The Baader-Meinhof Gang 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 Meinhof

became konkret’s editor. Röhl and Meinhof have twin girls, Bettina and Regine, on 21 September, 1962.

Meinhof drifted away from Röhl, and towards the radical fringe of the student movement. She left her husband in the late sixties. On 14 May, 1970, she participated in the freeing of Andreas Baader, giving birth to the so-called “Baader-Meinhof Gang.” Though partially named after her, Meinhof was not, as is often assumed, the co-leader of the gang (Baader, along with his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin, led the group, with Meinhof, Jan-Carl Raspe, and others comprising a second tier of leadership). She spent the next two years on the run, robbing banks and bombing buildings, before being captured on 15 June, 1972.

While in prison over the next four years, Meinhof grew increasingly depressed as the other gang members ostracize her. She hung herself in her cell on 9 May, 1976 (though some have questioned this official explanation and instead suspect that she was murdered by the state).