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]
A UPI article appearing in Stars and Stripes detailing the angry and defiant comments of an imprisoned Ulrike Meinhof during the trial of Horst Mahler. The article is notable because Meinhof outlines the strategy of the RAF; “what we have done is an encouragement to leftists, we always knew we would meet defeat.” PDF: 12-15-1972 Miss [read all]
A United Press International article, appearing in Stars and Stripes, describing the testimony of former Baader-Meinhof group member Peter Homann. Homann testified about the training that group received in the Jordanian desert. PDF: 10-19-1972 Meinhof Al Fatah Ties Described
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 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
An Associated Press article appearing in Stars and Stripes detailing the arrest of Ulrike Meinhof. PDF: 6-18-1972 German Gang Fem Leader Seized
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
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)
Report on sentencing of Ulrike Meinhof, Horst Mahler and Hans-Juergen Backer in November 1974. PDF: 11-30-1974 German Guerrilla Leader Draws 8 Year Prison Term (UPI)
PDF: 10-28-1977 Defender of German Terrorists (NY Times)
PDF: 10-24-1977 Violence Provokes Wide Debate in West German Society (NY Times)
PDF: 10-21-1977 Red Army Guerrillas Waging German Battle (AP)
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)
Short article on The RAF claiming responsibility for the Frankfurt attacks. PDF: 5-25-1972 German Bomb Acts Claimed by Guerrillas (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)
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)
A virually identical article to the previous post. PDF: 4-25-1975 GermanTerroristCaptured (UPI)
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
An updated version of the previous article which names two suspected members of the group that seized the embassy. PDF: 4-24-1975 Five Terrorists Seize Embassy
A quite long, omnibus-style Lost Angeles Times article exploring the Baader-Meinhof Group, written at the height of their public support and well before their bombing campaign of the following May. The article lays out the false “Bonnie and Clyde” meme probably more completely than any other source. Early western media reports were obsessed with equating [read all]
Repot on the imminent creation of a “terrorist troupe” by the Bonn government. PDF: 3-11-1973 Bonn Will Set up Antiterror Unit
A New York Times article detailing recent violence attributed to the Baader-Meinhof Gang. PDF: 12-21-1972 Violent Crime Wave Stirs Debate in Germany
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
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
This tiny little notice in the NY Times almost comically drips with condescension; right down to the headline. One could argue level the humorous skepticism was entirely warranted. The Red Army Faction really did have essentially zero chance of overthrowing the state. But the NY Times almost certainly would not have been quite as condescending if [read all]
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
Another arrest article using the same sources. PDF: 6-4-1972 Making Revolution
“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
A great and concise summary of events up to and including the Heidelberg bombing, including short biographies of Badder and Meinhoff. It also mentions both the Petra Schelm and Thomas Welsbecker Commando as well as Bonn’s plans to deal with the “inner enemy”. PDF: 5-28-1972 Bonn gets warning of more bombings
A United Press International article detailing the initial takeover of the West Germany Embassy in Stockholm by the Red Army Faction. PDF 4-24-1975 Five Terrorists Seize Embassy
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]
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]
The strange saga of Ulrike Meinhof’s brain. How the brain of the world’s most famous terrorist ended up sitting on a doctor’s shelf for 25 years, and what we learned from it.
A young house painter, Joseph Bachmann, waits patiently in the street outside the home of Rudi Dutschke. Dutschke is the firebrand leader of the APO — a leftist movement. In Bachmann’s coat pocket is a gun. Bachmann shoots Dutschke three times, knocking him clean out of his shoes. Dutschke survives his shooting. Immediately following the [read all]
A film written by Ulrike Marie Meinhof Directed by Eberhard Itzenplitz 1970 – Südwestfunks Public Broadcaster The television film “bambule” is intricately connected to the history of the Baader-Meinhof group; its deep connection is what turned this minor TV film film into one of the great “lost” films for almost 25 years. (The lowercase “b” was [read all]
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.
Ulrike Meinhof is sentenced to eight years imprisonment for her part in the 1970 freeing of Andreas Baader. Horst Mahler is given an additional 4 years (for a total of 12 years), and Hans- Jürgen Bäcker is found not guilty.
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]
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.
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: Tote, 1, 2, und 3 1988. Oil on Canvas 62 cm X 73 cm These three paintings are alternately-sized versions of the same source photo. The original image is of the dead body of Ulrike Meinhof, who hung herself in her Stammheim prison cell on Mother’s Day in 1976. The original image is shocking, [read all]
title: Youth Portrait (Jugendbildnis) 1988. Oil on Canvas 72.5 cm X 62 cm Youth Portrait is derived from a photo of Ulrike Meinhof that had been mistakenly identified by Richter and others as a youth “glamour” photo of Meinhof. According Robert Storr’s MOMA book about the exhibit, Meinhof’s former husband Klaus Rainer Röhl indicates that the [read all]
In the late fifties Klaus Rainer Röhl founded a student magazine called the studentkurier, whose name he later changed tokonkret. Röhl later revealed that konkret was almost wholly subsidized in its early years by huge cash infusions from communist East German sources. As aggressively Marxist as it was aggressively hip, konkret attempted to defy many of the traditional conventions of [read all]
Everybody Talks about the Weather… We don’t. All reden vom Wetter… Wir nicht “Everybody talks about the Weather… We Don’t” is a phrased derived from a German national rail service (Deutsche Bahn) poster of the mid 1960s, that was later co-opted for a poster by the German student organization, the SDS. The original poster shows [read all]
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]
Peter Homann was a journalist and friend of Ulrike Meinhof in the late 1960s. After Meinhof helped free Andreas Baader from police custody in May of 1970, Homann traveled with the new terror group to Jordan for guerrilla training. While in Jordan, Homann learned that other in the group suspect him of being a traitor, [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]
Ulrike Meinhof stops all contact with her children. Her beloved “mice,” Bettina and Regine, never see their mother again.
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]
Meinhof is transferred from Ossendorf Prison to Zweibrücken Prison to take part in an identification line-up. Meinhof is determined to ruin the process by screaming “I’M ULRIKE MEINHOF!” The police instruct the other women in the line-up to follow suit; the witnesses are treated the unforgettable spectacle of six women screaming and clawing at their [read all]
Ulrike Meinhof and Gerhard Müller spent the past two days at the apartment of a teacher, who was a friend of one of Ulrike’s Schili connections. At first the teacher does not realize exactly who is sleeping under his roof, but he takes his suspicions to his girlfriend the next morning and then to the [read all]
Ulrike Meinhof, Siegfried Hausner, Klause Jünschke, and Ilse Stachowiak place six bombs in the Hamburg offices of the Springer Press. Three fail to explode, but the other three bombs blow up around 3:15 PM, injuring 17 people. “The 2 July Commando” claims responsibility.
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]
1934 to 1967, 14 pages: Chapter One steps well back from the May 1970 anecdote in the introduction and briefly tells the story of Ulrike Meinhof. It describes Meinhof’s beginnings: her father and mother dying while she was young, her being raised as a teen by a renowned Socialist philosopher. She marries a publisher of [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]
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.
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]
Filming begins on “Bambule,” a television film scripted by Ulrike Meinhof. The film is about a riot among the residents of a girls youth home. Elsewhere in Berlin the brilliant leftist lawyer Horst Mahler begins to formulate a plan: he wants to create an Urban Guerrilla group modeled on Uruguay’s Tupamaros. Unlike the West Berlin [read all]
Ulrike Meinhof, having grown increasingly disillusioned with her life, divorces her husband, Klaus Rainer Röhl, and moves to Berlin. She continues to write for a while for Röhl’s konkret, but soon quits. Her fashionable Berlin apartment becomes a hangout for many in the left-wing Berlin scene.
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]
Stefan Aust, former editor of konkret, former friend of Ulrike Meinhof, and future biographer of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, meets up with group member Peter Homann, who had been kicked out of the group in Jordan. Homann tells Aust of Meinhof’s two daughters, Bettina and Regine, who are secretly being cared for by two hippies at [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]
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.
Ulrike Meinhof moves from her Dahlem apartment to an apartment on the fashionable Ku-Damm street, along with her twin daughters Bettina and Regine. Filming ends on “Bambule” and editing begins in preparation for a May air date.
The deadly Arizona shooting offers interesting and tragic parallels to the heated environment and rhetoric that helped give birth to the era of the Baader-Meinhof Gang. [display_podcast]
Forty years ago today Ulrike Meinhof helped break Andreas Baader from police custody, giving birth to the Baader-Meinhof Gang. [display_podcast]
Professor Sarah Colvin talks about her fantastic new book exploring the language of Ulrike Meinhof. [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]