Brigitte Mohnhaupt, veteran of the Red Army Faction, has been paroled. This will leave only Christian Klar, Eva Haule and Birgit Hogefeld still behind bars.
The Red Army Faction were one of the most organized and advanced of the guerilla groups which operated in the metropoles during the last cycle of revolutionary struggle here. Anti-imperialist and communist, in retrospect much of what they wrote may seem dated and some of what the did may seem questionable, but hindsight is always twenty-twenty.
They suffered murderous repression from the West German State, many of their original members like Ulrike Meinhof and Andreas Baader being assassinated in prison.
You can the RAF’s communiques and statements in english online, including a self-critical discussion of the Schleyer kidnapping and execution (“The Guerilla, The Resistance and the Anti-Imperialist Front”).
The following article is from the bourgeois press, but may be of interest regardless:
Red Army Faction Member Is Paroled in GermanyAssociated Press
February 12th 2007
BERLIN (AP) — A court paroled a one-time leader of Germany’s notorious Red Army Faction Monday after 24 years in prison, amid bitter memories of the left-wing terrorist group’s attacks on law enforcement and business leaders, which plunged the country into fear three decades ago.
Brigitte Mohnhaupt, 57, is to leave prison March 27, the first day she becomes eligible for release, the Stuttgart state court ruled.
Her case has set off a public debate about whether it is time to show mercy to those who showed none to their victims and has made Germans relive a tense time when their country was still divided between a democratic West and a communist East.
A student at the University of Munich before going underground, Mohnhaupt was arrested in 1982 and convicted of involvement in nine murders, including those of West German chief federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback, Dresdner Bank head Juergen Ponto and Hanns-Martin Schleyer, the head of the country’s industry federation.
She shot Ponto three times when he resisted a kidnapping attempt in Oberursel near Frankfurt in 1977, the court said. Other times, she was involved in planning killings and attacks.
She was given five life sentences for murder and other non-fatal attacks, including a 1981 rocket-propelled grenade assault on the car of U.S. Gen. Frederick Kroesen — then the commander of U.S. forces in Europe — which injured the general and his wife.
The Stuttgart court, supported by prosecutors, decided Mohnhaupt no longer posed a threat. The decision was made ”according to legal conditions and was not an act of clemency,” spokeswoman Josefine Koeblitz said.
Mohnhaupt, who has a job offer and an apartment lined up in a place the court did not disclose, will be on supervised parole for five years and must report regularly to authorities. Combined with an earlier prison term, she has spent 29 years behind bars.
The court’s written decision noted that Mohnhaupt was not willing to completely repudiate her violent past and that she ”has not distanced herself from her deeds in the sense of insight into wrongs that were committed.”
But the court reported that Mohnhaupt said at her closed parole hearing that the time for ”armed struggle” was over and acknowledged inflicting suffering on the victim’s families.
Mohnhaupt was a top figure in what was sometimes called the Baader-Meinhof gang, after an earlier generation of leaders, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof.
The middle-class leftists, styling themselves as ”urban guerrillas” after Latin American radicals, emerged from German student protests against the Vietnam War, launching a violent, 22-year campaign against what they considered U.S. imperialism and capitalist oppression of workers.
At its peak, West Germany was shaken by the Sept. 5, 1977, kidnapping of employers’ federation head Schleyer in an attempt to exort the release of Baader and others from prison.
The demands were underscored by the release of chilling pictures of Schleyer in captivity, the day’s date on a sign around his neck.
When the West German government of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt did not free Baader, Arab supporters hijacked a Lufthansa jet to Mogadishu, Somalia. German commandos freed the hostages, and the kidnappers killed Schleyer, whose body was found in the trunk of a car in Mulhouse, France. Baader and two other Red Army Faction members killed themselves in prison.
Before abandoning violence in 1992, the organization killed 34 people and injured hundreds. The group disbanded in 1998, a decision Mohnhaupt said she agreed with.
The head of Germany’s police union criticized the parole decision.
”RAF terrorists killed 10 police officers, among them a Dutch colleague,” said union head Konrad Freiberg.
”Although the release follows the law books, and the decision of the judge must be accepted, we will not forget these murders. A feeling of bitterness remains.”
Former Justice Minister Klaus Kinkel, said it was time ”to give Mohnhaupt a chance to return to society.”
Although repentance was not necessary for release, Kinkel said, such an expression from her ”would be tremendously desirable.”