Old favourites: The Baader-Meinhof Complex by Stefan Aust (1987)

It’s hard to feel much sympathy for the Red Army Faction by the end of this terrific book

Ultimately, the Red Army Faction fall prey to a danger faced by all revolutionaries: they murder their humanity in the name of humanitarian ideals.

Ultimately, the Red Army Faction fall prey to a danger faced by all revolutionaries: they murder their humanity in the name of humanitarian ideals.

This terrific book by the longtime editor of Der Spiegel magazine, Stefan Aust, was turned into a gripping 2008 film which made the trail of mayhem wreaked by the terrorist Red Army Faction in the 1970s seem rather sexy. Clad in a short skirt, Gudrun Ensslin cradles a submachine gun between her suggestively parted legs, and says, “Screwing and shooting are the same”.

This collision of post-sixties Dionysianism, radical chic, and anti-authoritarianism was indeed crucial to the emergence of the RAF, which waged guerrilla war on what its members believed was a resurgent fascism within the German state.

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