the “Bonnie and Clyde” of the RAF. PDF: 5-21-1975 German Bonnie, Clyde on Trial (AP)

7-9-1972 Terrorists Captured (AP)

Report on the capture in Offenbach of Klaus Jünschke and Irmgard Möller. PDF: 7-9-1972 Terrorists Captured

6-28-1972 West Germany has its Bonnie, Clyde (AP)

Another background article on Meinhof. This one finds “no evidence of any romantic link” between her and Baader! PDF: 6-28-1972 West Germany has its Bonnie, Clyde

6-8-1972 A Fourth Anarchist Seized By Germans (NY Times)

Piece on the arrest of Gudrun Ensslin, and one of the first mentions of her in English language press. PDF: 6-8-1972 A Fourth Anarchist Seized By Germans

9-22-1977 Women Terrorists Groups Flourish In Germany (AP)

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 [read all]

October 13, 1968 Frankfurt am Main

Andreas Baaader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Söhnlein, and Thorwald Proll are convicted of Arson. They each get three years.

August 19, 1975, Stuttgart

The defendants are finally officially charged: Gudrun Ensslin, Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, and Jan-Carl Raspe are jointly charged with four murders, 54 attempted murders and a single count of forming a criminal association.

October 2, 1974 Stuttgart

The five primary members of the gang, Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe, and Holger Meins, are indicted officially of dozens of crimes, including murder. Baader is transferred to join Ensslin in Stammheim (Meinhof is still on trial in Berlin). Holger Meins, whose physical health has been severely weakened by the hunger strike, [read all]

April, 1974 Stuttgart

Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin are transferred to Stuttgart’s Stammheim prison. They are the first residents of Stammheim’s newly refitted high-security wing. The plan is for all of the major Baader-Meinhof defendants to ultimately live in Stammheim. Plans are set in motion to build a large, self-contained courthouse in the potato field beside Stammheim prison. [read all]

February 5, 1974 Cologne

Gudrun Ensslin is transferred from Essen to Cologne’s Ossendorf prison, and placed into the cell next to Ulrike Meinhof.

Richter Cycle: Hanged

title: Erhängte 1988. Oil on Canvas 201 cm X 140 cm This haunting image is of the dead body of Gudrun Ensslin, hanging from her Stammheim prison cell. It is the first image of the cycle to directly depict events from October 19, 1977, also known as Death Night. According to the official version of events, [read all]

Richter Cycle: Confrontation 1, 2, 3

title: Gegenüberstellung 1, 2, und 3 1988. Oil on Canvas 112 cm X 102 cm   These three images are of Gudrun Ensslin, girlfriend of Andreas Baader, and the true female leader of the Baader-Meinhof Gang. The images come from full-body images taken when Ensslin was in police custody. I believe that they are from [read all]

German Autumn

Deutscher Herbst “The German Autumn” was the name given to the 44 days in the fall of 1977 when all of Germany was gripped in a terrorist crisis. It began on September 5, when the industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer was kidnapped in Cologne by the Red Army Faction. For the next month and a half, his kidnappers attempted to secure the [read all]

Death Night

According to German authorities Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe all committed suicide in their Stammheim prison cells early on the morning of 18 October 1977. It is perhaps understandable that many Germans had trouble believing them. The Red Army Faction cell block had been described over the previous five years as the most [read all]

Thorwald Proll

A friend of Andreas Baader’s from the Berlin club scene, Proll joined Baader, his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin, and another friend, Horst Söhnlein, in attempting to burn down two Frankfurt department stores in early May 1968. Technically therefore, Proll was not a member of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, but a fellow conspirator in two arson attempts that [read all]

Horst Söhnlein

Not really a member of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, Söhnlein participated with Andreas Baader, Thorwald Proll, and Gudrun Ensslin in the April 1968 Frankfurt department store arsons. Söhnlein was a founder of Munich’s Action Theater in the early sixties. His participation in the arsons was possibly a lark. Along with his three comrades he was sentenced [read all]

Gudrun Ensslin

Contrary to what many people think, Gudrun Ensslin, not Ulrike Meinhof, was the real female leader of the Baader-Meinhof Gang. Gudrun was a politically active student in the 1960s. She participated in the seminal 2 June 1967 Berlin protest where a young pacifist named Benno Ohnesorg was killed. After the protest she went to the [read all]

Ulrike Meinhof

Bom on October 7, 1934, Ulrike Meinhof’s parents both died early, leaving Ulrike and her sister Weinke in the care of Renate Riemack, a friend of their mother’s. Riemack was a devoted socialist, and a profound influence on Meinhof. Meinhof married Klaus Rainer Röhl, publisher of the left-wing student newspaper, konkret. After a few years [read all]

Spring, 1973 Essen

Gudrun Ensslin uses characters from Moby Dick as new code-names for the imprisoned members of the gang. Gudrun becomes “Smutje,” Baader “Ahab,” Holger Meins “Starbuck,” Jan-Carl Raspe “Carpenter,” Gerhard Müller “Queequeg,” and Horst Mahler “Bildad.” Gudrun dubs Meinhof “Teresa,” which was not a character from Moby Dick. Baader-Meinhof Biographer Stefan Aust later theorizes that Ensslin [read all]

February 9, 1973 Cologne

After eight months of total isolation in the “Dead Section” of Cologne’s Ossendorf prison, Ulrike Meinhof is finally moved to an area of the prison that is populated by other prisoners. The move is prompted by the hunger strikes that most of the Baader-Meinhof Gang members are waging. The hunger strikes are called off, and [read all]

June 8, 1972 Hamburg

Gudrun Ensslin, almost beside herself with grief since the capture of her beloved Andreas, wanders into the Linette clothing boutique in Hamburg. After laying her jacket down to try on sweaters, a sales clerk notices that the jacket has a heavy bulge in a pocket. Closer inspection reveals that the bulge is a gun; she [read all]

May 12, 1972 Augsburg and Munich

Angela Luther and Irmgard Möller sneak into the Augsburg Police department and leave two time-delay pipe bombs. The bombs explode shortly after noon, injuring five policemen. Later in the Baader, Meins, and Ensslin leave a car bomb to explode in the parking lot of the state Bundeskriminalamt in Munich, destroying 60 cars. The Baader-Meinhof Gang, [read all]

May 11, 1972 Frankfurt am Main

Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Holger Meins, and Jan-Carl Raspe place three pipe bombs near the entrance the the I.G. Farben building, which houses the headquarters of the US Army Corp. The bombs explode within minutes of each other from 6:59 PM to 7:02 PM. The entrance to the officer’s mess is destroyed. A shard of [read all]

Chapter 20 — The German Autumn

September 1977 – November 1977, 60 pages: The final chapter will provide a fitting climax to the story. It will primarily focus on the 44 days in the fall of 1997 that have become known as “The German Autumn.” In April of 1977 the longest and most expensive trial in German history is over. Andreas [read all]

Chapter 4 — Praxis

May, 1967 – May 1970, 59 pages: The stories of the three major characters, Baader, Meinhof, and Ensslin, merge into one story in this chapter, and follow a straight narrative arc for the rest of the book. But first this chapter will look into the extremes of the student movement, exemplified by a West German [read all]

Chapter 2 — Gudrun

1942 – 1967, 19 pages: This chapter opens with a vivid description of a riot that took place in Berlin on June 2, 1967. Students are demonstrating against a visit by the Shah of Iran when Berlin police began beating them. In the confusion, a policeman shoots a young protestor, Benno Ohnesorg, killing him instantly. [read all]

Introduction Chapter

12 pages: The introduction begins with an anecdote describing the event that put the Baader-Meinhof Gang squarely on the German national consciousness: the freeing of Andreas Baader from prison custody with the help of noted journalist Ulrike Meinhof. The three most important characters, Baader, Meinhof, and Gudrun Ensslin, are introduced, each showing telling aspects of [read all]

Andreas Baader

Andreas Baader was one of the two namesakes of the Baader-Meinhof Gang. A juvenile delinquent, Baader was drawn towards the leftist student movement because of the excitement, and the potential for violence. He was convicted of the 1968 arson bombing of a Frankfurt department store, along with his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin. He escaped from police [read all]

Summer, 1971 West Berlin

Former members of Kommune I, and former members of the now-disbanded West Berlin Tupamaros, form “Movement 2 June.” Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin encourage the group, which includes Bommi Baumann and Fritz Teufel, to join the RAF. They demure, wary of Baader’s insistence on total leadership, and prefer to stay in Berlin anyway.

June 13, 1969 Frankfurt am Main

The four convicted arsonists Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Söhnlein, and Thorwald Proll are released from prison pending review of their cases. Baader and Ensslin begin working at an “apprentices’ collective” — which is a youth home. Baader spends much of his time teaching the kids how to steal motorcycles.

April 2, 1968 Frankfurt am Main

Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin head to Frankfurt am Main with two friends, Horst Söhnlein and Thorwald Proll. Baader has acquired quite a reputation as a “dangerous” sort by his constant calls for violent action. Invariably no one would choose to act on his “suggestions.” Today is different. This time Baader’s fellow comrades elect to [read all]

March 22, 1968 West Berlin

Fritz Teufel and Rainer Langhans of Kommune I are found Not Guilty of Incitement to Arson, for passing out the leaflets the previous spring. According to Baader-Meinhof biographer Jillian Becker, the expert witnesses agree, “the pamphlets were literary compositions, not to be acted on but for theoretical considerations only.” Theoretical to everyone, it seems, except [read all]

Mid-Summer 1967 West Berlin

Andreas Baader meets Gudrun Ensslin at a gathering. They fall in love immediately.

June 3, 1967 West Berlin

A ban on all protest signs and banners is put in effect on the streets of Berlin. A student, Peter Homann, comes up with an ingenious prank to get around the ban; dress up eight people in tee-shirts, each with a single giant letter painted on the front and back. When lined up side-by-side the [read all]

June 2, 1967 West Berlin

The Shah of Iran pays an official visit to Berlin. Thousands of students take to the streets to protest the Shah’s brutally repressive regime. Students seem to be protesting every week–everything, from the war in Vietnam, to the Grand Coalition between the two major German political parties, to university policies, were used as excuses to [read all]

May 14 1970, West Berlin

A car pulls up to the Dahlem Institute for Social Research. Two guards get out and escort a handcuffed Andreas Baader to the front door. An elderly employee of the Institute, Georg Linke, escorts them to the reading room, where Ulrike Meinhof waits. Baader’s cuffs are removed and he and Meinhof set to work. Two [read all]

April 1970, West Berlin

Baader receives many visitors in his Tegel prison cell during his first month back in confinement. Mahler visits him many times, as does Berberich. Meinhof visits him as well, as does “Dr. Gretel Weitermeier,” who is actually his fugitive girlfriend, Ensslin. A plan is formulated to get Baader out. It involves a ruse in which [read all]

Early March 1970, West Berlin

Baader and Ensslin meet up with Dieter Kunzelmann, whose West Berlin Tupamaros had been mildly terrorizing Berlin the previous year with humorous pranks, and potentially deadly bombs. Kunzelmann wants Baader and Ensslin to join his gang, but the talks break down when Baader suggests that he be the leader rather than Kunzelmann. Horst Mahler, the [read all]

Late February 1970, West Berlin

Two visitors show up at Ulrike Meinhof’s door, needing a place to stay. Bettina and Regine are introduced to “Uncle Hans” and “Aunt Grete;” Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin are back in Berlin.

Podcast 26: The Politics of Burying Terrorists

We compare how the US buried bin Laden with how the bodies of Ensslin, Raspe, and Baader were buried. [display_podcast]  

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 [read all]

Interview: Scott Tatina, Bombing Witness

May 11, 1972. Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe, and Holger Meins and possibly others leave three pipe bombs around Frankfurt’s IG Farben building, which housed the Supreme Allied Command of the US military. In the early evening, the three bombs go off in rapid succession. One bomb, planted inside the main building, destroys a [read all]