- Helmut Pohl, August 1993
- Statement From Brigitte Mohnhaupt, 28.10.93
- Reply From The RAF, 2.11.93
- Reply From Karl-Heinz Dellwo, 29.10.93
- Karl-Heinz Dellwo To Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Early October 1993
- Christian Klar, 16.10.93
- Rolf Heissler To Birgit Hogefeld, 10.10.93
- Eva Haule, 23.10.93
Letter From Helmut Pohl, RAF Prisoner
Perhaps now is the time to say something again on our behalf.
In any case, we, a large number of the prisoners from the RAF, would
like to make everything clear.
None of us, and none of our supporters, proposed the idea for a
short-term regroupment, the idea now being tossed about by the media.
This is not our demand, and we reject it, because our demand is the
same as ever: freedom now, and regroupment until that time.
If we were to be put together now for a few months or weeks, our theme
would neither be "armed struggle", nor ever our own freedom. In other
not about making peace with the state and making the final unwinding of
our history after the last two catastrophic years, but rather how we
reach a level of strength from the society against the state which can
get us out of the prisons - because they comprehend the situation,
own, they comprehend its perspective and significance, to take the
to decide about moving political forces away from the power-drunk
The current history is a new one in this stage-managed time of the
so-called "Kinkel-Initiative", about which nothing is real, but rather,
people should see it for what it really is, a cover for exchange and
disorientation and formulas such as "solution" and "conciliation", a
synonym from the apparatus for endless prison terms for a
pre-determined section of the prisoners.
If the campaign around the "Kinkel-Initiative" only got the support of
a few prisoners who went in for it, and those on the outside with the
"new" politics of the RAF, with its "Steinmetz" unity, then they will
with nothing. This is a clear fabrication by the security agencies, the
politicians, and the media. They no longer need anyone for our
"demands", and thus our years-long prisoners' project has been taken
over by the state by means
of its "Kinkel-Initiative" and those that support it.
Now we hear, something phenomenal for us, that this artistic creation
(because this "meeting" could never actually become reality) has
spawned discussions in social sectors which had for years no longer
concerned themselves with the prisoners, because in their minds the
matter had long since been taken care of.
You all are worried about a possible "new escalation in violence from
You all should spend more time worrying about the state.
That fat-ass Kohl only seems to do less and less as time goes on.
There will be no new dealing with us with anything like the
"Kinkel-Initiative", in whatever form it may take on today. If so, then
it will clearly be directed against us.
That's all I can say in consensus with Brigitte, Christian, Rolf
(Heissler), Eva, Heidi, and Rolf (Wagner). That's by no means all of
the prisoners who think this way, but rather we are the prisoners from
the RAF who will sit endlessly in prison as a result of the legacy of
the "solution" which has been developed since '92.
As for Ingrid and Sieglinde, I don't want to even begin at this time.
Perhaps with a little contemplation, you all will understand that we
cannot accept that, and perhaps it will even dawn on you that this
present situation is well beyond the boundary of what the state can do
to us, particularly
because each of us has already experienced what they can do.
As for the anticipated repetition of the same old statements from the
"hard-liners", I think back once more upon how it was us that wanted
for years to make
a break, because we were fed up with the lies and the malicious tales
which were forever being weaved, so I'd just like to point out that we
were the ones that took the step of calling off "targeted deadly
the representatives of state and capital". We did this at least one
prior, and we were greeted with a lack of understanding, and then
came onto the scene, and then the "break" faded into the background.
We prisoners did not start our course of "discussion" and "break" since
the late-80s, and also the concurrent de-escalation in our
the state, based on any notion of "giving up the struggle", rather we
this step based on our conviction that the events of the continued
capitalist march needed to be looked at, now more than ever, because
now a situation was becoming a reality, in anticipation of which we had
struggled for 20
years to prevent.
We wanted this to be our specific prisoners' contribution to a process
of clarification and a re-establishment of a politics of change, one
today can reach out well beyond the left- radical, and even the general
left-wing, spectrum. We knew that we would only have a certain limited
of time in the period of change for this, because otherwise the effects
of this change would be complete, and that then there would break out a
new struggle for survival, both socially and politically, and a
in a collapsed social fabric, as well as a great destruction of the
political living reality, and that this, in turn, would mean that the
possibility would be under pressure and it would be too late for a
to our prisoners' problem, because the state, in a period of crisis,
rather use us as an object for demonstrating their assertion and
of power and their escalation of power rather than let us go.
It was an attempt - on a not insignificant level, since the RAF-state
confrontation had affected society for more than 20 years - to make a
formulated anchoring for fundamental political processes against the
foreseeable and increasingly chaotic and brutal contradictions, at both
the micro- and the macro-level, of everyone being against everyone.
Things which are happening today could not be predicted 3 or 4 years
ago. Not the rise in fascism, nor racism, nor the social collapse.
Nothing. Everyone was so happy when the "New World Order" broke out.
Today, no one gets past the point of seeing the attempt as pointless.
If things today have come to the point with this state- creation, this
short-term regroupment, so that they think that they can just plough
the harvests of the past 2 years and point a pistol at everyone's chest
and call on them to disavow "armed struggle", then I can answer
I will no longer take the political position that I have represented
the past few years. Today, it's no longer even a position. The
which arose during the break [the cease-fire -trans.] seems to have
lost. Armed actions and militancy will simply be found in various
and social confrontations, in all possible forms. It doesn't matter
the RAF and the prisoners say. And in many instances, I would see that
a good thing. Nonetheless, I'll be damned if I'll ever "swore off"
Helmut Pohl, August '93
Statement From Brigitte Mohnhaupt, RAF Prisoner
We are now making one thing public, namely that there is a split among
the prisoners regarding their political affinity to the RAF. The
of this affinity has collapsed, and there is no other alternative left
to make a split. We have reached an end to the political agony which
in 1992, namely that the foundations for our politics were being
away, and today we will stop having our life and our struggle developed
behind our backs. Since May, the prisoners in Celle have started a
of liquidating the RAF and the prisoners, with the support of those
who are still underground.
We have only come to know of this very recently, and then only by
coincidence. We did not expect this, because we were sure that the
people in Celle, and the RAF, knew that none of us other prisoners
would ever take such a route. Now we were supposed to accept certain
accomplished facts, take it or leave it. In other words: Whoever does
not "accept" this will stay in prison forever.
The disappointment did not just come over us, but rather over everyone
who has been connected with the struggle of the RAF and the prisoners,
everyone who has been in solidarity, and everyone who has wanted to
us for the freedom of the prisoners. In one way or another, we were all
just trump cards in a deal. We want no part in this. The situation
clear to everyone, everything else represents political confusion and a
lack of responsibility. Everyone should be able to see for themselves
things are and where she/he wants to go. And for us ourselves, we can't
on in any other way, otherwise we would be trampling our lives and all
our experiences in our struggle into the dust.
First, I'd like to talk about the fundamental concept behind this
development, and then I'll put forward the facts as we know them.
The starting point was the assumption that Kohl had some interest being
able to say, with elections approaching, that he had found a "political
solution" to end the 23 years of confrontation. That's why they were so
acting before the election strategies had been set, signaling a
to Kohl on the part of the RAF and the prisoners to make a concrete
Beyond this, people in significant societal positions were informed of
this willingness, and they, for their part, discussed making the offer
such a solution to Kohl. The long-term reasoning behind this was - in
Kohl did not act - that these people would know that the RAF had, so to
speak, been forced back into confrontation. It was to be made clear to
that the state would be to blame for the continuation of actions. The
was willing, but Kohl was not.
Now there is no more independent political orientation and concept
coming from the RAF, but rather just a focus on "pressure", to press
conditions, as was the case with Weiterstadt.
In other words, the end of the politics which the RAF has stood for for
more than 20 years, namely, revolutionary intervention in the
metropoles. And that was never a question of the means alone, but
rather more of the content
of these politics. We can see where this content has lead today,
armed action is today defined as a product to be exchanged.
So much for the concept. This whole affair had a negotiator, one of our
former lawyers. He thinks he's doing something for us, supposedly our
last chance of ever getting out of jail. Irmgard and I have spoken with
him, and from him we learned the details.
Initially, Edward Reuter, former economics minister, was approached.
That was in May. But Reuter didn't want to hear anything, so the
negotiator only got as far as the security chief. Only then did he go
to "Benz" and his
associates at the Office for the Defense of the Constitution, and they
informed of the matter and gave the green light for Reuter to get on
Karl-Heinz Dellwo's fixation on these talks was this, namely that
Reuter would be someone who would see the end of the RAF/state conflict
as being in the economic ministry's interest, and then their central
play major roles in the discussion. An end seemed possible, although
state had only sought a military solution, something which would only
the conflict. That's why it was necessary for Reuter to use his
to force a solution. Reuter is not in favor. He finally speaks with
Schnarrenberger, and later with Kohl. Kohl's answer is negative.
That was shortly before Bad Kleinen.
Wolfgang was shot, Birgit arrested, and Steinmetz, who was supposed to
deliver the entire RAF into the hands of the state, disappeared.
The negotiator goes to Birgit to see if he still has her support and
that of the people still living underground. Birgit thinks he should
He calls Reuter once more, tells him that Bad Kleinen has not wrecked
everything, but rather made it more urgent, but Reuter is no longer
interested and refuses.
Next, the negotiator tries to win Ignatz Bubis' [the head of a major
Jewish organization in Germany -trans.] support, to thereby get some
more support and influence behind the Celle-concept.
During another meeting, Bubis agrees to further talks along these lines
in Bonn. His mind seems to have been won over by the reasoning that
there is a need for political development in Germany because the danger
from the far-right has grown so serious, therefore the state needs to
focus all of its energies on that.
He speaks with Schnarrenberger, Kinkel, Kohl. His proposal, to visit
Celle to hear everything from the prisoners themselves, is turned down
by Kohl, who wants to wait and see what the Bad Kleinen investigations
turn up, and to see how far they got with Steinmetz. Kohl's interest is
in turning up
the heat, not backing off. And the economy folks see this as their
as well. A meeting planned for the end of September, between Bubis and
and Kanther, does not take place. That's what we know at this point.
How things were to develop concretely from there, we only partially
know, but one sign that the state was seriously considering the offer
was to have been the release of the prisoners who have been in jail the
transfer of Birgit to Frankfurt, and the regroupment of the remaining
Then there was to be the "entire solution", which was to include those
still underground. We don't know what they have in mind, probably
with some sort of exile or a short jail sentence, or what they were
to do with the rest of the prisoners.
And we don't care. They can continue, but they should do it openly.
They should not try to use other people for their purposes, people whom
neither can nor should ignore.
There is no time right now to write much more, but I would just like to
say something short.
We are not drowning in bitterness. The bitterness was last year, when
it became clear that the "end" of the RAF was not leading to a new
orientation of radical and revolutionary politics, and for searches and
struggles for people's own proposals, but rather a step towards
adaptation and an empty de-politicization. This was unavoidable, not
because they did not understand what we were talking about, but rather
because they wanted something different. What's certain, however, is
that revolutionary politics can regain a foothold here, with a new
determination, and with a conscious break from this legacy.
We all have a lot to say - that will follow - but the meaning and
content of our politics are part of our lives, an inseparable
one which has been nurtured together, and that is what we struggle for.
Brigitte Mohnhaupt 28.10.93
on behalf of the prisoners of the RAF in Luebeck, Cologne,
Frankfurt, Schwalmstadt, Frankenthal, Bruchsal, and Aichach
Red Army Faction Communiqué:
A Response To The 28.10.93 Declaration By Brigitte Mohnhaupt Regarding
A Split Within The RAF
To the prisoners of the RAF who have supported this call.
Towards a discussion with everyone connected to the struggle of the RAF
and the prisoners.
There have never been secret negotiations between ourselves and the
state. In all of our retrospection, we never considered "making a deal"
by exchanging armed struggle for the freedom of the prisoners. All
notions which suggest the contrary are nothing more than garbage.
What is true, however, is that on 10.4.92, we decreased the escalation,
because the global changes at the end of the 80s broke apart the
of perspective for the revolutionary left and made the function of the
left in Germany a strategic proposal from a past epoch. One expression
this development are the boundaries which we have found ourselves stuck
This entire development made it clear to us that a critical reflection
the struggles of the past epoch, and that means also the struggle of
RAF, was desperately needed. In fact, the most banal form of
In this phase, during which the search for new paths and thoughts for a
process of change were and still are most important, we also wanted to
continue the struggle to free the political prisoners. As for this, we
have always stated that this will only be possible from within a
process of struggle.
This does not correspond to any responsibility on our part, after 23
years of struggle by the RAF, to preserve the RAF into the next
millennium under all circumstances. We were open to all possible forms
and thoughts regarding a transformation, whatever we and all those
involved in redirecting revolutionary politics deemed to be the best
way to direct the future process of change. And this orientation of
means and organizational models is only possible
from out of a newly-developed strategic proposal. That has nothing to
with giving up the option of armed struggle.
The joy of state and capital regarding the final nail in the coffin of
the RAF, which your statement was supposed to be, is premature: We, as
RAF, will bear our responsibilities until such time as a new way is
discovered. And we don't really care whether that will still be called
the RAF, or whether it will simply be a transformation of the RAF
within a new formation within the revolutionary left. What's of primary
importance is the correspondence of the necessities and proposals for a
process of change.
Something which also corresponds is that which we wrote in earnest in
the Weiterstadt communiqué. (For reasons of space, the editors
of Radikal #148, from which we at ATS translated this recent
communique, left out these citations. -trans.)
We say with emphasis: The talks which the prisoners in Celle carried
out with Stroebele, and those which they wished to have with Bubis -
the content of which was made known by Karl-Heinz in the taz on 1.11.93
- were not,
in fact, in contradiction with our proposals.
With your statement of 28.10, a point has been reached which forces us
to publicly declare our stance regarding the history between the RAF
certain prisoners and regarding the ongoing distortions and the
to destroy solidarity with us.
After the attack on us (in Bad Kleinen -ed.) on 27.6.93, we wanted some
more time before we came out with another public statement.
We had to discuss the bad mistakes which we made, such as our contact
with a security agency spy. We will say more about this at a later
date. We were especially affected by Birgit's arrest and the murder of
these came the realization that a state agent had made possible a
assault on us, thus we had incorrectly assessed the real development of
the confrontation with the state. We were confronted with a situation,
which we were concerned with discovering how we could again play a
role in the reorientation of revolutionary politics. An entirely new
was created for us on 27.6. But we hoped that despite the
between prisoners and RAF, and despite the entire break by some of you,
we could still come upon a proposal by which we could be part of
discussions. We wanted to do that in the new segment which is more or
ahead of us now. This attempt should have been a concern of ours.
We don't want you all to split off from us, although some of you, after
the attack on us, which should have been expected from the security
apparatus, in fact turned the cops against us politically with all your
talk of "the Steinmetz unit" and "the security agency's ideological
foot in the underground", as well as the assertion that the Celle
prisoners, Birgit, Wolfgang, and
we ourselves wanted to find "a place in society".
For quite some time now, the statements from some of you have been like
experiments in a state security test-tube. Some of you accuse comrades
who have content and political contradictions of collaborating with the
state and you deny all of their moral integrity. The former head of the
Hamburg security apparatus, chief Lochte, counted on just such a stance
as this when he came out in support of the call for the regroupment
back in '89. He was convinced that you all were no longer in a position
to deal with contradictions and differences, but rather that you all
would instead tear each other limb from limb.
The years of continual accusations from some of you against our
imprisoned comrades in Celle has lead to speculation at the
international level that perhaps the comrades in Celle were working
together with the security agencies. This continues today, with the lie
in Brigitte's statement which was made clear on 30.10 in an interview
with Stroebele: namely, that Stroebele had discussed the matter with
Until 28.10, we had hoped that these prisoners, who need something like
this, would be able to refrain from petty bourgeois competitiveness -
of day-to-day German reality still seen in comrades who once decided to
something different with their whole lives. We had hoped that we would
come to a point where the RAF and the prisoners from the RAF would
a group fighting amongst themselves, as has happened so often in
Germany, a group that only spreads its poison internally and thereby
seeks to manoeuvre in the external political sphere. We are writing
this statement with the
full understanding that there are many other more important questions
regarding the situation in Germany and elsewhere internationally,
questions to which we are not providing any answers with this. But now,
our boundary of pain has been overstepped.
Behind your statement lurks a rotten tactic, otherwise it would have
been impossible for you all to now denounce an initiative from the
as a deal with the state, although some of you once thought about a
similar initiative yourselves. Around the time of '90, your texts like
of Reason" were circulated, texts which also were aimed at figures in
economic establishment. At that time, we only heard of these much
"by coincidence" if you will.
At that time, you all wanted nothing else but to set in motion a
process which would bring about your freedom and new starting points
for yourselves, for us, and for everyone searching for a reorientation.
We should even abandon armed struggle to bring this about, even if you
didn't come out openly and say that that was a part of it.
We do not assume that you all were trying to make a deal with the
state, or win a "place in society". So you all should not assume the
same of Birgit, Wolfgang, and the Celle prisoners.
As we now know today, you all refrained, on account of a faulty view of
effectiveness, and also because it would not have been possible along
with our political proposals. Your indignation is hypocritical. That
which you today pass off as a deal, namely the aim to arrive at an
entire solution -
one which includes those still underground - at one time came from
yourselves. Some of you damned us, cursed us, and hated us, because we
did not want to view this as "correctly timed". It goes without saying
what you all had in mind: possibly exile, as a start.
Because of the proposal from some of you, we issued a
communiqué: the RAF was discontinuing the armed struggle.
Because at that time: without this, any thought of freedom for the
prisoners is pure illusion. We were
to back off, the state would say "thanks", and nothing more - what was
to come, no one knew. That, at least, was never our proposal, because
always operated under the assumption that we can only push through new
points by means of a process of struggle, which means making an armed
intervention, in a time in which the strategic proposal has not yet
been worked out, if a development from us is required.
You all state that our threat and our destroying of the Weiterstadt
prison made armed action "a product for exchange". Are your opinions of
limited to the formation of a concept? Only abstract politics? Without
practical use? Since when did you find it objectionable to use actions
put pressure on the state? You all know just as well as we do that
actions, by means of their content, must be able exert pressure on the
so as to make a development that allows for something to struggle
The relationship which you all now ascribe to revolutionary politics
armed intervention is largely abstract and dead, something entirely
to us, and something which struggling peoples all over the world have
Even if you repeat your lies a thousands times, they will never be
true. Anyone who does not see the Weiterstadt action in a political
context needs a crack on the head. You all should try to give a basis
of CONTENT to your assertion that nothing can be launched with an
intervention that destroyed a prison, an attack that destroyed a real
concrete example of the developments which are dictated and pushed
through by the ruling powers; an attack against a project that pointed
out contradictions in the state's military approach and pushed them
before the eyes of metropolitan society; an attack against a project
that represents state racism and the economic destruction of human
identity. Knowledge of this project, and the space for movement so as
destroy it, were inseparable, in our view, from exerting pressure on
state so as to work towards your freedom. But nonetheless, we realize
some of you criticized the action, apparently because of the fact that
people - even here - could make links with it. Because for you all
an expression of "depoliticization and adaptation", since if many
can speak from their hearts, then something must be wrong!
Your cries of indignation against this exertion of pressure on state
and capital, which has developed from 23 years of armed struggle in the
confrontation between liberation and capital, are now merely
superficial polemics. They have nothing to do with content, or with
political dialogue and critique. Ever since '77, there has been an
exertion of pressure against state and
capital, whereby only one aspect was the fact that the economic sector
its influence to bear on account of Schleyer. Did everything fall to
at that time? Of course not.
So don't now assume that the movement only ever had its correct
justification when its central perspective was an orientation on the
international revolutionary movement.
In a TV interview, you, Irmgard, said that you all at that time made
offers to the state of not returning to Germany, but rather of
struggling further while in exile. From others in your circle we have
learned that this was
to apply to the entire group, in other words, also to those still
underground, namely that after the prisoners were freed, there would be
of trying to rediscover how the struggle should develop further. That,
in the most recent past, would have been the best thing for the entire
political association of RAF/prisoners. We know that most of you
thought no differently about this. And what's worse, you're now trying
to tell a different story, and you also talk garbage about deals.
"When, at the same time, there are attacks from the guerrilla, no
mobilization can be grounded here to work towards the liberation of the
(from a letter from Brigitte in the spring of '93). If you all think
the existence of the RAF is preventing your freedom, and if your goal,
stated in the 28.10 statement, is to be completely rid of the RAF -
just come right out and say that. Don't just act as if you are waiting
the keeper of the Holy Grail of armed struggle and revolutionary
in the metropoles; and then you could draw your line of division from
RAF so as to seem morally pure and the victims of traitorous persons
ourselves, Birgit, and the Celle prisoners.
If you want to talk openly and honestly, then don't go through all the
crap. And you can also spare us by not projecting an image of armed
onto us which reeks of horrific standards of capitalist value and by
THEY should free you all in your total political vision: "If they (the
are signalling an end to the step taken in April '92, based on our
imprisoned situation - then we do not support this" (Eva). As if it had
been our problem, that we wanted to HAVE/POSSESS something for
ourselves. According to this style, the RAF - blood-thirsty as they are
- needs the prisoners, because otherwise - unpolitical though this may
be - there will be nothing to contribute to its development.
As for the history of our relationship, this content, according to you
all, has collapsed: Your struggles, which you all carried out either as
part of the RAF or later on as prisoners, mobilized us. For all of us
they had a significance which was a part of our own histories. From
a trust in you all, the comrades in prison, became a living trust. Also
this came a unity, making the same existential life-decision to opt for
struggle for liberation, and the proposal that this could also be a
for coming upon a political understanding of a path from different
and in an ever-changing external situation. But still, this is only
as a living and contradictory process, one which presupposes openness
This trust, as far as some of you are concerned, was already lost long
ago. Today, we think it was a political illusion on our part to imagine
that we could remain together as a political association when the
had come apart, to face off against a power apparatus such as exists in
Germany, and to make a new beginning. Our decision to everyone, which
of you all - as far as you were able - helped us work on, not to move
a public position, was wrong. We had false hopes that the
could be resolved in the process of struggle. These hopes were based on
false assessment of you all as prisoners in isolation, and on the fact
we wanted to avoid sinking in a senseless mudbath.
Last year, you all did not respond to our content initiatives with a
corresponding CONTENT discussion, even though that would have led to
contradictory discussions. Instead, you responded to all of our efforts
with petty bourgeois competitive shit and you all lapsed into your
possessive understanding of the RAF and revolutionary politics in
Germany as a whole.
For some of you, it was enough just to keep expanding old truths, which
might in general be true, but which actually give few answers to the
questions being posed due to the deteriorating situation here and
across the globe.
Even you all spoke of an end, but as to what this should actually mean,
you all have not to this day given any substantial indication. For us,
from out of our process, it was necessary to arrive at a productive
relationship between critique and self- critique.
For struggling people across the globe, this is a life-line - for some
of you, it's like fire and water. Your break with us is tied to this
to the fact that we, like the prisoners in Celle, have made up our own
in the discussions over the past years.
With fighting words like "depoliticized" and "adaptation", you all have
been shielding yourselves from a content discussion for more than a
a half now. And that, in fact, causes depoliticization.
We are sick of that method whereby the content of our texts are turned
around in whatever way seems most opportune, like in one letter shortly
before Weiterstadt. With appropriate word-play, the meaning comes out:
should "now wait and see which 'fraction' pushes itself through, like
RAF says". Of course we said just the opposite in the
"No point can be backed down on (by the state), that's why social
and struggle must always be applied".
Your stupid power-struggle points to a narrow-minded fixation on the
discussions around the "two factions in the apparatus", although the
corrected our errors in the April communiqué in their interview
Konkret, and we elaborated on this critique in the August text.
this is only an imaginary power-struggle against the comrades in Celle,
ourselves, and, at times, the comrades in Luebeck, otherwise everything
have been necessary, because the enemy, like this question, is so big.)
You all have to realize that you have made these mistakes of ours your
point of contention for more than a year now, meanwhile it has hardly
interested anyone else.
While you all continue to demand the "situation debate" and the "RAF
debate", and then do the exact opposite, your vision of your own
situation has been distorted by your orientation on us.
And finally, you all are sticking by your mistaken belief that the KGT
[Terrorism Coordination Group - ed.] Initiative, from the very
only intended to allow for certain prisoners to be freed. You all don't
seem to realize that they didn't intend to free anyone. Everything was
on a political mobilization, namely, whether the prisoners group is the
CORE OF SOLIDARITY and whether it is able to intervene in common in a
and on the power relationship between the RAF and the state. You all
not realize the fact that after Guenter was released, no other RAF
was set free, and not even the attack on us in Bad Kleinen made this
clearer to you. You all have lost your ability to reason clearly on
of the poison that has entered your hearts. Which is why you now have
circulate the story of a deal, so as to give your mistaken belief new
Since you all have even soiled Wolfang's name with your denunciations -
he, a man who was active in RAF politics for 9 years, who struggled in
the RAF, a man who even struggled for, among other things, your own
who, because of his efforts, did not merely land himself in prison, but
was murdered - this is a clear sign of the new depths to which you all
descended. Wolfgang was a human being who went through hell for his
Recently, there was a new beginning to the mobilization for your
freedom by comrades with a new attitude, something which we found very
empowering against the backdrop of an old history of factionalization
when dealing with content and political contradictions. That made
a view to the fact that it is possible to arrive at a serious political
discussion. We thought these comrades made the right decision by not
lapsing into splits. Despite the contradictions in the political
proposals from our side, they continued on. We think that this is a
form of self-consciousness which is absolutely necessary in a process
which is concerned with reorienting revolutionary politics. Your
statement of 28.10 is directly against this sort of attitude. It is the
expression of a gloomy power-struggle. It is the expression of
maintaining a grip on old structures, in which it was deemed legitimate
accuse comrades with contradictions of collaborating with the system
to bury their moral legitimacy with filth. In the end, it is you all
are the ones who they lose because of this.
WE DEEM IT NECESSARY TO MAKE A CONSCIOUS BREAK WITH THIS LEGACY!
We say to you all, that this "entirely new decision", of which you all
speak, is built on lies, pressure, and your own dishonesty, and surely
never lead to "revolutionary politics regaining a foothold here".
We are calling on you all - and we mean this very seriously - to hold
back for just a moment. Come to your senses! Even if this means that
have to jump over your shadows. We know that our letter will not make
easy for you, but surely you can understand that you all left us no
but to say what the reality of the situation really is.
There exists a trust which no walls can break. Karl-Heinz, Lutz, Knut,
Birgit, and we ourselves will accept this split, but we do not like it!
Perhaps this - why not? - is the last chance to start something new.
Now, it's up to you.
Red Army Faction 2.11.93
The Simulation Of A Reality
The Celle prisoners reject the notion that they have planned on
making a "deal with the state"
We have not made a deal with Reuter or with Kohl or with anyone
else, nor have we initiated any form of "unwinding", and certainly a
"entire solution" was never suggested to anyone. The question was,
whether a "third" position could be created, which could do something,
although independent of us,
but nevertheless in reference to us. Publicly as well as not in public.
We set out in two directions:
To search for people who consider that which the RAF and the prisoners
have been searching for over the past years to be sensible and who
want to support it: to exert political pressure from the ranks of the
That which we effectively did in the spring of this year, both in terms
of political orientation, extent of content, and political background,
can be read in the (excerpted) letter which I wrote to Brigitte
Mohnhaupt at the
beginning of October. The other prisoners also know of this letter.
The split in the prisoners' group has a history, one that reaches far
back into the past. We will say more of this another time. The time now
is too short to explain this development with extensive clarity here
and now. It is simply not true, and Brigitte knows this, when she
states that her life and her struggle were to be sold away behind her
What Brigitte Mohnhaupt is saying is nothing more than the simulation
of a reality. The scenario that she spelled out once again shows her
need to excuse the political contradictions in the prisoners' group
to the RAF and sectors of the radical-left by means of moralistic
suspicions. In this process of division, everything negative is
attributed to us and
to the RAF, while she reclaims everything positive for herself. As for
insinuations made in that declaration, and in the reports subsequently
about in the media, I can only say the following for now:
- It is nonsense to assume that the development in the political agony
which began in 1992 will knock out the foundations of our politics. We
again: On 10.4.92, the RAF declared that they felt it was presently
to turn back the process of escalation. Irmgard Moeller correctly
the RAF's communiqué in the name of all the prisoner and she
it her support. It was never stated in public that Brigitte Mohnhaupt
with either the statement by Irmgard Moeller or the RAF's
Everyone knew and still knows that the old conception of the RAF is no
applicable. Helmut Pohl wrote that he was always conscious of the fact
the disbanding of the RAF would come about at the end. Throughout 1992,
were several indications from prisoners "that the global and domestic
breaks are so deep that they make the simple setting-forth of the
and praxis of the 70s and 80s impossible" (Irmgard Moeller, statement
behalf of the prisoners, 15.4.92).
- Brigitte says that we, together with the RAF, wanted to make a deal
with the state. If you follow this logic through, then it means that
Grams was shot as we were concluding a deal. Surely neither Brigitte
nor anyone else can take that notion seriously.
The coldness, which Wolfgang Grams hit upon here, is still being
exerted against Birgit Hogefeld.
- Stroebele neither negotiated nor took statements nor made any deal
offers, but he, much more than anyone else who knows the entire history
RAF and the prisoners) from the beginning and who can estimate its
dialectics, stated and pointed out that the government destroyed
and had to take responsibility for everything which would result from
Stroebele, as a politician for the Greens, spoke with Reuter, despite
obvious lack of activity from other politicians. He had our permission
- Ignatz Bubis had no negotiations mandate. He spoke with Stroebele
with our permission, to see if he wanted to work for the demands of the
prisoners. Unfortunately, this never resulted in a visit by Bubis to
us, nor to a formulation of our position with regards to him.
- After Bad Kleinen, the situation changed. We made this definitely
clear to Stroebele, namely, that everything which had been discussed
before now had no basis. This did not affect our contact with Bubis,
because that is simply the matter of communication with representatives
of social groups
concerned with our situation.
Karl-Heinz Dellwo Celle, 29.10.93
also on behalf of Lutz Taufer and Knut Folkerts, and in unity with
Excerpts From A Letter From Karl-Heinz Dellwo To Brigitte Mohnhaupt
It is probably pointless to argue against a subjective situation in
which anger and rage are dominant. The only thing which can come from
that that which is being discussed among the prisoners will bore
with a continued sectarian process of collapse. But I want to say
more to the matter itself, also on behalf of others. Then I will feel
I allowed Stroebele to visit for a period of months based on my
conviction that we would get nowhere with those politicians and members
of the state apparatus that had long since become accustomed to this
has often been used as a critique against us, namely that too many
are able to arrange themselves according to our political and practical
reality). We spoke along two lines: To search for people who view what
RAF and the prisoners have sought for the past few years as reasonable,
therefore wish to offer public support; To exert pressure within the
of the other side.
First we came upon Bubis. He was approached, and this was productive.
He stated that he would like to speak with us directly, to hear for
what we wanted. We, of course, agreed (and we proposed to him that he
other prisoners one by one). Nothing has come of this as yet, because
took him aside when given a certain opportunity and stated that he was
opposed to such a visit "as long as the Bad Kleinen case was not yet
closed". But he was to have a talk at the end of September with Kohl
and Kanther where we wanted to address why they had not taken any steps.
The Reuter-affair is something entirely different. This was a matter of
getting an assessment of the situation from someone on the "outside"
words, outside of our scene), someone who appreciates the seriousness
what will happen if the government does not alter its stance. To this
I discussed the situation with Stroebele.
Also, because he cannot speak in our name, he cannot negotiate, he
cannot make any statements or anything else, but rather, he is someone
that knows the history from beginning to end and who can estimate from
its dialectics that the government has systematically destroyed another
therefore must be responsible for anything which may result from that
This was in line with everything we had done for the past 1 and 3/4
years, and, despite everything, the consensus of the prisoners along
with our demands was: political acceptance to struggle for our concerns
and to exert pressure both openly and not in public.
It angers you, that you were not consulted, that something was done
without you? That was a problem for us as well, and we would rather
have done things differently. But what would have happened if I had
proposed this to you
or to Helmut, for example? You would have wrecked this opportunity, as
have wrecked everything originating from here! The absurdity behind
is the notion of ownership! You all are posing the question of who owns
the RAF! Your means are the permanence of the discussion of the correct
line. This doesn't clarify anything, it only hides things. "To those
are right, every idea perishes" - and that will be the only result to
from Helmut's statement: to destroy conditions. It didn't contain much
other than a few untruths.
You all always exclude everything, because somewhere your own
subjectivity remains misunderstood. Your present claims about those on
the outside are wrong. These are also not now made legitimate by the
results of your own
praxis, from which came out that they afterwards needed to start at the
The methodology and political orientation need to be corrected;
skidding downwards into an objectivity that denies any politics that
stands outside of us or is created on its own. We sensed this in you
all, we have experienced this ourselves, and everyone today is still
affected by this.
It's true, you all also acknowledge that the old way cannot be pressed
forward, but this realization remains a contradiction as long as you
think you can remain with the old way. It's as if the politics of the
was only something external and had never worked its way into an
subjectivity. It's up to the individual to make a break with this.
of trying to see what those on the outside were doing and how this
itself in the August discussion paper, you all just threw stones in
path, in the only way you could, with insults, scorn, and denunciation.
even Wolfgang's death could stop you. That's the saddest part.
I also support an entire solution, but I don't support an
"unwinding". For me, something has come to an end, we have reached an
impasse and we
need to get past this. That means another aspect of "freedom", because
isn't just about freedom for the prisoners. Freedom means a new
and it also implies "freedom" for those comrades on the outside. It's
about discarding our experiences or our history, but rather making
useful. It was never a question of "armed struggle: yes or no". That is
pointless question which only comes to the fore when methods replace
You all, independently of my opinion, came to know for yourselves that
the old conception of the RAF cannot be maintained. Helmut wrote that
was continually becoming clear to him that things were at an end. The
of the RAF is at hand. And yet it seems to remain a paradox to you all,
concept of dissolution and maintaining the break from which armed
can arise again sooner or later. If conscience takes on another form
another orientation. If someone looks at the process, then they should
able to understand that we are in a process of transition. To these we
behind the next door, in order to stay in the picture, one might end up
freedom, or just in the next room. But no longer on the same
and in the same situation. The past 25 years have also been such a
of transition for us as individuals (but that is not so important), but
a period of transition for left-wing orientation, in political
in morality, even culture, but especially praxis. This is also true for
RAF. Even the RAF is just one expression of the situation, not a
But I don't think it's true, what Helmut recently stated: "...that now
a situation is becoming a reality, one which we struggled for 20 years
prevent". No one, for example, could have predicted that the "East-West
demarcation line" would have fallen, to the West's advantage. We don't
much to differentiate ourselves from others with respect to knowledge
the approaching systemic crisis. It is irrelevant to predict that the
will only become more threatening.
Even we were confronted with the notion of "socialism or barbarism".
But this could not have been the thing to hinder the development of the
process of capital. Things like the loss of work or the crisis of value
hindered, except through a revolution. But this was just a childish
because to come to this, the process first has to go through all of
But what else did we have before us, what else could we measure
ourselves according to? The decision to make a radical material break
from society's relationships. An apocalyptic consciousness during a
The knowledge that we must find another manner of living and
that we needed a new revolutionary proposal, an orientation to the
and also a break with the alienation of the orientations criteria of
politics, that we need to start building up consciousness and
counter-powers today, lest the approaching systemic crisis overwhelm us
all. And other such things. But did we recognize the preceding crisis,
theoretically analyze it, understand it, and anticipate the answer? The
crisis of labor and the crisis of value - did we see these things, and
if so, where are the answers? And I'm not
even asking where we placed consciousness about these matters in the
but rather I'm asking about consciousness amongst ourselves! And where
this in the praxis?
A social transformation will not come about unless it comes from the
people themselves, because matters of daily life and society will bury
any illusion of the usefulness of doing anything. So then you have to
you are doing. So that's why the old path, which didn't lead us to a
dissolution, nor to any new beginnings, can no longer be followed. A
solution which is reduced to the prisoners from a position of "radical
change" or "political boundaries" is neither morally nor politically
legitimate, quite apart from the fact that it is unrealistic, due to
the power relations here which can in no way be ignored. But still, I
doubt that we are in a defensive situation, both in respect to
ourselves and society, where the state can force its
posture, just as we were not able to force ours upon the state during
so-called "offensive periods". I also no longer think that we can
a process of change, neither on the question of freedom, nor if we go
as we did before, although I once represented this position, and it
have been nice. This notion was far too simplistic. Perhaps there
traces of this to be found, but a change would require entirely
content, strengths, and forms. And certainly no freedom campaign will
get underway as long as we keep setting neurotic goals for which
is lacking, even with us, and as long as people feel that there is a
between that which we want and that which we can hope to achieve, and
the doors close shut nonetheless, because they have experienced enough
I once hoped that we could work together to get beyond this impasse. As
a group, we are further separated from freedom than ever before. The
split within the prisoners has thrown overboard everything which was
incontestable for two decades. As if you all had solved any questions
by doing this. There's no point in demanding freedom. There's also no
point in threatening to press through a political perspective which no
one believes in any more, neither we ourselves, nor the enemy, nor the
left, nor the society. We should have talked about ourselves, not about
others, and not against one another. Like those on the outside started
doing. Only through this would we again recognize that only this can
create a foundation for solidarity. And within that space, we could
have struggled. But your understanding seems to always be that
people must always bend over backwards just for you. I doubt that
a posture which characterizes revolutionaries.
Statement From Christian Klar
"Playing hide-and-seek with the question of power doesn't
however, advance anyone - except social democratic politicians.
"Using this aphoristic slogan, 'Mammut' warned Theodor W. Adorno
[theoretician of the Critical Theory school of academic Marxism, a/k/a
the Frankfurt School - trans.] years ago of the danger of 'Jurassic
Park', a magical neo-mythical and complete artistic leisure place for
all fantasies, where what is false can appear to be true."
For the many who take the contradictions between prisoners to be the
beginning of an ideological massacre, a few details are in order. The
fact that the view mentioned has been expressed explains the reactions
of recent days,
in the context of which the tone has been set: in reality everything
in fact, exactly as it previously was.
Since May of this year Karl-Heinz Dellwo and the Celle prisoners have
been seeking a conclusion to the situation of the prisoners as well as
of those living in illegality. In connection with the latter, since her
arrest, they have received the support of Birgit Hogefeld. All of the
first learned about these things several weeks ago. A middle person was
by Dellwo to Mercedes-Benz-Reuters and to Ignatz Bubis [head of the
association of Jews in Germany - trans.], who were to carry a proposal
a deal to Scharrenberger, Kohl, and Schauble the following "overall
was proposed: Those living in illegality would be granted exile or a
prison sentence followed by life in legality - still to be clarified
what would become of the prisoners. Dellwo designed a "line of
in which the state's concerns about order were laid to rest and the
of the relationship to the state" was sketched out. The role of calling
a stronger initiative for an "overall solution" was assumed and
advanced by the German business elite. Kohl was offered the opportunity
shine before the next election as the one who had successfully resolved
This is the case in summary. So far, so good.
What I am saying is that what was traded away in the house where human
fortune is handed around like chips and playing cards was the right to
Sitting at the table is a state security apparatus, whose level of
sciences is more highly developed than the political consciousness of
sitting across the table. They reckon, at least in regard to those who
operate on the outside as the RAF, that their ideological self
will rob them of the strategical clarity which is essential for
There are fundamental things that must be said about this story. It is
clear, in my estimation, without pointing a finger at specific people
(prisoners), that there are those who seek refuge in a supposed mutual
good sense shared by jailers and prisoners. The truth goes beyond
this. This story is exemplary and concerns the entire left in the
post-transition period, because it merely holds up a mirror. The actual
issue is the overall large-scale
transition that has taken place on German left, a left who during the
War, during the annexation of the GDR [German Democratic Republic, the
East Germany - trans.], and during the collapse of the East Bloc found
cause in "humanitarian" interventionism and buried their subjective
under a mountain of unspoken resignation, stupefaction, and dishonesty.
Might it perhaps be that one must begin with a clarification of the
Gorbachev period, during which the "structure theme" dominated
political discussion internationally?
It can't be anything more than a minor nuisance. The necessity for one
to struggle with the daily overall prison terror doesn't leave the
to approach the material, which only sporadically makes it through the
in a focussed way, to extensively quote from it, etc. - and then to put
all in some intellectual order. Let me refer here to only a few images
the last 2 years. The heading would be reflections about capitalism in
minds of the left:
- regarding the image of being isolated and the loss of the
capacity to attract people. The incorrect question posed, on which the
self-delusion and corresponding newspeak is based concerns the "return
to society." In
opposition to this, one must consciously choose the concept of a
of the conscious minority and reroot it in the emancipation process of
masses of the world. As well, one of the central concepts of the
history of struggle is key: understanding the political (class
as "from the outside." In Germany, the following quote (from H.
is pertinent in this regard, "...one need only begin by thinking about
One need only think of marginalized people. The movement issues only
those who are marginalized. One must (...) think from the point of view
those who have been selected."
"... there is no rational argument against Auschwitz in the
ruling structures. If that is not understood this civilization is
finished. That is the basic question, and it can only be answered by
the mobilization of marginalized people." The language pertaining to
being isolated, such as
that in the RAF text released in April 92, is only apparently
It only appears that way on the surface, and the verbose misconceptions
about its essence and appearance can, in the meantime, be verified. A
left Biedermeier period is presented as an additional factor in the
growth of the right-wing youth movement. The attempt to attract people
has since then been sought
after within (!) the capitalist mentality, through political
by presenting revolutionaries as good people, by presenting lack of
as a vanguard theme. Political criteria for attracting people have thus
They have adapted themselves to the delusion that they must win
for their existing isolation if they are to gain support. In this way
can, above all, develop nothing that is attractive to the oppressed,
have an entirely different objective. They want to be able to see
the manifestations of the ruling conditions so as to be able to break
of them, to confront capital with their own separate reality, to break
of their feelings of powerlessness through examples of collective
and action, to make the unfolding of the inner potential of the
- regarding the image of the soldiers of good crying out against
unjust conditions. "Really," and if the conditions were not thus, would
one, given our current understanding, be looking at the beautiful
in life. In this presentation, the reality of the ruling conditions of
are presented as an "evil" outer world, with the decision taken to
them so as to alter them as a preliminary step to a higher moral order.
Actions are as such "a lot of work." It is the split between "world"
"subject," which is consequently, in a way, reduced to a split between
combatants and private people. The conditions of oppression and
are, however, not simply an outer world, they are, to a greater degree,
the "conditions of life." Even the life of the revolutionary is
within these conditions, and her or his revolt against these conditions
(with her or his organized action as its highest form) is the totality
her or his expression of life, the contents of which are formed on the
of an alternative, that is, on the basis of a concept of a society free
from domination and on the basis of an acquired historical experience.
the revolutionary process within which the revolutionary lives, she or
does not simply work on external issues, she or he summons up the
to break out of old patterns.
It was under the conditions in the imperialist metropole that the
attempt was first made to create the myth that illegality is a
limitation on the
development of life. The imperialist state immediately confronted the
movement with a state of emergency. This, however, didn't work. The
of liberated space wasn't called into question.
- regarding the assumption of the colonial view, according to
which the black and colored races are destined to be at the service of
white men. Lutz Taufer exhibited this assumption in his Konkret
report (8/92). There African people are the ones who are presented as
responsible for sending the military of the imperialist countries, who
are currently positioned
and mobilized to protect the "new world order," back in coffins, so as
help the people of the white centres develop their own revolutionary
consciousness. However, it is part of the modernization of the
imperialist military strategy that the number of human losses incurred
in the countries of the three continents (Africa, Asia, Latin America -
translator) for each occupier terminated
is entirely glossed over.
- regarding the "the business world," which contrary to the "exposed
politicians" or the "apparatus of repression oriented only towards
self-legitimation," has the greatest interest in arriving at a
non-police resolution with the internal enemy. Here we come to the
subjective interests of the militants who recently discovered in
themselves a need for a happy ending. And their political construct at
its narrowest offers a basis for capitalism (see
comments on attractiveness) to occupy a separate reality. This then is
they carried out their transformation from an antagonistic power to
on their "political credibility," to a vision of a legal opposition,
to the appeal for the "end of the relationship of eradication" with a
from which, given its nature, it is unwise to expect a positive
In a construct in which the imperial expansion over "the economy",
than during the Nazi phase of German imperialism, can be presented as
the transformed oppositional self awareness can also be preserved at
same time as the super-profit of the continuing 500 year old white
of the economic base, which is necessary to finance to oppositional
space in the imperialist center, is conceded. As such, the logic of the
to the state for an "end to the relationship of eradication" is nothing
than an issue of respectability within the status quo, that is to say
a glance at the horizon of the European fortress.
In this overall tactical approach one can find the theme of increasing
poverty within the imperialist center itself, the so-called priority of
the "new politicians," handled in the same way as it is handled in
texts; the growing army of poor in the imperialist center are presented
characters in a feature film scenario. Yes, that is, in general, the
point, life is a film.
Christian Klar 16.10.93
Letter From Rolf Heissler To Birgit Hogefeld
I received your letter of 19/09. Your opening question as to whether
you would hear from me again betrays, to say the least, a certain
on your part of what you have written. The question truly indicates
During our time the prisoners were the people who were closest to us
politically. When statements, texts, letters, and so on fell into our
hands, we used
them as the basis for discussion and in some cases, as a result of
disagreements and differences, we attempted to use them to establish a
basis for eliminating these disagreements and differences and, in this
way, for advancing our
struggle. We took them seriously, because we knew they addressed the
and couldn't simply be reduced to their emotions (bitterness, rage) nor
could we pull back from the disagreements with cute statements like
can live with a difference/contradiction as regards content." Wolfgang
As if nothing had happened, you casually present something "new" and
bring it to its conclusion, throwing aside our experiences of two
decades of struggle (which we must thank for our survival). Allow me
one example of putting
forward the historical conclusion which you reject as a
"If we turn to a discussion of the actual varying points of view and
perceptions, whatever we can gain, we can't achieve a consensus. I
believe it is possible nor is it what I want. I believe that we can
a lot together on the basis of acknowledgment and acceptance of
If you really don't feel you can arrive at a consensus with us
(according to my "obsolete" way of looking at the situation, you are,
as a prisoner, politically closest to us), with whom can you, in the
final analysis, arrive at a consensus and what will you get from it? Do
you want to allow the existing dissent, which is principally based on
the developments of the last 20 months, to continue? Do you want to
discuss for the sake of discussing, without
a goal, without commitment, so that gradually "acknowledgement and
acceptance" allows everyone to carry on as she or he individually sees
fit? What will that gain you? I know, on the basis of my 14 years of
that had we conducted our communications with such a "quality," we
never have constructed the conditions for any of our collective strikes
we would have been isolated in our efforts to resist the strategy of
extermination. You can deny the self-evident truth of the struggle of
each one of us to
remain a functioning subject in spite of the conditions and/or you can
in unity with us. And at the end you ask, "Will we do it together?" You
must decide what you want. We aren't interested in a unity devoid of
such as that of the last 20 months, which blurs the purpose. Our unity
and is only a basis to push through our demand for "freedom now, and
then association." But for the last year that has not been the case.
this period has been characterized by the negation of our history, of
conditions and experiences of the struggle here, and by the attempt to
reintegrated into the scene, instead of an attempt to break with your
depoliticization and condescension. One can, of course, formulate that
in a more pleasant
way. Paper allows for patience. And now you say, we must begin a
without any clarification about why you refused to have one for so
You feign innocence and act as if you have received nothing. But from
last letter to me and the quotes from me, it is clear that you received
of the critiques, but had no interest in them. Whatever didn't express
own sentiments was cast aside and treated as subordination. You didn't
a debate, but rather you wanted to carry through the policy you knew to
"right" undisturbed and without resistance. For you "constructive
is approval for the incorrect politics which led to the blow suffered
In your first letter, you still had an idea about your concrete
situation. You said, "...and it was clear to me that I couldn't make a
move if I wanted to stay alive..." Have you forgotten that after only a
quarter of a year? Had you by chance made a "false movement," would you
have been "accidentally" shot? From the very beginning the state chose
the military solution with the blessings of the highest political
authorities. They haven't deviated from this in the last 20 years and
wouldn't do so in the next 20 years. The antagonistic opposition
between the state and the fundamental
opposition cannot be resolved, but lives on unaltered. It is only that
no longer want to admit that, yourself included when you say things
"they are effectively faced with a situation that isn't following the
course." The only way in which the situation deviates from the normal
is in the use of a Verfassungsschutz [literally, protection of the
constitution, the body responsible for the intelligence activities of
counterinsurgency - trans.] infiltrator to gain information. Otherwise
it followed the standard state of emergency policy used against us.
The qualitative difference from 78/79 is that then they at least
observed propriety and distance and maintained putative self-defense.
Then the policy was executed outside of public view. This time that was
not the case. What then is all of this fuss about the witness?
Immediately following the leak about the shooting, the Schweriner
Staatsanwaltschaft [State Prosecutors
Office - trans.] said that it must have been suicide and accordingly
what the outcome would be. "They placed themselves in a situation that
not of their choosing," underestimating this state and its procedures
methods for maintaining the existing relationship exactly as it is,
for the statement "the state is standing with its back to the wall,"
which Eva (correctly) spoke so eloquently. Kohl confirmed this for the
with his appearance with the GSG-9. They have a free hand. They can do
they want. For me this was established, and I accept the political
What was the purpose of your letter about "yellow journalism" in the
taz [social-democratic daily close to the left of the Green Party -
What did you want to achieve with it and who did you want to reach? Has
role of the taz in recent years completely passed you by? It is also
that it never occurred to you that the letters would be dragged through
press, as is your certainty that they wouldn't bother your mother. Have
learned nothing from the psychological warfare of the last 25 years,
the thousands of examples, as to how and with what methods they have
to direct everything against us and our politics? And, furthermore,
you realize through what 129a [the law illegalizing membership in and
for a "terrorist" association - trans.] constructs people continue to
themselves in prison and that consistent attempts have been made to
the relatives and their work? That is the rule not the exception.
One doesn't need to look for it. What have you been thinking all these
years? The central reality here was and is to no longer be aware of
Rolf Heissler 10.10.93
Statement From Eva Haule, RAF Prisoner
The prisoners in Celle, Birgit, and the RAF have, since at least May
93, been working behind our backs toward a deal with the state. It was
to them that we wouldn't participate. Now it is necessary that there be
split; an open split. They consciously destroyed collective solidarity,
for us has always been a central aspect of the struggle. And I want
to do with the politics that stand behind their actions.
When I first learned about the planned deal, I immediately formulated
an open letter about it to the RAF. I wanted to ask them, to encourage
to break with these incorrect and dangerous politics and to think
I wanted to continue the discussion and to work towards a common
involving us and all of those on the outside working for the radical
of society and concretely against the current developments in the state
After the experiences of the last 2 or 3 years I have a simple question
for them. Is that what you want?
We have seen where the process of political self-dissolution has led.
The story of the Verfassungsschutz [literally protection of the
constitution, the body responsible for the intelligence aspects of
trans.] infiltrator [referring to state agent Klaus Steinmetz, who
the RAF - ed.] and the subsequent events was only the end-point [refers
the police ambush and murder of Wolfgang Grams in Bad Kleinen on
27, 1993 - trans.]. And armed actions like Weiterstadt [refers to the
bombing, in March 1993, of a new high-tech prison - trans.] further
this process. Their only function is to signal populism and
- because the state hasn't changed its policy towards the prisoners.
Now, this letter is unnecessary. The basis for a collective discussion
no longer exists for me. The statements from the prisoners in Celle and
Birgit further confirm this. The state and the "business community"
clearly told, "If the state doesn't let us bring the struggle to its
there will be further armed actions." As well, they threatened that the
step in April 1992 towards cessation of "deadly actions aimed at
representatives of the state and the business community" would be
reversed in the case that the state didn't agree to a solution for the
prisoners and those living
in illegality. In this way the content and sense of our struggle was
This no longer has anything to do with anything I think and want and it
was and is not the politics of the prisoners' group. We have repeatedly
criticized the connecting of the question of the prisoners with the
step taken by the RAF in "laying aside" the armed struggle, because it
is politically incorrect and the tendency towards making a deal with
the state is apparent therein. It was indicated in the RAF statement
from 10-04-92 that as a quasi-"reward" for this step the state should
allow a solution to the problem of the prisoners. Making this
connection depoliticized the entire struggle of the RAF; both the step
in and of itself and also its ramifications for the struggle of
Whether that was the goal in the beginning or not is not important, the
facts speak for themselves... We have now arrived at the point where
as to whether the RAF does or does not carry out armed attacks, and
beyond that, whether it continues to exist as an illegal armed
has been placed in the hands of the state. It was not based on a
determination in favor of the process of social change, but
such change to the state's measures against the prisoners and the
Our history, the politics of the RAF, and our resistance in the prisons
were made object of a deal. Armed action is, therefore, also a means to
this end. That is where we bail out. That should be completely clear.
If they continue
these politics, then that is their business alone. They can't expect to
anything else from us. All of this has long since had nothing to do
the political content and goals of the prisoners' project. It is, on
contrary, concerned with completely other objectives. And even if they
to manipulate the public presentation such that it is presented not as
closing chapter in our history, but of "the problems of the RAF and the
that is their concern.
And even if they are now saying that the step from April 92 is in
practice rescinded on the basis of our situation in prison, we aren't
working with them. We don't want to be connected to actionism which is
any political direction. The armed struggle is, even in the current
historical situation, an option for revolutionary power, but the
decision to engage
in armed struggle can only be based on a perception of the entire
process and the function of armed struggle within it.
Because it plays a role in the current situation, I understand and
respect the intervention of people who, like Ignatz Bubis [head of
Germany's Jewish citizens association - trans.], out of fear about the
increase in fascist violence, turn to the state and demand decisive
action "against the right," reject the state's treatment of "right and
left extremism" as equivalent, and demand of the government a change in
their policy in response to the
step taken by the RAF and the initiative which we took as prisoners.
aren't our politics, but they are legitimate and are based on a real
contradiction, given that it bases itself on an appeal for protection
demands that this state "defend democracy" from neo-fascism,
and fascist attacks that are the end result of the history of Nazi
In so doing it is directed against the politics of a government, which
responsible for the escalation in right-wing violence and, despite
to the opposite, has only fought this escalation when it threatened to
its international image. Meanwhile, the entire apparatus of persecution
been set in motion "against the left."
But the increasing fascism won't be stopped "from above," won't be
stopped by the leaders of the state and the ruling political class. On
the contrary, it is to the largest degree desired and advanced by them,
because they can use it for their own reactionary projects. This was
proven by the "asylum debate," by the reaction of the politicians, the
police, the justice system, and others to Rostock, as well as by the
propaganda in connection with the plans to push forward the business
interests of the "German position" using military means. They will only
change their politics if there is a sufficiently powerful social
opposition movement and these standards of political and
social development are prevented. For us, the struggle for a new basis
society is the order of the day.
That is also something which directly affects us prisoners. On
the state's side, the decision is to continue by all means the strategy
of annihilation for the "final victory" over the RAF and the prisoners.
The actual development since last year speaks for itself and a look at
our situation is sufficient to understand it. It is here an issue of a
break with the history and reality of destructive prison conditions
after 23 years - for all prisoners from
the RAF and the resistance [the term used to define prisoners who
RAF theory and strategy, but are not RAF members - trans.].
It is, after all, also a question of the strength of progressive and
anti-fascist movements in the society and where they stand in
relationship to this. Whether they accept that this state has
systematically violated human rights and
that the "constitutional state" uses all its power to fight against us,
can actually be seen in the trial against Rolf Clemens Wagner [RAF
in prison since 1979, who recently faced new charges - trans.] and the
refusal to release even seriously ill prisoner, such as Ali Jansen
[prisoner from the resistance in prisons since 1983. Seriously ill with
pleurisy. Released on December 3, 1993 - trans.] and Bernd Roessner
[RAF prisoner in prison
since 1975, suffering from the side effects of long-term isolation -
There is also a question which lies behind this conflict, which has
far-reaching consequences for Germany. What direction is being set for
future political development?
A tactical relationship to human rights is, for me, unacceptable! This
can be seen when the question of the treatment of political prisoners
tied to the existence and practice of radical left opposition on the
What is not stated is that the state, in this way, is given the right
hold the prisoners in isolation as hostages and detain them
Should we expect the state to repudiate or even alter its policy, which
illegitimate and goes against international human rights conventions,
it is useful for the "protection of internal security?"
Our politics up until the "break" were accurate and correct. Over all
those years our goal was, above all, to construct a counter-force
prevent the development which is now occurring. And central to this is
preventing through struggle the continuity of this state, which is the
the Nazi state, preventing Germany from again becoming a world power,
preventing another "war that originates from German territory,"
preventing racism and fascism from ever again being widespread here.
The German state and its
apparatus of persecution have, from the beginning put in place measures
against our struggle that only have one goal, to destroy us and with us
any thoughts about possibilities and perspectives for a break with this
Basically, human rights conventions were and are for us only scrap
when it comes to achieving this goal. We have been prisoners for 21
now. Some of us are here for the second or third time for this
And, after all of these years of isolation, we all must be free. We
the right to political discussion and association. By "solution," we
the achievement of these rights, and we will continue to struggle
this end. At the same time, we trust in ourselves and in the forces in
society which won't conform to the reactionary developments, but which
in spite of different political histories and work, stand together with
in opposition to increasing fascism, the new imperialist war, racism,
It is not that we are saying that under no conditions can there be
discussions with the state about prison conditions and the release of
ourselves and our lawyers and relatives have always conducted such
when, as a result of our struggle in prison and the resistance against
isolation on the outside, an opening was created. Such discussions also
occurred in the first half of 92 when, following the step taken by the
RAF, a change
in the situation occurred. We used the discussions to say what we
and to clarify how the government situated itself with regards to the
political situation, to see whether, on their side, they were open
substantial political changes. This wasn't the case. For now that is
the situation. And for us
nothing more can be gained as regards real, material steps towards
and freedom. This confrontation will continue. Irmgard [Moeller, first
generation and longest held RAF prisoner, in prison since 1972 -
trans.] must be unconditionally released. What is there to discuss with
Kohl [Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of
Germany - trans.], Kanther, or the Ministry of Justice? We will
to free her and to free ourselves.
It is important that I also emphasize that our solidarity with all
prisoners against the policy of extermination remains unchanged. It
should, likewise, remain unchanged on the outside.
Eva Haule 23.10.93