Baader Meinhof Timeline according to the OFFICIAL TRUTH
Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof
24 May 1967, Berlin
Two days after a devastating fire sweeps through a Brussels department store, members of Kommune I, a radical commune, pass out a leaflet at Berlin's Free University which jokingly suggests that a good way to bring the Marxist Revolution home is to deliberately burn down department stores. Kommune I members Fritz Teufel and Rainer Langhans were arrested and charged with inciting arson.
2 June 1967, Berlin
The Shah of Iran pays an official visit to Berlin. Thousands of students take to the streets to protest the Shah's brutally repressive regime. Students seem to be protesting every week--everything, from the war in Vietnam, to the Grand Coalition between the two major German political parties, to university policies, were used as excuses to march. It is all quite a lot of fun.
Noted journalist Ulrike Meinhof certainly enjoys attending the protests. She is the former editor of the leftist magazine konkret (founded and still published by her soon-to-be ex-husband Klaus Rainer Röhl) and she has recently begun appearing on television political panel shows. Though she has her spoons in many pots, she still writes a twice-monthly column for konkret. Prior to the Shah's arrival she wrote a biting critique in konkret of the out-of-touch nature of the Shah and his wife. But Meinhof can't make the 2 June Berlin protest; she is busy shopping for furniture for her new Hamburg home.
A young troublemaker named Andreas Baader also misses the 2 June protest. He is cooling his heels in a Traunstein jail, serving time for stealing a motorcycle.
A reed-thin some-time student, Gudrun Ensslin, is able to make the protest. She too has been a regular fixture at many of the Berlin protests; in the coming months she often will show up pushing her young baby son along in a stroller. For the Shah protest, fortunately, she leaves her two-week old baby Felix with her estranged husband, Bernward Vesper.
In the early evening thousands of protesters begin lining up behind police barricades across the street from the Opera House where the Shah is about to attend a performance. A few protesters lob paint-filled balloons; but nothing comes close to the Shah, who slips into the Opera House without even noticing the protesters.
As the people begin to disperse, the cops surprise them. The police utilize a new technique that they have developed for terrorizing crowds; they call it "The Liver-Sausage Method." Like a stuffed liver sausage, the crowd of demonstrators is stuffed long and tight on the sidewalk between the barricades and buildings. The cops form a wedge, and rush the middle of the "sausage." The demonstrators naturally rush sideways--the sausage exploding at its ends--and into the flailing truncheons of hundreds more waiting police. Pandemonium rules. At one point the police grab one protester whom they believe to be a ringleader. Detective Sgt. Karl-Heinz Kurras points his gun at the protester's head, and the guns goes off; possibly accidentally. Young Benno Ohnesorg, attending his first protest, is dead. The growing leftist movement gains a martyr.
Protesters stream away from the scene, in shock that the protest had turned deadly. Many students head towards the office of the SDS (a prominent student organization) on the Ku-Damm; Ensslin is among them. Inside Ensslin screams: "This fascist state means to kill us all! We must organize resistance. Violence is the only way to answer violence. This is the Auschwitz Generation, and there's no arguing with them!"
3, June, Berlin
A ban on all protest signs and banners is put in effect on the streets of Berlin. A student, Peter Homann, comes up with an ingenious prank to get around the ban; dress up eight people in tee-shirts, each with a single giant letter painted on the front and back. When lined up side-by-side the group's tee-shirts read A-L-B-E-R-T-Z-! -- referring to Berlin Mayor Heinrich Albertz -- and when the group turns around in unison, their backs read A-B-T-R-E-T-E-N -- which means "resign." Photos appear across West Germany the next day -- on the far right, with a giant exclamation point on her chest, is Ensslin. Despite Homann's ingenuity, all eight protesters are arrested.
Baader meets Ensslin at a gathering. They fall in love immediately.
22 March, Berlin
Fritz Teufel and Rainer Langhans are found Not Guilty of Incitement to Arson, for passing out the leaflets the previous spring. According to Baader-Meinhof biographer Jillian Becker, the expert witnesses agree, "the pamphlets were literary compositions, not to be acted on but for theoretical considerations only." Theoretical to everyone, it seems, except Andreas Baader and his new girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin.
2 April, Frankfurt am Main
Baader and Ensslin head to Frankfurt am Main with two friends, Horst Söhnlein and Thorwald Proll. Baader has acquired quite a reputation as a "dangerous" sort by his constant calls for violent action. Invariably no one would choose to act on his "suggestions." Today is different. This time Baader's fellow comrades elect to take Baader up on his suggestion to burn down a department store.
Later that night Baader and Ensslin leave two time bombs in the Kaufhaus Schneider department store. Söhnlein and Proll leave a bomb in the Kaufhof store. At midnight the bombs go off, ultimately causing about $200,000 worth of damage. While tthe first flames appear, Ensslin is on a pay phone, screaming at the German Press Agency, "This is a political act of revenge!"
4 April, Frankfurt
Unable to keep their deeds a secret, police arrest Baader and his comrades for the arsons.
11 April, Berlin
A young house painter, Joseph Bachmann, waits patiently in the street outside the home of Rudi Dutschke. Dutschke is the firebrand leader of the APO -- a leftist movement. In Bachmann's coat pocket is a gun. Bachmann shoots Dutschke three times, knocking him clean out of his shoes. Dutschke survives his shooting. Immediately following the shooting Bachmann hides out in a basement of a local building, and swallows 20 sleeping tablets in an effort to commit suicide. The effort fails.
Enraged students assume that the reason Dutschke was targeted is because of the red-baiting rhetoric of the newspapers of the Springer Press newspapers. Owned by the rabidly anti-communist Lord Axel Springer, the Springer Press papers dominate Germany, constantly spewing anti-left diatribes, particularly against "red" Rudi Dutschke.
Thousands of students converge on the 20-story Springer Press headquarters that straddles the Berlin Wall. Ulrike Meinhof is there, having driven there with her konkret editor (and future Baader-Meinhof biographer) Stefan Aust. Many students have parked their cars in front of the building, forming a blockade. Aust suggests that Meinhof park her car in the blockade, but she isn't so sure she wants to get involved to such an extent. They compromise by parking her car at the very end of the blockade, but Meinhof is arrested anyway. Later she avoids conviction by persuading the court that she is only guilty of a fantastically poor parking job. Tentative as it is, Meinhof's poor parking job is her first direct action against the capitalist system. It would not be her last.
13 October, Frankfurt
Baader, Ensslin, Söhnlein, and Proll are convicted of Arson. They each get three years.
27 February, Berlin
American president Richard Nixon visits Berlin. Among the many Berliners waiting to greet him are Kommune I members Dieter Kunzelmann and Rainer Langhans. They attempt to bomb Nixon's motorcade, but the bomb is discovered before it can be triggered. Kunzelmann and Langhans, apparently now members West Berlin Tupamaros (a precursor of Movement 2 June), are arrested.
Ulrike Meinhof, having grown increasingly disillusioned with her life, divorces her husband, Klaus Rainer Röhl, and moves to Berlin. She continues to write for a while for Röhl's konkret, but soon quits. Her fashionable Berlin apartment becomes a hangout for many in the left-wing Berlin scene.
13 June, Frankfurt
The four convicted arsonists Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Söhnlein, and Thorwald Proll are released from prison pending review of their cases. Baader and Ensslin begin working at an "apprentices' collective" -- which is a youth home. Baader spends much of his time teaching the kids how to steal motorcycles.
The Federal Court ends the temporary freedom of the four arsonists and demands they return to prison. Söhnlein complies but the other three flee Frankfurt and head to Paris. They stay at the apartment of Regis Debray, millionaire revolutionary who is serving a 30-year sentence in Bolivia for helping the efforts of Ché Guevara (Debray will be released the next year, 28 years early). Proll's sister Astrid turns up to join the band. A few days later, in Strasbourg, the groups dumps Thorwald Proll; his days as a terrorist are over. The group sneaks into Italy and lays low.
Filming begins on "Bambule," a television film scripted by Ulrike Meinhof. The film is about a riot among the residents of a girls youth home.
Elsewhere in Berlin the brilliant leftist lawyer Horst Mahler begins to formulate a plan: he wants to create an Urban Guerrilla group modeled on Uruguay's Tupamaros. Unlike the West Berlin Tupamaros that are active at the time, Mahler's new group will be completely underground and would eschew pranks for real praxis.
Ulrike Meinhof moves from her Dahlem apartment to an apartment on the fashionable Ku-Damm street, along with her twin daughters Bettina and Regine. Filming ends on "Bambule" and editing begins in preparation for a May air date.
A young psychiatrist working at Heidelberg University gets fired. Dr. Wolfgang Huber has angered the university officials with his unorthodox therapy methods. In response to his firing, Huber's patients, mostly students, occupy the offices of Huber's hospital director, who ultimately agrees to keep Huber on.
Huber's radical psychiatric thesis is this: his patients are indeed sick. But their sickness is the product of Capitalist society, and the only way to cure them is to foment a Marxist revolution. Huber's patients organize themselves and the Socialists Patients Collective (SPK) is born.
Late February, Berlin
Two visitors show up at Ulrike Meinhof's door, needing a place to stay. Bettina and Regine are introduced to "Uncle Hans" and "Aunt Grete;" Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin are back in Berlin.
Early March, Berlin
Baader and Ensslin meet up with Dieter Kunzelmann, whose West Berlin Tupamaros had been mildly terrorizing Berlin the previous year with humorous pranks, and potentially deadly bombs. Kunzelmann wants Baader and Ensslin to join his gang, but the talks break down when Baader suggests that he be the leader rather than Kunzelmann. Horst Mahler, the brilliant socialist lawyer, is at the meeting as well and encourages Baader and Ensslin to instead join up with the new group he is forming. Baader is more amenable to this suggestion; he figures that he can easily muscle Mahler aside once the group gets going.
Baader and Ensslin move out of Meinhof's apartment into a less conspicuous pad. The members of Mahler's new revolutionary army set about trying to secure weapons in their war on the Capitalist state. Among those involved at this early date are: Mahler, Baader, Ensslin, Astrid Proll, Manfred Grashof, his girlfriend Petra Schelm, and Mahler's secretary Monika Berberich.
3 April, Berlin
On their way from picking up a buried stash of guns, Astrid Proll and Andreas Baader are stopped by police. The cops quickly deduce that Baader is not the "Peter Chenowitz" listed on his forged ID card, but are not quite sure who they have on their hands so they take him into custody. Mahler inadvertently gives away Baader's identity the next morning when he calls the police station and asks for information about the arrest of "Herr Baader." "Only if you can confirm that the person we have in custody is, in fact, Herr Baader," replies the cop.
Mahler's group quickly directs most of its efforts towards getting Baader out of jail.
Baader receives many visitors in his Tegel prison cell during his first month back in confinement. Mahler visits him many times, as does Berberich. Meinhof visits him as well, as does "Dr. Gretel Weitermeier," who is actually his fugitive girlfriend, Ensslin.
A plan is formulated to get Baader out. It involves a ruse in which Meinhof will claim to prison officials that she has been contracted to write a book with Baader. Meinhof and Baader would need to study at a library outside of the prison, requiring a brief leave from the prison under armed guard. During the leave, a "commando unit" would release Baader. The only sticking point would be securing the cooperation of Meinhof. Knowing for certain that she would have to make a complete break from her current life, including giving up her children, Meinhof is quite reluctant to participate.
Ensslin goes to work on Meinhof. Despite all of Meinhof's success in journalism, she is continually plagued by self-doubt. She worships the abrasive Ensslin, who was able to so successfully turn her Marxist theory into praxis with the Frankfurt bombings two years earlier. And Ensslin had so easily given up her own baby Felix in the name of the revolutionary cause. Ultimately Ensslin won Meinhof over with a combination of Ensslin's shrill persuasiveness and Meinhof's desire to belong. Meinhof begins making plans to send her kids underground immediately after the rescue of Baader. The action is set for mid-May.
The publishing house of Klaus Wagenbach is contacted and agrees to hire Baader and Ensslin; they are unaware that they are part of a ruse.
14 May, Berlin
A car pulls up to the Dahlem Institute for Social Research. Two guards get out and escort a handcuffed Andreas Baader to the front door. An elderly employee of the Institute, Georg Linke, escorts them to the reading room, where Ulrike Meinhof waits. Baader's cuffs are removed and he and Meinhof set to work.
Two garishly dressed girls arrive at the front door, Irene Goergens and Ingrid Schubert. Linke lets them in, but makes them sit in the hall until Meinhof and Baader are done in the reading room. The front doorbell rings again, and the two girls trip the electric lock to let in a masked woman (Ensslin), and a masked man sporting a loaded Beretta (the man has never been identified). As Linke rushes to escape, the man shoot him in the liver, critically wounding him. The four, all now with guns in their hands, burst into the reading room, shooting wildly (but aiming low). Meinhof and Baader jump out the large picture window, with the other three following quickly behind them. The police never fire their weapons, certainly fearful of another Benno Ohnsesorg-type tragedy. In the conservative Springer Press a name is born: "the Baader-Meinhof Gang."
Meinhof's "Bambule," scheduled to air on Sunday, May 24, is pulled from the television schedule.
Late May, Berlin
The first German translation of Carlos Marighella's "Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla" is published in Germany for the first time. Marighella was a Latin American revolutionary who had been killed the previous year by Brazilian police. His manual offers concrete advice for bringing traditionally rural Revolutionary tactics into the city. Mahler eats it up and quickly indoctrinates the other members of his group in its teachings. Marighella's first suggestion: get professional training.
2 June, Federal Republic
The German Press Agency received a communiqué (English Excerpt / German Full Text) claiming credit for securing Baader's release from prison. Probably written by Ulrike Meinhof, the communiqué is the first time that the group uses the term "Red Army," which later would give rise to their official name: Red Army Faction.
8 June, Amman, Jordan
Half of the group sneaks into East Berlin, and then heads to the Jordan desert to a Palestinian training camp, to be followed by the rest of the group a week later. In Jordan the fledgling guerrillas learn how to shoot guns, throw grenades, and thoroughly annoy their Palestinian hosts. After two months the Palestinians are completely sick of their disrespectful German guests and send them on a plane out of Jordan. The gang heads back to Berlin.
Stefan Aust, former editor of konkret, former friend of Ulrike Meinhof, and future biographer of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, meets up with group member Peter Homann, who had been kicked out of the group in Jordan. Homann tells Aust of Meinhof's two daughters, Bettina and Regine, who are secretly being cared for by two hippies at the foot of Mt. Etna. In Jordan, Homann overheard Meinhof agreeing to send the kids to Jordan to be raised as Palestinian terrorists; now he was soliciting Aust's help in returning the kids to their father.
Aust rescues the kids, returns them to their father, and for a while becomes a marked man of the Baader-Meinhof Gang.
Back in Berlin gang member Hans-Jürgen Bäcker recruits two motor mechanics, Karl-Heinz Ruhland and Eric Grusdat, into the periphery of the group. Mahler conceives of an audacious plan to rob four Berlin banks simultaneously.
September 29, Berlin
Three banks are robbed simultaneously in the early morning (a fourth bank job is canceled when the bank proves to be filled with construction workers). The robberies net over 200,000 DM.
Early October, Berlin
New recruits join the gang at a rapid clip. Jan-Carl Raspe and his girlfriend Marianne Herzog join, as does Ali Jansen.
October 8, Berlin
Acting on a tip, police stake out a Berlin apartment where they have been told that Baader, Ensslin, and Mahler will be meeting. Baader and Ensslin never show, but Mahler, Monika Berberich, Brigitte Asdonk and Irene Goergens are all captured.
10 October, Berlin
The surviving groups members meet up, and with Mahler gone, there is little doubt that Baader is in control. Suspicion turns towards Hans-Jürgen Bäcker as the snitch who gave away the location of the meeting place two days earlier. Bäcker denies everything, but quickly leaves; his days as a terrorist are over.
November-December, Federal Republic
The groups perfects its car-stealing technique, utilizing a "doubles method" where they put the license plate number and paperwork of a legal car onto a stolen car, thus eliminating questions if stopped by police. The group also uses some of their bank-job money to buy guns... a lot of guns.
Several new recruits come on board: Ulrich Scholze, Tinny Stachowiak, Beate Sturm and an earnest film student named Holger Meins.
4 December, Berlin
Eric Grusdat is arrested.
20 December, Frankfurt
Karl-Heinz Ruhland is arrested by the police and quickly begins talking. Though he never learns the real names of the other members of the gang (he only knew their code names), Ruhland will become a star witness at many of the Baader-Meinhof trials to come.
Later that night a nervous Ulrike Meinhof bolts at a police check point, leaving an ID card with a very recent picture of her newly-peroxided hair style.
23 December, Nuremberg
Ali Jansen and Ulrich Scholze are arrested after trying to steal a car. Jansen shoots at a cop; he later will get 10 years for attempted murder. Scholze is released the next day, leaving his terrorist days forever behind him.
Early Winter, Bonn
Always protective of their own sovereignty, the leaders of the various Länder (states) agree to allow a special section of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) to be created to oversee Germany's anti-terrorism efforts. After the second World War, West Germany had been created as a loose confederation of states, with little in the way of an internal federal presence. There is no national police force on the order of America's FBI, only the various Länder police forces. In the early 70s terrorists were able to take advantage of this decentralization by constantly traveling between the various states, whose police forces seldom shared information in a concerted manner.
But the exploits of the Baader-Meinhof Gang persuade the German states to allow for a federal intrusion on their rights. The BKA anti-terrorism commission is headed up by Alfred Klaus, who immediately set about writing a 60-page report on the group's activity until that point.
Young Beate Sturm, tired of being on the run, quietly returns home to her mother.
15 January, Kassel
Two Kassel banks are raided at the same time netting 115,000 DM. For one of the bank jobs, a BMW 2000 was stolen in Frankfurt. The BMW was one of the Baader-Meinhof Gang's favorite cars to steal; because they were fast, easy to break into, and easy to hot-wire. In the coming year the group would become so associated with the sporty little Bavarian cars that people would joke that BMW stood for "Baader-Meinhof Wagen."
Winter, Federal Republic
Ulrike Meinhof is put in charge of writing a manifesto of the group. The result, "The Concept of the Urban Guerrilla," (English Excerpt / Full German Text) is released in late winter, achieving wide circulation by May. On its cover is a logo: a rifle over a star, with the letters RAF on top of them. The rifle is a Kalashnikov Rifle, the Soviet-Bloc machine gun that they had grown to love in their Jordan training. "RAF" stands for the name the group has just christened itself as: "The Red Army Faction" (the Kalashnikov would later be replaced in the logo by the German-made Heckler and Koch machine pistol).
2 February, Federal Republic
Hans-Jürgen Bäcker, who left the group the previous year, is arrested.
10 February, Frankfurt am Main
Baader-Meinhof Gang members Manfred Grashof and Astrid Proll are stopped by two undercover police agents. Grashof pulls out a pistol (Proll is unarmed) and they both run. One of the cops fires his pistol, missing both Grashof and Proll. Partially with the aid of a sympathetic passer-by, Grashof and Proll escape.
Siegfried Hausner and Carmen Roll of the Socialists Patients Collective (SPK) attempt to bomb the train of the Federal Republic's president. They arrive too late at the train station and their plan is thwarted. Through the coming months the SPK begins to align itself with the the Red Army Faction; soon they stop signing their documents "SPK," and began signing them "RAF."
12 April, Frankfurt am Main
Ilse "Tinny" Stachowiak is arrested at the train station in Frankfurt. She is recognized from her photograph on one of the millions of ubiquitous wanted posters seen throughout the Federal Republic.
Horst Mahler, Irene Goergens, and Ingrid Schubert go on trial, for their involvement in the release of Baader, in the criminal court of Moabit prison. Mahler is acquitted (though he still has two other charges pending), and Goergens and Schubert are convicted. Goergens gets six years and Schubert gets four.
24 June, Heidelberg
Though the SPK have progressively moved closer towards terrorism, the police are mostly unaware of it. This day police stop a couple of SPK members at a traffic checkpoint. The SPK members take off, and one of them fires a shot at the cops, hitting one in the arm. That night the police raid the SPK offices, arresting many members. The SPK dissolves, and many of its former members resolve to go completely underground -- soon joining up completely with the RAF and forming the core of the so-called "second generation of the RAF."
8 July, Berlin
Two Berlin radicals, Thomas Weissbecker (loosely connected to the RAF and future members of Movement 2 June) and Georg von Rauch (soon to help form Movement 2 June), are in a Berlin courtroom, charged with beating a journalist from the hated Springer Press. Von Rauch is convicted and Weissbecker is acquitted, but in the confusion after the sentences are announced, von Rauch and Weissbecker (who looked quite similar) switch places and von Rauch walks out of court a free man. As soon as von Rauch had had sufficient time to escape, Weissbecker announces that he is the one who should have been released. Confused and embarrassed court personnel are forced to release him.
Former members of Kommune I, and former members of the now-disbanded West Berlin Tupamaros, form "Movement 2 June." Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin encourage the group, which includes Bommi Baumann and Fritz Teufel, to join the RAF. They demure, wary of Baader's insistence on total leadership, and prefer to stay in Berlin anyway.
15 July, Hamburg
RAF members Petra Schelm and Werner Hoppe are stopped at a police roadblock. They are driving a stolen BMW 2002. They burst through the barricades and are chased by two police cars. The BMW slams to a halt as the police corner them. Schelm and Hoppe jump out and run, firing their guns as they sprint away. Hoppe gets cornered by police, who arrest him. Schelm runs into an alley, and a cop corners her. She fires at him and he returns the fire. Petra Schelm, age 20, is dead.
21 July, Berlin
Dieter Kunzelmann is arrested for his bombing activities in the West Berlin Tupamaros. Later he will be convicted and sentenced to nine years.
25 July, Federal Republic
A remarkable poll by the respected Allensbach Institute is published. One in five Germans under thirty expresses "a certain sympathy" for the members of the Red Army Faction. One in ten Northern Germans said that would willingly shelter RAF members for a night. The members of the RAF, hoping to expose what they saw as a fascist underbelly of the German state and cause ordinary Germans to rise up and revolt, are greatly encouraged by the poll results.
1 September, Bonn
Horst Herold is selected to be Chief Commissioner of the Bundeskriminalamt. He immediately goes about centralizing efforts to track down the Baader-Meinhof Gang. He builds a computer system which contains every singe fact or bit of evidence relating to the gang.
25 September, Freiburg
Two police officers, Helmut Ruf and Friedrich Ruf (not related), approach an improperly parked car on the Freiburg-Basel autobahn. RAF members Margrit Schiller and Holger Meins hop out and begin shooting. Friedrich Ruf is shot through the hand, and Helmut Ruf is seriously injured. Meins and Schiller escape.
22 October, Hamburg
Margrit Schiller is captured by police. While arresting her, RAF members Irmgard Möller and Gerhard Müller attempt to rescue her, getting into a shootout with police. Police sergeant Heinz Lemke is shot in the foot. Sergeant Norbert Schmid is killed.
8 November, 1971
Renate Riemack, Ulrike Meinhof's foster mother, publishes an open letter in Meinhof's ex-husband's konkret. She says that that the RAF's ideological foundations rest on false assumptions.
Early December, Federal Republic
Police dragnets nab Movement 2 June member Rolf Pohle and RAF member Marianne Herzog.
4 December, Berlin
Georg von Rauch and Bommi Baumann are pulled over by a police officer. The cops lines them up on the war, but when the cop is momentarily distracted, von Rauch pulls out his own gun and begins shooting. The cop shoot von Rauch dead. Baumann gets away.
Holger Meins recruits metal sculptor Dierk Hoff. Meins tells him that he needs realistic props for a film about bank robberies. Soon Hoff realizes that he is in fact expected to make real weapons and bombs, but by that time he is in too deep.
22 December, Kaiserlautern
RAF members Klaus Jünschke, Ingeborg Barz, Wolfgang Grundmann raid a branch of the Bavarian Mortgage and Exchange Bank. A police officer, Herbert Schoner, walks in on the raid and is shot dead.
23 December, Hamburg
Though there is nothing to connect the Kaiserlautern murder to the Baader-Meinhof Gang at this time, the Springer Press newspaper Bild publishes a story headlined "Baader-Meinhof murders on."
10 January, Federal Republic
Der Spiegel publishes a letter by future Nobel laureate Heinrich Böll, in which he decries the Springer Press's Bild newspaper for a recently published headline accusing the Baader-Meinhof Gang of murder. The Bild headline referred to the shooting of police officer Herbert Schoner on December 20. Böll says that Bild's Baader-Meinhof coverage "Isn't cryptofascist anymore, not fascistoid, but naked fascism, agitation, lies, dirt."
Though Bild is quickly proven right in its premature accusations, Böll's letter helps to elicit a storm of support letters, as well as letters disagreeing with him. After his letter, Böll is forever branded a Baader-Meinhof supporter.
A Cologne policeman pulls over a BMW 2000 with Berlin plates. Knowing of the Baader-Meinhof Gang's love of BMW's, the policeman is cautious and points his gun at the car's driver as he asks for the driver's registration. Andreas Baader, the car's driver, leans over, reaches into the glove compartment and pulls out a gun -- and shoots at the policeman. Baader escapes, and the cop is uninjured.
2 February, West Berlin
A bomb explodes in West Berlin's British Yacht Club, killing an elderly German boatbuilder, Irwin Beelitz. Movement 2 June claims responsibility, indicating that the attack was in support of the Irish Republican Army.
21 February, Kaiserlautern
Members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, in full carnival-mask regalia, raid the local branch of the Bavarian Mortgage and Exchange Bank, netting DM 285,000. Later that day Gang member Ingeborg Barz (who had been in the group for about three months) telephones her mother in Berlin, indicating that she wants to quit. Crying, Barz tells her mom that she will leave the group soon and return home. She is never seen alive again.
1 March, Tübingen
Police nerves are wearing thin. With the shootout death of police officer Norbert Schmidt the previous October weighing in their minds, the police are wary that any minor traffic stop might be a date with death.
In Tübingen, police attempt to apprehend a young man fleeing in a car. Eventually the man is mowed down by a police submachine gun. Seventeen-year-old Richard Epple is dead; he was fleeing police because he was driving without a license.
2 March, Hamburg & Augsberg
Hamburg police raid an apartment used by the Baader-Meinhof Gang for producing forged documents. In the evening, Manfred Grashof and Wolfgang Grundmann enter the apartment and are surprised by the police. Grundmann gives up immediately, but Grashof fires at the cops from behind Grundmann. Police Chief Superintendent Hans Eckhardt, who is in charge of Hamburg's Baader-Meinhof Special Commission, takes two bullets. The other police return fire and shoot Grashof in the head and chest. Grashof will survive, but Eckhardt dies in Eppendorf University Hospital two weeks later.
In Augsburg police close in on a young couple that they had kept under surveillance for four weeks. A cop with an itchy trigger finger shoots Thomas Weissbecker, loosely connected to the Baader-Meinhof Gang and the Movement 2 June (and perpetrator of last year's prison switch with Georg Von Rauch). Hit in the heart, Weissbecker dies instantly. His companion, SPK member Carmen Roll, is taken into custody.
15 March, Federal Republic
Karl-Heinz Ruhland, the auto shop worker turned terrorist turned informer, is sentenced to four and a half years in prison for his participation with the Baader-Meinhof Gang.
29 March, Bielfield
Till Meyer, Movement 2 June member, is arrested after a shootout in Bielfield. No one is injured.
11 May, Frankfurt am Main
Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Holger Meins, and Jan-Carl Raspe place three pipe bombs near the entrance the the I.G. Farben building, which houses the headquarters of the US Army Corp. The bombs explode within minutes of each other from 6:59 AM to 7:02 AM. The officer's mess is destroyed. A shard of glass flies from the glass window of the mess and lodges deeply into the throat of Lt. Colonel Paul Bloomquist. A decorated Vietnam veteran and father of two, Bloomquist bleeds to death on the floor of the officer's mess. Damages to the building are estimated to be DM 1,000,000. The Baader-Meinhof Gang, calling themselves the "Petra Schelm Commando," claims responsibility in a communiqué (Full German Text), which demands the end to the American mining of North Vietnamese harbors.
12 May, Augsburg & Munich
Angela Luther and Irmgard Möller sneak into the Augsburg Police department and leave two time-delay pipe bombs. The bombs explode shortly after noon, injuring five policemen. Later in the Baader, Meins, and Ensslin leave a car bomb to explode in the parking lot of the state Bundeskriminalamt in Munich, destroying 60 cars. The Baader-Meinhof Gang, calling themselves the "Tommy Weissbecker Commando," claims responsibility for both bombings.
15 May Karlsruhe
Baader, Raspe, and Meins put a car bomb in the Volkswagen of Judge Wolfgang Buddenberg, who had signed most of the Baader-Meinhof arrest warrants. Buddenberg's wife, Gerta, is in the car when it explodes, severely injuring her. A communiqué is released claiming responsibility for the the bomb. It is signed, "The Manfred Grashof Commando."
19 May, Hamburg
Meinhof, Siegfried Hausner, Klause Jünschke, and Ilse Stachowiak place six bombs in the Hamburg offices of the Springer Press. Three fail to explode, but the other three bombs blow up around 3:15 PM, injuring 17 people. "The 2 July Commando" claims responsibility.
24 May Heidelberg
Irmgard Möller and Angela Luther drive two cars onto the Campbell Barracks of the US Army Supreme European Command in Heidelberg. It is an easy enough job, the guards wave any cars with American license plates through; a pair of stolen plates ensures that they will not be stopped. Helped by Baader and Meins, Möller's and Luther's cars are equipped with 50 pound bombs. Möller and Luther surely notice that the area they park their cars in is frequented by soldiers and their families.
At around 6:00 PM Captain Clyde Bonner of the US Army and his friend Ronald Woodward are killed instantly when the car that Möller has driven blows up next Bonner's new Ford Capri. Bonner is blown in half, his head and torso staying next to the car, with parts of his legs drooping off a nearby tree like wet leaves. The outside wall of the nearby base clubhouse collapses as well, knocking over a Coca-Cola machine, crushing and killing Charles Peck, another American soldier. Two days later in a communiqué, the "Commando Fifteenth July" (the day that Baader-Meinhof Gang member Petra Schelm was killed), claims responsibility for the bombings; they are "in response to American bombings in Vietnam."
1 June, Frankfurt am Main
Acting on a tip, police begin staking out a garage near Frankfurt. Peering inside, the police notice it is empty of people, but full of explosives. They empty the garage of bombs (replacing the explosives with empty containers), and install a listening device. City workers place hundreds of bags of peat and grass outside, as if preparing to plant grass. But the bags are filled with sand; the police are expecting a firefight.
5:50 AM: a lilac-colored Porsche pulls up outside of the garage. Three men get out. One of the men notices that the surrounding roofs, windows and street corners are covered with dozens--no, hundreds--of men, milling about. Clearly they are cops. The man pulls out a gun and gets off several shots, but is tackled before hitting anyone. Jan-Carl Raspe is finally captured. The other two men--Andreas Baader and Holger Meins--make it into the garage, locking the double doors behind them.
A television crew shows up and begins filming the siege. The police drill a hole into the garage and push in tear gas canisters, but the gas mostly wafts into the apartments upstairs. After about three hours, Baader appears in the doorway, loading a magazine into his weapon. A police sniper shoots him, injuring his leg. He screams and retreats back into the garage. A few minutes later Meins gives himself up. The cops force him to strip to his undershorts to ensure that he isn't carrying any weapons. After Meins' capture the cops storm the garage, nabbing Baader.
8 June, Hamburg
Gudrun Ensslin, almost beside herself with grief since the capture of her beloved Andreas, wanders into the Linette clothing boutique in Hamburg. After laying her jacket down to try on sweaters, a sales clerk notices that the jacket has a heavy bulge in a pocket. Closer inspection reveals that the bulge is a gun; she calls the police. Gudrun is taken into custody a short while later.
9 June, Berlin
Baader-Meinhof Gang member (and original member of the SPK) Brigitte Mohnhaupt and Movement 2 June member Bernhard Braun are captured in Berlin.
15 June, Hanover
Ulrike Meinhof and Gerhard Müller spent the past two days at the apartment of a teacher, who was a friend of one of Ulrike's Schili connections. At first the teacher does not realize exactly who is sleeping under his roof, but he takes his suspicions to his girlfriend the next morning and then to the police. On 15 June, the police begin staking out the apartment. Müller leaves the apartment to go to use a phone booth. Police attempt to arrest him as he picks up the receiver. He pulls out his pistol, but is quickly wrestled to the ground. Later, much later, Müller will prove to be the most valuable catch of all of the Baader-Meinhof Gang; he will turn on his comrades and testify against all of them. For now, though, the police aren't even sure who they have captured. Prior to his arrest no one had even suspected his involvement with the group.
After Müller's capture the police go upstairs to the apartment. They knock on the door and Meinhof answers. They take her into custody immediately. She seems shocked, and begins to cry. Initially she does not struggle, but after a few minutes she begins screaming and fighting. By the time she is photographed by the press at the police station a few hours later, her face is completely swollen. To many who see her face in the paper the next day, Meinhof surely has been beaten by the police.
Though they are fairly certain that they have captured Meinhof, the police do not have definitive proof. They do not have fingerprints of Meinhof to compare against. One of the police officers finds a copy of Stern magazine in the hide-out apartment; in it is an article about Meinhof. Accompanying the article is a photograph of an X-Ray of Meinhof's brain, taken after an operation in 1962 when Meinhof had a metal clip placed over an engorged blood vessel in her head. One of the officers suggests that they X-ray her head to see if the woman that they have captured has a clip in her head. After forcibly anesthetizing Meinhof, an X-ray is taken, revealing the tell-tale clip.
25 June, Stuttgart
Police burst in the apartment of a young Scottish businessman named Iain Macleod (they are acting on tips that he is involved with the Baader-Meinhof Gang). Macleod shrieks; the police shoot, killing him. Police never conclusively link him to the activities of the Baader-Meinhof Gang.
7 July, Offenbach
New Baader-Meinhof Gang member Hans-Peter Konieczny is cornered by police. He is quietly persuaded that the likelihood of him going to prison will be lessened if he aids in the capture of other gang members. Konieczny sets up Klaus Jünschke and Irmgard Möller, who are easily captured by the police. Konieczny is released from custody two months later.
13 July, Federal Republic
Lawyer and sometime RAF member Jörg Lang, who had brought Konieczny into the group, is arrested on suspicion of supplying the group with apartments.
5 September, Munich
Any hopes that the days of the terrorism menace is behind them for the Federal Republic are put to a rest on 5 September. Amidst the glory of the Olympic Games, "Black September" Palestinian terrorists capture Israeli hostages in the Olympic Village. A bungled rescue operation by the Bavarian state authorities leads to the deaths of all eleven hostages, five Palestinians, and one cop.
20 September, Zweibrücken
Meinhof is transferred from Ossendorf Prison to Zweibrücken Prison to take part in an identification line-up. Meinhof is determined to ruin the process by screaming "I'M ULRIKE MEINHOF!" The police instruct the other women in the line-up to follow suit; the witnesses are treated the unforgettable spectacle of six women screaming and clawing at their guards; five impostors and one true criminal all screaming hysterically: "SWINE!" "THIS IS ALL JUST A SHOW!" and "I AM ULRIKE MEINHOF!"
11 December, Berlin
Till Meyer of Movement 2 June is sentenced to three years in prison for the attempted murder of a policeman.
Late 1972, Federal Republic
Andreas Baader is brought to Berlin to testify in Horst Mahler's trial. While on the stand, Baader takes the opportunity to publicly announce a hunger strike for all Baader-Meinhof prisoners. Word quickly spreads to the captured terrorists held in over ten different prisons across the Federal Republic.
9 February, Cologne
After eight months of total isolation in the "Dead Section" of Cologne's Ossendorf prison, Ulrike Meinhof is finally moved to an area of the prison that is populated by other prisoners. The move is prompted by the hunger strikes that most of the Baader-Meinhof Gang members are waging. The hunger strikes are called off, and Meinhof is put back in the "Dead Section" within a week.
All of the other main Baader-Meinhof prisoners are in prisons throughout the Federal Republic: Andreas Baader in Schwalmstadt, Jan-Carl Raspe and Astrid Proll in Cologne with Meinhof (but in separate wing), Gudrun Ensslin in Essen, Holger Meins in Wittlich, Irmgard Möller in Rastatt, and Gerhard Müller in Hamburg.
Margrit Schiller is released from prison, and promptly goes back underground.
3 March, Khartoum
Black September Palestinian guerrillas execute American diplomats Cleo Noel Jr. and George Moore. The diplomats had been among many hostages taken by Black September from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Khartoum. The guerrillas have been demanding the release of Sirhan Sirhan (Bobby Kennedy's killer), many Palestinians held in Jordan, all Arab women detained in Israel, as well as all members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang.
8 March, Cologne
The New York Times reports that "West Germany's security authorities are in the process of establishing a special anti-terrorist department to counteract foreign and domestic political militants suspected of plotting violence. ...Its principal task is to infiltrate German and foreign anarchist groups with the aim of gathering the kind of intelligence that would enable the police to take preventative measures."
Gudrun Ensslin uses characters from Moby Dick as new code-names for the imprisoned members of the gang. Gudrun becomes "Smutje," Baader "Ahab," Holger Meins "Starbuck," Jan-Carl Raspe "Carpenter," Gerhard Müller "Queequeg," and Horst Mahler "Bildad." Gudrun dubs Meinhof "Teresa," which was not a character from Moby Dick. Baader-Meinhof Biographer Stefan Aust later theorizes that Ensslin named Meinhof "Teresa" after the 16th Century Saint.
8 May - 29 June, Federal Republic
The prisoners begin their second hunger strike, which lasts two months. Despite being located in many prisons throughout the Federal Republic, the prisoners are able to communicate by using their lawyers as go-betweens.
7 July, Berlin
Movement 2 June member Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann is arrested after a shootout.
A skeleton of a woman is found in the woods outside of Munich. Police identify the remains as Ingeborg Barz, a former Baader-Meinhof member who has been missing for a year. There have been claims that Baader shot Barz after she indicated that she wanted to leave the group. The dead women found near Munich had not been shot, and many people dispute the police identification.
27 July, Berlin
Movement 2 June raids a Berlin bank, netting DM 200,000.
Movement 2 June member Inge Viett escapes from her prison cell by sawing through her bars with a smuggled saw.
13 November, Berlin
Movement 2 June member Till Meyer escapes from Castro-Rauxel prison.
12 December, Berlin
Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann is sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for the attempted murder of a policeman.
Ulrike Meinhof stops all contact with her children. Her beloved "mice," Bettina and Regine, never see their mother again.
4 February, Hamburg & Frankfurt
Police raids in Hamburg and Frankfurt result in the re-arrests of Ilse Stachowiak, Christa Eckes, and Margit Schiller, and the arrests of Helmut Pohl, Kay-Werner Allnach, and Wolfgang Beer.
5 February, Cologne
Gudrun Ensslin is transferred from Essen to Cologne's Ossendorf prison, and placed into the cell next to Ulrike Meinhof.
13 February, Berlin
The trial for the bombing of Berlin's British Yacht Club by members of the Movement 2 June begins. Verena Becker, Wolfgang Knupe, and Willi Rather are the defendants. Students and radicals riot outside the courtroom.
Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin are transferred to Stuttgart's Stammheim prison. They are the first residents of Stammheim's newly refitted high-security wing. The plan is for all of the major Baader-Meinhof defendants to ultimately live in Stammheim. Plans are set in motion to build a large, self-contained courthouse in the potato field beside Stammheim prison. The courthouse, costing millions, is to be built especially for the pending Baader-Meinhof trial, and then converted for prison use.
27 April, Berlin
Meinhof is transferred temporarily to Berlin's Moabit prison to be tried for her part in the May 1970 freeing of Andreas Baader. Meinhof is tried with Horst Mahler, who is already serving time for his part in the crime (he had previously been found Not Guilty of participation, but the verdict was set aside), but is now being tried for "criminal association, and Hans-Jürgen Bäcker, who is believed to be the gunman who shot the elderly librarian Georg Linke in the 1970 rescue of Baader.
Meinhof uses her courthouse pulpit to announce another hunger strike among the prisoners. Mahler declines to take part in the hunger strike, thus essentially confirming that he is no longer a member of the RAF. His former associate Monika Berberich denounces him on the Moabit stand: "[Mahler is an] unimportant tattler and a ridiculous figure."
4 June, Berlin
Ulrich Schmücker, a member of Movement 2 June, is shot by his fellow terrorists in the Grunewald, the large forested park on the Western edge of Berlin's Dahlem neighborhood. Some believe Schmücker was executed because his fellow terrorists believed that he was an informant, others believe that he was accidentally shot during a "mock" execution designed to scare him.
A lawyer for the SPK, Eberhard Becker, is arrested.
Mid-year, Federal Republic
"The Urban Guerrilla and Class Conflict," an official history and manifesto of the Red Army Faction, is written by Meinhof (with major editing by Ensslin) and released (Full German Text).
September, Federal Republic
A document from some of the imprisoned group leaders, explaining the reasons for their hunger strike, is smuggled out of prison by defense lawyers and released publically.
2 October, Stuttgart
The five primary members of the gang, Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe, and Holger Meins, are indicted officially of dozens of crimes, including murder. Baader is transferred to join Ensslin in Stammheim (Meinhof is still on trial in Berlin). Holger Meins, whose physical health has been severely weakened by the hunger strike, stays in his Wittlich jail cell. All of the prisoners continue their hunger strikes, though there is evidence to believe that a few of the prisoners, like Baader, are cheating. Prison officials begin force feeding Ensslin and Meins, strapping them to tables, opening their mouths with pry-bars, and forcing feeding tubes down their throats.
9 November, Wittlich
Holger Meins lays dying in his Wittlich cell. A tall man, he now weighs less than 100 pounds. His lawyer, Siegfried Haag, visits him in jail and realizes that he is dying. By 5:00 PM, Holger Meins is dead.
10 November, Berlin
The response to Meins' death is immediate. Demonstrations take place in Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, and Stuttgart.
In the evening, a delivery man shows up at the door of Günter von Drenkmann, the president of Germany's Superior Court of Justice. Von Drenkmann, celebrating his 64th birthday, opens the door to the delivery man, and several other people jump from the bushes and overpower von Drenkmann. In the mêlée, Drenkmann gets shot three times, and dies a short while later in the hospital.
The attack was apparently a botched kidnapping by Movement 2 June, in response to the death of Meins.
Germany is polarizing. Many people interpret Meins' death as a murder, pure and simple, and join the growing number of "sympathizers" who support the terrorists' cause. Others are sickened by the murder of von Drenkmann and look for the government to stop the terrorists by any means necessary.
Police conduct massive nationwide raids in the weeks following von Drenkmann's murder. Two Protestant church figures, Rev. Cornelius Burghardt and Undine Zühlke (a social worker and wife a prominent minister), are arrested, accused of smuggling a Baader-Meinhof letter out of prison. Over 100 members of the Evangelical Church quit the following day in disgust with the police action. Burghardt and Zühlke are released on 29 November.
Volker Speitel, a former Red Aid volunteer who, along with his wife Angelike, has been working in Klaus Croissant's office organizing the "info system" between the various prisoners, goes underground following the death of Meins. The lawyer Siegfried Haag puts Speitel in contact with the remnants of the Red Army Faction. Speitel meets up in Frankfurt with Hanne-Elise Krabbe, Bernhard Rössner, Lutz Taufer and Ullrich Wessel. Most of these people are former members of the Heidelberg Socialists Patients Collective (SPK), a radical organization of psychiatric-patient students who believe their mental illnesses are the result of Capitalism. Speitel quickly surmises that the constant police raids have decimated the RAF, leaving it with a few hand grenades, some guns, bombs, and five weary terrorists. After a short stint with the RAF, Speitel quickly tires of life underground and rejoins Croissant's office.
Late November, Cologne & Stuttgart
Former student leader, "Red" Rudi Dutschke, visits Jan-Carl Raspe in Ossendorf prison. Dutschke's young son, Hosea-Ché Dutschke (named after a biblical character and Ché Guevara), tags along. Raspe is transferred to Stammheim shortly thereafter.
At Meinhof's urging, Baader-Meinhof lawyer Klaus Croissant convinces famous French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre to visit Andreas Baader in prison. His chauffeur in Stuttgart is Hans Joachim Klein, who will participate two years later with Carlos the Jackal in the terrorist take-over of the yearly OPEC ministers meeting.
29 November, Berlin
Meinhof is sentenced to eight years imprisonment for her part in the 1970 freeing of Baader. Mahler is given an additional 4 years (for a total of 12 years), and Bäcker is found not guilty.
1 January, Bonn
"Lex Baader-Meinhof," or the "Baader-Meinhof Laws" become effective. These laws, which are amendments to the "Basic Law," West Germany's quasi-constitution, allow the courts to exclude a lawyer from defending a client merely if there is suspicion of the lawyer "forming a criminal association with the defendant." The new laws also allow for trials to continue in the absence of a defendant if the reason for the defendant's absence is of the defendant's own doing; i.e. they are ill from a hunger strike.
27 February, Berlin
At about 9:00 AM, Peter Lorenz leaves his home in the Zehlendorf district. Lorenz is the CDU (Christian Democrat Union) candidate for mayor in the West Berlin city elections to be held in three days. Less than half a mile from his house, his Mercedes is blocked by a large truck, and a Fiat rams his car. Lorenz's driver, Werner Sowa, is beaten, and Lorenz is kidnapped into a waiting automobile. The kidnappers are from Movement 2 June. Sowa identifies Angela Luther, who has been underground for three years, as one of the kidnappers.
Authorities put up a $44,000 reward for information. Current Berlin Mayor Klaus Schütz (Lorenz's SPD opponent and a personal friend of Lorenz's) announces that the elections will take place as scheduled, but all campaigning will be called off.
28 February, Berlin
A Polaroid photo is released early in the morning showing Lorenz with a sign around his neck: "Peter Lorenz, prisoner of the 2 June Movement." With the photo is a demand for the immediate release of six terrorists: Horst Mahler, Verena Becker, Gabriele Kröcher-Tiedemann, Ingrid Siepmann, Rolf Heissler, and Rolf Pohle. Except for Mahler, all are either members of Movement 2 June, or connected to it. A message is attached to the demands: "to our [Baader-Meinhof] comrades in jail. We would like to get more of you out, but at our present strength we're not in a position to do it." The kidnappers have been careful in making their selections; no terrorist accused of murder is on the list.
The kidnappers demand that authorities provide a Boeing 707 within three days. Three of the prisoners, Pohle, Kröcher-Tiedemann, and Heissler, must be flown from their jails throughout the Federal Republic to Berlin within two days. The others are already in Berlin. When all six are ready to fly on the 707 to a country of their choice, they are to be given $9,000 each. Furthermore, the kidnappers want former Mayor Heinrich Albertz to accompany their jailed comrades on the flight to guarantee their passage. Albertz was the mayor who initially condemned the rioting during the Shah visit on 2 June, 1967, but was ousted after he had a change of heart. Albertz agrees to participate, but only in his role as a Protestant pastor, and not in his role as a former politician.
The kidnappers also demand the unconditional release from a Berlin prison of a couple of small-time left-wing protestors, Ettore Canella, an Italian, and Gerhard Jagdmann, who both were arrested for protesting during the previous November.
1 March, Berlin
Newspapers worldwide print the image of Ettore Canella sprinting to freedom out of his Berlin jail. Behind him, Gerhard Jagdmann strolls out assuredly.
During their evening broadcasts, the German news programs show interviews with Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann from her Essen jail cell, and Horst Mahler from his Berlin cell; both refuse to be released, electing to stay in prison.
1-3 March, Stuttgart
Bugs are secretly installed in five of the Baader-Meinhof cells at Stammheim prison, by the Counter-Espionage unit of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
4 March, Frankfurt & Berlin
Heinrich Albertz and the rest of the Lufthansa crew fly back to Frankfurt from Aden, South Yemen, having released Pohle, Becker, Heissler, Siepmann, and Kröcher-Tiedemann (who had a second change of heart and elected to make the trip after all).
A car screams through Berlin's Wilmersdorf district shortly before midnight. Lorenz is pushed out of the back seat, his blindfold removed, and given a 50-fenning coin. He stumbles over to a phone booth as the car tears off. Lorenz calls his wife and lets her know that the ordeal is over. Within minutes police begin raiding suspected radical hideouts throughout Berlin and the Federal Republic.
6 March, Paris
A bomb rips through the Paris offices of Axel Springer's newspaper chain, destroying it. A Paris news agency receives a typewritten note from "the 6 March group," claiming that the bombing was committed to demand "the liberation and total amnesty of the Baader-Meinhof group."
8 March, Aden
Press reports indicate that leftist South Yemen government has asked the freed terrorists to leave their country, apparently from pressure by West Germany.
15 April, Karlsruhe
Four American lawyers formally protest the "Baader-Meinhof Laws" in Germany's Constitutional Court: former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, radical "Chicago Seven" lawyer William Kunstler, powerful leftist lawyer Peter Weiss, and William Schaap.
Their protests do little good. The court approves the laws, allowing the Baader-Meinhof judges to exclude Klaus Croissant, Kurt Groenwald, and Hans-Christian Ströbele from the defense team. These moves are ironic because Croissant, Groenwald, and Ströbele have all been recently kicked off of the defense team already by the Baader. The Baader-Meinhof defendants clearly want it known who was in control, and any perceived ideological weakening of one of their lawyers resulted in the sacking of that lawyer.
24 April, Stockholm
Six Red Army Faction terrorists, most of whom were former members of the Heidelberg Socialist Patients Collective (SPK), take over the West German Embassy in Stockholm, taking 11 hostages. The terrorists are: Siegfried Hauser, Hanne-Elise Krabbe, Karl-Heinz Dellwo, Lutz Taufer, Bernhard-Maria Rössner, and Ullrich Wessel. Swedish police quickly occupy the lower portion of the embassy. The terrorists order them to leave, saying they will kill the military attaché if the police don't comply. They don't. Angry, the terrorist bind the hands of the embassy's military attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Baron Andreas von Mirchbach, and order him to walk toward the top of the stairs of the upper floor. Then they shoot him in the leg, head and chest. Police drag the dying man away (after stripping down to their underwear to show that they were unarmed) and then move out of the building.
The terrorists pile massive amounts of TNT into the basement of the facility, and then call the German Press Agency and list their demands. The want all Baader-Meinhof defendants released immediately. This time Bonn does not respond quite as favorably as they did during the Lorenz kidnapping. The kidnappers indicate that they will begin shooting a hostage every hour until their demands are met. After one hour Dr. Heinz Hillegart, the embassy's economic attaché is taken to an open window. A terrorist shoots him and leaves the elderly Hillegart's body hanging like a rag doll out of the window.
Shortly before midnight a wiring short causes the TNT to explode prematurely. Ullrich Wessel is killed immediately, but all of the other terrorists and hostages survive, most with bad burns. All of the terrorists are captured without a fight. Terrorist Siegfried Hausner is particularly badly burned, and is flown to Stammheim Prison's medical ward a few days later. He dies in prison on 5 May.
The terrorists in the operation had been handpicked by Siegfried Haag, the lawyer associate of Klaus Croissant. With the imprisonment of the leaders of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, Haag has become the de facto leader of the so-called "second generation of the RAF," which is dedicated almost solely to freeing the first generation's leaders from prison.
Technicians from the Federal Intelligence Service install two more bugs in two unoccupied Stammheim cells; now seven Baader-Meinhof prison ward cells are bugged.
21 May, Stuttgart
The pretrial hearings of the Baader-Meinhof leaders begins in the newly constructed Stammheim prison courtroom. Utilitarian in nature, the courtroom was constructed on the grounds of Stammheim prison at a cost of DM 15,000,000. The roof is covered with jagged razor wire to prevent helicopter landings and steel nets to prevent any potential airborne bombs from doing damage, the entrance has a sophisticated metal detector.
Otto Schily, Marielouise Becker, Rupert von Plottnitz, and Helmut Riedel are present as defense lawyers, but Baader is still without representation with the expulsion of Croissant, Ströbele and Groenwald. Several state appointed defense lawyers are present as well. Judge Theodor Prinzing is the lead judge of several judges that jointly oversee the trial.
5 June, Stuttgart
Baader begins the second day of hearings by reminding the court that is still without representation. He also makes the bold claim that the cells are bugged. His suspicions are dismissed out of hand by the skeptical German press; Baader is getting paranoid, they say.
Two years later the existence of the bugs will be admitted by government authorities. They will claim that they only monitored the bugs briefly during the Stockholm Embassy stand-off, and again briefly in 1976. Supposedly the authorities immediately erased all of the tapes; no copies will ever turn up.
23 June, Stuttgart
Croissant and Ströbele are arrested and Croissant's Stuttgart offices are raided.
19 August, Stuttgart
The defendants are finally officially charged: Gudrun Ensslin, Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, and Jan-Carl Raspe are jointly charged with four murders, 54 attempted murders and a single count of forming a criminal association.
Members of the Movement 2 June steal thousands of U-Banh (subway) tickets and freely distribute them to grateful Berliners upset at recent price hikes in the tickets. Movement 2 June members also participate in two bank raids in which they distribute chocolate kisses to the customers and bank staff.
By September, however, most of the Movement 2 June leadership is in jail: Ralf Reinders, Till Meyer, Inge Viett, Julianne Plambeck, Fritz Teufel, and Gabrielle Rollnick. They are all charged with the Lorenz kidnapping and the bank raids. Reinders is charged with the murder of von Drenkmann in November of the previous year.
21 December, Vienna
An all-star cast of terrorists, led by the infamous Carlos the Jackal, bursts into a OPEC conference. Among the terrorists were Gabriele Kröcher-Tiedemann, the Movement 2 June member who had been released as part of the Lorenz kidnapping, and Hans-Joachim Klein, a member of the little-known German terrorist group Revolutionary Cells, who had served as Jean-Paul Sartre's chauffeur when he visited Baader in Stammheim. Kröcher-Tiedemann kills two men in the raid, an Austrian policeman Anton Tichler, and an Iraqi guard, Khafali. Carlos kills a Libyan civil servant, Yousef Ismirli. Klein is seriously wounded in the mêlée, but the operation otherwise works out well; Carlos secures $5 million ransom for Palestinian causes and the terrorists are able to disappear into the Middle East.
13 January, Stuttgart
After months of pretrial courtroom maneuvers, the Baader-Meinhof trial officially begins. The defendants immediately admit to membership in an urban guerrilla group, and admit to "political responsibility" for the bomb attacks that they have been charged with (as opposed to direct responsibility).
Late January, Stuttgart
Dierk Hoff, in who's metal shop the Baader-Meinhof bombs of 1972 were made, testifies for the prosecution.
February & March, Stuttgart
The trial continues with testimony about the bombings of the Heidelberg U.S. Army headquarters, the Augsburg police offices, and the Criminal investigation offices in Munich. The defendants do not attend most of the proceedings. Privately, the tension between Ulrike Meinhof and the other prisoners, particularly Gudrun Ensslin, heats up. Meinhof grows increasingly depressed.
Gerhard Müller and Irmgard Möller, on trial elsewhere, get four and a half years for some of their terrorist activities.
The trial of the SPK/RAF defendants who overtook the Stockholm Embassy begins.
4 May, Stuttgart
After staying away from the courtroom by choice for a month, Meinhof attends the trial with Andreas Baader, Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe. She leaves after 15 minutes, never to appear in court again. After she leaves, Baader-Meinhof lawyers attempt to have the court compel several witnesses: Richard Nixon, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, Georg Kiesinger, Walter Scheel, and others. The lawyers' plan is to prove that the United States' involvement in Southeast Asia was a violation of international law, and therefore the American targets of the Baader-Meinhof Gang could be considered legitimate targets. The presiding judges reject the applications.
9 May, Stuttgart
The body of Ulrike Meinhof is found hanging by a makeshift rope from the grating covering her Stammheim cell window -- it's Mother's Day.
Meinhof had torn a towel into long strips, and twisted the strips into a rope. She stood on a stool under the window, carefully threaded the rope through the small mesh grating, wrapped the other end of the rope around her neck, and kicked the stool aside.
The death is ruled suicide by strangulation at the post-mortem held later in the afternoon.
11 May, Stuttgart
A second post-mortem is held at the request of Weinke Meinhof, Ulrike's sister, and at the request of the Baader-Meinhof defense lawyers. The presiding examiner, Dr. Werner Janssen, issues a statement after the examination: "To judge by the usable findings of the second post-mortem, Frau Meinhof suffered death by hanging. The findings of the examination so far available give no grounds for suspecting any extraneous factors.
Later, the findings of the two postmortems are called into question by those believing Meinhof to have been murdered, but no convincing counter-evidence is ever presented.
Jan-Carl Raspe speaks about Meinhof's death in open court: "We believe that Ulrike was executed," he says. Raspe says that even though the relationship between Meinhof and Baader was strained at times, it should be not considered evidence that she wanted to commit suicide.
Mid-May, Frankfurt & Berlin
Massive demonstrations against the "murder" of Meinhof are held throughout the Federal Republic, the largest being in Frankfurt and Berlin. Bombs go off in Nice and Paris, France, and at the American air base in Frankfurt.
16 May, Berlin
Meinhof's funeral is held at Holy Trinity Protestant Cemetery in the Mariendorf section of West Berlin. Thousands of supporters attend. Klaus Wagenbach, the leftist publisher who unwittingly became a central part of the ruse to free Baader in 1970, speaks to the crowd, along with several other prominent leftists.
27 June, Entebbe, Uganda
An Air France Airbus is hijacked en route from Tel Aviv to Paris, and touches down in terrorist-friendly Uganda. The terrorists are led by the notorious "Carlos the Jackal," and include Revolutionary Cells (RZ) members Wilfred Böse and Brigitte Kuhlmann.
In exchange for the hostages, the hijackers demand the release of forty Palestinians held in Israel, five prisoners held in Kenya, one in France, one in Switzerland, and six German prisoners: Jan-Carl Raspe, Ingrid Schubert, and Werner Hoppe of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, and Fritz Teufel, Ralf Reinders and Inge Viett of Movement 2 June. Before any prisoners are released, an Israeli commando team storms the plane and frees all of the hostages, save for an elderly Jewish woman, Dora Bloch; she had been transported earlier to a hospital. When the hostages were rescued, an angry Ugandan president, Idi Amin, reportedly showed up at the hospital to personally strangle her with his bare hands. Böse, Kuhlmann and most of the other hijackers are killed; Carlos escapes.
7 July, Berlin
Monika Berberich of the Baader-Meinhof Gang escapes from Lehrterstrasse maximum security prison in Berlin, along with Movement 2 June members Inge Viett, Gabrielle Rollnick, and Juliane Plambeck. They beat up a guard, hop over a wall, and disappear.
8 July, Stuttgart
Gerhard Müller, former Baader-Meinhof comrade who had been arrested with Ulrike Meinhof, testifies against the defendants in the Stammheim trial in exchange for a reduced sentence. Müller describes the structure of the RAF in great detail.
21 July, Berlin & Athens
Monika Berberich is captured in Berlin. Rolf Pohle, who specialized in acquiring arms for terrorists like the RAF, is captured in Athens. Pohle is only extradited after Helmut Schmidt threatens the Greek government with massive economic sanctions if they fail to turn him over (he is returned to Germany in October).
22 July, Stuttgart
Brigitte Mohnhaupt testifies at the Stammheim trial, refuting Müller's damaging testimony.
28 July, Stuttgart
SPK member Klaus Jünschke also testifies against Müller's testimony at the Stammheim trial. At one point Jünschke leaps over the judge's bench and attacks presiding judge Theodor Prinzing. The attack is used against Jünschke the following year during sentencing for his own crimes; it is used as "proof" of Jünschke's fanatical hatred of the state. He is given life imprisonment for "joint murder" during the pre-Christmas 1971 Kaiserlautern bank raid, despite flimsy evidence of his presence at the bank.
Kay-Werner Allnach and other imprisoned RAF members are placed on trial for their participation. During his previous two years in solitary confinement and in a hospital recovering from intestinal cancer, Allnach had chosen to break from the RAF. During his trial, Allnach will refuse to testify against his former comrades.
22-27 November, Frankfurt
Siegfried Haag, a former lawyer associate of Baader-Meinhof lawyer Klaus Croissant, and Roland Mayer are arrested in Frankfurt. Haag had gone underground after the arrests of Baader, Meinhof, Ensslin, and the others to attempt to rebuild the RAF.
13 December, Vienna
Sabine Schmitz and Waltraud Boock, comrades of Haag's, are arrested following an unsuccessful bank raid in Vienna.
Irmgard Möller is transferred to the high security wing of Stammheim Prison, where she joins Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe, and Ingrid Schubert.
Presiding Judge Theodor Prinzing is finally removed on appeal from the trial after 84 previously unsuccessful appeals by Baader-Meinhof lawyers. One of the lawyers had proven that Prinzing was feeding information about the trial to the Appeals Court judge who would ultimately hear any appeals to the case.
Baader-Meinhof member Kay Werner Allnach is convicted of membership in a criminal gang. Because of the lack of other evidence, Allnach is spared conviction on greater charges.
16 March, Stuttgart
It is revealed publicly that the state had previously installed bugs in seven of the cells used by Baader-Meinhof prisoners. The state claims that the bugs were only briefly used twice. Few believe it.
29 March, Stuttgart
Raspe, Baader, and Ensslin make their final appearance in court. Manfred Künzel, Ensslin's court-appointed lawyer, elects to resign the case, citing the bugging incident.
7 April, Karlsruhe
Federal Prosecutor General Siegfried Buback is murdered, along with two others, near his home in Karlsruhe. "The Ulrike Meinhof Commando" claims responsibility in a communiqué delivered a few days later to Frankfurt office of the German Press Agency.
21 April, Stuttgart
The final day of testimony for the Baader-Meinhof trial.
28 April, Stuttgart
The verdict is read. Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe are found guilty of four murders and over 30 counts of attempted murder. Each defendant is sentenced to life imprisonment. After almost two years, 192 actual days of testimony, and at a cost of over 15 million dollars, the trial is over.
Stammheim Prison prepares its high security wing to accept other Baader-Meinhof prisoners from around the Federal Republic. The plan is to provide a super-high security prison environment where all of the terrorists can be permanently segregated from the other prisoners. During construction in the cell block, Baader and Raspe manage to "borrow" several tools capable of burrowing into concrete and patching it up later.
Late June, Stuttgart
Three Red Army Faction prisoners arrive at Stammheim from a Hamburg prison, joining Baader, Ensslin, Raspe, Schubert, and Möller. Later, Verena Becker, who is actually a member of Movement 2 June, joins them as well.
30 July, Oberursel
Susanne Albrecht, born of wealthy, well-connected parents, pays a visit to the home of Jürgen Ponto, a friend of her father's and chairman of the Dresdener Bank. Albrecht, Brigitte Mohnhaupt, and an unidentified man, shoot Ponto five times, killing him.
Early August, Sensbechtal
At a memorial service for Ponto, attended by most of the biggest names in German industry, Hanns-Martin Schleyer, President of the Employers Association and board member of Daimler-Benz, ruefully notes, "the next victim of terrorism is almost certainly standing in this room now."
25 August, Karlsruhe
Members of the so-called "Second Generation of the RAF" build a rocket launcher and take over an apartment directly across the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe. The device does not go off as planned, sparing dozens of lives. Later, in court, the builder of the rocket, Peter-Jürgen Boock, claims that he had a change of heart after seeing all of the innocent office workers that he knew would die at his hands. Boock claims that he deliberately tampered with the timer to prevent the rocket barrage from taking place; the court does not believe him.
5 September, Cologne
Hanns-Martin Schleyer, who made the prophetic statement at Ponto's memorial the previous month, is kidnapped from his car, despite the protection of three police officers. Officers Reinhold Brändle, Roland Pieler, and Helmut Ulmer are killed, along with Schleyer's chauffeur, Heinz Marcisz. All of Schleyer's kidnappers escape. This is the first day of what would later be called "the German Autumn."
6 September, Wiesbaden
A letter addressed "To the Federal Government" is left in the mailbox of a Protestant dean in Wiesbaden. Inside is a photograph of Schleyer and a note: "The Siegfried Hausner Commando took prisoner the President of the Employers Association and the Federation of German Industry, Hanns-Martin Schleyer." The note demands "the release of Red Army Faction prisoners Baader, Ensslin, Raspe, Verena Becker, Werner Hoppe, Karl-Heinz Dellwo, Hanne-Elise Krabbe, Bern Rössner, Ingrid Schubert, and Irmgard Möller." The note demands that the prisoners be allowed to fly to the country of their choosing, along with 100,000 DM each. Accompanying the letter is a handwritten note from Schleyer. "I have been told that if investigations continue, my life is in danger. The same would apply if the demands are not met and the ultimatums observed. However, the decision is not mine. --Hanns Martin Schleyer." The white Volkswagen Minibus used in the kidnapping is found in the parking garage of the Wiener Weg apartments in Cologne.
7 September, Wiesbaden
The kidnappers are sent a message from Horst Herold, commissioner of the BKA. He wants further proof of that Schleyer is alive; the kidnappers comply by sending a tape of Schleyer giving answers to personal questions. The kidnappers transfer Schleyer to an apartment in Erfstadt-Liblar (about 30 minutes outside of Cologne), which had been rented the previous month by Monika Helbing, for the purpose of hiding Schleyer. Other messages by Schleyer are delivered later in the day to two different Protestant church figures. The BKA goes on TV at midnight and addresses the kidnappers.
8 September 1977, Wiesbaden
The BKA again addresses the kidnappers through the mass media; but because of their experiences with the Peter Lorenz kidnapping in 1975, they are reluctant to continue doing so. They want to prevent another situation where kidnappers have an open soapbox to preach from, so they press for the kidnappers to name an intermediary to negotiate with.
10 September, Geneva
The German government hires Swiss Lawyer Denis Payot to become an intermediator. Two months later he would be paid 200,000 SF for his work. Payot holds a televised press conference to establish his credentials for the kidnappers. He is called by a member of the Red Army Faction later that evening. The kidnapper demands that one of his imprisoned comrades is to appear on television and state that the preparations for their flight from Germany are underway. Payot dutifully passes on to Bonn the kidnappers' demands.
12 September, Wiesbaden
The BKA instructs Payot to inform the kidnappers that the BKA will hand out questionnaires to the prisoners, asking if they want to leave prison, and if so, which country they want to be flown to.
12 September, Stuttgart
The BKA sends Alfred Klaus to give the Stammheim prisoners their questionnaires. The preferred destinations listed by the imprisoned terrorists run the gamut from Vietnam, to Algeria, to Libya. The government begins exploratory talks with the governments of Libya and Algeria, to see if they will be willing to take the prisoners.
Back at Stammheim, prison officials grow concerned about the forbidden communication between prisoners and begin putting large pads outside the cell doors to prevent the prisoners from talking to each other at night. Unbeknownst to the prison officials, the prisoners have jury-rigged an ingenious electronic "phone" system already. Using a power circuit that connected each cell, but which is turned off for 23 hours of the day, the prisoners modified smuggled radios to send their conversations along the unused wire. They would talk to each other late into the night.
13-21 September, Wiesbaden
The BKA, through Denis Payot, spends as much time as possible stalling the kidnappers, dragging out the details of the escape flight for the prisoners. The kidnappers grow impatient.
Late September, Wiesbaden
The Federal Republic passes a special law that allows judges to enforce a strict contact ban between convicted terrorists, and anyone else that the judge sees fit. Normally laws in Germany take many months, or even years, to pass; this law took about a week. Only three members of the Bundestag vote against it.
The BKA steps up its "private" investigation (it could not carry out an aggressive public investigation for fear of upsetting the kidnappers). Thousands of police are sent to major telephone switching hubs and to post offices to intercept likely terrorist communication. The most extensive phone tapping operation in German history, and perhaps anywhere, is put in place.
25 September, Wiesbaden
The BKA tells the kidnappers that Libya and South Yemen have refused to accept the prisoners, but they have yet to receive a response from Vietnam.
27 September, Stuttgart
Alfred Klaus, of the BKA, flies to Stammheim at Jan-Carl Raspe's request. Raspe hands Klaus a typewritten note indicating that if the countries that have already been mentioned would not take them, then there are several other countries which would suffice: Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Ethiopia. Klaus realizes that Raspe's note uses the word "We," indicating that the prisoners had been in contact with each other, despite the contact ban.
1-2 October, Stuttgart
Arnt Müller, Klaus Croissant's associate, is arrested in Stuttgart for his associations with known terrorists. Volker Speitel, an RAF supporter who had briefly gone underground to join the cause, is arrested the following day for the same reasons.
8-11 October, Geneva & Stuttgart
Payot receives a letter from Schleyer, along with a recent Polaroid. Back at Stammheim, the prisoners are becoming increasingly depressed by the contact ban. The BKA's Alfred Klaus again flies by helicopter to Stammheim. He talks to Baader and comes to the conclusion that Baader is contemplating suicide.
The next day Klaus returns to Stammheim after Ensslin says that she want to talk as well. She clearly indicates that she is feeling suicidal as well. A few days later, Baader tells the prison doctor that the gang members are contemplating collective suicide.
13 October, Palma de Mallorca
A Lufthansa Boeing 737, bound for Frankfurt, is hijacked by Palestinians shortly after take-off. The plane is diverted to Rome's Fiumicino Airport. Almost all of the passengers are German vacationers. Including the crew, there are 91 hostages. "This is Captain Martyr Mohammed speaking," announces one of the hijackers to the Rome air-traffic controllers. "The group I represent demands the release of our comrades in German prisons. We are fighting against the imperialist organizations of the world." The Federal Border Police mobilizes its special GSG-9 anti-terrorist unit. The hi-jacked plane takes off from Rome heading towards the Persian Gulf. The four Palestinian terrorists are: Nabil Harb, Souhalia Andrawes, Nadia Shehadah Duaibes, and Zohair Akache.
14 October, Geneva & Bahrain
Denis Payot receives another ultimatum, this time demanding the release of two additional Palestinian prisoners. Also demanded is a 15 million American dollar ransom, to be delivered by Schleyer's son, Eberhard. The Lufthansa plane lands in Bahrain, refuels, and heads to Dubai. Joint statements are issued by the Palestinians and the RAF kidnappers of Schleyer.
15 October, Frankfurt & Stuttgart
"Schleyer's son Eberhard is to hand over 15 million dollars," says an announcement released by the German Press Agency. "The authorities intend to meet one of the demands named by the terrorists by paying the kidnappers 15 million American dollars at mid-day on Saturday. Diplomatic circles in Bonn said on Saturday that a son of the kidnapped President of the Employers' Association Hanns Martin Schleyer, is to hand over the sum demanded at noon in the Intercontinental Hotel in Frankfurt."
Needless to say the kidnappers do not show up to the Intercontinental Hotel, but hundreds of reporters do. Horst Herold knew that the 15 million dollar ransom would not help get Schleyer back, so he authorized the news release to thwart the kidnappers. Klaus flies again to Stammheim to talk to the prisoners.
16 October, Dubai
The Palestinians hijackers have the Lufthansa plane flown from Dubai to Aden, where it lands beside a runway dotted with armored tanks put there for the expressed purpose of preventing it from landing. After the plane lands, the Palestinian's leader, "Martyr Mahmud," shoots and kills the pilot, Jürgen Schumann. His lifeless body is propped in a cloakroom at the back of the 737. Later it will be tossed unceremoniously on the tarmac.
17-18 October, Aden & Stuttgart
The refueled 737 takes off from Aden, landing a few hours later in Mogadishu, Somalia. The hijackers demand that the German government fly Baader and the other German terrorist prisoners to Mogadishu, or they will blow up the Lufthansa plane. Late in the day a German representative tells Mahmud that the prisoners are being prepared to be flown to Mogadishu.
After darkness, a Boeing 707 carrying the crack GSG-9 commando team lands unnoticed at the Mogadishu airport. After an hour of preparation, the GSG-9 unit storms the plane, killing three of the four hijackers, and seriously wounding the final one. None of the passengers is injured, save for one stewardess whose leg is is slightly hurt. Back in Stammheim, Raspe has been following the drama on his small, smuggled transistor radio. After hearing of the success of the raid, he spends the next few hours talking to Baader, Ensslin, and Möller on their secret "phone" system. They agree to a suicide pact. Verena Becker, the only other terrorist currently in Stammheim's high security wing, is apparently left out of the loop.
Much of what happens next is shrouded in controversy. Here's the official version: Sometime in the night of October 17-18, between 11:00pm and 7:00am, in cell 719 Baader removes his carefully hidden 7.65 caliber FEG pistol from its hiding place (it was among the dozens of illegal items smuggled into the "most secure prison in the world" by Baader-Meinhof lawyers). He shoots two bullets: one at the wall and one into a pillow, to leave the impression of a fight. Then he holds the gun behind his neck, puts his thumb on the trigger, and pulls it, blowing a hole through the top of his forehead.
In cell 716 Raspe takes his hidden 9mm Heckler and Koch pistol, sits on the edge of his bunk, puts the gun to his temple, and pulls the trigger.
In cell 720 Ensslin takes a piece of speaker wire and runs it through the narrow mesh grating covering her window. She makes a noose, puts her head through it, stands on a chair, and then kicks the chair aside.
In cell 725 Irmgard Möller takes a stolen knife and stabs herself four times. She comes within millimeters of her heart, but misses.
All of the prisoners are found the next morning. Raspe is alive, but dies at the hospital. Möller's life is saved at the same hospital. Baader and Ensslin had been dead for several hours when they are found. In the months that followed, an incredulous public can hardly believe that the prisoners had killed themselves, many preferring to believe that prison officials had murdered them. Much later, the best Baader-Meinhof biographer, Stefan Aust, demonstrates quite conclusively in his 1985 book, The Baader-Meinhof Group, that the prisoners almost assuredly did kill themselves. But it remains an article of faith among many leftist sympathizers that they were murdered.
19 October, Paris
"After 43 days, we have ended Hanns-Martin Schleyer's miserable and corrupt existence," reads a letter received by the leftist French paper Libération.
"Herr [Chancellor Helmut] Schmidt, who from the start has been reckoning with Schleyer's death in his power calculations, can find him in a green Audi 100 with Bad Homburg plates in the rue Charles Peguy in Mulhouse [France]. His death is of no significance in our pain and rage at the slaughter of Mogadishu and Stammheim. The fascist drama staged by the imperialists to destroy the liberation movement does not surprise Andreas, Gudrun, Jan, Irmgard and ourselves. We will never forgive Schmidt and the imperialists who support him for the blood that has been shed. The fight has only just begun. Freedom through the armed anti-imperialist struggle."
After police find Schleyer's body in the trunk of the Audi, they determine that he had been shot three times in the head, probably while kneeling in a forest (his mouth had pine needles in it).
25 October, Stuttgart
Hanns-Martin Schleyer is buried following a service in Stuttgart's Collegiate Church. German president Walter Scheel attends, saying, "In the name of all German citizens, I ask you, the family of Hanns-Martin Schleyer, for forgiveness."
27 October, Stuttgart
Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe are buried in Stuttgart's Waldfriedhof Cemetery. Initially many town citizens protest the burying of the terrorists in a public cemetery, but Stuttgart's highly-respected mayor, Manfred Rommel (son of WW II German hero Irwin Rommel), orders the use of the public cemetery. "I will not accept that there should be first and second-class cemeteries," says Rommel. "All enmity should cease after death."
The three terrorists are buried pyramid-style in two cemetery plots, with Baader and Raspe on bottom, and Ensslin straddling both of their coffins on top. Above the coffins a two-ton lead cover is laid down to discourage grave-tampering. Several thousand mourners attend the funeral, mourning amidst a thousand machine-gun toting policemen.
The so-called "German Autumn" is over. The Baader-Meinhof era is over. But the Baader-Meinhof Gang's successors -- the various generations of the RAF -- will continue killing long after the deaths of the group's founders.
13 November, Munich
Ingrid Schubert, who was previously transferred to Munich's Stadelheim Prison, commits suicide by hanging herself in her cell.
Klaus Croissant, Baader-Meinhof lawyer, is extradited from France to face charges of supporting a terrorist organization.
Post-1977, Federal Republic
After the deaths at Stammheim, Germans hope that the terrorist nightmare was over. Unfortunately many kidnappings and deaths are yet to come. Third, fourth, and fifth generations of the RAF are formed to replace their imprisoned and dead comrades. The Movement 2 June dissolves in 1980 and its remnants join forces with the RAF. The Revolutionary Cells (RZ) and their women's wing, Red Zora, continue to terrorize into the mid-1980s.
Through the late-seventies and eighties the West German terror groups pile up many victims. In the early-80s the RAF forms an association with the French terror group Action Directe. By the nineties time seems to have passed the left-wing terror groups behind. The fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of Soviet Communism was intensely discouraging. By the early-nineties only the RAF remained. Several imprisoned members of the RAF called for a disbanding of the group in 1992, and many assumed that the RAF had ceased to exist.
A huge bomb that destroys a new Women's prison in Wieterstadt in 1993 also destroys any notion that the RAF has disbanded. But it would prove (for now at least) to be the RAF's swan song. In April of 1998, a communiqué sent to Reuters proved what many had long suspected: that the RAF was officially disbanded.
1 December, 1994, Hamburg
Irmgard Möller, the longest-jailed woman in a German prison and sole survivor of 1977's death night in Stammheim prison, walks out of Luebeck federal prison near Hamburg, a free woman. In poor health, she is released for medical reasons and because she no longer represents a threat to society. Möller had driven the explosive-laden car onto the U.S. Ar
my base in Heidelberg in 1972. The car blew up killing three people including Capt. Clyde Bonner, who left behind a young son. A week before Möller's release Bonner's son Charles, now a U.S. Air Force sergeant, is quoted by newspapers: "I think releasing her is ridiculous."
Some would say that the era when West German leftist terrorist action seemed like a viable vehicle for bringing about the Revolution ended in May of 1972, or at least in October of 1977. But the Red Army Faction founded by Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof, and their comrades, was kept alive by the CIA and BND. The secret service continued bombing, maiming, and killing in the name of the RAF for almost another 20 years (Wikipedia: GLADIO). In April of 1998, the few authentic remaining RAF members issued a communiqué officially disbanding the RAF.
Wikipedia: CELLER LOCH
Wikipedia: FALSE FLAG
Disclaimer: The timeline above is written from an OFFICIAL TRUTH perspective. It leaves out important details. You are (as always) REQUIRED TO USE YOUR BRAIN AND RESEARCH THE FACTS FOR YOURSELF.
You are not allowed to say Buback Ponto Schleyer war ein flotter Dreier!!