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Posts Tagged ‘Rolf Clemens Wagner’

Interview with Helmut Pohl and Rolf Clemens Wagner of the Red Army Faction (Germany)

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

The interview was conducted by Rüdiger Göbel, Peter Rau, Wera Tichter, and Gerd Schumann of jungle Welt, left newspaper in Germany, 2007. Long live the combative memory of Helmut Pohl and Rolf Clemens Wagner of the RAF. Never forget, never forgive.

junge Welt: The media has squeezed everything possible out of the 2007 anniversary of the “German Autumn.” The events of 1977 came to a bitter end. The way it is being depicted on TV, on the radio, and in the print media constitutes a sort of hysterical coming to terms with the Red Army Faction (RAF): The Stammheim Night (Spiegel), a series; The Terror Years (Die Zeit), a special issue; The Bourgeois Children’s War, a primetime ARD documentary. How do you feel about the way in which the RAF’s history is being handled, given that this history is an important, if not the essential, component of your personal biographies?

Helmut Pohl: It’s unpleasant. To be smashed over the head with this sort of campaign of defamation, caricature, and debasement is somewhat infuriating. It has concrete consequences for Christian[2], as well. Beyond that, it seems to me that the principal component of the campaign, the two-part Aust[3] documentary on ARD, bombed. It’s already been done to death. People don’t want to hear about it anymore.

jW: You’re talking about the fuss surrounding Christian Klar during the first three months of 2007. In the case of a prisoner who has been behind bars for 24 years, relaxed conditions with the possibility of a pardon and release seems appropriate. His admittedly partisan, but essentially analytical contribution to the junge Welt Rosa Luxemburg Conference in January,[4] which in no way encouraged violence, unleashed an anti-RAF and anti-Klar onslaught from politicians and the bourgeois media. What this made clear was that a prisoner’s right to express himself does not apply to Klar. In fact, it was turned into an exceptional case for the German justice system.

Rolf Clemens Wagner: In fact, this year, we’re experiencing two approaches to dealing with the RAF. One concerns Christian. Suddenly, the question of remorse for the victims of the RAF is central. A discussion about helping to “clarify” the actions has begun. Why now? I was pardoned a few years ago, and no one asked this of me. I did not have to show any remorse. There was no discussion of me having to help “clarify” the actions. (more…)

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Rolf Clemens Wagner, a Life of Resistance (Germany)

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Former Red Army Faction member Rolf Clemens Wagner died on February 11, 2014.

Wagner had first become involved in underground armed politics in the aftermath of the RAF’s 1972 May Offensive in West Germany. Dozens of guerillas had been captured, and were being held in strict solitary confinement (in some cases, entire prison wings were emptied to isolate the political prisoners) and subjected to various forms of abuse. In the years following 1972, opposing the torture of solitary confinement would become a priority for a section of the revolutionary left, and when RAF prisoner Holger Meins died in a hunger strike in 1974, freeing prisoners by any means necessary was clearly on the agenda. As Wagner would later explain,

“In the period before 1977, freeing the comrades who were at risk was an absolute priority. They were being held in dead wings, and the first murders had already occurred: Holger Meins, Siegfried Hausner, and Ulrike Meinhof. The situation was extremely urgent. It was clear to us that freeing the prisoners was our most important and pressing objective. On the one hand, they faced a threat to their very existence, and on the other hand, we wanted them out.”

This is the context in which Wagner first went underground, joining a small group that had been established by Klaus Dorff, Waltraud Liewald, and Peter-Jürgen Boock, with plans to break RAF founder Andreas Baader out of prison. (more…)

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