Red Army Faction

Red Army Faction

Infobox terrorist organization
name = Red Army Faction

caption = Later design of the RAF's insignia showing a Red Star and MP5
dates = 1970 – 1998
leader =
motives = Armed resistance to perceived fascist tendencies
area = West Germany
ideology = Far left
crimes = Numerous bombings and assassinations
attacks = West German embassy siege, German Autumn
status = Final action and confrontations in 1993. Apparently officially disbanded on 20 April 1998.

The Red Army Faction or RAF (German "Rote Armee Fraktion") (in its early stages commonly known as Baader-Meinhof Group [or "Gang"] ), was one of postwar West Germany's most active and prominent militant left-wing groups. It described itself as a communist "urban guerrilla" group engaged in armed resistance, while it was described by the West German government as a terrorist group. The RAF was formally founded in 1970 by Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Mahler, Ulrike Meinhof, Irmgard Möller and others.The Red Army Faction operated from the late 1960s to 1998, committing numerous crimes, especially in the autumn of 1977, which led to a national crisis that became known as "German Autumn". It was responsible for 34 deaths including many secondary targets such as chauffeurs and bodyguards—and many injuries in its almost 30 years of existence. Amidst widespread media controversy, the German president had considered pardoning RAF member Christian Klar, who filed a pardon application years ago, but on 7 May 2007 this was denied. RAF member Brigitte Mohnhaupt was granted a release on a five year parole by a German court on 12 February 2007 and Eva Haule was released Friday 17 August 2007.


quote =The Red Army Faction's Urban Guerilla Concept is not based on an optimistic view of the prevailing circumstances in the Federal Republic and West Berlin
cite ="The Urban Guerrilla Concept" authored by R.A.F co-founder Ulrike Meinhof (April 1971)

The origins of the group can be traced back to the student protest movement in West Germany. Industrialised nations in late 1960s experienced massive social upheavals stemming from dissatisfaction with capitalist society among both workers and students. Newly-found youth identity and issues such as racism, women's liberation and anti-imperialism were at the forefront of radical politics. Algeria and Cuba were still consolidating their revolutions and socialist-infused national liberation movements were engaging colonial and post-colonial regimes across the globe.

The Communist Party of Germany had been outlawed since 1956. Elected and unelected government positions down to the local level were often occupied by ex-Nazis. [Center for Corporate History, [ "Allianz in the Years 1933–1945 - Limits of denazification"] ; Lord Paddy Ashdown, [ "Winning the Peace"] , BBC World Service Website.] There was anger at the varying levels of post-war denazification in West and East Germany, which was seen by some [Mary Lean, [ "One Family's Berlin"] , "Initiatives of Change", 1 August 1988; " [ The Sovietization of East German, Czech, and Polish Higher Education, 1945–1956] ". (Denazification varied greatly across occupied/post-occupied Europe.)] as ineffective (Konrad Adenauer, the first Federal Republic chancellor had even kept on the Nazi chancellery secretary, Hans Globke).

The conservative media were considered biased by the radicals as they were owned and controlled by conservatives such as Axel Springer, who was implacably opposed to student radicalism. The late-1960s saw the emergence of the Grand Coalition between the two main parties—the SPD and CDU with Kurt Georg Kiesinger, a former Nazi Party member as chancellor. This horrified many on the left and was viewed as monolithic, political marriage of convenience with pro-NATO, pro-capitalist collusion on the part of the social democratic SPD. With 95% of the Bundestag controlled by the coalition, the APO or 'Extra-Parliamentary Opposition' was formed with the intent of generating protest and political activity outside of government. [Harold Marcuse, [ "The Revival of Holocaust Awareness in West Germany, Israel and the United States"] .] In 1972 a law was passed—the Berufsverbot, which banned radicals or those with a 'questionable' political persuasion from public sector jobs. [Arthur B. Gunlicks, [ "Civil Liberties in the German Public Service"] , "The Review of Politics", Vol. 53 No. 2, Spring 1991. (extract)]

"They’ll kill us all. You know what kind of pigs we’re up against. This is the Auschwitz generation. You can’t argue with people who made Auschwitz. They have weapons and we haven’t. We must arm ourselves!"—Gudrun Ensslin speaking after the death of Benno Ohnesorg.Fact|date=June 2008

Young people were alienated from both their parents and the institutions of state. The historical legacy of fascism drove a wedge between the generations and increased suspicion of authoritarian structures in society (Some analysts see the same occurring in Italy, giving rise to "Brigate Rosse" or Red Brigades).Townshend, Charles. "Terrorism, A Very Short Introduction". Oxford University Press ISBN 0192801686.] The radicalized took the view that West Germany did not need to be an out-and-out totalitarian state and were, like many in the new left influenced by:

*Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S. together with the background of counter-cultural movements.
*Post-war writings on class society and empire as well as contemporary Marxist critiques from many revolutionaries such as Franz Fanon, Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara as well as early Autonomism
*Schools of philosophy such as the Frankfurt school, Critical theorists and associated Marxian philosophers. [Peter-Erwin Jansen, [ "Student Movements in Germany, 1968-1984"] , "Negations" ( [ E-journal] ), No. 3, Fall 1998.]

Some of the RAF founders such as Meinhof were already scholars in their own right and also took inspiration from their own personal experiences and assessments of the socio-economic situation.

It is claimed that property destruction during the Watts Riots in the United States in 1965 influenced the practical and ideological approach of the RAF founders as well as some of those in Situationist circles. [Scribner, Charity. "Buildings on Fire: The Situationist International and the Red Army Faction". "Grey Room", Winter 2007, pp. 30–55.] .

Antonio Gramsci [ [ Interview with Action Direct member Joelle Aubron] regarding early influences on European guerrilla groups - retrieved 2007-08-31.] and Herbert Marcuse [Red Army Faction, [ "The Urban Guerilla Concept"] (many of the documents of this period are ascribed to Ulrike Meinhof) - see also attached notes - retrieved 2007-08-31.; Peter-Erwin Jansen, [ "Student Movements in Germany, 1968-1984"] , "Negations" ( [ E-journal] ), No. 3, Fall 1998.] were very influential. Gramsci wrote on power, cultural and ideological conflicts in society and institutions—real-time class struggles playing out in rapidly developing industrial nation states though interlinked areas of political behaviour, Marcuse on coercion and hegemony in that cultural indoctrination and ideological manipulation through the means of communication—"repressive tolerance"—expended the need for complete brute force in modern 'liberal democracies'. His "One-Dimensional Man" was addressed to the restive students of the Sixties. Marcuse argued that only marginal groups of students and poor, alienated workers could effectively resist the system. [Bullock et al, "The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thinkers", Fontana Press 1989. ISBN 0006369650.] Both Gramsci and Marcuse came to the conclusion that the 'superstructure' of society was vitally important in the understanding of class control (and acquiescence) in society. This could perhaps be seen as an extension of Marx's work as he did not cover this area in detail. Das Kapital, his mainly economic work was meant to be one of a series of books which would have included one on the state, [Michael A. Lebowitz, "Beyond Capital—Marx's Political Economy of the Working Class", Palgrave 2003, p. 27. ISBN 0333964306.] but his death prevented fulfilment of this.

Many of the radicals felt that Germany's lawmakers were continuing authoritarian policies and the public's apparent 'acquiescence' was seen as a continuation of the indoctrination the Nazis had pioneered in society (Volksgemeinschaft). The Federal Republic was exporting arms to African dictatorships, was seen as supporting the war in Southeast Asia and engineering the remilitarization of Germany with the U.S-led entrenchment against the Warsaw Pact nations.

Ongoing events further catalyzed the situation. Peaceful protests turned into riots on 2 June 1967, when Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, visited West Berlin. The Shah's security were armed with wooden staves and were free to beat protesters. After a day of angry protests by exiled Persians, a group widely supported by German students, the Shah visited the Berlin Opera, where a crowd of student protesters gathered. During the opera house demonstrations, a German student Benno Ohnesorg—who was attending his first protest rally—was shot in the head by a police officer. The officer was acquitted in a subsequent trial.

Along with perceptions of state and police brutality, and widespread opposition to the Vietnam War, Ohnesorg's death galvanised many young Germans, and became a rallying point for the West German New Left. It influenced the creation of the Movement 2 June, a militant-Anarchist group which took its name from the date of Ohnesorg's death.

Before that the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force had never been put into question by German oppositionists after 1945. In the spring of 1968 Gudrun Ensslin and Andreas Baader, who were joined by Thorwald Proll, Horst Söhnlein decided to walk the walk and set fire to two department stores in Frankfurt as a protest against the Vietnam war. Two days later, on 2 April 1968, they were arrested.".

Meanwhile, on 11 April 1968, Rudi Dutschke, a leading intellectual and spokesman for the protesting students, was shot in the head in an assassination attempt by the right-wing extremist Josef Bachmann. Although badly injured, Dutschke returned to political activism until his death in 1979, which was a late consequence of his injuries.

Axel Springer's populist newspaper "Bild-Zeitung", which had headlines such as "Stop Dutschke now!", was accused of being the chief culprit for inciting the shooting. Meinhof commented: "If one sets a car on fire, that is a criminal offence. If one sets hundreds of cars on fire, that is political action."Fact|date=June 2008

Formation of the RAF

All four of the defendants were convicted of arson and endangering human life for which they were sentenced to three years in prison. In June 1969, 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. Only Horst Söhnlein complied with the order; the rest went underground and made their way to France, where they stayed for a time in a house owned by prominent French journalist and revolutionary, Régis Debray. Eventually, they made their way to Italy, where Mahler visited them and encouraged them to return to Germany with him to form an underground guerilla group.

The Red Army Faction was formed with the intention of complementing the plethora of revolutionary and radical groups across West Germany and Europe and was to be a more class conscious and determined force compared with some of its immediate contemporaries. The members and supporters were already associated with the 'Revolutionary Cells' and Movement 2 June as well as radical currents and phenomena such as the Socialist Patients' Collective, Kommune 1 and the Situationists. The main R.A.F protagonists trained in the West Bank and Gaza with the PFLP guerrillas and looked to the Palestinian cause for inspiration and guidance. The organisation and outlook was partly modelled on the Uruguayan Tupamaros movement, which had developed as an urban resistance movement—effectively inverting Che Guevara's Mao-like concept of a peasant or rural-based guerrilla war and instead situating the struggle in the metropole or cities. Many members of the R.A.F operated through a single contact or only knew others by their codenames. Actions were carried out by active units called 'commandos', with trained members being supplied by a quartermaster in order to carry out their mission. For more long-term or core cadre members, isolated cell-like organisation was absent or took on a more flexible form.

In 1969 the Brazilian revolutionary Carlos Marighella published his "Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla". [Carlos Marighella, [ "Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla"] , at] He described the urban guerrilla as:

"...a person who fights the military dictatorship with weapons, using unconventional methods. ...The urban guerrilla follows a political goal, and only attacks the government, the big businesses and the foreign imperialists."

The importance of small arms training, sabotage, expropriation, and a substantial safehouse/support base among the urban population was exhorted in Marighella's guide. This publication was an antecedent to Meinhof's 'The Urban Guerrilla Concept' and has subsequently influenced many guerrilla and insurgent groups around the globe. [ Marxists internet archive. Marighella summary on influence - retrieved 2007-08-31; Christopher C. Harmon, [ "Work in Common: Democracies and Opposition to Terrorism"] , "Papers & Studies", Bangladesh Institute of International & Strategic Studies, July 2002 - note 9 and corresponding text - restricted access on this website 2008-06-21.] Although some of the Red Army Faction's supporters and operatives could be described as having an anarchist or libertarian communist slant, the group's leading members professed a largely Marxist-Leninist ideology. That said, they shied away from overt collaboration with 'communist states' although R.A.F members did receive intermittent support and sanctuary over the Berlin Wall in the German Democratic Republic/East Germany.

After their trial for the department store arsons, Baader and Ensslin went into hiding, but Baader was caught again in April 1970. On 14 May 1970, Baader was freed from custody by Meinhof and others. Baader, Ensslin, Mahler, and Meinhof then went to Jordan for their brief guerrilla warfare training with the PFLP/Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

When they returned to West Germany, they began what they called an "anti-imperialistic struggle", with bank robberies to raise money and bomb attacks against U.S. military facilities, German police stations, and buildings belonging to the Axel Springer press empire. A manifesto authored by Meinhof used the name "RAF" and the red-star logo with a Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun for the first time. [ [ "Build Up the Red Army!"] , originally published in German in "883" magazine, 5 June 1970.] After an intense manhunt, Baader, Ensslin, Meinhof, Holger Meins, and Jan-Carl Raspe were caught in June 1972.

Custody and the Stammheim trial

After the arrest of the main protagonists of the first generation of the RAF, they were held in solitary confinement in the newly-constructed high security Stammheim Prison in the north of Stuttgart. When Ensslin devised an "info system" using aliases for each member, the four prisoners were able to communicate again, circulating letters with the help of their defence counsels.

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 1974. After public protests, their conditions were somewhat improved by the authorities.

The so-called second generation of the RAF emerged at the time, consisting of sympathizers independent of the inmates. This became clear when, on 27 February 1975, Peter Lorenz, the CDU candidate for mayor of Berlin, was kidnapped by the Movement 2 June (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 1975, 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 detonated later that night.

had earlier changed the Code of Criminal Procedure so that several of the attorneys who were accused of serving as links between the inmates and the RAF's second generation could be excluded.

On 9 May 1976, Ulrike Meinhof was found dead in her 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 conspiracy theories. Other theories suggest that she took her life because she was being ostracized by the rest of the group.

During the trial, more attacks took place. One of these was on 7 April 1977, 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.

Eventually, on 28 April 1977, the trial's 192nd day, the three remaining defendants were convicted of several murders, more attempted murders, and of forming a terrorist organization; they were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Autumn 1977 (German Autumn)

On 30 July 1977, Jürgen Ponto, the head of Dresdner Bank, was shot and killed in front of his house in Oberursel in a kidnapping that went wrong. Those involved were Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Christian Klar, and Susanne Albrecht, the last being the sister of Ponto's goddaughter.

Following the convictions, Hanns Martin Schleyer, a former officer of the SS and NSDAP member who was then President of the German Employers' Association (and thus one of the most powerful industrialists in West Germany) was abducted in a violent kidnapping. On 5 September 1977, his driver was forced to brake when a baby carriage suddenly appeared in the street in front of them. The police escort vehicle behind them was unable to stop in time, and crashed into Schleyer's car. Five masked assailants immediately shot and killed the three policemen and the driver and took Schleyer hostage.

A letter then arrived with the Federal Government, demanding the release of eleven detainees, including those from Stammheim. A crisis committee was formed in Bonn, headed by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, which, instead of acceding, resolved to employ delaying tactics to give the police time to discover Schleyer's location. At the same time, a total communication ban was imposed on the prison inmates, who were now only allowed visits from government officials and the prison chaplain.

The crisis dragged on for more than a month, while the "Bundeskriminalamt" carried out its biggest investigation to date. Matters escalated when, on 13 October 1977, Lufthansa Flight 181 from Palma de Mallorca to Frankfurt was hijacked (Landshut Hijacking). A group of four Arabs took control of the plane (named "Landshut"). The leader introduced himself to the passengers as "Captain Mahmud" who would be later identified as Zohair Youssef Akache. When the plane landed in Rome for refuelling, he issued the same demands as the Schleyer kidnappers, plus the release of two Palestinians held in Turkey and payment of US$15 million.

The Bonn crisis team again decided not to give in. The plane flew on via Larnaca to Dubai, and then to Aden, where flight captain Jürgen Schumann, whom the hijackers deemed not cooperative enough, was brought before an improvised "revolutionary tribunal" and executed on 16 October. His body was dumped on the runway. The aircraft again took off, flown by the co-pilot Jürgen Vietor, this time headed for Mogadishu, Somalia.

A high-risk rescue operation was led by Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski, then undersecretary in the chancellor's office, who had secretly been flown in from Bonn. At five past midnight (CET) on 18 October, the plane was stormed in a seven-minute assault by the GSG 9, an elite unit of the German federal police. All four hijackers were shot; three of them died on the spot. Not one passenger was seriously hurt and Wischnewski was able to phone Schmidt and tell the Bonn crisis team that the operation had been a success.

Half an hour later, German radio broadcast the news of the rescue, to which the Stammheim inmates listened on their radios. In the course of the night, Baader was found dead with a gunshot wound in the back of his head and Ensslin was found hanged in her cell; Raspe died in hospital the next day from a gunshot wound to the head. Irmgard Möller, who had several stab wounds in the chest, survived and was released from prison in 1994.

The official inquiry concluded that this was a collective suicide, but again conspiracy theories abounded. However, none of these theories were ever brought forward by the RAF itself. Some have questioned how Baader managed to obtain a gun in the high-security prison wing specially constructed for the first generation RAF members. Also, only a total commitment to her cause could have allowed Möller to have herself inflicted the four stab wounds found near her heart. However, independent investigations showed that the inmates' lawyers were able to smuggle in weapons and equipment in spite of the high security. Möller claims that it was actually an extrajudicial killing, orchestrated by the German government, in response to Red Army demands that the prisoners be released.

On 18 October 1977, Hanns-Martin Schleyer was shot to death by his captors on route to Mulhouse, France. The next day, on 19 October, Schleyer's kidnappers announced that he had been "executed" and pinpointed his location. His body was recovered later that day in the trunk of a green Audi 100 on the rue Charles Péguy. The French newspaper "Libération" received a letter declaring:

"After 43 days we have ended Hanns-Martin Schleyer's pitiful and corrupt existence... His death is meaningless to our pain and our rage... The struggle has only begun. Freedom through armed, anti-imperialist struggle."Fact|date=June 2008

The events in the autumn of 1977, possibly the biggest criminal and political showdown that Germany has experienced since the end of World War II, are frequently referred to as "Der Deutsche Herbst" ("German Autumn"). A two-part 1997 television mini-series by Heinrich Breloer called "Todesspiel" ("Death Game") gives a good account of the events, as far as they can be reconstructed today.

The RAF in the 1980s and 1990s

The collapse of the Soviet Union was a serious blow to left-wing groups, but well into the 1990s attacks were still being committed under the name "RAF". Among these were the killing of CEO of MTU, a German engineering company, Ernst Zimmermann; another bombing at the US Air Force's Rhein-Main Air Base (near Frankfurt), which targeted the base commander and killed three bystanders; the death in a car-bombing of Siemens executive Karl-Heinz Beckurts and his driver; and the shooting of Gerold von Braunmühl, a leading official at Germany's foreign ministry. On 30 November 1989, Deutsche Bank chairman Alfred Herrhausen was killed with a highly complex bomb when his car triggered a photo sensor, in Bad Homburg. On 1 April 1991, Detlev Karsten Rohwedder, leader of the government "Treuhand" organization responsible for the privatization of the East German state economy, was shot dead. The assassins of Zimmermann, von Braunmühl, Herrhausen and Rohwedder were never reliably identified .

After German reunification in 1990, it was discovered that the RAF had received financial and logistic support from the Stasi, the security and intelligence organization of East Germany, which had given several members shelter and new identities, although this was already generally suspected at the time. [Schmeidel, John. "My Enemy's Enemy: Twenty Years of Co-operation between West Germany's Red Army Faction and the GDR Ministry for State Security." "Intelligence and National Security" 8, no. 4 (Oct. 1993): 59-72.]

In 1992 the German government assessed that the RAF's main field of engagement now was missions to release former RAF-members. To weaken the organization further the government declared that some RAF inmates would be released if the RAF refrained from violent attacks in the future. Subsequently the RAF announced their intention to "de-escalate" and refrain from significant activity.

The last action taken by the RAF took place in 1993 with a bombing of a newly built prison in Weiterstadt by overcoming the officers on duty and planting explosives . Although no one was seriously injured this operation caused property damage amounting to 123 million German Marks (over 50 million euros).

The last big action against the RAF took place on 27 June 1993. A "Verfassungsschutz" (internal secret service) agent named Klaus Steinmetz had infiltrated the RAF. As a result Birgit Hogefeld and Wolfgang Grams were to be arrested in Bad Kleinen. Grams and GSG 9 officer Michael Newrzella died during the mission. While it was initially concluded that Grams committed suicide, others claimed his death was in revenge for Newrzella's. Two eyewitness accounts supported the claims of an execution-style murder. However, an investigation headed by the Attorney General failed to substantiate such claims. Due to a number of operational mistakes involving the various police services, German Minister of the Interior Rudolf Seiters took responsibility and resigned from his post.

On 20 April 1998 an eight-page typewritten letter in German was faxed to the Reuters news agency, signed "RAF" with the machine-gun red star, declaring the group dissolved:

"Vor fast 28 Jahren, am 14. Mai 1970, entstand in einer Befreiungsaktion die RAF. Heute beenden wir dieses Projekt. Die Stadtguerilla in Form der RAF ist nun Geschichte."
("Almost 28 years ago, on 14 May 1970, the RAF arose in a campaign of liberation. Today we end this project. The urban guerrilla in the shape of the RAF is now history.")Fact|date=June 2008


"Faction" versus "Fraktion"

The name was inspired by that of the Japanese Red Army, a Japanese leftist paramilitary group. The usual translation into English is the Red Army "Faction", however, the founders wanted it to reflect what they saw as not so much an orthodox political faction or splinter group but an embryonic militant unit or set of "groupuscules" that was embedded in or part of a wider communist workers' movement. [ [ Terminology] at] The abbreviation RAF was also a gibe at the Royal Air Force, a major contributor to the huge NATO presence in West Germany. [Vague, Tom. "Televisionaries: The Red Army Faction Story", AK Press, 1994. ISBN 1873176473.]

RAF versus Baader-Meinhof

The group always called itself the "Rote Armee Fraktion", never the Baader-Meinhof Group or Gang. The name correctly refers to all incarnations of the organization: the "first generation" RAF, which consisted of Baader and his associates, the "second generation" RAF, which operated in the late 1970s after the group Socialist Patients' Collective was absorbed by it, and the "third generation" RAF, which existed in the 1980s and 90s.

The terms "Baader-Meinhof Gang" and "Baader-Meinhof Group" were first used by the media and the organization was generally known by these during its first generation, and applies only until Baader's death in 1977.Fact|date=January 2008 The organization never used these terms for themselves, but the German media used them to avoid legitimizing the movement. Although Meinhof was not considered to be a leader of the gang at any time, her involvement in Baader's escape from jail in 1970 led to her name becoming attached to it. [ "Baader-Meinhof Gang"] at]

List of assaults attributed to the RAF

For a full list of members see: Members of the Red Army Faction

In fiction and art

*Der Baader Meinhof Komplex, 2008 movie based on Stefan Aust's book
* German Hip-Hop Artist Jan Delay made a song about the topic called "Söhne Stammheims".
*Australian/UK playwright Van Badham's play "Black Hands/Dead Section" provides a fictionalised account of the actions and lives of key members of the RAF. It won the Queensland premier's award for literature in 2005.
*The RAF is the subject of the title song from Marianne Faithfull's 1977 album "Broken English".
* "The Raspberry Reich", a film by Bruce LaBruce (English)
* Gerhard Richter, a German painter whose series of works titled "18 October 1977" repainted photographs of the Faction members and their deaths.
*The Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum made a painting called "The murder of Andreas Baader" in 1977-1978, that shows Nerdrum's personal commentary to the events in the Stammheim prison.
*Heinrich Böll's book "The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum" describes the political climate in West Germany during the active phase of the RAF in the seventies.
*Luke Haines' side project band Baader Meinhof released one, self-titled concept album about the group.
*"The Legend of Rita" ("Die Stille nach dem Schuß"), a 2000 film directed by Volker Schlöndorff, concerns fictionalized members of the RAF, although its main subject is the Stasi and East Germany.
* In the novel "The Sum Of All Fears" by Tom Clancy, the RAF is involved in a failed attempt to draw the Soviet Union and the United States into a nuclear war.
* In the movie "Die Hard" terrorist Hans Gruber is suggested by the news media to be an ex-member of the fictional "Volksfrei" movement, an obvious allusion to the Baader-Meinhof Gang.
* Legião Urbana, a famous Brazilian rock band has a song named "Baader-Meinhof Blues", included in its debut album.
* German punk band Wizo have a song about the group titled "RAF".
* Joe Strummer wore an RAF shirt and talked about it in The Clash's 1980 film "Rude Boy".
* The Mossad agents, tasked with tracing and assassinating Black September members, as depicted in the film "Munich", pass themselves off to the Palestinian terrorists in a "safe-house" in Athens as the RAF. At another point in the film, the team leader visits an old friend, named Andreas, in Frankfurt and asks him if he's Baader-Meinhof.
* Christoph Hein's novel "In seiner fruehen Kindheit ein Garten" deals with a fictionalized aftermath of the Grams shooting in 1993.
* In the recent Italian movie, "The Best of Youth" (2005), one of the main female characters joins an urban terrorist organization clearly fashioned after the RAF.
* UK industrial musicians Cabaret Voltaire released a single entitled "Baader-Meinhof/Sex in Secret on A Factory Sample" (January 1979)
* Helmut Lachenmann's opera "Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern" features texts by Gudrun Ensslin, who the composer knew when both were young.
* John Le Carre's 2003 novel "Absolute Friends" concerns the radical student milieu of late 1960s Berlin and the themes of radicalisation, militancy and modern false flag counter-terrorism tactics.
* In Steven Gould's novel "Jumper", the Red Army Faction is behind one of several unrelated hijacking attempts thwarted by the main character. They do not figure into the movie based on the novel.
* One of the logos for KMFDM side project Excessive Force mimics the RAF logo, substituting a larger caliber HK 53, facing the opposite direction, for the HK MP5, and with slightly different positioning of the red star, gun, and text.
* A song titled "To Ulrike M." by the music group "Doris Days"
* In Jan Guillou's book "The Democratic Terrorist", the fictional Swedish secret agent Carl Hamilton infiltrates RAF.
* In Video Game's Red Faction and subsequently Red Faction II, the rebel group of the Red Faction was influenced by the R.A.F, and several of the organizations personal logo's resemble the R.A.F's own insignia's.
* Brian Eno collaborated with Snatch (Judy Nylon and Patti Palladin) on the song "R.A.F", which appeared on the B-side of his vinyl single "King's Lead Hat"' (1975) and "". (1993).


Further reading

*Aust, Stefan. "The Baader-Meinhof Group: The Inside Story of a Phenomenon", The Bodley Head Ltd 1987 , ISBN 0370310314
*Baumann, Bommi. "How It All Began: Personal Account of a West German Urban Guerilla", Arsenal Pulp Press 1981, ISBN 0889780455
*Becker, Jillian. "", DIANE Publishing Company 1998, ISBN 0788154729 or Panther edition 1978, ISBN 0586046658
*Hyams, Edward. "Dictionary of Modern Revolution", A Lane, 1973 ISBN 0713904763
*RAF. "The Urban Guerilla Concept", Kersplebedeb pamphlet edition 2005 ISBN 1894946162; online at []
*Author unknown (assumed to be Meinhof) [ "Berlin 1970—Manifesto for Armed Action—Build Up the Red Army!"] , "883 Magazine", 5 June 1970
*Varon, Jeremy. "Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies", University of California Press 2004, ISBN 0520241193
*Vague, Tom. "Televisionaries: The Red Army Faction Story", AK Press, 1994 ISBN 1873176473
*Wright, Joanne. "Terrorist Propaganda: The Red Army Faction and the Provisional IRA, 1968-86", Palgrave Macmillan 1991, ISBN 0312047614
*Author unknown. " [ A Herstory of the Revolutionary Cells and Rote Zora: Armed Resistance in West Germany] ", published by Autonomedia (Victoria, BC, Canada).

External links

* " [ This is Baader-Meinhof] ", official site of "The Gun Speaks", a future book on the Red Army Faction. (accessed 2008-06-21)
* [,opinion,baader-meinhof-the-first-celebrity-terrorists "The media’s first celebrity terrorists"] Picture essay of Red Army Faction at "The First Post" website. (accessed 2008-06-21)
* [ "History of the RAF"] - detailed, sympathetic account - article commissioned in 1994 by "Arm the Spirit", Toronto, Canada. (accessed 2008-06-21)
* [ Red Army Faction - Communiqués and Statements] - an English-language collection of all communiques and statements by the RAF at (accessed 2008-06-21)
* Andrew Stevens, [ Red Army Fiction - An Interview With Richard Huffman] - Interview with creator of in "3am Magazine". (accessed 2008-06-21)
* [ "Build Up the Red Army"] English translation of 1970 manifesto from the Red Army Faction. (accessed 2008-06-21)
* [] , Web resource on the RAF de icon. (accessed 2008-06-21)
* Patrick Donahue, [ "German Red Army Faction Victim's Son May Back Pardon"] , "Bloomberg" article about the latest development in the murder case Siegfried Buback. (accessed 2008-06-21)
* Denise Noe, [ "The Baader Meinhof Gang"] , at "tru Crime Library" website. (accessed 2008-06-21)
*, " [] ", Bi-lingual site including a collection of original Red Army Faction statements, texts and discussions as well as a Chronology, Bibliography and supporting Documentation.
* [ Terrorist chic or debunking of a myth? Baader Meinhof film splits Germany]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Red Army Faction — ▪ German radical leftist group also called  Red Army Fraction , byname  Baader Meinhof Gang , German  Rote Armee Fraktion, Baader Meinhof Gruppe        West German radical leftist group formed in 1968 and popularly named after two of its early… …   Universalium

  • Red Army Faction —    The Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion RAF) was a left wing terrorist group in Germany which carried out a series of high profile kidnappings and murders from the 1970s until 1998. The RAF, also known as the Baader Meinhof Group, sought to… …   Historical dictionary of Marxism

  • Red Army Faction — noun A militant left wing terrorist group in postwar West Germany. Syn: Baader Meinhof Group, Baader Meinhof Gang …   Wiktionary

  • Red Army Faction — noun → Baader Meinhof …   Australian English dictionary

  • Red Army Faction — noun a Marxist and Maoist terrorist organization in Germany; a network of underground guerillas who committed acts of violence in the service of the class struggle; a successor to the Baader Meinhof Gang; became one of Europe s most feared… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Members of the Red Army Faction — Red Army Faction Insignia. The Red Army Faction (RAF) operated in Germany from the late 1960s to 1998, committing numerous crimes, especially in the autumn of 1977, which led to a national crisis that became known as German Autumn . The RAF was… …   Wikipedia

  • Red Army (disambiguation) — Chiefly, a Red Army is a communist army. A list of all the past and present known Red Armies in existence throughout the world is below (and may need some maintenance):*The (Workers and Peasants ) Red Army of the Soviet Union *The People s… …   Wikipedia

  • Japanese Red Army — 日本赤軍 Dates of operation 1971–2001 Leader Fusako Shigenobu Motives Proletarian revolution in Japan, World Revolution Active region(s) Japan, Southeast Asia and Middle East …   Wikipedia

  • Red — /red/, n. a male or female given name. * * * (as used in expressions) red blood corpuscle red blood cell Red Army Faction Barber Red Erik the Red Grange Red Great Red Spot Red Khmer Red Army Red Brigades Red Cloud …   Universalium

  • Red Youth (Netherlands) — Red Youth (in Dutch: Rode Jeugd ) was a revolutionary organization in the Netherlands. It originated in the group around the periodical Rode Jeugd , which had been started by the pro China Rode Vlag grouping in 1966. In October 1967 the group… …   Wikipedia