Red Army Reactions: A Spate of Recent Films Suggest That the Scars of Germany's History Show Little Sign of Healing

By Bauer, Markus | History Today, January 2009 | Go to article overview

Red Army Reactions: A Spate of Recent Films Suggest That the Scars of Germany's History Show Little Sign of Healing


Bauer, Markus, History Today


While Hollywood brings the story of the plot to kill Hitler to a wider world, German cinema continues to examine the nation's troubled past with the recent release of two controversial movies. Der Baader-Meinhof-Komplex tells the story of the Red Army Faction, the terrorist gang born of the 1968 student revolt, while Anonyma: Eine Frau in Berlin confronts the issue of mass rape, committed by another Red Army after the fall of Berlin in 1945.

Hitler's Children by Jillian Becker, published in 1977, was one of the first books to tackle the subject of West German terrorism, its very. title evoking the idea that the leftwing Baader-Meinhof group, or Red Army Faction (RAF), was a product of a past its members were so brutally keen to be rid of.

Uli Edel's recent film Der Baader-Meinhof-Komplex, produced and written by Bernd Eichinger (who also made the striking account of the final days in Hitler's bunker, Downfall), offers surprisingly few explanations for the violence of the RAF other than that they sought to oppose West Germany's march towards a new kind of authoritarianism following the shooting of a demonstrator by police in 1967, and the attempted assassination of student leader Rudi Dutschke by a right-wing worker in 1969.

Although some student agitators, including Dutschke, refused this violent path, the journalist Ulrike Meinhof embraced terror in 1970 after aiding Andreas Baader's escape from prison where he was serving time for the firebombing of two Frankfurt department stores.

What followed were years of bombings and shootings with little discernible political aim, resulting in 34 dead and many others seriously wounded. Among the victims were banker Jurgen Ponto, federal state prosecutor Siegfried Buback, and the head of the employers' federal organisation and former mid-ranking SS officer Hanns-Martin Schleyer, as well as several policemen, bystanders and the terrorists themselves.

Though what was left of the group declared the end of their 'armed struggle' against the German state and US imperialism in 1993, the RAF has only recently become the subject of a number of studies, memoirs, interpretations and political statements. And for the first time the relatives of prominent victims have told their story, of loss and tried to counter the wave of media interest in the perpetrators, by questioning the German state's pardoning of long-term terrorist prisoners.

Eichinger's film has drawn many complaints for its Hollywood-style shootings and car chases, and the lack of context concerning the state's reactions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Red Army Reactions: A Spate of Recent Films Suggest That the Scars of Germany's History Show Little Sign of Healing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.