crows foot

Members of the Red Army Faction

The Red Army Faction was one of the most significant 'urban guerrilla' or 'terrorist' groups in post-war West Germany. The first generation of the RAF is also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

Betweens the sixties and eighties many Germans joined resistance organisations in the fight against capitalism and they had hundreds of supporters and sympathisers. Resistance groups like J2M and The SPK were very closely linked to the Baader-Meinhof Gang and indeed many of their members mixed and at times were synonymous with each other (e.g. the West German embassy siege).

The Baader-Meinhof Gang grew larger and larger as its influence got bigger, resulting in first, second and third 'generations' of the group. Below is a select list of the main members of the group.

First generation Red Army Faction

Important First Generation Members

Name Date of Birth Main Article
Andreas Baader 6 May 1943 Andreas Baader
Andreas Baader was one of the founding members of the RAF. Baader was involved in bank raids and arson. He was arrested and tried at Stammheim Prison alongside Gudrun Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof and Jan-Carl Raspe, and given three times life imprisonment. He then supposedly committed suicide in prison on 18 October 1977 using a handgun although it is also claimed that he was murdered in an extrajudicial killing. He was Gudrun Ensslin's boyfriend and described as a Marlon Brando type.
Gudrun Ensslin 15 August 1940 Gudrun Ensslin
Gudrun Ensslin was one of the founding members of the RAF and the girlfriend of Andreas Baader. She helped free Baader from police custody in 1970 and was involved in bank raids and arson and was given three times life imprisonment when charged at Stammheim. Supposedly committed suicide by hanging in prison on 18 October 1977 although it is also claimed that she was murdered in an extrajudicial killing.
Ulrike Meinhof 7 October 1934 Ulrike Meinhof
Ulrike Meinhof was another founding member of the RAF, Meinhof was a well-known journalist who wrote for the konkret, and was the wife of Klaus Rainer Röhl. She helped free Andreas Baader from police custody in 1970 and was involved in car theft, arson and bank robbery. She was arrested and given an eight-year prison sentence for freeing Baader. She apparently killed herself in her prison cell by hanging on May 9, 1976.
Jan-Carl Raspe 24 July 1944 Jan-Carl Raspe
Jan-Carl Raspe was an early member of the Baader-Meinhof gang and was captured a short while before both Holger Meins and Andreas Baader were arrested in Frankfurt in 1972 (he had been the driver of their Porsche Targa). Alongside Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Ulrike Meinhof he was sentenced to life imprisonment at Stammheim. Raspe supposedly committed suicide in his cell using a 9 mm Heckler & Koch handgun on 18 October 1977 however it is also claimed that he was murdered in an extrajudicial killing.
Irmgard Möller 13 May 1947 Irmgard Möller
Irmgard Möller was an early member of the Baader-Meinhof gang and murdered three people when she drove a car full of explosives into United States Military Intelligence (G-2) Headquarters at Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg (1972). In July 1972, she was arrested and given a lengthy prison sentence. She supposedly attempted suicide by stabbing herself in the chest on 18 October 1977 in her prison cell in Stammheim, but she survived and says that there was no suicide pact between Baader-Meinhof Gang members Jan-Carl Raspe, Gudrun Ensslin and Andreas Baader and that they were the victims of extrajudicial killing. She was released from prison in the 1990s.
Holger Meins 26 October 1941 Holger Meins
Holger Meins was a leftist cinematography student in West Germany and was tired of being hassled by police for his political viewpoint. He joined the Baader-Meinhof gang quite early on along with Beate Sturm and was seen somewhat as a leading member. In 1971 he was arrested alongside Jan-Carl Raspe and Andreas Baader during a shoot-out with the police in Frankfurt. In prison the Baader-Meinhof gang called for a hunger strike as they felt they were being treated unfairly by the Government. Meins died on 11 November 1974 as a result of the hunger strike. Meins weighed less than 100 pounds at the time of his death, he was over six feet (1.8 m) tall. His death sparked rage amongst RAF members everywhere. The terrorists who executed the West German embassy siege in Stockholm named their commando in his honour.
Horst Mahler 23 January 1936 Horst Mahler
Horst Mahler was a German lawyer who is considered another founding member of the Baader-Meinhof Gang. Mahler wanted to convert Marxist theory into praxis and decided to do this through the establishment of urban guerrillas i.e. The Baader-Meinhof Gang. His chance came to do this when he met Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin who he defended in court in 1968 against their arson charge. Mahler organised several bank raids and is believed to have organised the expedition to Jordan to train in urban guerrilla warfare with the PLO in 1970. Later that year Mahler was arrested after police discovered an RAF hideout in Berlin. Mahler was sentenced to fourteen years in prison in 1972 (of which he had already served two). It was around this time that Mahler began to shed his Marxist beliefs and a manifesto that he composed for the Baader-Meinhof gang expressing his new ideas was renounced by the rest of the group. After this Mahler was virtually kicked out of the group; a group he helped establish. He was, however, offered the chance to leave prison in 1975 - a demand of the Peter Lorenz kidnappers, but he refused to go. He was released from prison in the early 1980s, was allowed to practice law again and completely reversed his politics. He became interested in neo-fascism and has recently joined the far right Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands.
Astrid Proll 29 May 1947 Astrid Proll
Astrid Proll was the younger sister of Thorwald Proll and met Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin through him. Proll was involved in bank robbery and also was an expert car thief. She was the getaway driver for Baader after he was freed from police custody by Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof, Ingrid Schubert and Irene Goergens in 1970. She was arrested in Hamburg on 6 May and was imprisoned but released for health reasons. However, she quickly absconded to England where she worked in various jobs. Proll was discovered and arrested by the Special Branch in 1978 and returned to West Germany in 1979 to fight her case there. She was given five and a half years imprisonment on account of bank robbery and falsifying documents. However, she had already spent at least two-thirds of that time in German and English prisons and therefore was released immediately. She did not rejoin the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

Other First Generation Members

Name Occupation Date of Birth Date of Death
Ingrid Schubert Medical Doctor November 1944 13 November 1977
Ingrid Schubert was involved in freeing Baader from police custody in 1970 (along with Gudrun Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof, Irene Goergens and Peter Homann) and also took part in a few bank raids. Later that year police discovered an RAF hideout in Berlin, they entered the hideout to find Schubert there. She produced fake ID but when searched, a gun was found on her person. She was subsequently arrested and sentenced to thirteen years in prison for freeing Baader.

After Meinhof's suicide in 1976, Schubert was transferred to Stammheim to soothe and console Ensslin, and she was then transferred to Stadelheim Prison in Munich after Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe and Andreas Baader all supposedly committed suicide on 18 October 1977. Two weeks later Schubert followed suit and committed suicide in her prison cell by hanging on 13 November 1977.

Monika Berberich Lawyer
Secretary to Horst Mahler
- -
Monika Berberich was involved in a bank robbery and was also one of the members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang who trained in urban guerrilla warfare in Jordan with the PLO in 1970. She also facilitated Andreas Baader's escape from custody in 1970 by getting permission from prison officials to let Baader write a book with Ulrike Meinhof.

Later that year, Berberich arrived at an RAF hideout/apartment in Berlin. Hearing noises coming from the room, she listened at the door but was spotted by police who had been watching the apartment (the police had also just arrested both Ingrid Schubert and Mahler at that address a few hours beforehand). Berberich was dragged into the apartment and a few minutes later, Irene Goergens and Brigitte Asdonk (fellow terrorists) arrived at the door. Berberich screamed out and tried to warn them but she was jumped on by the police. Both Asdonk and Goergens were arrested.

Berberich was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment in 1974 (of which she had already served four years) for bank robbery and membership of a criminal association. However in 1976 she managed to escape from a maximum security prison in Berlin (along with J2M's Inge Viett, Gabriele Rollnick and Juliane Plambeck) by overpowering a guard and going over the wall. However she was re-arrested 14 days later on July 21.

In 1995 Berberich took part in an interview for a BBC documentary called "States of Terror." In the interview Berberich revealed that she has not changed her passion against the "fascism" of the German state.

Marianne Herzog Journalist October 1939 -
Marianne Herzog was the girlfriend of Jan Carl Raspe and joined the Baader-Meinhof Gang along with him in the early 1970s. Her apartment was sometimes used for Baader-Meinhof Gang meetings. It is thought that when Astrid Proll was arrested in 1970, she attempted to free her from prison. Herzog herself was arrested on 3 December 1971 along with Rolf Phole after police had increased their efforts in the search for RAF/J2M members. She was charged with involvement in a criminal association.
Hans-Jürgen Bäcker Electrician - -
Hans-Jürgen Bäcker was one of the earliest members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang (joining before Andreas Baader was freed from police custody in 1970). His codename was Harp. He trained in Jordan with the PLO alongside the other original core members of the group shortly after Baader's escape.

After the arrests of Horst Mahler, Ingrid Schubert, Irene Goergens, Monica Berberich and Brigitte Asdonk in October 1970, Bäcker was suspected by the remaining members of the gang to be a double agent working with the police. He was already untrusted in the group because he didn't get on well with Andreas Baader as he couldn't accept his authority. When, at a group meeting, Bäcker was confronted about his supposed betrayal he stormed out and the rest of the group accepted this as an admission of guilt. Backer parted ways with the group soon after that albeit because of his supposed deceit, Astrid Proll tried to assassinate him in a driveby shooting, but she missed.

Bäcker was arrested on 2 February 1971. In 1974 he was tried and acquitted of participating in the raid that rescued Baader.

Thomas Weissbecker - February 1944 March 2, 1972
Thomas 'Tommy' Weissbecker was an associate of Horst Mahler and a minor member of the Baader-Meinhof gang. In 1971 he was charged and acquitted with assaulting a Springer journalist. Later, On March 2, 1972, Weissbecker, along with Carmen Roll, was stopped by police outside a hotel in Augsburg. Weissbecker was shot dead by the police when he reached into his pocket, supposedly, to grab his gun, however some sources (Stefan Aust) say that he was simply reaching into his pocket to produce ID.

On 12 May 1972, over two months after Weissbecker's death, RAF terrorists bombed a police station in Augsburg and a Criminals Investigations Agency in Munchen. They claimed responsibility for the bombings in the name of the 'Tommy Weissbecker Commando' in Weissbecker's honour.

Wolfgang Grundmann - June 1948 -
Wolfgang Grundmann was very politically active and was associated with underground papers such as Agit 883. Grundmann was the boyfriend of Ingeborg Barz and joined the RAF along with her in 1971. It seems he took part in at least one bank raid on December 22, 1971 in Kaiserslautern alongside Barz and Klaus Junschke.

On 2 March 1972, Grundmann and Manfred Grashof entered an RAF apartment used for forgery. Unbeknownst to them, police were hiding in the apartment, ready to ensnare anyone who would enter. When the police drew their weapons on Grundmann and Grashof, Grashof quickly drew his pistol and returned fire, but Grundmann surrendered and put his hands up straight away. Grashof was wounded, and then both men were arrested. Grundmann was released four years later in 1976.

Werner Hoppe Dock Worker
Television assistant
February 1949 -
Werner Hoppe was a lumpenproletariat self-cured drug addict. Hoppe joined the Baader-Meinhof gang around 1970 and was with Petra Schelm when she sped past a police roadblock on 15 July 1971 in a BMW. A short car chase ensued with the BMW eventually being forced off the road. Hoppe ran off in a different direction from Schelm (who was subsequently shot to death), and was followed by a police helicopter. He was eventually surrounded by 80 or so policemen, so he surrendered. He was arrested and imprisoned.
Ingeborg Barz Secretary July 1948 -
Ingeborg Barz was known to play around with radical politics (she had joined a revolutionary group called Black Help in Berlin) before joining the Baader-Meinhof Gang with her boyfriend Wolfgang Grundmann in 1971. Barz was seemingly involved in at least one bank robbery (on December 22, 1971 in Kaiserslautern - with Grundmann) where a policeman was shot dead. Barz soon decided she wanted out of the group because she disliked their violent ways and on the February 21, 1972 she phoned her mother, tearful and distraught, saying that she wanted to come home.

Barz disappeared around this time and was never seen alive again. A decomposed body was found beside the autobahn near Munich in July 1973, believed, but not proven, to have been Barz's. It was presumed that Andreas Baader executed her after he found out that she wanted to leave the Gang. Karl-Heinz Ruhland said that the general idea was that if anyone wanted to desert the group then they would be liquidated and Gerhard Müller, a former RAF member, claimed that Baader murdered her, however his story was very inconsistent and so Barz's murder was never solved.

Karl-Heinz Ruhland Mechanic March 1938 -
Karl-Heinz Ruhland was in the employ of Eric Grusdat. Ruhland helped Grusdat doctor stolen cars for the Baader-Meinhof Gang and later became a more active member of the Gang around October of 1970; he went with Ulrike Meinhof to Hannover, Cologne and Oldenburg to scout out safe houses for the gang and took part in bank robbery and also raided some municipal offices (stealing blank passports, ID cards etc). On 20 December 1970, Ruhland was driving through Oberhausen with fellow RAF members Ali Jansen and Beate Sturm when police stopped his car and when they checked his papers they noticed something was wrong with them. Ruhland handed himself in but first gave his associates time to escape. When in custody Ruhland provided detailed accounts of his time with the RAF and informed Police about the whereabouts of some safehouses.

Ruhland was never part of the main circle of the Gang even though he was Meinhof's occasional lover. He hardly knew any of the other members of the gang by their real names (he only knew their codenames). He once punched Jansen in the face after he defaced a Volkswagen in Oberhausen.

Ulrich Scholze Student December 1947 -
Ulrich 'Uli' Scholze was a very minor member of the Red Army Faction and was only involved with the Gang for a few months in 1970. On 21 December 1970, Scholze tried to steal a Mercedes-Benz along with Astrid Proll, Ulrike Meinhof and Ali Jansen but the car back-fired and woke its owner who subsequently called the police. Proll and Meinhof escaped but Scholze and Jansen were chased by the police and caught. Scholze went quietly but Jansen fired crazily at the police. Both men were arrested, but Scholze was released the next day. He quit the Baader-Meinhof Gang and returned home to his mother and college. In 2007 he worked as a professor (Prof. Dr.-Ing.) in Hochschule Reutlingen.
Manfred Grashof Ex-military October 1946 -
Manfred Grashof was an army deserter. Grashof seems to have been intrigued by the idea of communism and joined the countercultural commune Kommune 1 in Berlin in the late 1960s. After this he decided to take more direct action against the state and joined the Baader-Meinhof Gang along with his girlfriend Petra Schelm in 1970 and trained with the gang in Jordan under the tutelage of the PLO.

He once escaped arrest with Astrid Proll on 10 February 1971 when they were stopped by police. Although Grashof did produce a gun he didn't fire a shot, and managed to run away from the police when a sympathetic passer-by bought him a U-Bahn ticket.

However Grashof wasn't so lucky the next time and on 2 March 1972 in Hamburg, Grashof and Wolfgang Grundmann walked into a trap; the police were lying in wait in an apartment used by the RAF for forgery. Grashof started firing at the police. He fatally wounded one of them (who died three weeks later in hospital) but was shot twice and arrested. He survived the ordeal but was transferred from hospital to an isolation cell (with the lights switched on day and night) when he was well enough.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 2, 1977. To avenge his imprisonment, the RAF terrorists who bombed Judge Wolfgang Buddenberg's car on May 15, 1972 named their commando 'The Manfred Grashof Commando' in his honour.

Heinrich Jansen Student February 1948 -
Heinrich 'Ali' Jansen (born February 1948) joined the Baader-Meinhof Gang after they returned from training in Jordan. He participated in some Berlin bank raids in September 1970 and also helped Karl-Heinz Ruhland and Ulrike Meinhof steal cars and raid municipal offices (for blank passports and ID cards etc). He was known for getting drunk and once in Oberhausen he spent the money he had been allotted by the gang to buy fake IDs with, on alcohol. Also, he caused another incident in Oberhausen when he defaced the Volkswagen of a radio DJ. He was dealt with by Ruhland who punched him in the face.

He was nearly arrested once on 20 December 1970, when he was driving through Oberhausen with Ruhland and Beate Sturm and their car was stopped by police. He managed to escape with Sturm but Ruhland was arrested. However, a day later on 21 December, Jansen was arrested when trying to steal a Mercedes-Benz with Ulrike Meinhof, Astrid Proll and Uli Scholze. The car back-fired and woke its owner who called the police. Proll and Meinhof escaped when the police arrived, but Scholze and Jansen weren't so lucky. Jansen whipped out his handgun and started firing crazily at the police, no one was hurt however and both Jansen and Scholze were arrested.

Jansen was charged with attempted murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Petra Schelm Hairdresser August 1950 15 July 1971
Petra Schelm joined the Baader-Meinhof group along with her boyfriend Manfred Grashof. She travelled to Jordan alongside the rest of the Gang and trained in urban guerrilla warfare with the PLO in May 1970.

On July 15, 1971, Schelm was driving through Hamburg with Werner Hoppe when she sped her BMW through a police roadblock. The police gave chase and forced her BMW off the road. Schelm and Hoppe ran off in different directions. Hoppe was followed by a police helicopter and was caught and arrested, but Schelm did not surrender. She threw away a jacket she was holding to reveal a handgun and fired at the police, but the police returned fire. Jillian Becker states that Schelm was killed from a burst of gunfire from a submachine gun but Stefan Aust states that it was a single bullet wound to the head that killed Schelm. Additionally, a closeup photograph of Schelm taken at the scene immediately after her death (probably by a police photographer) clearly shows a single gunshot wound through the eye. Regardless, Schelm died, aged 20.

Her death was mourned by many and a lot of RAF members called for retribution. Even normal German citizens felt sorry for Schelm; a national poll taken shortly after her death revealed that as much as 20% of Germans felt some sympathy for her cause. She was buried at a cemetery in Spandau. At her funeral, fifty or so youths laid a red flag on her grave, though policemen later came and removed it.

Irmgard Moeller bombed the Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg on 24 May 1972. She claimed responsibility in the name of the Commando 15 July (the date of Petra Schelm's death) in honour of Schelm.

Brigitte Asdonk Student October 1947 -
Brigitte Asdonk joined the Baader-Meinhof Gang quite early in the 1970s and trained with them in Jordan under the tutelage of the PLO. She participated in some bank raids in Berlin but her life of crime was halted in October of 1970 when she walked into an apartment with Irene Goergens in Berlin in which police were hiding. She was immediately arrested.
Peter Homann Artist
1936 -
Peter Homann was a close friend of Ulrike Meinhof. He lived with Meinhof in Berlin and it is believed that he helped Meinhof free Andreas Baader from police custody in 1970, along with Ingrid Schubert, Gudrun Ensslin and Irene Goergens.

Homann travelled to Jordan later in 1970 alongside the Baader-Meinhof Gang to train in urban guerrilla warfare with the PLO. However in Jordan Homann fell out with Andreas Baader and distanced himself from the group. He associated himself more with the fedayeen in the camp which lead his Gang members to suspect him of being a traitor. He eventually had to be removed from the camp and given a minder for his own safety. When he returned to West Germany, he left the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

He then quickly travelled to a hippy colony near Mount Etna in Sicily where Meinhof's twin children were staying. He took the children and returned them to their father, Klaus Rainer Rohl. He did this because Meinhof wanted to send her children to an orphan camp in Jordan, even though she would never see them again.

Homann was involved in a controversy in 1997 when he gave an interview to Der Spiegel in which he suggested that Horst Mahler had "sentenced" Homann to death in Jordan in 1970 (and Homann only thwarted the plan by leaving the training camp early). Mahler took severe umbrage at the suggestion that he called for Homann's death.

Ilse Stachowiak - May 1954 -
Ilse 'Tinny' Stachowiak was one of the youngest members of the group when she joined in late 1970 at only 16 years old. She was involved in scouting out banks to see if they were suitable to be robbed. However on 12 April 1971, at a Frankfurt train station a policeman recognised her from a wanted poster and she was arrested.

She was given a short sentence and as soon as she was released she went immediately back underground. In 1972 she was involved in the 19 May bombing of the Springer Headquarters in Hamburg in which 17 people were injured. A month later in June, she was staying in Angela Luther's apartment when it was wrecked by explosions. She survived and managed to escape, however she was rearrested on 1 February 1974 and imprisoned.

Irene Goergens - April 1951 -
Irene Goergens was the abandoned, illegitimate daughter of an American soldier. She lived in a state home and it was there that she met Ulrike Meinhof (who was doing research for her film Bambule), and after that became sort of Meinhof's protégé.

She was involved in the freeing of Andreas Baader in 1970 (along with Ingrid Schubert, Gudrun Ensslin, Peter Homann and Meinhof) and she also took part in some Berlin bank raids. She was arrested in October 1970 with Brigitte Asdonk when she walked into an apartment in which police were hiding. She was released from prison with remission on 13 May 1977 and did not rejoin the Gang.

Beate Sturm Physics Student 1950 -
Beate Sturm, Holger Meins' protégé, briefly joined the Baader-Meinhof Gang in late 1970, probably for the same reasons Meins did (had grown weary of police harassment) but she also claimed she was trying to recreate the exciting world created in U.S. crime films. During her time with the Gang, Sturm was often selected to go into shops to buy things because it was believed that she was the one who looked the most bourgeois. On 20 December 1970, Sturm was nearly caught as she was travelling through Oberhausen with Karl-Heinz Ruhland and Ali Jansen when their car was stopped by police. Ruhland was arrested but she managed to escape along with Jansen.

A month later in January 1971, Sturm was scouting out banks in Kassel when she decided she no longer wanted to live a life of crime. She called home and subsequently left the Gang without ever having technically committed any crimes. She later provided detailed information about the workings and structure of the gang. Her codename was Jutta.

Eric Grusdat Mechanic April 1936 -
Eric Grusdat owned his own auto shop. He met Horst Mahler via Hans-Jurgen Backer. Through monetary enticement and political persuasion Grusdat, along with his employee Karl-Heinz Ruhland, agreed to doctor stolen vehicles for the Baader-Meinhof Gang, however he soon became much more involved than that; in 1970 he was involved in bank robbery in Berlin and devised an instrument (much like a road spike) made of pipes and ails he called a Crows Foot, which could be used to stop police cars if they were ever chasing the gang. After Horst Mahler was arrested, Grusdat suggested to build a small helicopter in order to get him out. Nothing came of the idea.

He was arrested and imprisoned on 4 December 1970.

Katharina Hammerschmidt - February 1943 1975
Katharina Hammerschmidt was an early acquaintance of Gudrun Ensslin from the student days and provided accommodation for Baader-Meinhof Gang members around late 1970. Her house was eventually raided by police and Hammerschmidt fled abroad, but grew tired of life on the run and returned to West Germany in 1972 to hand herself over to authorities. When in custody she developed a brain tumour from which she died in 1975. Prison doctors were chastised for not noticing it early enough and accusations were made that prison authorities failed to give her proper medical care.

Second generation Red Army Faction

By 1971, a large amount of the core members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang had all been captured and imprisoned. However there were other young terrorists available to swell the dwindling ranks of the Gang. These revolutionaries mostly had similar backgrounds to the first generation e.g. they were middle class and a lot of them were students. Most of them joined the Gang after their own groups dissolved (e.g. the Socialist Patients' Collective (SPK), J2M).

Former SPK members

The SPK, the leftist, 'therapy-through-violence' group, dissolved in 1971, and those members who had turned militant forged links and joined with the Baader-Meinhof Gang. There were quite a few of them and below is a selected list of some of the major members.

Name Date of Birth Main Article
Siegfried Hausner 24 January 1952 Siegfried Hausner
A leading member of the SPK, Siegfried Hausner was especially involved in explosives. He took part in a bombing of the Axel Springer Verlag in 1971 and was the leader of the West German embassy siege in Stockholm in 1975, when he was fatally injured after TNT wiring the embassy was accidentally detonated.
Brigitte Mohnhaupt 24 June 1949 Brigitte Mohnhaupt
Brigitte Mohnhaupt became a leader-figure amongst the Second Generation RAF and was involved in some of their most serious offences (such as the kidnapping of Hanns-Martin Schleyer) and was a key perpretator during the German Autumn.
Sieglinde Hofmann 14 March 1945 Sieglinde Hofmann
Margrit Schiller 1948 Margrit Schiller

Name Date of Birth Date of Death
Karl-Heinz Dellwo April 1952 -
Karl-Heinz Dellwo was a school failure and described as very temperamental and prone to outbursts of violence. At one stage he lived with Susanne Albrecht and was a member of the ‘committee against the torture of political prisoners.’ He was involved with the SPK and took part in the West German embassy siege in Stockholm. In July 1977 he was sentenced to twice life imprisonment for his participation in the siege, by a Dusseldorf Court. He was released in 1995.
Klaus Jünschke September 1947 -
Klaus Jünschke was a student member of the SPK who managed to escape arrest when police came after certain members of the SPK in 1971. He joined the Red Army Faction with his militant girlfriend Elisabeth Van Dyck and was involved in at least one bank robbery (on December 1971 in Kaiserslautern – alongside Ingeborg Barz and Wolfgang Grundmann).
Hanna-Elise Krabbe October 1945 -
Hanna-Elise Krabbe was born in Bad Bentheim. She was a member of the IZRU (the group which succeeded the SPK) and was the older sister of Friederike Krabbe, another terrorist. Hanna-Elise Krabbe took part in the West German embassy siege in Stockholm. She was the only female terrorist involved in the siege. Her role during the siege was to guard the hostages. She was arrested when the siege failed, and was sentenced, on July 20, 1977, to twice life imprisonment. She was released from prison in 1996, after serving 21 years.
Friederike Krabbe 31 May 1950 -
Friederike Krabbe was born in Bad Bentheim. She is/was the younger sister of Hanna-Elise Krabbe, another terrorist. Friederike Krabbe studied psychology, pedagogy and sociology in Berlin from 1970 to 1973 and then went on to study medicine for a while in Heidelberg.

She was involved with the SPK and after its dissolution, the RAF. She is believed to have been one of the terrorists who kidnapped Hanns Martin Schleyer . According to Monika Helbing, after Schleyer was executed in 1977, Krabbe fled to Baghdad along with Elisabeth von Dyck . Around this time Krabbe disappeared, and her whereabouts are still unknown today.

Carmen Roll - -
Carmem Roll was a member of the SPK and the RAF. She was especially involved in; ‘working circle explosives’ in which she achieved limited success with Siegfried Hausner when they managed to manufacture a small amount of TNT in December 1970 in the University Institute of Physiology.

In February 1971, Roll, along with Hausner, planned to bomb the President of the Federal Republic’s special train in Heidelberg station, but she arrived too late with the explosives and the plot fell through.

On March 2, 1972, Roll was spotted with Tommy Weissbecker outside a hotel in Augsburg. Weissbecker was shot dead and Roll was eventually arrested. Two weeks later she was given a near-fatal dose of ether by prison doctors.

In 1976 Roll was freed from prison, she moved to Italy and became a nurse.

Bernhard Maria Rössner October 1946 -
Bernhard Maria Rössner was born in October 1946. He was a school failure and had travelled in the Middle East. Upon his return to West Germany he met with Karl-Heinz Dellwo and later took part in the West German embassy siege with him. The siege failed and Rössner was arrested and imprisoned. In July 1977 he was sentenced to twice life imprisonment for his participation in the siege, by a Dusseldorf Court. He was released in 1996.
Lutz Taufer March 1944 -
Lutz Taufer had links with the SPK and he protested against the supposed torture of political prisoners in the Federal Republic in 1974. In 1975 he took part in the West German embassy siege in Stockholm, and was arrested after the siege failed and was subsequently imprisoned. In July 1977 he was sentenced to twice life imprisonment for his participation in the siege, by a Dusseldorf Court. He was released in 1996. Taufer has been living in Brazil with his sister since 1999.
Elisabeth von Dyck October 1951 4 May 1979
Elisabeth von Dyck (born in Nuremberg) was a member of the SPK and a supposed member of the RAF. She was the girlfriend of Klaus Junschke and later of lawyer Klaus Croissant. She was involved with the ‘committees against torture’ in 1974.

In 1975 Von Dyck, along with Siegfried Haag, was arrested on suspicion of smuggling weapons out of Switzerland and served six months in a detention centre in Cologne before being released. However a warrant went out for her arrest in 1977 stating that she supported a terrorist organisation. Von Dyck went underground and Monika Helbing stated that around this time she fled to Baghdad for a while with Friederike Krabbe .

Von Dyck returned to West Germany at some stage between 1977 and 1979, and on the 4 May 1979, Von Dyck entered a house, thought to have been an RAF hideout, in Nuremberg which was under police surveillance. The police shot Von Dyck through the back, killing her. A gun was found on her body. Von Dyck was shot even though she was only suspected of being involved with the RAF, and was not a high-priority on the wanted list, however it was alleged that the police shot her after she first drew a pistol and aimed it at them

Ulrich Wessel 9 January 1946 24 April 1975
Ulrich Wessel was the son of a rich Hamburg businessman. Wessel was described as a dandy, and he was a millionaire by inheritance. He was involved with the SPK and took part in the West German embassy siege in Stockholm. He died during the siege when the TNT was accidentally exploded; the force of the explosion startled him so much that he dropped a grenade he was holding and it exploded on him. He died soon afterwards.

The Haag Group

This section of the Second Generation Red Army Faction was associated with Siegfried Haag who recruited new members and organised the regrouping of the RAF in the mid 1970s.

Name Date of Birth Main Article
Siegfried Haag March 1945 Siegfried Haag
A sympathetic lawyer turned terrorist, Siegfried Haag became something of a leader-figure amongst the second generation RAF.
Christian Klar 20 May 1952 Christian Klar
Christian Klar became a prominent member of the second generation RAF and was implicated in a number of high profile assassinations. He is currently serving a prison sentence.
Verena Becker 31 July 1952 Verena Becker
Verena Becker was an ex-J2M terrorist who was freed from prison in 1975 as part of the Peter Lorenz kidnapping deal. She was likely recruited into the RAF by Siegfried Haag in Yemen between 1975 and 1976. Becker was one the suspects of the Siegfried Buback murder case.
Stefan Wisniewski 8 April 1953 Stefan Wisniewski
Stefan Wisniewski was a former inmate of a reform school, who joined the RAF around 1974. He trained in guerilla warfare in a training camp in Yemen (1976). He is a suspect in the Siegfried Buback murder case.
Susanne Albrecht 1 March 1951 Susanne Albrecht
A wealthy student turned terrorist, Susanne Albrecht was involved in the murder of her godfather Jürgen Ponto. In 1980 she fled to East Germany, though was later caught and arrested.
Adelheid Schulz 31 March 1955 Adelheid Schulz
Adelheid Schulz was involved with terrorism in the seventies and became a signficant perpetrator of the German Autumn. By the late seventies and early eighties she was one of the RAF's most wanted terrorists. She was arrested in 1982.
Peter-Jürgen Boock 3 September 1951 Peter-Jürgen Boock
Boock was a former drug-addict who had left home at an early age. He became an involved member of the Second Generation RAF, and took part in the Ponto and Schleyer incidents. He was arrested in 1981.

Third Generation Red Army Faction

This generation was active mostly throughout the eighties and early nineties. Tom Vague describes them as more vicious than their predecessors and says that they perhaps didn't have as much cause as the earlier generations to rebel.

Third Generation Members

Name Date of Birth Main Article
Wolfgang Grams 6 March 1953 Wolfgang Grams
Birgit Hogefeld 27 July 1956 Birgit Hogefeld
Eva Haule 16 July 1954 Eva Haule
Andrea Klump 13 May 1957 Andrea Klump
Ernst-Volker Wilhelm Staub 1954 Ernst-Volker Wilhelm Staub
Daniela Klette 1958 Daniela Klette
Burkhard Garweg 1 September 1968 Burkhard Garweg


All biographies on this page were found from the sources;

  • Becker, Jillian. Hitler's Children: Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang, DIANE Publishing Company 1998, ISBN 0788154729 or Panther edition 1978, ISBN 0586046658
  • Tom Vague, Televisionaries: The Red Army Faction Story, 1963-1993, AK Press; Rev Update edition (August 1994), ISBN 1873176473, ISBN 978-1873176474
  • RAF Information Site
  • The Stoke Newington 8 Defence Group Armed Resistance in West Germany: Notes From The Red Army Fraction (1972)


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