Rote Armee Fraktion Collection

Biographical / Historical Note

The Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction, ‘RAF’) was founded in 1970 as a group of urban guerilla in West Germany; the group considered itself part of a larger anti-imperialist movement in the continuation of liberation movements in the Third World and the student revolts of the sixties; in May 1972, the group committed its first bomb attacks against US Army bases in West Germany and other targets; after the arrest of its leaders, the struggle was continued in prison, with hunger strikes and a learning program; despite several waves of arrests, the group continued to be operational, e.g. with the kidnapping of German Employers Federation president Hanns-Martin Schleyer and the killing of captains of industry and representatives of the political establishment; in the course of 1992 activities stopped and in 1998 the group was dissolved.

Content

The collection includes all publications, interviews, communiqués and other public statements of the Red Army Faction; also included are documents from internal discussions, as well as letters, discussions, press releases, pamphlets and brochures reflecting the group’s strategic considerations and struggles inside and outside prison; documents from groups and movements in other countries have been included in as far as they were considered relevant for the comprehension of the Red Army Faction’s history and international context. The collection was compiled by Ronald Augustin, member of the group from 1971 and imprisoned in West Germany from 1973 to 1980. The size of the collection is about 1,256 documents totaling over 20,000 pages; most of these are in German, while some consist of originals or translations in English, French, Dutch and Spanish.

Processing Information

Index made by Ronald Augustin

Alternative Form of Material

Documents also available in digitized form on a separate website .