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.Aust famous 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 reads like 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. 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 little mysterious 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 included than 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 reads like 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. 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 Del Alle 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 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. ReziZeit Stefan AustDer Baader Meinhof Komplex660 Seiten Der Baader Meinhof Komplex ist zu einem Klassiker der j ngsten Zeitgeschichte geworden In dieser erweiterten und aktualisierten Ausgabe hat Stefan Aust neue Unterlagen wie Aussagen von Beteiligten der Schleyer Entf hrung, interne Polizeipapiere und aus Stasi Archiven verf gbare Materialien hinzugef gt So ausf hrlich, wie dieses Buch, ist keine Dokumentation und kein Film, und gilt zurecht als Standardwerk ber die RAF Aust beschreibt die Zeit der 60 und 70 Jahre Die Gr ndung und das Ende der ersten und zweiten Generation durch den Stammheimer Proze und den hei en Herbst Deutlich werden Verfahrensfehler durch Kompetenzgerangel der Beh rden und die Ohnmacht des Staates Der Journalist zeigt auch, dass hinter der der Baader Meinhof Bande mehr F hrungsk pfe stecken als die beiden, der ffentlichkeit am meisten bekannten Personen Mich hat dieser Teil der Geschichte immer sehr interessiert Ganz tief taucht man in diese Zeit und erf hrt vieles ber das Gedankengut und die zerst rerischen Handlungen der beteiligten Personen Mit Interesse und Abscheu bin ich durch diese Zeit gegangen. 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. 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. 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. So informativ wie das Telefonbuch, nur nicht so vollst ndigZiemlich umfangreiche und trotzdem schmerzhaft l ckenhafte Chronologie der Ereignisse, die vielleicht so etwas wie den zeitlichen Rahmen und biographische Grunddaten der ersten Generation liefert und phasenweise jede Medikamentausgabe in die Stammheimh ftlinge dokumentiert Wer also unbedingt wissen will, welche Mittelchen sich Andreas Baader um welche Uhrzeit aush ndigen lie oder wie man mit dem Plattenspieler Pizza b ckt, f r den ist Der Baader Meinhof Komplex ein gefundenes Fressen.Ansonsten eignet sich die von Stefan Aust erstellte Montage allenfalls als Einstieg in eine umfangreichere Lekt re, sprich als Hilfe beim Ermitteln der Themenbereiche, die in dieser Schnipselwirtschaft als allzu l ckenhaft empfunden werden und das Bed rfnis nach einer Vertiefung gewisser Aspekte liefern Nat rlich k nnte man f r die Basisarbeit auch drei Sterne vergeben, aber das Lesevergn gen bei der Aneinanderreihung von z.B 80 Befangenheitsantr gen der RAF Anw lte ist gleich null Besonders rgerlich ist dabei, dass der biographische Hintergrund dieses Theodor Prinzing, der dieses Dauerfeuer vielleicht gerechtfertigt h tte berhaupt nicht vorkommt Erst als der Vorsitzende Richter der Stammheimer Prozesse ber eine bewusst lancierte Indiskretion stolpert, dringt durch, dass der Jurist anscheinend in einer Studentenverbindung gewesen ist Immer noch zu wenig f r 80 Befangenheitsantr ge, auch sonst gibt es massive Motivationsl cher, so dass Terroristen wie Beh rden bei dieser analytischen Null Leistung als ziemlich unbegreifliche Volldeppen da stehen Das zweite Hauptproblem f r Leser, die nicht mit jeder Nebenfigur vertraut sind, ist das komplette Fehlen von Anhaltspunkten zum Aussehen der betreffenden Personen Nat rlich waren die sp ter zu Ministerehren gelangten RAF Anw lte Otto Schily und Rupert von Plottwitz noch lange politisch aktiv, aber alles in allem ist dieses Standardwerk ein einziges Namedropping und eben so visuell wie die Eintr ge in einem Telefonbuch Der Leser zahlt hier den vollen Preis f r die T cken der Zeitgenossenschaft, keine Optik, keine Analyse, daf r am Ende jedes Abschnitts zum Herbst 77 die Beruhigungsmittel f r Andreas Baader.Vielleicht hat Aust bei den Gef ngnis Szenen auch sein Stammheim Drehbuch bzw die Vorarbeiten verwurstet, im Vergleich zum Prozess und Haftalltag, in dem jede R pelei der H ftlinge und jeder Regelversto zur Haupt und Staatsaktion aufgeblasen wird, bleiben gro e Aktionen wie Stockholm ziemlich unterbelichtet, als wollte er jede Faszination der politischen Gewalt bewusst vermeiden.Fazit Vermutlich war die erste Version eine Verwertung der Vorarbeiten zum Drehbuch in Buchform ohne irgendwelchen redaktionellen Aufwand In seiner Totalit t war das Thema wohl zu komplex f r den Autor, der in meiner Version zwar mittels Stasi Unterlagen und den Bekenntnissen von Peter J rgen Boock ein wenig nachgebessert hat Aber der Schleyer Entf hrer und Ex Junkie genie t den Ruf eines Karl May der RAF, insofern sind seine Infos h chst fragw rdig, auch wenn er fraglos viel besser erz hlen kann als der Hauptautor dieses schlecht motivierten Sammelsuriums.Als Einzellekt re ist diese schlecht strukturierte und ziemlich unausgewogene Ansammlung von Fakten und Mutma ungen alles andere als ein Genuss Wer bei diesem Thema nicht weiter in die Tiefe gehen will, ist mit dem Eichingerfilm sicher besser bedient Der krankt zwar an ein paar Schw chen im Detail, transportiert aber in seiner plakativen Machart mit Sicherheit mehr von der Anziehungskraft, die von der RAF und ihren prominenten Vertretern ausging Vor allem, bleiben wenigstens ein paar bezeichnende Bilder im Ged chtnis. 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 a two 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.