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]
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
A Stars and Stripes article about the recent arrests of several Baader-Meinhof members. PDF: 6-20-1972 Germans Ready Bomb Trial
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]
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
Short article on discovery of arms within Stammheim one month after “death night”. PDF: 11-23-1977 Arms Cache Found in Prison (NY Times)
Report on the death of Ingrid Schubert. PDF: 11-14-1977 Woman Terrorist Dies In Jail Cell (AP)
Report on inquest after the suicide of Ingrid Schubert. PDF: 11-14-1977 Latest Terrorist Death Confirmed As Suicide (AP)
PDF: 11-7-1977 West Germany Tightens Security Near Its Airports (NY Times)
PDF: 11-3-1977 Three Guerrillas Hinted of Suicide (Reuters)
PDF: 10-24-1977 We’ve Won! Terrorists Exulted Just Before They Died (AP)
PDF: 10-24-1977 Violence Provokes Wide Debate in West German Society (NY Times)
PDF: 10-24-1977 Baader Told Lawyer We Will Be Bumped Off (UPI)
PDF: 10-21-1977 Red Army Guerrillas Waging German Battle (AP)
PDF: 10-20-1977 Kidnapped German Business Leader is Found Slain (AP)
Report on the suicide of Ingrid Schubert. PDF: 11-14-1977 Another Guerilla Suicide in Prison (AP-Reuters)
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)
Report on the capture in Offenbach of Klaus Jünschke and Irmgard Möller. PDF: 7-9-1972 Terrorists Captured
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
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
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]
Andreas Baaader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Söhnlein, and Thorwald Proll are convicted of Arson. They each get three years.
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.
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]
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]
Gudrun Ensslin is transferred from Essen to Cologne’s Ossendorf prison, and placed into the cell next to Ulrike Meinhof.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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 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]
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.
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.
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]
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]
Andreas Baader meets Gudrun Ensslin at a gathering. They fall in love immediately.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
We compare how the US buried bin Laden with how the bodies of Ensslin, Raspe, and Baader were buried. [display_podcast]
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]
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]