Feb 062013

Holger Meins, died 6 November 1974 following a hunger strike. Six feet in height, he then weighed only 6 stone 8lbs. ‘I have kept this picture in my wallet to keep my hatred sharp’, Hans Joachim Klein

The German guerrilla: terror, reaction, and resistance: Memoirs of an international terrorist: conversations with Hans Joachim Klein by Jean-Marcel Bouguereau (Translated by Peter Silcock) and an Interview with the Moabit Gang of Four (June 2nd Group). Hans Joachim Klein ; Ralf Reindeers ; Ronald Fritsch ; Gerald Klopper ; Fritz Teufel (the ‘Moabit Gang of Four’), The Berlin Indomitables  (June 2nd Group), Background to the Left German Guerrilla ; RAF Philosophy.

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“‘A fascinating and inside view of the tensions and way of life imposed by clandestinity . . . Police officers should find this book worth reading (though not, probably, worth buying) because it vividly illustrates the violence of the hatred which the ‘bourgeois society’ arouses in the extreme left” (Major General Richard Clutterbuck, Police Review, 1981)

‘Such rare accounts are vital if we are to make up our minds on both the moral and strategic aspects of armed resistance. Any form of “party line” on this question is abhorrent because an individual must take up a position according to his or her own beliefs. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot clarify the issues in libertarian terms, and for this purpose we have included a short postscript examining political violence . . .

‘Klein accuses his former comrades of being mercenaries but offers no details to support this apart from references to the luxurious life style to which some apparently became accustomed. It would be fairer to say that their sense of values was altered by the life which they had to lead, but this is a criticism of  the inevitable effects of such a life. It would be completely wrong to impugn their original motives on these grounds. Once again we see the (inevitable?) distortion— the false identity and false environment which create a false outlook, and which in turn distances and alienates them from their comrades and from their former idealistic selves. We already know that, however lofty the motive, power corrupts. Secrecy and violence are its two most important  ingredients.’ Preface.

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