[[ books ]] Rote Armee Fraktion: Il caso Baader-MeinhofAuthor Stefan Aust – Albawater.co

Germania, fine anni sessanta Frustrazione e rabbia aggrediscono la sinistra extraparlamentare e il movimento studentesco dopo la formazione della Grosse Koalition, l uccisione di uno studente per mano della polizia e l inasprirsi della guerra in Vietnam Lo sdegno si trasforma in protesta, la protesta in resistenza, la resistenza si perde nel terrorismo Ulrike Meinhof, giornalista militante della sinistra radicale, Gudrun Ensslin e Andreas Baader, appena evaso di prigione, danno vita alla Raf Gli attentati del gruppo, al quale si unisce presto Jan Carl Raspe, colpiscono la Repubblica federale in una successione diabolica rapine e omicidi irrompono in maniera devastante La guerra terroristica turba e disorienta l intero paese, scuote l indifferenza della borghesia, mette in crisi il meccanismo di rimozione del dopoguerra Stefan Aust, testimone diretto di quella drammatica svolta, ripercorre le storie personali dei protagonisti, dagli esordi delalle azioni del l autunno tedesco del , dal rapimento di Schleyer, potente industriale, al dirottamento di un aereo della Lufthansa, fino al raggelante culmine della parabola della Raf, la notte di Stamm heim , in cui i fondatori del gruppo terroristico furono trovati morti nelle loro celle In parallelo alla banda Baader Meinhof agisce lo Stato la linea dura della repressione e lo spietato regime carcerario imposto ai detenuti con la sospensione delle garanzie costituzionali e l abu so del regime speciale per fiaccarne la resistenza tracciano il volto di una Repubblica tormentata nelle sue contraddizioni Attraverso una puntuale ricostruzione storica Rote Armee Fraktion fissa l inizio e descrive l espansione del terrorismo che, a partire dalla Germania, sconvolse l Europa, in una sequenza di morti, misteri e questioni irrisolte


10 thoughts on “Rote Armee Fraktion: Il caso Baader-Meinhof

  1. Niklas Pivic Niklas Pivic says:

    The German avant garde group Einst rzende Neubauten s name means collapsing new buildings in English it points to a couple of relevant things as far as the RAF is concerned 1 They were young, they collapsed.2 The name can refer to the state of Germany and or its youths to youths growing up just after the Second World War.The RAF also referred to as the Baader Meinhof group seems to me a desperate yet affectionate bunch of terrorists They had strong political beliefs, wanted to topp The German avant garde group Einst rzende Neubauten s name means collapsing new buildings in English it points to a couple of relevant things as far as the RAF is concerned 1 They were young, they collapsed.2 The name can refer to the state of Germany and or its youths to youths growing up just after the Second World War.The RAF also referred to as the Baader Meinhof group seems to me a desperate yet affectionate bunch of terrorists They had strong political beliefs, wanted to topple the imperialist establishment with their theological basis lifted from hard core leftist anarchist believers who thought theory was of little use the gun speaks is one of their axioms.In short, a very charismatic leader Andreas Baader met Gudrun Ensslin a preacher s daughter and gelled together politically and as lovers They adopted the feel of the changing times and extreme frustration over the fact that a lot of people talked but did nothing They started fires in German department stores and conspired further.I think the very moment they recruited Ulrike Meinhof, at the time a respected and well known political reporter and documentary film maker, as she helped to spring Baader from custody and in the process killing a security guard, is the breaking point where all was let loose for the RAF Everything must go The gun spake.From there, they went underground And they went abroad, making sure that Baader Ensslin could rule the band and that very little that was critique against them could escape unhurt and that went both for people on the inside and the outside.The RAF assassinated, kidnapped, robbed and created propaganda and terror all throughout their maintenance against popular belief, the group existed even after the suicides murders in the Stannheim prison in 1978, when the founding members and additional members were found dead except for one survivor.The author does a splendid job at remaining fairly objective while binding facts to the RAF s belief system, thus creating a bird s eye view of the entire matter The book is mostly chronologically written, but starts off with the Stannheim deaths in a very strong way.Did the German government wire tap the prisoners cells during the night of their deaths Did they in fact allow the guns that killed some of the prisoners to be imported Did they know of a suicide pact and totally failed to prevent it Were the prisoners in fact murdered or did they commit suicide We ll probably never know.Aust has also been involved with the screenwriting for the film with the same name as this book, which I think is very good too The book, however, delves a lot deeper and especially exposes Baader as atwo faced and hypocritical person than I think the film did.The RAF did do something, which was their fort the fact that they killed people at all is despicable, but didn t the government do the same in the process All in all, this is a thoroughly interesting book which could be considered great company with Olivier Assayas great three piece documentary on Carlos Sanchez, titelled Carlos


  2. K.J. Pierce K.J. Pierce says:

    I d been eyeballing this book for months and decided to pick it up after I saw the movie which was good, too, but left me with a ton of questions My interest in the Red Army Faction goes back to my childhood growing up in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and a RAF planted bomb exploding at the base in 1985 The book itself answered a ton of questions, but it was terribly difficult to get through There is an overall sense of linear narrative, but the book seemed to bounce back and forth between di I d been eyeballing this book for months and decided to pick it up after I saw the movie which was good, too, but left me with a ton of questions My interest in the Red Army Faction goes back to my childhood growing up in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and a RAF planted bomb exploding at the base in 1985 The book itself answered a ton of questions, but it was terribly difficult to get through There is an overall sense of linear narrative, but the book seemed to bounce back and forth between different subjects people Plus, the translation leaves a bit to be desired in places But all in all a good and interesting read


  3. Thomas Paul Thomas Paul says:

    I grew up with protests against the Vietnam War and with radical leftist organizations like the Weathermen and the RAF The RAF were perhaps a littlemysterious because they were in far off and, at the time, divided Germany so I was always interested in them When I discovered this book by Stefan Aust I was excited about the opportunity to read it I was soon very disappointed It s not that there isn t a lot of interesting information in the book The problem is that the author didn t actu I grew up with protests against the Vietnam War and with radical leftist organizations like the Weathermen and the RAF The RAF were perhaps a littlemysterious because they were in far off and, at the time, divided Germany so I was always interested in them When I discovered this book by Stefan Aust I was excited about the opportunity to read it I was soon very disappointed It s not that there isn t a lot of interesting information in the book The problem is that the author didn t actually go to the trouble to write a book.The main problem is that there is no structure to the book There is no logical flow that makes this history of the RAF coherent After struggling through the beginning of the book, I felt like there were pieces to the puzzle all over the place but no coherent image of what the puzzle looks like The book doesn t flow as a series of events or topics, in fact it doesn t flow at all The first 100 pages includedthan 40 chapters Each chapter reads like a brief essay that may or may not have anything to do with the previous chapters One chapter might take place in 1971 and the next in 1965 and the next in 1967 A chapter might be two pages about a person who gets mentioned once probably five pages earlier and then not mentioned again The biographical essays tell virtually nothing about a person other than straight facts but really give no help in figuring out how they ended up in a radical leftist terrorist group We read about Andreas Baader s escape from prison without knowing what he was in prison for because that doesn t happen until later The book readslike a bunch of notes randomly thrown together as if the author didn t feel like actually editing his notes into a book As a side note, there are many characters who are mentioned occasionally so a cast of characters such as found on Wikipedia could have been helpful Also, a map showing the key cities and towns mentioned and their relationship to East and West Germany would also have been helpful Also, the author mentions Berlin quite often without making it clear if he is talking about East or West Berlin.This could have been a very interesting, perhaps even a great book There is plenty of good information scattered around the book Also, a better translator who could assist the American reader would have been helpful not everyone will know that the GDR is East Germany it has been nearly 20 years since Germany was reunified The great book on the history of the RAF is still waiting to be written Meanwhile I would avoid this book unless you have a true thirst for knowledge on this topic and are willing to put up with the poor structure and writing


  4. George K. Ilsley George K. Ilsley says:

    Having recently seen the German movie based on this book, I wanted to learnabout events I barely am able to remember The movie is very faithful to the book.In this telling, we can glimpse the rise of the Big Brother surveillance state, as well as modern techniques for negotiating in hostage situations ie never give them anything Even modern prison systems seem designed to prevent things that happened with the Red Army Faction members while imprisoned.Also, there is always a stock cha Having recently seen the German movie based on this book, I wanted to learnabout events I barely am able to remember The movie is very faithful to the book.In this telling, we can glimpse the rise of the Big Brother surveillance state, as well as modern techniques for negotiating in hostage situations ie never give them anything Even modern prison systems seem designed to prevent things that happened with the Red Army Faction members while imprisoned.Also, there is always a stock character in these narratives, one which pops up regularly even to this day the police spy double agent In this book, when they need guns, the police spy says, I can get you guns When bombs are mentioned, the police spy says I can teach you how to build bombs At the demonstration at the Springer publishing building, the police spy double agent is the one who shows up with Molotov cocktails, and of course photos of burning cars are all over the news the next day One always has to wonder how events would have turned out if the police spy double agent was not always there to stir things up and help to radicalize people past the point of no return.All in all this is a fascinating book, a look at recent history that reaches back to World War II, and also has great relevance for today


  5. Devin Devin says:

    Meticulously researched to the point of nearly drowning within the chaos of the terrorist activities of the Red Army Faction This is a riveting account of how the idealism of opposing the rise of the right wing in 1960s and 1970s West Germany began to emulate the same atrocities and intolerance within its own ranks through an embrace of violent means The RAF managed to unleash a wave of crime that forced the German authorities to modernize their means of investigation and prosecution And for Meticulously researched to the point of nearly drowning within the chaos of the terrorist activities of the Red Army Faction This is a riveting account of how the idealism of opposing the rise of the right wing in 1960s and 1970s West Germany began to emulate the same atrocities and intolerance within its own ranks through an embrace of violent means The RAF managed to unleash a wave of crime that forced the German authorities to modernize their means of investigation and prosecution And for much of the time the RAF unorganized as they were managed to hold the upper hand with their sophistication Ultimately, each side of this conflict developed into the monster they imagined their opponent to be There are were no clear villains or heroes in this conflict One s sympathies become profoundly mixed while reading this account It becomes hard to understand such conviction within such a sea of gray The questions that remain unanswered at the end are deeply troubling and thought provoking A good read for understanding how messy political struggle becomes when power and violence come into play


  6. Maarten Maarten says:

    The subject was very interesting, but the book is only so so The author knew some of the late terrorists personally, but he decided to make a kind of exhaustive document with all the small facts.That s not why I read such a book I want to know about the broad developments instead of tiny facts Explain how Baader and Meinhof came to the point of launching attacks against the state Skip the tiny facts, skip most of the court stuff and get closer to the people It s hard to read the book and ke The subject was very interesting, but the book is only so so The author knew some of the late terrorists personally, but he decided to make a kind of exhaustive document with all the small facts.That s not why I read such a book I want to know about the broad developments instead of tiny facts Explain how Baader and Meinhof came to the point of launching attacks against the state Skip the tiny facts, skip most of the court stuff and get closer to the people It s hard to read the book and keep track of big developments


  7. Hamuel Sunter Hamuel Sunter says:

    Whatever quality Baader Meinhof had that so captured a generation s imagination Aust fails to put into words His squeamishness toward the details of ideology and his prudish streak made him a particularly bad chronicler.I enjoyed learning that Steppenwolf had as outsize an impact on the members of the RAF as it did on me.


  8. Philipp Philipp says:

    As you may expect, one of the most complete books you can get on history of the German Red Army Faction, but also on the political atmosphere that led to its creation, and the subsequent panic of the German state The focus is on the first RAF generation thus the title and especially on Baader and Baader s extremely manipulative personality.Austfamous as having been the editor in chief for the SPIEGEL for 14 years kept on returning to this book in subsequent editions adding new knowl As you may expect, one of the most complete books you can get on history of the German Red Army Faction, but also on the political atmosphere that led to its creation, and the subsequent panic of the German state The focus is on the first RAF generation thus the title and especially on Baader and Baader s extremely manipulative personality.Austfamous as having been the editor in chief for the SPIEGEL for 14 years kept on returning to this book in subsequent editions adding new knowledge The first edition is from 1985, from before it was confirmed that the GDR s Stasi sometimes helped the anti capitalist RAF The last edition is from 2008 Interestingly, Aust had a minor role in the history of the RAF himself he once helped steal RAF member Ulrike Meinhof s young children back from the RAF Even 40 years after Baader, Ensslin, and Raspe killed themselves there is still a lot that is unclear, a lot of knowledge that is locked away in secret government files For example, in the end of the book Aust speculates on why the RAF s prison s security was so tremendously lax to allow weapons and communication technology into the prison, Aust focuses on the circumstantial evidence that the prison cells were bugged by Germany, which leads to the question as to why the terrorists were not stopped from killing themselves.There is so much curios stuff happening in this book I never heard about did you know that there were a few other anti system terrorist organisations at the time Like the Sozialistischer Patientenkollektiv , an organisation of mental health patients and their doctors that was sure that mental illness is a product of an ill system, so the system should be destroyed with violence A lot of this book readslike a novel than a non fiction book on German politics plane abductions Murders Kidnappings Car chases Bank robberies Palestine terrorist training camps Self built cell to cell communication devices Even if you re not into far left 70s German terrorism, there s a lot here that is still valid for a post 9 11 terrorists are everywhere hysterical world Germany went through all the hysteria once already, and like Western countries now, showed how easy it is for a Western liberal state to throw all of its ideals of a legal state out of the window, and how quickly fear whipped up by state and media together makes the populace support such a dismantling of basic rights There is another interesting detail with this the German state thought there were about 1200 dangerous RAF members at the time in Germany, similar to what I now hear on Islamistic terrorists In the case of the RAF the real number turned out to be closer to 20 The other interesting thing is to see how often Germany s Verfassungsschutz was present in the early violence of the far left in the 70s, even supplying Molotov cocktails, bomb instructions and plans, i.e., inciting violence This is now being echoed in the NSU scandal, where it looks like the same office helped a Neonazi terrorist cell in murdering of foreigners, see Wikipedia.By the way, there is a movie based on this book, here s a trailer with English subtitles I assure you the book is much less grindhouse Recommended for people interested in what their state is doing, and where it s going, and how it legitimizes its own actions Bonus quote, it s interesting to see how completely different people used to think This is a quote from when the RAF stole a Mercedes, accidentally scratched some other cars with it, left the Mercedes there, after which someone else slashed all tires of the Mercedes with a knife Einige meinten, beim Zerstechen der Reifen habe sich wohl um den Racheakt des Besitzers eines der besch digten Wagen gehandelt Ulrike Meinhof setzte zu einer umfangreichen politischen Begr ndung an Ich halte das f r bedeutsam und f r einen berechtigten Akt der Notwehr des B rgers beziehungsweise der Selbsthilfe, die nicht auf polizeiliche Ma nahmen wartet Sie zog Parallelen zu den Selbsthilfeaktionen der amerikanischen B rgerrechtsbewegung.Beate Sturm widersprach F r mich sind das nichts weiter als faschistische Umtriebe Nein, das ist ein Akt der zum politischen Bewu tsein erwachenden Volkswagenbesitzer gegen ber dem wohlhabenden Mercedes Fahrer Das ist ein Fortschritt in Richtung auf das politisch bewu t werdende und selbst handelnde Proletariat My translation Some thought the puncturing of the tires was an act of revenge of the owners of the damaged cars Ulrike Meinhof started to create an extensive political interpretation I think this is an important and a justified act of defense by the citizen or perhaps self help that does not wait for help from the police She connected her arguments to the self help actions of the American civil rights movement.Beate Sturm countered For me that s nothing but fascist action No, this is an act of a Volkswagen owner, who s political consciousness has awoken, against the rich Mercedes driver So this is progress in the direction of a growing politically aware and self acting proletariat I d think different if someone slashed the tires of my fancy new stolen car


  9. Bryan Bryan says:

    Baader Meinhof The Inside Story of the R.A.F is an interesting and important book that explores the history of a group of self described revolutionaries and their attempts at revolution in then West Germany The primary focus of the book is on the founding members of the group called variously the Red Army Faction, the Baader Meinhof group or the Baader Meinhof gang the first by the group itself, the latter two by supporters or detractors, respectively , a group that was active from 1970 th Baader Meinhof The Inside Story of the R.A.F is an interesting and important book that explores the history of a group of self described revolutionaries and their attempts at revolution in then West Germany The primary focus of the book is on the founding members of the group called variously the Red Army Faction, the Baader Meinhof group or the Baader Meinhof gang the first by the group itself, the latter two by supporters or detractors, respectively , a group that was active from 1970 through the 1990s and whose actions included bank robberies, bombings, murders, kidnappings and the hijacking of a German passenger jet The story of the R.A.F is a look at politics taken to its bitter end by group for whom compromise was not an option.The group s core Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Ulrike Meinhof and many of its early members were the children of what they called the Hitler generation Born in the 1940s, they saw the state of West Germany as a new version of the authoritarian, fascist policies of the Third Reich They were part of a larger leftist movement in consisting mostly of college students and young intellectuals not only in Germany but throughout Western Europe at the time In Germany during the late 1960s, student movements and demonstrations led to responses from the government that reinforced the belief among the future R.A.F members and others that West Germany intended to create a new police state The involvement of U.S forces in Vietnam further antagonizes students who see the military action as a form of repression by an invading force one that has bases in West Germany that support the war effort.For the founding members of the R.A.F., the response is to meet violence with violence as a way to bring the Communist revolutionary struggle to West Germany The violence that ensues is both tragic and senseless blood spilled not just for a losing cause but for what at times seems hardly a cause at all.The author, Stefan Aust, is a contemporary of the R.A.F members and himself from the leftist movements He is not, however, a proponent of the methods used by the group during its reign of terror At the same time, he s not willing to give the West German government a free pass for its actions in fighting terrorism The result is a book that is not entirely objective, yet at the same time isn t a booster of either side Aust writes for a German audience the book was translated to English by Anthea Bell whom he assumes knows the basics of the Baader Meinhoff story The book is divided essentially into three parts the founding of the group and its early actions, the trial of the four founders and later efforts to free them He chooses to skip chronological order, especially in the beginning, assuming his audience knows how the story plays out This, combined with Bell s British English translation, might leave some U.S readers a little unsure of how events unfolded and also the impact the group had during its heyday The latter two sections are structuredchronologically and give the reader a better sense of how the story plays out.For U.S readers, the story of the R.A.F is interesting in three ways First, it offers a look at Germany after World War II In U.S history books, after the war West Germany becomes an ally of the United States in the fight against Communism The story of the R.A.F shows the distrust of some aspects of German society to the new government and perhaps of government of any kind The founders of the R.A.F saw the United States as an aggressor in Vietnam and as a supporter of the new police state in West Germany The actions that the R.A.F takes against the West German government and against U.S troops in West Germany gain a bit of support at various times by the German people themselves.The book also offers a glimpse of the hypocrisy of revolutionaries themselves The group s writings, mostly done by Ulrike Meinhof, a former journalist, outline what the R.A.F is fighting against, but rarely discuss what the group hopes the revolution will bring about For the Baader Meinhof gang, the fight itself is the cause however, there is no thought as to when the fight will be won What constitutes victory What will take the place of the authoritarian, capitalist society that they fight against How will the changes take place The writings of the R.A.F as outlined in the book give little regard to the outcome of the struggle.The group instead becomes the very thing it says it is fighting against The supposed violence of the state is met with violence The police state they fear is at hand is in part created as a response to the violence and disorder created by the group Authoritarian society is matched by the authoritarian leadership of the R.A.F itself, which refuses to tolerate questions of its leadership by those inside the group The leadership of the R.A.F is so committed to its cause or at least itself that it creates a dichotomy of for or against, in or out, pig or human that crushes dissent at the expense of the personal freedom that it alleges to espouse.This leads to the most interesting question raised by the book what is the limit of personal convictions The R.A.F is created in part by the following of revolutionary politics to its logical end They perceived themselves, perhaps rightly so, as the only group willing to see the revolution carried out to the extent its creators intended And once they reached this extreme, many found it impossible to come back to the center If you believe in revolution, then you must become a revolutionary The implications of this resound to this day.The fall of the Berlin wall and later the Soviet Union itself has taken the luster off of the Communist utopia But that has not brought an end to utopian dreams Now, those with extreme convictions, whether religious or political, are looking to create a world without compromise, a world that follows their beliefs to the extreme, whether or not their logic makes sense in a larger, global context The message of this book, one perhaps not intended by its author, is that extreme stances often lead to extreme measures to make them come about The importance of compromise is not always in the specifics of the compromise but that compromise often blunts the extremes that people are willing follow Business classes teach that often negotiations are not about claiming a piece of a pie, but expanding the pie so that everyone gets their fill In the same measure, the R.A.F could have played a political role in creating a Germany that valuedthe individual at the expense of state power In the end, it chose to operate in its own extreme political spectrum, and the legacy it left behind is one of murder and oppression rather than freedom and understanding


  10. Christopher Saunders Christopher Saunders says:

    Stefan Aust presents a remarkable portrait of the Red Army Faction, West Germany s most successful left wing terrorist movement Aust shows the RAF born of outrages like the police murder of Benno Ohnesorg, an assassination attempt on radical leader Rudi Dutschke and American military bases throughout the country He profiles Andreas Baader, rootless anarchist turned urban guerrilla Gudrun Esslin, the ferocious pastor s daughter who achieved a state of euphoria through terrorism and Ulrike M Stefan Aust presents a remarkable portrait of the Red Army Faction, West Germany s most successful left wing terrorist movement Aust shows the RAF born of outrages like the police murder of Benno Ohnesorg, an assassination attempt on radical leader Rudi Dutschke and American military bases throughout the country He profiles Andreas Baader, rootless anarchist turned urban guerrilla Gudrun Esslin, the ferocious pastor s daughter who achieved a state of euphoria through terrorism and Ulrike Meinhoff, a journalist galled into putting theory into practice These tragically misguided idealists viewed West Germany as little better than the Third Reich their rebellion, Aust suggests, emanated from shame over their parents failure to resist Hitler s rise to power, their tactics explicitly designed to provoke overreaction But Baader and Ensslin s bombing campaigns were child s play compared to the nihilistic depredations of RAF s second generation, who lingered on into the early 90s Aust s cool objectivity brings this violent, frightening chapter of German history to vivid life