The shooting depicted at the end of this movie scene served as the justification for an increasingly radical West German left-wing protest movement's turn to terrorism, soon to be followed by movements across Europe. What was not known at the time, and remained unknown until 2009, was that the West German police officer who shot the student protestor in 1967 was, in fact, an agent of the Communist East German Stasi.
Having forgotten that the Nazis were leftists
At one [of the protests], the willowy provincial pastor's daughter Gudrun Ensslin declaimed: "This is the generation of Auschwitz - you can't reason with them! They have weapons and we haven't. We must arm ourselves too."
Ensslin was a dope-smoking anti-nuclear protester with serial boyfriends who had given away an illegitimate child for adoption. She had already starred in a soft porn movie when she fell under the spell of Andreas Baader, the son of a gifted historian who'd gone missing on the Eastern Front in 1945.
Good-looking, with his sunglasses and black leather jackets, Baader had been thrown out of school and failed at a succession of jobs; he had eked out a living as a male model, supplemented by robbing customers in the lavatories of gay bars and stealing cars. Like Ensslin, he too had an illegitimate daughter - and was also a drug-fuelled fantasist.
Inevitably, Baader and Ensslin became lovers, with ever-larger quantities of amphetamines and LSD expanding their revolutionary fantasies.
In early 1968 Baader and Ensslin burned down a large Frankfurt department store as a symbol of consumer capitalism. They got the idea from a fire in a Belgian store in which 251 people had died. It was the opening salvo in their terroristic rampage.
In the [Soviet provoked] Six-Day War, Israel humiliated two of the Soviet Union's Arab client states, Egypt and Syria. A couple of months later, the head of Soviet foreign intelligence, Gen. Alexander Sakharovsky, landed in Bucharest. According to him, the Kremlin had charged the KGB to "repair the prestige" of "our Arab friends" by helping them organize terrorist operations that would humiliate Israel. The main KGB asset in this joint venture was a "devoted Marxist-Leninist"--Yasser Arafat, co-founder of Fatah, the Palestinian military force.
Gen. Sakharovsky asked ... Romanian intelligence to help the KGB bringing Arafat and some of his fedayeen fighters secretly to the Soviet Union via Romania, in order for them to be indoctrinated and trained. During that same year, the Soviets maneuvered to have Arafat named chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organizaiton, with public help from Egypt's ruler, Gamal Abdel Nasser.
"Before I defected to America from Romania," wrote Ion Mihai Pacepa, "leaving my post as chief of Romanian intelligence, I was responsible for giving Arafat about $200,000 in laundered cash every month throughout the 1970s. I also sent two cargo planes to Beirut a week, stuffed with uniforms and supplies. Other Soviet bloc states did much the same. Terrorism has been extremely profitable for Arafat."
In 1972, Pacepa
was given the KGB's "personal file" on Arafat. was given the KGB's "personal file" on Arafat. He was an Egyptian bourgeois turned into a devoted Marxist by KGB foreign intelligence. The KGB had trained him at its Balashikha special-ops school east of Moscow and in the mid-1960s decided to groom him as the future PLO leader. First, the KGB destroyed the official records of Arafat's birth in Cairo, replacing them with fictitious documents saying that he had been born in Jerusalem and was therefore a Palestinian by birth.
The KGB's disinformation department then went to work on Arafat's four-page tract called "Falastinuna" (Our Palestine), turning it into a 48-page monthly magazine for the Palestinian terrorist organization al-Fatah. Arafat had headed al-Fatah since 1957. The KGB distributed it throughout the Arab world and in West Germany, which in those days played host to many Palestinian students. The KGB was adept at magazine publication and distribution; it had many similar periodicals in various languages for its front organizations in Western Europe, like the World Peace Council and the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Next, the KGB gave Arafat an ideology and an image, just as it did for loyal Communists in our international front organizations. High-minded idealism held no mass-appeal in the Arab world, so the KGB remolded Arafat as a rabid anti-Zionist. They also selected a "personal hero" for him -- the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, the man who visited Auschwitz in the late 1930s and reproached the Germans for not having killed even more Jews. In 1985 Arafat paid homage to the mufti, saying he was "proud no end" to be walking in his footsteps.
In 1969 the KGB asked Arafat to declare war on American "imperial-Zionism" during the first summit of the Black Terrorist International, a neo-Fascist pro-Palestine organization financed by the KGB and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. It appealed to him so much, Arafat later claimed to have invented the imperial-Zionist battle cry. But in fact, "imperial-Zionism" was a Moscow invention, a modern adaptation of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," and long a favorite tool of Russian intelligence to foment ethnic hatred. The KGB always regarded anti-Semitism plus anti-imperialism as a rich source of anti-Americanism.
The KGB file on Arafat also said that in the Arab world only people who were truly good at deception could achieve high status. We Romanians were directed to help Arafat improve "his extraordinary talent for deceiving." The KGB chief of foreign intelligence, General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, ordered us to provide cover for Arafat's terror operations, while at the same time building up his international image.
Back in Germany, Baader and Ensslin were "[c]aptured within days" of their 1968 shop burning stunt.
[T]he duo turned their trial into a piece of radical theatre, drawing support from liberals everywhere. Their defence team included lawyer Horst Mahler, a radical who was himself under a suspended sentence for public disorder offences and who soon afterwards joined Baader's revolutionary gang.
The arsonists received three years' imprisonment but were released after 14 months, pending an appeal.
Baader and Ensslin celebrated by injecting themselves with liquefied opium and settled into a free flat provided for them by a radical student union.
When they lost their appeal, they fled to France and Italy, where they were feted by Leftist sympathisers such as U.S. playwright Tennessee Williams.
Eventually they sneaked back to West Berlin, where the duo latched onto Ulrike Meinhof, a prominent Leftwing journalist who was soon competing with Ensslin for Baader's attentions, lapping up the foul-mouthed abuse he hurled at both men and women.
Ensslin proclaimed an 11th Commandment: 'Thou must kill', and the group called itself the Red Army Faction. Their second outing as terrorists was as futile as the first. Attempting to buy guns, they were stopped by police, and Baader was arrested and returned to serve his original sentence, but before long he escaped.
Now they decided they needed professional training. In June 1970, Baader, Ensslin, Mahler and Meinhof surfaced at a Palestinian guerilla base outside Amman, Jordan. Tough Algerian and Palestinians were not impressed.
Instructed how to prime a Russian grenade, Meinhof pulled the pin without realising she had to throw it. Catastrophe was narrowly averted when someone grabbed the fizzing grenade from her and hurled it away.
The budding terrorists fired so many rounds wildly from AK-47s that the PLO rationed the bullets. The angry Germans protested by sunbathing naked on the roof of their quarters.
Aided by contacts in the Stasi, the East German secret police, the group were smuggled back to Berlin. Using BMWs - soon dubbed "Baader-Meinhof-Wagons" - they sped along the autobahns high on drink and drugs. They raided three banks, although Meinhof with characteristic incompetence overlooked steel boxes containing vast sums as she scooped up modest amounts from the tellers' drawers.
Meinhof used the money to acquire arms while Baader and Ensslin sought young recruits, for the original band had dwindled to a dozen or so. There was one unlikely source: the insane.
A radical psychiatrist at Heidelberg university had formed a socialist collective among those he was treating. Baader and Ensslin visited the university and recruited 12 under the slogan "Crazies to arms".
Their ranks replenished, the Red Army Faction mounted bomb attacks across the country. A car bomb gravely injured the wife of a judge. Gun battles resulted in the first death in July 1971 when police chased a BMW that had gone through a checkpoint, forced it to stop and were shot at by the couple who got out. They returned fire and killed a 20-year-old hairdresser who had followed her boyfriend into terrorism.
The terrorists murdered an American lieutenant-colonel and wounded 13 others in an attack on a U.S. barracks in Frankfurt. Police headquarters and publishers were bombed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Court cases in West Germany in the 1990s established that members of the Red Army Faction were granted free passage to other countries in the 1970s and refuge in East Germany in the 1980s. But the current investigation and documents from Stasi archives suggest far deeper involvement - that members of the Red Army Faction were not only harboured by the Stasi but methodically trained in sophisticated techniques of bombing and murder."
In the United States, the Anti-Vietnam War movement took a radicle new turn after the election of the staunch anti-communist Richard Nixon as President. In 1969, a violent group of communists branched off of the already radical SDS to form the terrorist Weather Underground Organization. Their aim was to end American involvement in Vietnam and overthrow capitalism through the use of violence and mass murder (even on genocidal proportions). In order to do this, they had to seek foreign help
The former FBI informant on the Weather Underground seen in the documentary video excerpt, Larry Grathwohl, elaborated on the activities of the "Weathermen" in a March 12, 2009 speech:
I remember the Sunday morning in January of 1970 when it was obvious to me that the three FBI agents were upset. They wanted to know when the bombings of the Detroit Police Officers Building and the 13th precinct would take place and which members of the Weather Underground would be assigned to do it. Bill Ayers had debriefed me regarding every aspect of the plans we had developed before telling me I was being reassigned to Madison. Bill’s two major requirements were that the bombs go off at the same time and that the greatest number of police officers would be killed or injured. Both bombs were to contain fence staples or roofing nails to ensure this effect. Bill Ayers didn’t care if innocent people were also killed or injured. Bill had even gone so far as to tell us that the bomb at the 13th precinct should be placed on a window ledge. Both bombs were set four days later than originally planned but both also failed to detonate due to failures in the timing devices.
I wouldn’t see Bill Ayers again until February of 1970 in Buffalo when I returned from a day of obtaining death certificates for use in creating phony ID’s for fellow members of my new cell of Weatherman terrorists. As soon as we had all assembled, Bill began a criticism session of myself and my associates for having spent too much time preparing for actions (bombings) and not doing anything. He reminded us of the commitment all of us had made to the overthrow of the U.S. government at the National Council Meeting in Flint the previous December and how our inactivity was harming the Cubans, the Vietnamese and the Chinese. Bill went on to describe how Bernardine Dorhn, a Weather Underground central committee member and considered the leader of the Weather Underground, had to plan and commit the bombing of the Park Station in San Francisco. This bomb contained fence staples and was placed on a window ledge during a shift change ensuring the presence of the greatest number of police officers and the greatest possibility of death and injury. Several Police Officers were injured and one, Sergeant McDonnell, was killed by fence staples used in the bomb. He was in the hospital for two days before he succumbed to his injuries.
At the National Council Meeting which took place in Flint, Michigan, in late December of 1969, Bernardine Dorhn had praised mass murderer Charles Manson and said, “The Weatherman is about a communist revolution to destroy the white racist’s society and establish a democratic centralist’s government”. Furthermore, Bernadine wanted everyone at the council meeting to, “bring the war home and off (kill) their parents”.
One other historical fact that demands mention is the explosion of the Weatherman bomb factory in Greenwich Village in February of 1970. The bombs being built for use at an Army dance at the Ft. Dix Army Base on a Saturday night contained roofing nails for the shrapnel effect, and if the bombs hadn’t prematurely detonated, killing three Weathermen, the effect would have been devastating.
In April of 2008, I noticed not only that the media were failing to report on the Park Station bombing, but were repeating the claim that the Weather Underground was just an anti-war group. I had a copy of the Weather Underground Prairie Fire manifesto, dedicated in part to convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan. He had assassinated Robert Kennedy, the leading anti-war candidate in 1968. The Weather Underground was not anti-war; it was pro-war. In fact, it waged war on the United States, in close consultation with foreign enemies of the U.S. in such places as Hanoi and Havana.
In an article published in the New York Times [on 9/11/01], Bill stated his only regret was that he believed the Weather Underground hadn’t done enough. Bombing the Pentagon, the Capitol, and police stations wasn’t enough?
As the documentary also stated, the Cubans were lending their supporting the Weathermen terrorists by way of mutual connections to a violent separatist terror group in Canada. As the Weathermen's terror campaign started in the United States, the terrorists in Canada plunged that nation "into it's worst crisis since the Second World War".