In a hostile academic and journalistic environment, both in the USA and in Europe, characterized by statists and their fellow travelers, Rockwell showed the courage to take defiant positions. Rothbard, who both entrusted Rockwell with their intellectual heritage. Baader, who sadly passed away in aged 71, was a student of F. Hayek when the latter lectured in Freiburg.
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The chancellor, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, had been a Nazi. People started discussing this only in the 60s. We were the first generation since the war, and we were asking our parents questions. Due to the Nazi past, everything bad was compared to the Third Reich.
If you heard about police brutality, that was said to be just like the SS. The moment you see your own country as the continuation of a fascist state, you give yourself permission to do almost anything against it.
You see your action as the resistance that your parents did not put up. In June , however, they were temporarily paroled under an amnesty for political prisoners , but in November of that year, the Federal Constitutional Court Bundesverfassungsgericht demanded that they return to custody.
Eventually they made their way to Italy , where the lawyer Mahler visited them and encouraged them to return to Germany with him to form an underground guerrilla group. The Red Army Faction was formed with the intention of complementing the plethora of revolutionary and radical groups across West Germany and Europe, as a more class conscious and determined force compared with some of its contemporaries. Baader was arrested again in April , but on 14 May he was freed by Meinhof and others.
Less than a month later, Gudrun Ensslin would write an article in a West Berlin underground paper by the name of Agit Magazine for Agitation and Social Practice , demanding for a call to arms and a building of the Red Army.
The article ended with the words, "Develop the class struggles. Organize the proletariat. Start the armed resistance! Many members of the RAF operated through a single contact or only knew others by their codenames. For more long-term or core cadre members, isolated cell-like organization was absent or took on a more flexible form. The urban guerrilla follows a political goal, and only attacks the government, big businesses, and foreign imperialists.
That said, they shied away from overt collaboration with communist states , arguing along the lines of the Chinese side in the Sino-Soviet split that the Soviet Union and its European satellite states had become traitors to the communist cause by, in effect if not in rhetoric, giving the United States a free pass in their exploitation of Third World populations and support of "useful" Third World dictators. Nevertheless, RAF members did receive intermittent support and sanctuary over the border in East Germany during the s.
Anti-imperialism and public support[ edit ] The Baader-Meinhof Gang drew a measure of support that violent leftists in the United States, like the Weather Underground , never enjoyed. A poll at the time showed that a quarter of West Germans under forty felt sympathy for the gang and one-tenth said they would hide a gang member from the police.
When the gang started robbing banks, newscasts compared its members to Bonnie and Clyde. Andreas Baader, a charismatic action man indulged in the imagery, telling people that his favourite movies were Bonnie and Clyde, which had recently come out, and The Battle of Algiers. The pop poster of Che Guevara hung on his wall, while he paid a designer to make a Red Army Faction logo, a drawing of a machine gun against a red star.
Custody and the Stammheim trial[ edit ] Stammheim Prison After the arrest of the protagonists of the first generation of the RAF, they were held in solitary confinement in the newly constructed high security Stammheim Prison north of Stuttgart.
When Ensslin devised an "info system" using aliases for each member names deemed to have allegorical significance from Moby Dick ,  the four prisoners were able to communicate, circulating letters with the help of their defense counsel. To protest against their treatment by authorities, they went on several coordinated hunger strikes ; eventually, they were force-fed.
Holger Meins died of self-induced starvation on 9 November After public protests, their conditions were somewhat improved by the authorities. The so-called second generation of the RAF emerged at that time, consisting of sympathizers independent of the inmates. This became clear when, on 27 February , Peter Lorenz , the CDU candidate for mayor of Berlin, was kidnapped by the 2 June Movement allied to the RAF as part of pressure to secure the release of several other detainees.
Since none of these were on trial for murder, the state agreed, and those inmates and later Lorenz himself were released. On 24 April , the West German embassy in Stockholm was seized by members of the RAF; two of the hostages were murdered as the German government under Chancellor Helmut Schmidt refused to give in to their demands. Two of the hostage-takers died from injuries they suffered when the explosives they planted mysteriously detonated later that night. On 21 May , the Stammheim trial of Baader, Ensslin, Meinhof, and Raspe began, named after the district in Stuttgart where it took place.
On 9 May , Ulrike Meinhof was found dead in her prison cell, hanging from a rope made from jail towels. An investigation concluded that she had hanged herself, a result hotly contested at the time, triggering a plethora of so-called conspiracy theories. Other theories suggest that she took her life because she was being ostracized by the rest of the group. There is, however, evidence to the contrary of this hypothesis. During the trial, more attacks took place. One of these was on 7 April , when Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback , his driver, and his bodyguard were shot and killed by two RAF members while waiting at a red traffic light.
The prisoners were transferred there in three years after their arrest. The roof and the courtyard were covered with steel mesh. During the night, the precinct was illuminated by fifty-four spotlights and twenty-three neon bulbs. Special military forces, including snipers, guarded the roof.
Four hundred police officers along with the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution patrolled the building. The mounted police officers rotated on a double shift. One hundred more GSG-9 tactical police officers reinforced the police during the trial while BKA detectives guarded the front of the court area. Finally, helicopters overflew the area. The police noted their data and the number-plate and photographed their cars.
After that they had to pass three verification audits, and finally they were undressed and two judicial officials thoroughly searched their bodies. They were allowed to keep only a pencil and a notepad inside the court. Their personal items including their identities were withheld by the authorities during the trial. Every journalist could attend the trial only twice two days.
The Times questioned the possibility whether a fair trial could be conducted under these circumstances which involved siege-like conditions.
Der Spiegel wondered whether that atmosphere anticipated "the condemnation of the defendants who were allegedly responsible for the emergency measures. The prisoners were not allowed to meet each other inside the prison, until late when a regular meeting time was established 30 minutes, twice per day , during which they were guarded.
Trial[ edit ] The judges and their pasts are considered important by supporters of the accused. Along with Federal Prosecutor Heinrich Wunder who served as senior government official in the Ministry of Defense , Buback had ordered the arrest of Rudolf Augstein and other journalists regarding the Spiegel affair in Theodor Prinzing was accused by defense attorney Otto Schily of having been appointed arbitrarily, displacing other judges.
They were often expelled from the hall, and other actions were taken. It was later revealed that the conversation they had between themselves as well as with their attorneys were recorded. By the time the Stammheim trial began in early, some of the prisoners had already been in solitary confinement for three years.
Their statements were often contradictory, something that was also commented on in the newspapers. Ruhland himself later reported to Stern that his deposition was prepared in cooperation with police. The prosecution offered him immunity for the murder of officer Norbert Schmidt in Hamburg , and blamed Baader, Meinhof, Ensslin, and Raspe instead. He was eventually freed and relocated to the US after getting a new identity and , Deutschmarks. Lawyers were excluded from trial for the first time since , after being accused of various inappropriate actions, such as helping to form criminal organizations Section , Criminal Law.
Minister of Justice Hans-Jochen Vogel stated proudly that no other Western state had such extensive regulation to exclude defense attorneys from a trial. Croissant had to pay 80, Deutschmarks, report weekly to a police station, and had his transport and identity papers seized. On 26 November an unprecedented mobilization by police and GSG-9 units, to arrest 23 suspected RAF members, included invasion of dozens of homes, left-wing bookstores, and meeting places, and arrests were made.
No guerrillas were found. Defense strategy[ edit ] The general approach by defendants and their attorneys was to highlight the political purpose and characteristics of RAF. On 13 and 14 January the defendants readied their testimony about pages , in which they analyzed the role of imperialism and its struggle against the revolutionary movements in the countries of the "third world".
They also expounded the fascistization of West Germany and its role as an imperialistic state alliance with the U. Finally they talked about the task of urban guerrillas and undertook the political responsibility for the bombing attacks.
They claimed that since the military intervention in Vietnam by the U. Later when their requests were rejected, U. Peck concluded that the RAF "was the response to criminal aggression of the U. The real terrorist was my government. He had also observed the Stammheim trial and referred to a CIA instructor teaching them how to make a murder look like a suicide.
Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. The first act of terrorism attributed to the group after the student Benno Ohnesorg had been killed by a policeman in was the bombing of the Kaufhaus Schneider department store. Prominent members of the bombing included Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin , two of the founders of the Baader-Meinhof gang.
The bombs detonated at midnight when no one was in the store, thus no one was injured. As the bombs ignited, Gudrun Ensslin was at a nearby payphone, yelling to the German Press Agency , "This is a political act of revenge. The result was the killing of Irwin Beelitz, a German boat maker.
The 2 June Movement wing of the group claimed responsibility for the bombing, voicing that the reason behind the bombing was a political statement in support of the Irish Republican Army.
The bombing resulted in the death of a U. S officer and the injury of 13 other people. The stated reason for the bombing was a political statement in protest of U. S imperialism, specifically, a protest of several mining facilities that belonged to the U. S in North Vietnam harbors. Only three of the five bombs exploded, but it was enough to injure 36 people. The bombing resulted in the death of three U.
S officers and the injury of five others. The killing occurred after a string of events that led to a failed kidnapping by the 2 June Movement, a group that splintered off the Baader-Meinhof group after the death of Holger Meins by hunger strike in prison.
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