Jan-Carl Raspe: On the Murder of Ulrike Meinhof
May 11th 1976
I don’t have much to say.
We believe Ulrike was executed. We don’t know how, but we understand the reasoning behind the method chosen. I recall Herold’s statement, “Actions against the raf must primarily be developed in such a way as to undermine the positions held by sympathizers.”
And Buback said, “State security is given life by those who are committed to it. People like Herold and myself, we always find a way.”
It was a cold, calculated execution, just like with Holger, just like with Siegfried Hausner. If Ulrike had decided to end it all, to die, because she saw this as her last chance to save herself—to save her revolutionary identity—from the slow destruction of her will in isolation—then she would have told us—or at least she would have told Andreas: that was the nature of their relationship.
I believe that the execution of Ulrike now, at this moment, is a result of developments—an initial political breakthrough in the conflict between the international guerilla and the imperialist state in the Federal Republic. To say anything more about this would require getting into things I don’t wish to discuss.
This murder is consistent with all of the state’s attempts to deal with us over the past six years—the physical and psychological extermination of the raf—and it is aimed at all of the guerilla groups in the Federal Republic, for whom Ulrike played an essential ideological role.
Now I want to say that as long as I’ve been witness to the relationship between Ulrike and Andreas—and I’ve witnessed it for the past seven years—it was marked by intensity and tenderness, sensitivity, and clarity.
And I believe that it was precisely because of this relationship that Ulrike was able to survive the eight months in the dead wing.
It was a relationship like that which can develop between siblings, oriented around a common objective and based on shared politics.
And she was free, because freedom is only possible in the struggle for liberation.
There was no breakdown in their relationship during these years. There couldn’t have been, because it was based on the politics of the raf, and when there were fundamental contradictions within the group, they were addressed concretely through praxis. No reason for such a breakdown can be found in the course of our theoretical work, the only kind that remains possible in prison—nor can it be found in the shared nature of our struggle or the history of the group.
This can be clearly seen in the discussions and Ulrike’s letters and manuscripts in the period leading up to Friday evening. They show what this relationship was really like.
It is a crude and sinister smear, a bid to use Ulrike’s execution for psychological warfare purposes, to now claim that “tensions” and “estrangement” existed between Ulrike and Andreas, between Ulrike and us. This is Buback in all his stupidity.
So far all such efforts have simply further exposed the fascist nature of the reactionary forces in the Federal Republic.