Andreas Baader

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Andreas Bernd Baader (6 May 1943-18 October 1977) was a German terrorist.

He was born in Munich and was one of the first leaders of the Baader-Meinhof gang, later it was called the Red Army Faction or RAF.

Start of the Baader-Meinhof gang[change | change source]

In 1968, Baader and his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin were convicted of the setting fire to a department store in Frankfurt am Main.

They were arrested and sent to jail, but Baader escaped. He was caught in April 1970, but in May 1970, he was allowed to go a library outside the prison.

Journalist Ulrike Meinhof and two other women were allowed to join him. They let a masked man into the library who fired shots at a 64-year-old librarian. Baader, the three women and the masked man fled through a window, and the group soon became known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

Baader and others then spent some time in a Palestinian military training camp in Jordan before being thrown out. Back in Germany, Baader robbed banks and bombed buildings from 1970 to 1972. On 1 June 1972, he and fellow RAF members Jan-Carl Raspe and Holger Meins were caught after a gunfight in Frankfurt.

Meins died during a hunger strike in Stammheim Prison in 1974. This was when philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre visited Baader. He described Baader as "incredibly stupid" and "an asshole"."Sartre par lui-même", 1976

Stammheim[change | change source]

From 1975 to 1977, there was a long and expensive trial in a specially fortified building on the grounds of Stuttgart's Stammheim prison. Their jailers said Baader and the others kept their cells as dirty and disgusting as possible in stop searches for things that might be smuggled in; at this time lawyers and defendants were not separated by panes of glass during unsupervised meetings.

Ulrike Meinhof was found dead in her cell at Stuttgart-Stammheim on 9 May 1976, hanging from the ceiling. Members of the Red Army Faction and others claimed that she was killed by the German government. The so-called second generation of the RAF committed several kidnappings and killings in a campaign in support of the prisoners. The three remaining defendants were convicted in April 1977 of several murders, attempted murders, and of forming a terrorist organization, and were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Hanns Martin Schleyer was kidnapped on 5 September 1977 and Lufthansa Flight 181 was hijacked in mid-October to try to force the release of Baader and ten other RAF members.

After several weeks that were called the German Autumn, the passengers of the aeroplane were freed in an assault carried out by German GSG 9 special forces in the early hours of 18 October 1977.

Next morning, Andreas Baader and Jan-Carl Raspe were found in their prison cells, dead from gunshot wounds. Gudrun Ensslin was found hanging. RAF member Irmgard Möller was found with four stab wounds to her chest, but survived.

All the official inquiries said that Baader and the others two committed suicide. Möller still insists that the deaths and her injury were extrajudicial executions.

In fiction[change | change source]

In 2002, director Christopher Roth released a film about Baader titled Baader.

Related pages[change | change source]

Hitler's Children: The story of the Baader Meinhof Terrorist Gang by Jillian Becker

Other websites[change | change source]