Red Army Faction 1970: Meinhof missed extraction of 97,000 marks

Red Army Faction 1970: Meinhof missed extraction of 97,000 marks

T.error dear. You need a lot of money to be able to live illegally. Cash is always available, because a person who is hiding, of course, can not create their own accounts. You have to pay for apartments, for fake papers and for weapons purchased on the black criminal market.

The first group of illegal, activist left-wing extremists in the Federal Republic wanted a lot. On May 14, 1970, Gudrun Enslin, Ulrike Meinhof, and several others forcibly released prisoner Andreas Baader during his execution; the result was a severely injured man and two other lightly injured judicial staff.

As part of the search for those responsible for the bank robberies, the police installed a block in front of the Victory Column in the western part of Berlin.

Source: Picture Union / Conrad Gere

After that, left-wing extremists flew to a Palestinian camp in Jordan for training. Here, a “management committee” that included Baader, Enslin, and Meinhof, as well as Horst Mahler, a lawyer who also went underground, agreed to cover West Berlin with terror.

Among other things, attacks on were planned US Headquarters at Klia, especially on tanks located there, and in the airline’s office PanAmallegedly a CIA branch. In addition, special printing presses at Springer’s printing house were to become unusable on Kochstrasse. Eventually, Baader & Co. wanted Berlin’s domestic senator SPD Kurt Neubauer kidnapped to “force the release of political prisoners.”

Such far-reaching plans required good preparation. You needed caches, weapons and explosives, inconspicuous cars and, above all, a lot of money. Ulrike Meinhoff’s visit to East Berlin in mid-August 1970 showed that the GDR simply would not provide any of this as it had hoped.


“Hamburger Abendblatt” reported on September 30, 1970 about “Dreierschlag”

Source: Axel Springer

The Stasi knew what was needed to “organize resistance”; In the internal report, their terrorists initially listed three main activities of the West Berlin group: “1. Actions to collect money (raids on banks and money transfers), 2. Actions to acquire weapons (purchases, burglaries, robberies), 3. Actions to purchase benefits (passports, identity cards, stamps, official seals, details of the form, printing blocks and etc.) through hacking and attacks ”.

Hunting for Baader was released on May 14, 1970 showed that West Berlin police could respond quickly and efficiently. To overthrow the authorities, however, a group that had not yet named itself embarked on a daring plan: four banks in different parts of the city were to be robbed simultaneously, on September 29, 1970, simultaneously. This will embarrass officials and complicate the search for robbers.

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Herb (Patrick von Bloom; d), Gudrun Enslin (Johanna Vokalek; l) and Ingrid (Anna Talbach; M) in the film scene "Baader Meinhof complex" (undated movie scene).  The film tells the story of the Red Army faction (RVF) in the 1970s.  After a long period of secrecy, the film about the RAF is no longer a secret.  On Tuesday (September 16, 2008) the company

Because evacuation vehicles required four to five people and at least two drivers for each attack, nearly 20 returnees from Jordan were unable to carry out their project on their own. They won several accomplices of the violent left scene, namely the not-so-established circle of “wandering hash rebels” and “Tupamaras West Berlin” around Dieter Kunzelman, who was arrested on July 19, 1970.

But at first they were unsure: “Four banks meant there would be a lot of trouble,” Ralph Rinders and Roland Fritz said in their Memoirs of Their Time in Left Terrorism: “Cops will definitely launch a huge search engine. , after a long discussion, we decided: “Don’t worry, we will participate!” “

ARCHIVE - circles made in about 1971 by members of the Baader-Meinhof group From left to right: Andreas Baader, Gudrun Enslin, Manfred Grasshof, Mariana Herzog, Ulrika Meinhof, Holger Meins, Jan-Karl Raspe, Bernhard von Braun.  Photo: dpa (yes dpa "Execution time?  What terrorism does to us" from 29.12.015) +++ (c) dpa - Bildfunk +++ |  Worldwide use

The first, still impromptu poster against the RAF since 1971

Source: image alliance / dpa

Then there were “only” three banks, because in the fourth branch, which was set aside for the planned time of the crime, were employed construction workers. Allegedly reliable representatives of the “proletariat”, “vanguard”, which felt Baader, Enslin, Meinhof and Co., a group of criminals destined for this did not want to mess around.

On Tuesday, September 29, 1970, a series of coordinated attacks began exactly as planned at 9.45. Five masked criminals and armed men, including a woman, broke into a Berliner bank branch at Reinstrasse 1 in the affluent southwest of the city. Two of them, Karl-Heinz Rouland and Eric Grusdat, stood in the vestibule of the bank with their rifles loaded during the attack. Horst Mahler kept customers and bank employees in the center of the counter at gunpoint: Andreas Baader and Irene Gorgens jumped over the counter and collected money. In total, they stole 154,182.50 marks and disappeared along with two stolen cars.

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Search for the Stasi for Ulrike Meinhof in 1970

At the same time, five criminals, including two women, robbed a savings bank at Südvestkors 38 two kilometers away 55,152 marks. According to a later ruling, Jordanian repatriates Manfred Graschoff, Petra Shelm and Gudrun Ensslin, as well as two other people from the “Hash Rebels” circle, were involved in the involvement of those involved.

While the two robberies were still going on, it was the turn of another savings bank, this time in Altonaer-Strasse in Tiergarten district: four criminals, two men and two women, broke into the bank. However, the robbers stole only 8,115 marks – because Ulrika Meinhof, who briefly took over the management of this raid, missed another 97,000 marks, which were in a box below the real cash deposit of the bank.

Peter Shelm's Hairdresser Killed.  During the search for members of the Baader-Meinhof group on July 15, 1971 in Hamburg-Altona, the BMW hit one of the 20 floors.  Two prisoners opened fire and fled on foot.  20-year-old Petra Shelm, who shot her pursuers, was shot in the head, and her companion Werner Hoppe was arrested a little later.  After the murder shot, a public debate began over the quality of police training.  Petra Shelm became the first victim of the RAF (Red Army faction).  Photo: Jaques Breuer +++ (c) dpa - Report +++ |  Worldwide use

Petra Shelm was a true member of the RAF, shot dead by police in 1971 and was killed

Source: picture-alliance / dpa

However, Dreierschlag filled the military chest of the group and its accomplices with a total of more than 217,000 marks – about 16 annual salaries at the time. Enough money for criminals to live underground for months.

One of the bank robbers left a leaflet at the scene. It read: “Expropriate the enemies of the people!” Therefore, the police suspected the left-wing extremists behind this crime – the right opinion. Otherwise, the authorities were helpless: such a coordinated multiple attack was “so far unique in German criminal history,” a prosecutor’s office spokesman said.

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Sven Felix Kellerhoff

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