We Were So Terribly Consistent… an interview with Stefan Wisniewski about the history of the RAF
On May 11, 1978, Stefan Wisniewski—one of the most wanted “terrorists” in the world at the time—was arrested at Paris-Orly airport, as he disembarked off a flight from “communist” Yugoslavia.
Twenty-five years old at the time, Wisniewski was a member of a West German urban guerilla group, the Red Army Faction. Specifically, he was alleged to have participated in a number of the RAF’s actions in 1977, actions which had brought West Germany to the brink, traumatizing all sections of society as the guerillas engaged in a daring—and ultimately unsuccessful—campaign, culminating in what is now known as the “German Autumn.”
In this candid interview, conducted in 1997, Wisniewski looks back on his own life, and on his generation’s revolt, including the lessons of the RAF, while honestly grappling with the errors committed during its history of armed struggle against imperialism.
While some of the discussion here may not make a lot of sense if you didn’t know anything about the RAF before hand, for those of us who are trying to grapple with the meaning of the RAF and the West German guerilla experience, this is an important text. It has not been available in English previously, but is now available both as a pamphlet and on the German Guerilla website.
Stefan Wisniewski was captured in 1978 and spent twenty-one years in West German prisons for his participation in the RAF’s struggle against western imperialism. This interview was conducted by Petra Groll and Juergen Gottschlich of taz newspaper in 1997, and appears here for the first time in english, translated by André Moncourt and J. Smith.