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 deep.
June 2nd Movement members Georg von Rauch and Bommi Baumann are pulled over by a police officer. The cops lines them up on the war, but when the cop is momentarily distracted, von Rauch pulls out his own gun and begins shooting. The cop shoot von Rauch dead. Baumann gets away.
Hamburg police officer Norbert Schmid is shot and killed attempting to stop and question Baader-Meinhof Gang members Margrit Schiller and Gerhard Müller.
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.
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.
Horst Herold is selected to be Chief Commissioner of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA). He immediately goes about centralizing efforts to track down the Baader-Meinhof Gang. He builds a computer system which contains every singe fact or bit of evidence relating to the gang.
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 percent of all Germans said “yes,” they would harbor a member of the RAF, while and another nine percent said they would consider it, meaning that eight and a half million Germans out of 60 million expressed a willingness consider housing a member of an organization who were dedicated to the violent overthrow of their own government. The members of the RAF, hoping to expose what they saw as a fascist underbelly of the German state and cause ordinary Germans to rise up and revolt, are greatly encouraged by the poll results.
RAF members Petra Schelm and Werner Hoppe are stopped at a police roadblock on a bridge in Hamburg. They are driving a stolen BMW 2002 ti (which was popularly called a “Baader-Meinhof Wagen”). They burst through the barricades and are chased by two police cars. The BMW slams to a halt as the police corner them. Schelm and Hoppe jump out and run, firing their guns as they sprint away. Hoppe gets cornered by police, who arrest him. Schelm runs into an alley, and a cop corners her. She fires at him and he returns the fire. Petra Schelm, age 20, is dead.
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.
Two Berlin radicals, Thomas Weissbecker (loosely connected to the RAF and future members of Movement 2 June) and Georg von Rauch (soon to help form Movement 2 June), are in a Berlin courtroom, charged with beating a journalist from the hated Springer Press. Von Rauch is convicted and Weissbecker is acquitted, but in the confusion after the sentences are announced, von Rauch and Weissbecker (who looked quite similar) switch places and von Rauch walks out of court a free man. As soon as von Rauch had had sufficient time to escape, Weissbecker announces that he is the one who should have been released. Confused and embarrassed court personnel are forced to release him.
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 SPK offices, arresting many members. The SPK dissolves, and many of its former members resolve to go completely underground — soon joining up completely with the RAF and forming the core of the so-called “second generation of the RAF.”
Horst Mahler, Irene Goergens, and Ingrid Schubert go on trial, for their involvement in the release of Baader, in the criminal court of Moabit prison. Mahler is acquitted (though he still has two other charges pending), and Goergens and Schubert are convicted. Goergens gets six years and Schubert gets four.
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 documents “SPK,” and began signing them “RAF.”
Baader-Meinhof Gang members Manfred Grashof and Astrid Proll are stopped by two undercover police agents. Grashof pulls out a pistol (Proll is unarmed) and they both run. One of the cops fires his pistol, missing both Grashof and Proll. Partially with the aid of a sympathetic passer-by, Grashof and Proll escape.
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 Rifle, the Soviet-Bloc machine gun that they had grown to love in their Jordan training. “RAF” stands for the name the group has just christened itself as: “The Red Army Faction” (the Kalashnikov would later be replaced in the logo by the German-made Heckler and Koch machine pistol).
Two Kassel banks are raided at the same time netting 115,000 DM. For one of the bank jobs, a BMW 2000 was stolen in Frankfurt. The BMW was one of the Baader-Meinhof Gang’s favorite cars to steal; because they were fast, easy to break into, and easy to hot-wire. In the coming year the group would become so associated with the sporty little Bavarian cars that people would joke that BMW stood for “Baader-Meinhof Wagen.”
Always protective of their own sovereignty, the leaders of the various Länder (states) agree to allow a special section of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) to be created to oversee Germany’s anti-terrorism efforts. After the second World War, West Germany had been created as a loose confederation of states, with little in the way of an internal federal presence. There is no national police force on the order of America’s FBI, only the various Länder police forces. In the early 70s terrorists were able to take advantage of this decentralization by constantly traveling between the various states, whose police forces seldom shared information in a concerted manner.
But the exploits of the Baader-Meinhof Gang persuade the German states to allow for a federal intrusion on their rights. The BKA anti-terrorism commission is headed up by Alfred Klaus, who immediately set about writing a 60-page report on the group’s activity until that point.