RAF terrorism 1974: “Attack as high up as possible” | EUROtoday

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Whe goes to mattress with out garments on makes the police's job simpler. “It's a good thing that anarchists tend to sleep naked,” mentioned Chief Inspector Eberhard Hohler, the Hamburg police press spokesman recognized for his pithy remarks: “At least that way they can't pull out a weapon.” As informal because the saying sounded, the results of the key operation was simply as disturbing in 5 Hamburg residences and ten different residences all through Germany early on Sunday morning, February 4, 1974.

Exactly at 3:55 a.m. a detonation shattered the silence within the fashionable condo constructing at Bartholomäusstrasse 20 within the Barmbek-Süd district. Two demolition consultants had opened a door on the seventh flooring with particular explosives. Together with their colleagues from the Hamburg Police Mobile Task Force, one of many first particular items within the Federal Republic, they took the elevator to the ninth flooring after which crept down two flooring as quietly as doable through the steps to the goal condo.

WELT front page from  February 5, 1974

The WELT entrance web page from February 5, 1974

Which: Axel Springer SE

In order to maintain the danger to the life and well being of the officers deployed as little as doable, the police determined to blow open the double-secured condo door with out additional ado. The MEK boss commented laconically: “This is still the most suitable and fastest way to open a double-secured door.”

The detonation tore the door off its hinges and the occupants awake. The officers stormed the three-room condo, which value a beneficiant 575 marks a month in lease (the equal of round 1,300 euros right this moment primarily based on buying energy). The closely armed law enforcement officials shocked 4 bare anarchists: 19-year-old Ilse Stachowiak, 24-year-old Christa Eckes, 30-year-old Helmut Pohl and one other man who was not initially recognized. The 4 have been led out of the home “clothed” with handcuffs and blankets.

At the identical time, law enforcement officials stormed one other shelter at Erikastrasse 119 in Eppendorf, a big attic condo for 1,080 marks lease (the equal of round 2,500 euros right this moment primarily based on buying energy). The particular explosive putty proved to be pointless right here, as a result of after cautious statement it was pretty sure that nobody was on this condo. So a replica key was sufficient, nervous in regards to the property administration. Three different residences in Steilshoop, Hoheluft and Dulsberg have been additionally searched that evening, however no main finds have been made there and no arrests have been made.

At the press conference on February 4, 1974 in Hamburg, the police presented seized weapons and incendiary devices.  In a surprise operation last night, a special police group arrested seven members of the RAF (Red Army Faction) in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg, including Margrit Schiller, Ilse Stachowiak, Helmut Pohl and Christa Eckes. [dpabilderarchiv]

Just a few hours after the profitable assault in Hamburg, the police offered the seized weapons and incendiary gadgets to the press

Quelle: picture-alliance / dpa

The results of the evening's motion was nonetheless greater than spectacular. The condo on Erikastrasse turned out to be the group's forgery workshop. In addition to manipulated ID playing cards, nearly 100 in whole, giant portions of assorted medicines, addresses of Hamburg banks and marked metropolis maps have been discovered.

On Bartholomäusstrasse, the police discovered 4 submachine weapons, two shotguns with sawn-off barrels, eight 9mm caliber pistols and round 800 grams of extremely explosive explosives, in addition to 5 NATO-type M26 hand grenades, two anti-personnel mines and pipe bombs of the kind used within the assault have been used on the Axel Springer publishing home in May 1972. In addition, 16,584 marks, 2,800 Norwegian and 1,800 Swedish kroner have been seized. The latter referred to in depth journey by the gang members, who had connections to the Netherlands, Switzerland, Lebanon and Paris.

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The leading member of the Baader-Meinhof group, Andreas Baader, is dragged out of a garage in Frankfurt's Dornbusch district by police officers (archive photo from June 1, 1972).  Nothing here reminds us of one of the police's most spectacular successes in the fight against terrorism of the Red Army Faction (RAF), the arrest of Andreas Baader, Jan Carl Raspe and Holger Meins on June 1, 1972. dpa/lhe (To dpa lhe 010 from July 13, 1999) only b/w (Ed. Note: This image is not free for publication in magazines and magazines!) +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Arrest of Andreas Baader in 1972

At the identical time, two residences in Frankfurt am Main have been stormed with out blowing down the doorways: as soon as a crowbar was sufficient, as soon as a replica key. Three terrorists have been arrested there, together with Margit Schiller and Wolfgang Beer. Eight different residences have been searched at varied areas.

After the arrests of gang founder Andreas Baader in addition to Jan-Carl Raspe and Holger Meins in Frankfurt am Main on June 1, 1972, of Gudrun Ensslin a number of days later in Hamburg and of Ulrike Meinhof on June 15 close to Hanover, it was the best success within the combat towards left-wing terrorism. The investigators had found the “second generation” of the Red Army Faction (RAF), which was being arrange.

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combo kassiber ensslin

Arrest of Gudrun Ensslin

The institution of this new group had taken place, so to talk, “under supervision” by the authorities: the Hamburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution had already obtained a tip within the fall of 1973, whereupon the residences on Bartholomäusstrasse and Erikastrasse in addition to the 2 residences in Frankfurt have been monitored. Plainclothes officers have been there each time the suspects commuted between the 2 cities on federal railway intercity buses, usually in top quality. There was no scarcity of cash, as a result of perpetrators from this circle had robbed a financial institution on Fuhlsbütteler Strasse in Hamburg on August 6, 1973 so as to replenish their money register – loot: nearly 150,000 marks.

This first “second RAF generation” included a number of members of the unique Baader-Meinhof gang who have been launched on probation after shorter sentences. For instance, Helmut Pohl, who stole automobiles for the gang management in 1970/71 and obtained two and a half years in jail, solely to enter hiding once more instantly after being launched on probation.

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Police officers and a man in a bathrobe try to help civil investigator Norbert Schmid

RAF police homicide in 1971

Margit Schiller was additionally arrested in 1971 after the homicide of Hamburg police officer Norbert Schmid, however couldn’t be immediately linked to the killing; She obtained 27 months in jail and was launched on parole in February 1973 – solely to enter hiding in June. Ilse Stachowiak had spent three months in custody, however was then launched taking her age under consideration (she was simply 17 years outdated).

An arrest warrant was issued towards Wolfgang Beer in 1973 for involvement in a militant home occupation, however was suspended; he then went into hiding. Christa Eckes was expelled from her college in 1970 and sued; She then took half within the violent occupation of the home with Beer. Through the decidedly left-wing Hamburg regulation agency of actual property multimillionaire Kurt Groenewold, she grew to become concerned with the RAF and was most likely concerned in no less than one financial institution theft.

At the press conference on February 4, 1974 in Frankfurt, the police (2nd from the left the head of the Frankfurt police force Horst Vogel and 2nd from the police chief Knut Müller) presented confiscated weapons.  In a surprise operation last night, a special police group arrested seven members of the RAF (Red Army Faction) in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg, including Margrit Schiller, Ilse Stachowiak, Helmut Pohl and Christa Eckes. [dpabilderarchiv]

In Frankfurt, too, the police offered confiscated RAF weapons to the press

Quelle: picture-alliance / dpa

The second man arrested on Bartholomäusstrasse was solely recognized because of a public picture search. It was Eberhard Becker, certainly one of Andreas Baader's election defenders. He went into hiding within the autumn of 1973, regardless of having a spouse (who was additionally an RAF defender) and two young children.

Secured plans confirmed that the brand new group had one fundamental aim: to free Baader from jail. For this goal, Josef Augstein, the brother of the “Spiegel” writer and some of the outstanding attorneys within the Federal Republic, was to be taken hostage. Using him as a human defend, the group wished to power their means into the Schwalmstadt jail in Hesse after which disappear with Baader. If vital, the trail needs to be cleared by taking pictures and bombing.

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The police photo shows the suspected RAF terrorist after her arrest in Hanover-Langenhagen.  Recorded on June 18, 1972.

Instructions from Baader to the brand new unlawful group have been additionally discovered from his cell. He referred to as on Becker, Pohl and the others to take motion: “It is absolutely time for people to know that you exist. It is important for the committees and the processes.” He formulated the motto for doable targets: “Attack as high as possible.” Targets may very well be the Federal Prosecutor’s Office or the Senate of the Federal Court of Justice, which is liable for many of the attraction proceedings and complaints from the imprisoned RAF members have been accountable.

Baader additionally prompt taking hostages to free prisoners – for instance, Social Democratic members of the Bundestag, “but the right faction within the SPD”, or “possibly also judges, although it is not even that important that they are involved in our proceedings, as long as there are several of you “You can grab it.”

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Excerpt cowl city guerrilla

The former lawyer Eberhard Becker, who had attracted attention more through political slapstick than through experienced legal knowledge, received a prison sentence of four and a half years for supporting a criminal organization; the others arrested were sentenced to between two and eight years. All of them could only be proven to have supported the RAF, but not to have participated in attacks.

“It is a credit to the police and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution that nothing more happened,” said the presiding judge of the responsible criminal chamber. Nevertheless, he warned that there was “a particularly great risk of relapse”. In fact, at least Helmut Pohl, Christa Eckes and Wolfgang Beer rejoined the RAF after their release.

A second “second generation” of the terrorist group had already formed, which attacked the German embassy in Stockholm on April 24, 1975 – and failed. The third “second generation”, active from the summer of 1976, committed ten murders and further attempted murders in 1977 and led the Federal Republic into its worst crisis to date.

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