All posts for Red Army Faction

Any Human Heart

A film written by William Boyd Directed by Michael Samuels 2010 – BBC / PBS Masterpiece Theater The television miniseries, Any Human Heart, offers a surprising shock for students of the Red Army Faction era; four hours into this excellent exploration of the life of a British novelist from the Depression era through the 1990s, [read all]

The Gamer’s Guide to Baader-Meinhof

Bioshock Infinite, one of the most hotly anticipated video games of all times, uses the Baader-Meinhof Group as a source inspiration for parts of it’s storyline, according to the game’s Creative Director Ken Levine. This is a one-stop guide to the Baader-Meinhof Group for gamers hoping to learn more. The Game Set for a 2013 [read all]

7-6-1972 Ulrike Meinhof Anarchist Who Acted (Stars and Stripes)

An assessment-type articles from the Associated Press that appeared in Stars and Stripes about the recently captured Ulrike Meinhof. The article is notable in that it pointed indicates that there was no proof that Meinhof and Baader were lovers; many previous articles had treated this “fact” as a given. PDF: 7-6-1972 Ulrike Meinhof Anarchist Who [read all]

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]

6-18-1972 Ulrike Meinhof Caught (Stars and Stripes)

A Stars and Stripes article about the recent capture of Ulrike Meinhof in Hannover, as well as the capture of other group members. PDF: 6-18-1972 Ulrike Meinhof Caught

6-18-1972 German Gang Fem Leader Seized (Stars and Stripes)

An Associated Press article appearing in Stars and Stripes detailing the arrest of Ulrike Meinhof. PDF: 6-18-1972 German Gang Fem Leader Seized

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

12-6-1975 German State Vote Threatens Schmidt (Canadian Press)

  Enlightening article on the political climate in West Germany at the end of 1975 and the RAF’s contribution to it. PDF: 12-6-1975 German State Vote Threatens Schmidt (Canadian Press)

12-1-1974 Terrorist Group Claims Assassination Attempt (UPI)

Piece on the attempted assasination of CDU offficial Walter Leisler Kiep. PDF: 12-1-1974 Terrorist Group Claims Assassination Attempt (UPI)

11-12-1977 Two Sought by Bonn Badly Wounded by Dutch Police (NY Times)

PDF: 11-12-1977 Two Sought by Bonn Badly Wounded by Dutch Police (NY Times)

11-12-1977 Dutch Shootout Terrorists Tied to Red Army Faction (AP)

PDF: 11-12-1977 Dutch Shootout Terrorists Tied to Red Army Faction (AP)

11-12-1974 West Germans Gird for Terror (AP)

Another piece on the events following the death of Holger Meins. PDF: 11-12-1974 West Germans Gird for Terror (AP)

11-12-1974 Germans Order Extra Security (NY Times)

Reporting the fall-out from the death of Holger Meins by hunger strike, including the assasination of Judge Gunter Von Drenkmann and riots in Berlin. PDF: 11-12-1974 Germans Order Extra Security (NY Times)

11-10-1977 Spectre of Kidnapping Always Hanging Over Rich in Europe (AP)

PDF: 11-10-1977 Spectre of Kidnapping Always Hanging Over Rich in Europe (AP)

11-10-1977 Schmidt Hopeful on Terrorist Hunt (NY Times)

PDF: 11-10-1977 Schmidt Hopeful on Terrorist Hunt (NY Times)

11-2-1977 Only Out for Money (AP)

PDF: 11-2-1977 Only Out for Money (AP)

10-31-1977 Hoaxes Hinder Search For Kidnapped Executive (UPI)

PDF: 10-31-1977 Hoaxes Hinder Search For Kidnapped Executive (UPI)

10-29-1977 Calls Claim Red Army Kidnapped Businessman (AP)

PDF: 10-29-1977 Calls Claim Red Army Kidnapped Businessman (AP)

10-28-1977 Dutch Tycoon Kidnapped by West German Faction (AP)

PDF: 10-28-1977 Dutch Tycoon Kidnapped by West German Faction (AP)

10-28-1977 Defender of German Terrorists (NY Times)

PDF: 10-28-1977 Defender of German Terrorists (NY Times)

10-26-1977 Hijackers Identity Secret (AP)

PDF: 10-26-1977 Hijackers Identity Secret (AP)

10-26-1977 Germany Faces Tough Task in Controlling Terrorism Editorial (AP)

PDF: 10-26-1977 Germany Faces Tough Task in Controlling Terrorism Editorial (AP)

10-25-1977 Victims of Democracy – Editorial (NY Times)

PDF: 10-25-1977 Victims of Democracy – Editorial (NY Times)

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 French Track Terrorists; attacks continue (AP)

PDF: 10-24-1977 French Track Terrorists; attacks continue (AP)

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)

10-23-1977 Wallace Received RAF Death Threat (AP)

PDF: 10-23-1977 Wallace Received RAF Death Threat (AP)

10-23-1977 A Loose Alliance of Terrorists Does Seem to Exist (NY Times)

PDF: 10-23-1977 A Loose Alliance of Terrorists Does Seem to Exist (NY Times)

10-23-1977 Baader-Meinhof Hits at Europe (UPI)

PDF: 10-23-197 Baader-Meinhof Hits at Europe (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)

10-19-1977 Revenge Killing Reported (AP)

PDF: 10-19-1977 Revenge Killing Reported (AP)

10-14-1977 Hijackers Hold 91 in Jetliner (UPI)

PDF: 10-14-1977 Hijackers Hold 91 in Jetliner (UPI)

10-14-1977 Hijackers Demand Freedom for 13 Terrorists (UPI)

PDF: 10-14-1977 Hijackers Demand Freedom for 13 Terrorists (UPI)

9-29-1977 Newspaper Gets Picture of German Kidnap Victim (UPI)

PDF: 9-29-1977 Newspaper Gets Picture of German Kidnap Victim (UPI)

9-27-1977 Schleyer Sought in Holland (UPI)

PDF: 9-27-1977 Schleyer Sought in Holland (UPI)

9-27-1977 Germany’s Deadly Nightmare (Evening Times)

PDF: 9-27-1977 Germany’s Deadly Nightmare (Evening Times)

9-24-1977 German Arrested in Terror Killings (AP)

PDF: 9-24-1977 German Arrested in Terror Killings (AP)

9-22-1977 Dutch Capture Terror Suspect (AP)

PDF: 9-22-1977 Dutch Capture Terror Suspect (AP)

7-3-1972 Germany Passes Gun Law (AP)

Short piece on new Federal gun law with some contemporary economic background. PDF: 7-3-1972 Germany Passes Gun Law (AP)

6-2-1972 Bonn Seizes Suspected Guerrillas (NY Times)

Article on the arrests of Baader and Meins as well as an outline of possible international links. PDF: 6-2-1972 Bonn Seizes Suspected Guerrillas (NY Times)

5-27-1975 Baader-Meinhof Trial Postponed (Canadian Press)

Announcement of the postponment of the Stammheim trial. PDF: 5-27-1975 Baader-Meinhof Trial Postponed (Canadian Press)

5-25-1972 Terrorist Bombs Kill Three at US Army German Post (AP)

Article on Heidelberg bombings and possible links to attacks in Paris on two US airline company offices. Interestingly refers to  The Red Army Faction as “believed to be part of” The Baader Meinhof Gang. PDF: 5-25-1972 Terrorist Bombs Kill Three at US Army German Post (AP)

5-25-1972 German Bomb Acts Claimed by Guerrillas (AP)

Short article on The RAF claiming responsibility for the Frankfurt attacks. PDF: 5-25-1972 German Bomb Acts Claimed by Guerrillas (AP)

4-27-1975 Bonn Radical Group has Violent Past (UPI)

Short resume of events following The Federal Governments pledge to stamp out the RAF. PDF: 4-27-1975 Bonn Radical Group has Violent Past (UPI)

4-25-1975 GermanTerroristCaptured (UPI)

A virually identical article to the previous post. PDF: 4-25-1975 GermanTerroristCaptured (UPI)

4-25-1975 German Terrorist Captured (AP)

Report on the fall out following the Stockholm siege, including the conviction of June 2nd Movement member Ronald Augustin. PDF: 4-25-1975 German Terrorist Captured

11-17-1971 Campus Struggle Forming (AP)

A brief, semi-inflammatory Associated Press article detailing efforts to organize on German campuses by leftist groups. The article is notable for being the first English newspaper account that I’ve found mentioning the “official” name of the group, the Red Army Faction. PDF: 11-17-1971 Campus Struggle Forming AP

6-18-1972 The wife who became Public Enemy No 1 (Guardian UK)

Great article by Neal Ascherton on Ulrike Meinhof’s journey toward terror, including memories of conversations with the subject. PDF: 6-18-1972 The wife who became Public Enemy No 1

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

6-2-1972 Anarchist Leaders Seized in Frankfurt (NY Times)

“Come out, your means are limited, but ours are unlimited.” Great quote attributed to Federal Police in this article on Baader and Meins arrest.  PDF: 6-2-1972 Anarchist Leaders Seized in Frankfurt

5-29-1972 German Terrorists Threaten to Set Off Bombs in Stuttgart (AP)

Detailing threats to detonate 66 pounds of TNT in Stuttgart on June 2nd 1972 as well as other actions detailed in a telex message to Associated Press in Berlin. The RAF is described as “virtually identical” to the Baader Meinhof Gang. PDF: 5-29-1972 German Terrorists Threaten to Set Off Bombs in Stuttgart

5-26-1972 Bombings Link Probed (AP)

Another piece on Heidelberg and possible connections with attacks in France. States that The Baader Meinhoff Gang have “recently adopted ” the Red Army Faction moniker. PDF: 5-26-1972 Bombings Link Probed

5-25-1972 Three Soldiers Killed (AP)

Report on Heidelberg attacks. PDF: 5-25-1972 Three Soldiers Killed

5-17-1972 US Troops Placed on Alert after Bombing (AP)

A brief Associated Press article detailing the steps being taken by the US Army to deter future bombings. The article notes that “an anarchist group called the Red Army Faction” had taken credit for the V Corps HQ bombing in Frankfurt. PDF: 5-17-1972 US Troops Placed on Alert after Bombing

4-25-1975 German Terrorists Captured After Embassy Bomb Attack (UPI)

United Press International story in the April 25, 1975 edition of the Montreal Gazette, providing coverage of the aftermath of the disastrous Red Army Faction takeover of the West German Embassy in Stockholm. As with many article of the era, it perpetuates common misconceptions about the group (such as Ulrike Meinhof being the leader). PDF: German Terrorists [read all]

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]

April 24, 1975 Stockholm

Six Red Army Faction terrorists, most of whom were former members of the Heidelberg Socialist Patients Collective (SPK), take over the West German Embassy in Stockholm, taking 11 hostages. The terrorists are: Siegfried Hauser, Hanne-Elise Krabbe, Karl-Heinz Dellwo, Lutz Taufer, Bernhard-Maria Rössner, and Ullrich Wessel. Swedish police quickly occupy the lower portion of the embassy. [read all]

Mid-year 1974, Federal Republic of Germany

The Urban Guerrilla and Class Struggle,” an official history and manifesto of the Red Army Faction, is written by Meinhof (with major editing by Ensslin) and released. Read the full text of the manifesto.

Red Army Faction

RAF or Rote Armee Fraktion The Red Army Faction was the name that the Baader-Meinhof Gang chose for itself. The intent was to portray themselves as faction of a much larger Revolutionary army. Some in the group would later claim that the name was created almost as a joke; modeled after Japan’s “Red Army” terrorists, and also named [read all]

Kalashnikov

Members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang got their first taste of the Kalashnikov assault rifle in June of 1970 when they went to train at a Palestinian freedom fighter camp near Amman, Jordan. The durable weapon quickly became their weapon of choice. The original logo of the Red Army Faction (the Baader-Meinhof Gang) featured a Kalashnikov [read all]

Second Generation of the Red Army Faction

Die Dritte Generation Depending on the timeframe that you are studying, the members of the Red Army Faction are often described as “the first generation of the RAF,” or the “second generation of the RAF,” and so on. There are two different meanings for this talk of RAF “generations.” The first, and less prominent meaning, is articulated [read all]

Baader-Meinhof Gang

Baader-Meinhof Bande or Baader-Meinhof Gruppe Depending on how one looks at it, the Baader-Meinhof Gang came into existence on 2 April 1968, when Andreas Baader and his girlfriend, Gudrun Ensslin, firebombed Frankfurt’s Kaufhaus Schneider department store, or it came into being two years later when the famed left-wing journalist Ulrike Meinhof helped to break Baader out [read all]

The Return of the Red Army Faction?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 – Berlin. The discovery and defusing of a bomb planted in Berlin’s main train station yesterday, the third bomb in a row created apparently by left-wing extremists, unexpectedly sent shivers down my spine. A leftist group called “Hekla Reception Committee — Initiative for more Eruptions in Society ” has claimed responsibility, [read all]

July 13, 1972 Federal Republic of Germany

Lawyer and sometime Red Army Faction member Jörg Lang, who had brought Konieczny into the group, is arrested on suspicion of supplying the group with apartments.

December 1971 Frankfurt

Former film student–and current member of the Red Army Faction inner circle–Holger Meins recruits metal sculptor Dierk Hoff. Meins tells him that he needs realistic props for a film about bank robberies. Soon Hoff realizes that he is in fact expected to make real weapons and bombs, but by that time he is in too [read all]

Early December, 1971 Federal Republic of Germany

Police dragnets nab Movement 2 June member Rolf Pohle and RAF member Marianne Herzog.

November 8, 1971 Hamburg

Renate Riemack, Ulrike Meinhof’s foster mother, publishes an open letter in Meinhof’s ex-husband’s konkret. She says that that the RAF’s ideological foundations rest on false assumptions.

October 22, 1971 Hamburg

Margrit Schiller is captured by police. While arresting her, RAF members Irmgard Möller and Gerhard Müller attempt to rescue her, getting into a shootout with police. Police sergeant Heinz Lemke is shot in the foot. Sergeant Norbert Schmid is killed.

September 25, 1971 Freiburg

Two police officers, Helmut Ruf and Friedrich Ruf (not related), approach an improperly parked car on the Freiburg-Basel autobahn. RAF members Margrit Schiller and Holger Meins hop out and begin shooting. Friedrich Ruf is shot through the hand, and Helmut Ruf is seriously injured. Meins and Schiller escape.

July 25, 1971 Federal Republic of Germany

A remarkable poll by the respected Allensbach Institute is published. One in five Germans under thirty expresses “a certain sympathy” for the members of the Red Army Faction. The survey also asked “Assuming that someone from this group would ask you for shelter for the night, would you take him/her in the one night?” Five [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 24, 1971 Heidelberg

Though the SPK have progressively moved closer towards terrorism, the police are mostly unaware of it. This day police stop a couple of SPK members at a traffic checkpoint. The SPK members take off, and one of them fires a shot at the cops, hitting one in the arm. That night the police raid the [read all]

Mid-February, 1971 Heidelberg

Siegfried Hausner and Carmen Roll of the Socialists Patients Collective (SPK) attempt to bomb the train of the Federal Republic’s president. They arrive too late at the train station and their plan is thwarted. Through the coming months the SPK begins to align itself with the the Red Army Faction; soon they stop signing their [read all]

Winter 1971, Federal Republic of Germany

Ulrike Meinhof is put in charge of writing a manifesto of the group. The result, “The Concept of the Urban Guerrilla,” is released in late winter, achieving wide circulation by May. On its cover is a logo: a rifle over a star, with the letters RAF on top of them. The rifle is a Kalashnikov [read all]

September 29 1970, West Berlin

Three banks are robbed simultaneously in the early morning (a fourth bank job is canceled when the bank proves to be filled with construction workers). The robberies net over 200,000 DM. The newly-formed, yet still-unnamed “Red Army Faction” had partnered with Berlin-based revolutionary group “The June 2, Movement” to conduct the robberies.

Podcast 22: Siegfried Haag: Lawyer, Terrorist

Publicly, Siegfried Haag was a lawyer for the Red Army Faction. But secretly he was the de facto head of the terrorist organization, planning violent actions across the Federal Republic. [display_podcast]