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Gangs & Gangsters: Baader Meinhof & Red Army Faction
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★ Gangs & Gangsters: Baader Meinhof & Red Army Faction

Gangs & Gangsters: Baader-Meinhof & Red Army Faction: see Gangs: Germany & Gangs & Left Wing & Terrorism & Crime & Bomb & Germany

Adam Curtis TV - Stefan Aust - Fred Kaplan - The Week onine article - The Baader Meinhof Complex 2005 - States of Terror: Betrayal TV - 

 

 

 

They were known as the Red Army Faction.  The Red Army faction embarked on a series of bombings and shoot-outs with the police.  Their strategy was to use violence to provoke the state into exposing its true identity.  But as the violence escalated, some of the terrorist leaders began to have doubts.  Adam Curtis, The Living Dead I: On the Desperate Edge of Now, BBC 1995

 

 

The members of the Red Army Faction were now planting bombs and robbing banks all across West Germany.  They announced that they had now become Moaists, followers of Moa Zedong, and they were going to awaken the popular masses.  The government were desperate to catch them.  Adam Curtis, Can’t Get You Out of My Head II: Shooting and Fucking are the Same Thing, BBCiplayer 2021

 

 

World War II was only twenty years earlier.  Those in charge of the police, the schools, the government – they were the same people who’d been in charge under Nazism.  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.  Stefan Aust, author Der Baader Meinhof Komplex

 

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.  Prominent intellectuals spoke up for the gang’s righteousness (as) Germany even into the 1970s was still a guilt-ridden society.  When the gang started robbing banks, newscasts compared its members to Bonnie and Clyde.  (Andreas) Baader, a charismatic, spoiled psychopath, 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.  ibid.

 

 

When the film opened in Germany last year, some younger viewers came out of theaters crestfallen that the Red Army Faction members, still mythologized, were such dead-enders.  Some who were older complained that the film had made the gang look too attractive.  But they were dead-enders, and they were attractive.  A film about them, or any other popular terrorist movement, has to account for both facts if it seeks to explain not just their crimes but also their existence.  Fred Kaplan, The New York Times

 

 

A violent, leftist collective consisting of some 60 people with roots in the revolutionary student movement that swept Europe and the US in 1967-8.  Its legacy of self-styled ‘armed resistance’ – assassinations, kidnaps and bombings of the German establishment – has been argued over ever since.  The Red Army Faction (RAF), as it formally called itself, was founded in 1970 by Andreas Baader, his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin (pictured) and Ulrike Meinhof, a left-wing journalist.  It started by burning down department stores, then moved on to full-scale terrorism.  In ever more brutal attacks, the group killed a total of 34 people, mainly bankers, government officials, their chauffeurs and bodyguards.  Thirteen gang members also died.  Baader, Meinhof and Ensslin, were arrested in 1972 and prosecuted in 1975.  Meinhof killed herself during the gang’s three-year, chaotic trial.  The Week online article, The Baader Meinhof Gang

 

 

Do you think the Americans are acting out of concern for others?  Those pigs only want control of the Middle East oilfields!  They couldn’t give a shit if 10,000 people died!  The Baader Meinhof Complex 2005 [Der Baader Meinhof Komplex] starring Moritz Bleibtreu & Martina Gedeck & Johanna Wokalek & Nadja Uhl & Simon Licht & Alexandra Maria Lara & Susanne Bormann & Bruno Ganz et al, director Uli Edel

 

We did it to protest against the apathy with which people sit back and watch the genocide in Vietnam.  ibid.

 

Free yourself from the system and burn your bridges behind you. ibid.

 

We say the man in uniform is a pig, not a human being.  ibid.  Ulrika

 

We fight oppression and injustice with our comrades around the world.  ibid.

 

Today, three banks in West Berlin were robbed within ten minutes.  ibid.  news

 

We will continue to carry out bombings against judges and prosecutors until they cease violating the rights of political prisoners.  ibid.  statement

 

The question is whether terrorism represents a new form of warfare.  ibid.  rozzer

 

 

This is the weapon Silke Mayer Witt took with her during the whole time she was a terrorist: it’s a 45 automatic weapon taking seven bullets.  States of Terror: Betrayal, BBC 1993

 

For nearly 15 years Silke Maier Witt was one of Germany’s most wanted and dangerous terrorists.  The group to which she belonged – the Red Army Faction – paralyzed West Germany, assassinated its leaders and shook the state to its foundations.  ibid.

 

1972 West Germany: There was a shoot-out and siege; the terrorists were known as the Baader Meinhof gang.  Already they had murdered five people and injured fifty-four.  The group was named after two of its leaders … Their aim: to destroy capitalism.  ibid.