Red Army Faction

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Events:
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Date:
14.05.1970
Additional information

The Red Army Faction or Red Army Fraction (RAF; German: Rote Armee Fraktion), in its early stages commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Group or Baader-Meinhof Gang (German: Baader-Meinhof-Bande, Baader-Meinhof-Gruppe), was a West German far-left militant group supported by the Stasi. The RAF was founded in 1970 by Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Mahler, and Ulrike Meinhof. The West German government considered the Red Army Faction to be a terrorist organization.

The Red Army Faction engaged in a series of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, bank robberies, and shoot-outs with police over the course of three decades. Their activity peaked in late 1977, which led to a national crisis that became known as the "German Autumn." The RAF has been held responsible for thirty-four deaths, including many secondary targets, such as chauffeurs and bodyguards, as well as many injuries throughout its almost thirty years of activity. Although better-known, the RAF conducted fewer attacks than the Revolutionary Cells (German: Revolutionäre Zellen, RZ), which is held responsible for 296 bomb attacks, arson and other attacks between 1973 and 1995.

Although Meinhof was not considered to be a leader of the RAF at any time, her involvement in Baader's escape from jail in 1970 and her well-known status as a German journalist led to her name becoming attached to it.
There were three successive incarnations of the organization:

  •     the "first generation" which consisted of Baader and his associates,
  •     the "second generation" RAF, which operated in the mid- to late 1970s after several former members of the Socialist Patients' Collective joined, and
  •     the "third generation" RAF, which existed in the 1980s and 1990s.

On 20 April 1998, an eight-page typewritten letter in German was faxed to the Reuters news agency, signed "RAF" with the submachine-gun red star, declaring that the group had dissolved. However, in January 2016, German police identified three RAF members as being the perpetrators of an assault on an armored truck transporting €1 million, thus fueling suspicion that RAF might be active again.

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Sources: wikipedia.org, timenote.info

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    Persons

    Name Born / Since / At Died Languages
    1Petra  SchelmPetra Schelm16.08.195015.07.1971de, en, fr, lv, ru
    2Ingrid SchubertIngrid Schubert07.11.194412.11.1977de
    3Andreas  BaaderAndreas Baader06.05.194318.10.1977de, en, fr, pl, ru
    4Gudrun EnsslinGudrun Ensslin15.08.194018.10.1977de, en, fr, pl, ru
    5Ulrike  MeinhofUlrike Meinhof07.10.193408.05.1976de, en, fr, pl, ru, ua
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