See also: RAF
The Red Army Fraction , originally in German Rote Armed Fraktion , also known under the Initials RAF , was a revolutionary organization of Extreme left which operated in West Germany during the Années 1970 and 1980, contributing to the climate of the years of lead. One also knows it under the name of band in Baader , of the name of his chief Andreas Baader, or under the name of group Baader-Meinhof of the name of the other historical founder of the group, Ulrike Meinhof.
OriginsAbout the middle of the years 1960, the student movements (which had been born in the USA mainly to protest against the Guerre of Vietnam and for obtaining the civic rights by the population of color) also appeared in Germany. Just like later in France right before May 1968, the revolt related on several subjects, in particular to the methods of teaching of the university. The preferred slogan launched by the students with the professors who made their solemn entry in procession was then Unter den Talaren, der Muff von Tausend Jahren (" under the traditional capes of the professors, one finds only the foul air of the thousand last années"). After the great parties had decided to form a great coalition (SPD + CSU) the 1st décembbre 1966, only the liberal small part FDP remained in string, the groupings of students decided to create a " extra-parlementaire" opposition; ( Außerparlamentarische Opposition - APO). Before even this founding document, the demonstrations reached their paroxysm. The official visit in Germany of the Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi (who had crushed the opposition in his own country with an extreme brutality) and of his wife Farah Diba in May 1967, started a wave of demonstrations. At the time of the one of them, supporters of the Shah attacked students without the police force not reacting and on June 2nd, 1967, a student, Benno Ohnesorg, was killed out of a ball drawn by a police officer.
It is considered that the RAF was born on April 2nd, 1968. The creation of the terrorist organization and her violence are related to the context in Germany at that time. Indeed, part of the young Germans requires of the former generation of the accounts on its role during the time Nazi. Supported on an ideology of inspiration Maoist of urban guerilla warfare, refusing the theorization to privilege the practice, it proceeded to many attacks, but especially to removals and assassinations spectacular which defrayed the chronicle until March 1998 (date of signature of the act of car-dissolution of the group).
The terrorist activityAfter takehaving already taken some various actions, Gudrun Ensslin, Andreas Baader and two other less known members of the RAF, Thorwald Proll and Horst Söhnlein exploded about midnight of the artisanal incendiary bombs in supermarkets of Francfort-sur-le-Main which caused evaluated damage with 700.000 DM. At that time, the RAF did not employ violent methods towards the people. It is only Thursday May 14th 1970, during the release of their chief Andreas Baader, who had been stopped by chance by the police force whereas it tried to get weapons, that a policeman was killed. Several personalities of high ranking are assassinated, of which the federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback, carried out in April 1977 with its driver and his bodyguard.
Majority of the militants of the first generation, whose Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, were stopped in June 1972 and were imprisoned with the district of high security of the prison of Stuttgart-Stammheim. In November 1974, Holger Meins dies in prison after several weeks of Hunger strike. In May 1976, Ulrike Meinhof is found hung in its cell after conditions of total sensory insulation.
To obtain the release of its members held with the prison of Stuttgart-Stammheim, the RAF kidnaps the president of German employers Hans Martin Schleyer on September 5th, 1977. He is denounced like former member of the Nazi party and the S. The October 13rd, a plane of the Lufthansa is diverted by a Palestinian name of “Halimeh Martyr”, fascinating commando in Otage S more than one hundred of passengers and hijacking the plane on Mogadiscio in Somalia. The taking of hostages ends the October 18th with the intervention of the German special forces during which three of the four members of the Palestinian commando are killed. The same day, the German authorities announce the death of Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, the partner of Baader, and Jan-Carl Jaspe, officially “committed suicide”.
Imprisoned at the sides of his/her comrades, Irmgard Möller was as for it seriously wounded. She will affirm later that it was acted in fact of Assassinat S orchestrated by Bonn. In reprisal, the RAF announces the following day the death of Hans Martin Schleyer. Its body is found the following day in the trunk of a car in Mulhouse, in France. Brigitte Mohnhaupt is implied inter alia in this murder, it is regarded then as the most dangerous woman of Germany. The November 12th, it is with the turn of Ingrid Schubert to be found hung in its cell.
The thesis of the assassinations is supported by the testimony of Irmgard Möller, another militant of the RAF imprisoned with the prison of Stammhein at the same time as Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof and which was victim of an attempted murder in its cell the day of died of its fellows-prisoner (seriously wounded several stabs in the chest). One spoke about psychological torture with sensory deprivation.
The terrorism of the RAF was the most difficult test for the German Federal republic since 1949, date of its creation. Vis-a-vis the attacks, the government hardened the laws and extended police controls.
End of the groupGDR tolerated and even helped, the activities of the Red Army Fraction. In October 1980, it accommodates on its territory eight members of the RAF in escape. Among them, Susanne Albrecht is, mélée with the assassination of Jürgen Ponto, owner of Dresdner Bank. The Communist regime of GDR grants new identity papers to them. The former terrorists carry out a quiet existence until the German reunification. In 1984, the RAF is combined with the French group Direct action within the framework of the strategy of “unit of the revolutionists in Western Europe”. It is then combined with the red Brigades Italian in 1988, before dissolving in 1998.
The bunch is discredited even more after the fall of the Berlin Wall. November 30th, 1989, three weeks after the fall of the Wall, the owner of the Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen is assassinated. This act is asserted at once by the RAF.
The group remained during all its existence relatively marginal and touched only little the German working class. There however remains a symbol of the individual sacrifice for the radical change of the company, and has in this influenced direction of many people and movements. Between 1970 and 1998, creation dates and official dissolution of the movement, this one counted the maximum only 60 and to 80 active members. In this direction, one can regard it as a libertarian intellectual group using the violent action. The RAF assassinated 34 people. Today, the RAF is mainly seen like an organization known as " terroriste" and not a revolutionary protest movement. The controversies also relate to the fate to grant to the last two prisoners of this movement.
- 1st generation: Brigitte Asdonk, Andreas Baader, Monika Berberich, Gudrun Ensslin, Irene Goergens, Peter Homann, Horst Mahler, Ulrike Meinhof, Holger Meins, Irmgard Möller, Thorwald Proll, Jan Carl Raspe, Petra Schelm, Ingrid Schubert, Horst Söhnlein; then Karl-Heinz Dellwo, Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Helmut Pohl, Lutz Taufer
- Ulrich Wessel and Siegfried Hausner - died in the explosion of their bomb in the German embassy of Stockholm at the time of the occupation, action in which took part also Hanna Krabbe, Karl-Heinz Dellwo, Lutz Taufer and Bernhard Rössner recruited by Siegfried Haag, the former lawyer of A. Baader, passed in clandestinity.
2nd generation: Susanne Albrecht, Verena Becker, Henning Beer, Peter-Jürgen Boock, Sigurd Debus, Christine Dümlein, Knut Folkerts, Ralf-Baptist Friedrich, Rolf Heißler, Monika Helbing, Sieglinde Hoffmann, Christian Klar, Gabriele Kröcher-Tiedemann, Werner Lotze, Silke Maier-Witt, Adelheid Schulz, Sigrid Sternebeck, Inge Viett, Stefan Wisiniewski
3rd generation: Burkhard Garweg, Wolfgang Grams, Eva Haule, Birgit Hogefeld, Daniela Klette, Ernst-Volker Staub
Victims of the RAF
Among the various personalities assassinated by the RAF, one can quote:
- Ernst Zimmermann (president of the Aerospace , February 1st 1985)
- Beckurts (president of the nuclear commission and leader of Siemens, July 9th 1986)
- Von Braunmühl (directing policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, October 10th 1986)
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