- Movement 2 June
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Movement 2 June Dates of operation 1971-1980 Leader Fritz Teufel Active region(s) West Berlin Ideology Anarchist
Movement 2 June (German: Bewegung 2. Juni) was a West German terrorist organization that was based out of West Berlin. Active only from 1971–1980, the anarchist group was one of the few violent groups at the time in West Germany. Although Movement 2 June did not share the same ideology as the Red Army Faction (Baader-Meinhof Gang), these extremist organizations were allies. The Movement 2 June did not establish as much influence in West Germany as their Marxist counterparts, but is best known for kidnapping West Berlin Mayoral candidate Peter Lorenz.
Rising from the ashes of political group Kommune 1 and violent extremist group Tupamaros West-Berlin, Movement 2 June was formed in 1971. In contrast to the Red Army Faction, Movement 2 June was motivated by anarchist incentives rather than Marxist ones. This organization derived their name from the date that German University student Benno Ohnesorg was killed by police in 1967. Participating in a protest of Germany’s meeting with Iran, Ohnesorg was shot when the protest became aggressive. His death propelled the left-wing movement in West Germany, influencing politicians, political activist groups, and violent extremist groups. Although the organization never became particularly notorious, Movement 2nd June was most recognized in the first phase of German post-World War II terrorism.
After forming in 1971, political activist Fritz Teufel became one of the leaders of the Movement 2nd June. Originally taking part in Kommune 1, his comical take on revolutionary activity had him dubbed “fun guerilla” by the general public. In 1967, Teufel became a quasi-icon in West Germany after being arrested. Charged with treason and the attempted assassination of United States Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Teufel was eventually acquitted. His humorous image was constructed following his arrest, as he and his associates were brought into questioning with a flour-pudding-yogurt concoction that was to be used as a “bomb.” On June 2, 1967, Teufel was arrested again, this time for throwing a rock at police and provoking the riot at which Benno Ohnesorg was killed. This time, he served six months in jail.
Although the Movement 2 June never developed a clear ideology or purpose for its existence, Teufel’s political activism was rooted in his hatred for his parents’ generation. Just like many students and activists of his age, Teufel was angered by the Nazi regime of the previous generation, and fought to eliminate that image from Germany. Much of the resentment was directed towards those individuals who had played a role in the Nazi republic, especially those who had never taken any responsibility for their actions.
Bombings, kidnappings, and other violent acts
Although the Movement 2 June achieved their greatest feat kidnapping Peter Lorenz, the extremist group’s most frequent activity was bombing. On February 2, 1972, the Movement 2 June declared responsibility for a bombing at the British Yacht Club in West Berlin. The attack, which killed the boat’s engineer, was later found out to be an act of assistance for the Irish Republican Army. During the trial, which took place in February 1974, Movement 2 June and other extremists started a riot at the court’s exterior. On the fifth anniversary of Benno Ohnesorg’s death, a bomb explodes in West Berlin. To this day, no group has taken responsibility for the bombing, although it was inferred that attack was the action of Movement 2 June. In West Berlin on July 27, 1973, the Movement 2 June stole 200,000 Deutsch Marks from a local bank. In mid-1974, Movement 2 June member Ulrich Schumücker was shot to death by others in the organization. Although it is not clear what the rationale was for the shooting, Schumücker was believed to be an informant. The opposing argument was that the murder was an accident. After Red Army Faction member Holger Meins dies in prison, the Movement 2 June attempts a kidnapping of Superior Court Justice Günter von Drenkmann. Von Drenkmann is killed in the process. The effort to kidnap von Drenkmann was believed to be retaliation for the poor treatment of Meins during his time in prison. Meins and other Red Army Faction associates were force-fed during a hunger strike, an action that angered the radical groups of West Berlin. While much of the general public was horrified by the death of the Superior Court Justice, many others believed that the Meins’ cruel treatment by security officers was unethical, and justified von Drenkmann’s death.
Kidnapping of Peter Lorenz
Three days before mayoral election in West Berlin in 1975, candidate Peter Lorenz was kidnapped by Movement 2 June members. Lorenz was cornered while on the road, and was thrown into another vehicle after his driver was brutally struck. In an effort to free several imprisoned Red Army Faction and Movement 2 June affiliates, the extremists publicized a photo which showed Lorenz with a sign around his neck that read “Peter Lorenz, prisoner of the 2nd June Movement”. The photo also contained a message that demanded the release of Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann, Horst Mahler, Ingrid Siepmann, Rolf Heissler, Rolf Pohle, and Verena Becker from prison. Along with the release of these terrorists, Movement 2 June also indicated that a jet must be provided to fly the radicals from prison, and 9,000 Deutsch Marks should be given to the terrorists. The West German government met their demands, releasing all but Horst Mahler, who did not want to be set free.
Arrests and escapes
Throughout the course of the organization’s history, several notable arrests resulted in the imprisonment of Movement 2 June members. Movement 2 June associate, Till Meyer was taken into custody after a March 29, 1972 shooting in Bielfield at which no one was wounded. By December he was convicted of the attempted murder of a policeman, and imprisoned for three years. Later that June, Bernhard Braun is discovered and arrested for his activity in violent attacks, along with Red Army Faction member Brigitte Mohnhaupt. In 1973, Movement 2 June member Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann was arrested after shooting a policeman and sentenced to eight years in prison. She was set free in 1975 as a part of the bargain in the Peter Lorenz kidnapping. Within a few months of each other in late 1973, Inge Viett and Till Meyer of Movement 2 June escaped from prison respectively.
On June 2, 1980, the Movement 2 June disbanded. Those members, who wished to continue to practice their violent extremism joined the Red Army Faction.
- Michael Baumann
- Ralf Reinders
- Ronald Fritsch
- Georg von Rauch
- Till Meyer
- Fritz Teufel
- Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann
- Verena Becker
- Norbert Kröcher
- Inge Viett
- Gabrielle Rollnick
- Zachary Schwartz
- Berhard Braun
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Huffman, R.. "(2011)". Baader-Meinhof.com. http://www.baader-meinhof.com/. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- ^ a b c Campana, P.J.. "(2010)". I-Web. http://iweb.tntech.edu/pcampana/germ3520terror.htm. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- ^ Grimes, W. (2010, August 7). Fritz Teufel, a German Protester in the '60s, Dies at 67. Retrieved October 16, 2011, from NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/world/europe/08teufel.html
- ^ Brown, E. (2010, 9 August). Fritz Teufel, 'fun guerrilla' in German student movement of 1960s, dies at 67. Retrieved October 16, 2011, from Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/08/AR2010080802730.html
- ^ Noe, D. (n.d.). The Baader Meinhof Gang - The Slaying of Benno Ohnesorg. Retrieved October 16, 2011, from TruTv: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/terrorists_spies/terrorists/meinhof/3.html
- Brown, E. (2010, 9 August). Fritz Teufel, 'fun guerrilla' in German student movement of 1960s, dies at 67. Retrieved October 16, 2011, from Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/08/AR2010080802730.html
- Campana, P. J. (2010). Terrorism in Germany - Outline. Retrieved October 16, 2011, from IWeb: http://iweb.tntech.edu/pcampana/germ3520terror.htm
- Grimes, W. (2010, August 7). Fritz Teufel, a German Protester in the '60s, Dies at 67. Retrieved October 16, 2011, from NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/world/europe/08teufel.html
- Huffman, R. (2011). Baader-Meinhof. Retrieved October 16, 2011, from http://www.baader-meinhof.com/
- Noe, D. (n.d.). The Baader Meinhof Gang - The Slaying of Benno Ohnesorg. Retrieved October 16, 2011, from TruTv: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/terrorists_spies/terrorists/meinhof/3.html
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