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WEST GERMANY'S RED ARMY ANARCHISTS

NCJ Number
62915
Journal
CONFLICT STUDIES Volume: 46 Dated: (JUNE 1974) Pages: 1-13
Author(s)
H J HORCHEM
Date Published
1974
Length
14 pages
Annotation
THE ACTIVITIES OF WEST GERMANY'S RED ARMY ANARCHISTS OF THE EARLY 1970'S ARE DISCUSSED; GROUP MEMBERS, ORGANIZATION, URBAN GUERRILLA STRATEGY, OBJECTIVES, AND SELF-DEFEATING VIOLENCE ARE FOCUSED ON.
Abstract
POLITICAL ANARCHISM HAS NO TRADITION IN GERMANY WHERE IT DID NOT INFLUENCE EITHER THE SOCIALIST MOVEMENT OR THE TRADE UNIONS. THE ACTIVISTS OF THE RED ARMY GROUP (RAG) WERE CALLED ANARCHISTS BUT DID NOT SEE THEMSELVES AS SUCH. THEY LOOKED ON THEIR ACTIONS AS FORMS OF INTERVENTION IN THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE AND ON THEMSELVES AS A 'FACTION' OF THE WORLD REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT. RAG ACTIVISTS WORKED FIRST IN BERLIN WHERE MEMBERS OF THE BASIC GROUP MET. FROM THERE THEY EXTENDED OPERATIONS TO THE NEAR EAST AND, BY LATE 1970, TO WEST GERMANY ITSELF. ACTIVITIES INCLUDED ACQUISITION OF WEAPONS, SHOOTING OF POLICE, AND INDIVIDUAL ACTS OF TERRORISM. A NATION WIDE RAG NETWORK OF SIX REGIONAL GROUPS STOLE CARS AND ORGANIZED SYMPATHIZERS. MOST ACTIVISTS CAME FROM BOURGEOIS BACKGROUNDS, AND MANY WERE STUDENTS LEAD BY ANDREAS BAADAR, WHO SPREAD THE GUERRILLA IDEAS OF MAO, CASTRO, AND OTHERS; WOMEN WERE ESPECIALLY ACTIVE. PUBLICATIONS BY CORE RAG MEMBERS ANNOUNCED ADOPTION OF THE JAPANESE TERROR GROUP'S TITLE, 'RED ARMY GROUP' AND ATTEMPTED TO JUSTIFY REVOLUTIONARY INITIATIVE. 'RED BOOK' AND OTHER WORKS COMPILED BY IMPRISONED MEMBERS GAVE PRIORITY TO ARMED CAMPAIGNS IN ACHIEVING POLITICAL GOALS. WHEN CORE RAG MEMBERS WERE ARRESTED IN 1972, TERRORISM CONTINUED AT A REDUCED RATE. TERRORIST METHODS HAD THE EFFECT OF IMPROVING STANDARD SECURITY SERVICES, PARTICULARLY IN PRISONS. VIOLENT ANARCHISM IS LIKELY TO PERSIST WHEREVER DISSATISFACTION PRODUCES A READINESS TO ACCEPT AN IDEOLOGICAL SOLUTION TO ALL CONFLICTS. FOOTNOTES AND APPENDIXES ARE INCLUDED IN THE ARTICLE. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED) (LWM)