Andreas Baader

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Andreas Bernd Baader (6 May 1943 – 18 October 1977) was one of the first leaders of the German left-wing militant organization Red Army Faction, also commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

Contents

Life

Born in Munich, Baader was a high school dropout and criminal before his Red Army Faction (RAF) involvement. He was one of the few members of the RAF movement who did not attend a university.

RAF involvement

In 1968 Baader and his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin were convicted of the arson bombing of a department store in Frankfurt am Main. After being sentenced Baader fled in November 1969, but was caught in April 1970. A few weeks later, in May 1970, he was allowed to study at the library of a research institute outside the prison, without handcuffs. Journalist Ulrike Meinhof and two other women were allowed to join him, and aided in his escape by opening a door to admit a masked man who fired shots that wounded a 64-year-old librarian, hitting his liver. Baader, the three women, and the masked man fled through a window, and the group soon became known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

Baader and others then spent some time in a Fatah[1] military training camp in Jordan before being expelled due to differences in attitudes. Back in Germany, Baader robbed banks and bombed buildings from 1970 to 1972. Despite never obtaining a driving licence, Baader was obsessed with driving. He regularly stole expensive sports cars for use by the gang, and was arrested driving an Iso Rivolta IR300.[2]

On June 1, 1972, Baader and fellow RAF members Jan-Carl Raspe and Holger Meins were apprehended after a lengthy shootout in Frankfurt.

Stammheim

From 1975 to 1977, a long and expensive trial took place in a fortified building on the grounds of Stuttgart's Stammheim prison. According to reports from his jailers (including Horst Bubeck), the defendants, especially Baader, kept their cells as dirty and disgusting as possible in order to discourage searches for items that might be smuggled in; at this time lawyers and defendants were not separated by panes of glass during unsupervised meetings, as evidenced by photos taken by inmates.[citation needed] However, as a precaution against items being smuggled in, all prisoners were strip-searched and inspected and given new clothes before and after meeting lawyers.[3]

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