… in 1999 several people were arrested in Berlin and charged with membership in Revolutionary Cells / Rote Zora … Arm The Spirit did some support work around the people arrested and did a fair number of translations about the arrests and subsequent trials which were put up on the support group’s webpage, etc … what follows are a couple of our translations about the arrests, and a communique from the Militant Cells which attempts to put the actions of the RZ into context and calls for a continuation of the actions / politics of the RZ … also working on a second RZ dossier that will include pieces alluded to in the first dossier such as “Bad News On A Piece Of Paper,” “This Is Not A Love Song”, statement from RZ cell “Tendency For The International Social Revolution”, “This Is Not A Love Song,” Statement Concerning The Attack On The Refugee Administration Centre in Boblingen and some analysis from others …
“Terroist Hunt” In Berlin, Mehringhof Police and GSG-9 Search For Weapons and Explosives In Project Center
Within a few minutes of 6:00am on Sunday morning, the Gneisenaustrasse in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district was filled with police vehicles. Around a thousand cops, many masked, including members of the GSG-9 anti-terrorist police, staged a surprise raid on the Mehringhof complex on Sunday morning. The aim of the action was to search for a weapons depot.
According to the federal prosecutor’s office (BAW) in Karlsruhe, the officers were searching the rooms of the alternative project to look for weapons and explosives belonging to the organization Rote Zora/Revolutionary Cells (RZ). The row of parked police vehicles stretched a kilometer and a half down the street Gneisenaustrasse. But by the time the raid ended in the afternoon, nothing had been found. A few dozen people who were still in the Mehringhof at the time of the raid, having attended a salsa party the previous night, were only allowed to leave following ID checks at 11:00am. Journalists and photographers were denied entry to the complex, and surrounding buildings were occupied by police as well.
While the raid was still underway, a spontaneous demonstration was held. About 150 people took part in the demo, which was roughly treated by the police.
The police action at 6:00am was preceded by the arrest of two men in Berlin aged 49 and 51. At the same time, a 53-year-old woman was arrested in Frankfurt on charges of membership in a terrorist organization. One man and the woman are alleged to have participated in a 1987 bombing on a government office in charge of asylum policy in West Berlin. The woman arrested in Frankfurt is a close friend of Rudolf Gunter Schindler, who was arrested in Frankfurt a few weeks ago. Also, the accused are said to have taken part in another attack in 1987 on the head judge of the federal court in Berlin, Gunter Korbmacher, who was shot in the lower legs. The woman is also alleged to have taken part in an attack the year before on the chief of the foreigners division of the police bureaucracy in West Berlin, Harald Hollenberg.
In addition to the rooms of the alternative cultural center Mehringhof in Berlin-Kreuzberg, the police raid also searched cable and electrical ducts, because investigators had received a tip that the Revolutionary Cells/Rote Zora had built a weapons and explosives depot there. Unidentified members of the organization are said to have stolen more than 100kg of explosives in 1987, which was used in various actions, including the 1991 bombing of the ‘Siegessaeule’ statue pillar. The majority of the explosives have never been recovered, however.
During the police raid, mention was made of the arrest orders against Rudolf Gunter Schindler, who has already been charged in Frankfurt with participating in the 1975 attack on the OPEC summit in Vienna. He was implicated by statements made to prosecutors by Hans-Joachim Klein – a former friend of Germany’s green foreign minister Joseph Fischer. The police raid seems to have turned up nothing, other than a 1986 phone list which included the name of Otto Schily, now Germany’s interior minister. Volunteers at the Mehringhof complex estimate the damage caused by the police raid to be over 100,000 DM. The BAW has said further arrests will follow.
(Source: junge Welt – December 20, 1999; Translated by Arm The Spirit)
Arson Attack On The ‘Bundesgrenzschutzinspektion’ (BGS) Grunewald / Cordestrasse In Berlin
Our attack on a BGS [Germany’s federal border police – ATS] structure has as its aim to expose this racist institution and to name it as such. We hope that we caused as much damage as possible, and thereby showed people that such projects of the ruling powers can be resisted.
This should motivate others to carry out actions as well. Despite being in a time of relative inactivity, militant interventions are an indispensable means of expanding the left-radical experience of resistance and acting with determination against the ruling centers of power. We will not let ourselves be influenced by the present state terrorist campaign against alleged members of the Revolutionary Cells (RZ) and Rote Zora. Militant anti-racist politics is and will always be emancipatory. Any form of criminalization or discrediting of anti-racist work by the ruling powers should only increase our determination to continue. We will not be intimidated: On December 19, 1999, a nationwide early morning action by federal police, the BGS, the GSG9, and local authorities resulted in ar-rests and raids on leftist structures due to supposed connections to the militant groups Revolutionary Cells and Rote Zora. Judging from the massive media coverage given to these raids, the arrest of three people on charges of “membership in a terrorist association” was an attempt to legitimize these raids on leftist establishments.
This aim of this state security action is clear: Firstly, to completely erase a left-radical project which has long been inactive, namely the Revolutionary Cells and the Rote Zora, and to make it of no use to those of us who remain in the social-revolutionary and anti-imperialist process of struggle.
Secondly, to nip in the bud any form of continuing militant resistance against the state’s racist policies of selection and deportation, a process largely initiated by the RZs in the mid-1980s.
Thirdly, the state, by means of its action, is sending a signal that state repression against militant or armed actions will remain uninterrupted, even after many years have passed, in order to intimidate and demoralize all forms of leftist resistance.
The principle of the RZs, namely to form many, independent resistance cells and autonomous groups, is still applicable today: “We realize that The concept of forming individual cells is a long-term and difficult effort. But it’s worth it, because it builds upon the self-initiative and self-responsibility of the militants, and it prevents functionalization and divisions of labor. The resistance does not begin with planting bombs. It involves a thousand levels of action.” (`Revolutionaerer Zorn’ #5) This form of militant organization is still relevant today, because it prevents any form of hierarchy arising in the militant struggle and thereby displays its own emancipatory potential. It cannot be denied that the RZs and the Rote Zora took militant anti-racism as an emancipatory project among the left and gave it public exposure. “It’s about breaking through the day-to-day acceptance of racist and sexist notions, making ourselves more sensible, and being able to intervene at all political levels.
“This is a theoretical and practical process which cannot be laid out individually, flat and smooth, but rather which must be gradually worked out by people from the anti-imperialist resistance, with refugees, and with immigrants. In this way, international solidarity can become real.” (extract from the communique on the attack on the ‘Auslaenderamt’ in Boblingen, August 1991)
The RZs and Rote Zora have shown that a nationwide, clandestine network can be continu-ously able to independently intervene in an armed and militant manner in actual political confrontations, or to even push certain ques-tions to the foreground within the (radical) left itself. For example, the debates about racism, gene technology, human genetics, and so on, in the early 1990s, both inside and outside the RZ, and the formation of the Rote Zora. These left a great legacy for the radical left in Germany, which every militant or armed initiative today can draw on in both conceptional and practical ways. Also, the Rote Zora, a feminist militant group which arose from the RZ, showed that women/ lesbians can self-organize an independent revolutionary struggle, a critical distance from patriarchal structures within the scene, and inject their own positions into single-issue movements (for example, their bomb attack on the Luerssen shipyard in support of the women in the Kurdish liberation struggle). The state terrorist campaign against alleged members of the RZ and their arrest, as well as the raid on the Mehringhof complex in Berlin, a place which is home to various political initiatives, was an attempt to intimidate the radical left and to criminalize militant anti-racism. Leftist and left-radical politics are to be silenced. The banning of the Luxemburg-Liebknecht Demonstration on January 9, 2000 should also be seen in this way. Another dis-gusting example is the state’s shoot-to-kill policy which is still in effect against the RAF.
In the RZ’s “Free Floods” campaign, in addition to material attacks on institutions which represent the racist social-technical apparatus, a form of action was chosen which hits this apparatus where it hurts the most. This form of action was to expose the people who try to re-main anonymous behind the facade of this apparatus, to give these individuals names and faces, and to hold them responsible for their policies by means of direct, physical attacks. For example, the actions against bureaucracy chief Hollenberger in October 1986 and Berlin’s chief administrative judge Korbmacher in September 1987 were not intended as acts of political liquidation. The intent of these actions was rather to guarantee that these racist bureaucrats survived. Because the RZ were neither militarist nor “unscrupulous”, but they felt it was politically useful to injure and thereby publicly expose these faceless technocrats, in order to make their functions more clearly known to the public.
Do Something? Do Something!
Today more than ever, the BGS is an appropriate target for militant anti-racist politics. It is a symbol of aggressive racism in an institu-tionalized form. The apparatus of the BGS has developed in the 1990s into a logistical and or-ganizationally efficient instrument of repression. Nowadays, all of Germany is considered bor-der territory by the BGS and is thus to be con-trolled. Cooperation among state agencies, as well as the increasing use of computers, have made the BGS a center of racist exclusion and repressive praxis. “The BGS functions as an instrument of the virtual abolition of the right to asylum and, because of its responsibility for border control and deportations, is to be held politically responsible.” (Militant Group `Aamir Mohamed Ahmed Ageeb’ – June 9, 1999) Back in October 1993, the RZ bombed an electric power station which supplied power to the BGS barracks in Frankfurt/Oder, and in their communique on the action they explained the function of the BGS within the Schengen Agreement’s system. The RZ were well ahead of their time in highlighting this overlooked institution as a potential target for militant anti-racist politics.
The political atmosphere in this country is creating a broad acceptance of the racist practices of the BGS, for example by drawing in such themes as protecting the environment at the local, national, regional, or even global level into a broader concept of security. The present scientific discourse claims that rising global population is mainly to blame for the destruction of the environment, and that this in turn is creating a “pressure to migrate”. But migration across borders is turned into a security problem be-cause it exposes social problems such as ethnic tensions and insufficient social integration. In such scenarios, all social crisis phenomena are transformed into security questions to be answered with the appropriate military and para-military institutions. Instead of strategies of social pacification or integration, expanding security political measures and pushed more strongly into the foreground
At another level, refugees are subjected to any number of types of poor treatment. For example, war refugees in Berlin have been treated in a particularly inhuman manner by social institutions, with the aid of the German Red Cross. They are forced to eat strange food and many no longer receive any financial assistance whatsoever. Despite hungerstrikes and other political initiatives by the refugees, the authorities have not changed their ways. We are in solidarity with the struggles by refu-gees! And we hope that we can develop together into a political force, despite the many mistakes and contradictions in our politics. Our praxis of militant anti-racism is our own position and our contribution.
Freedom For Axel, Harold And Sabine!
Against Racist Policies Of Selection And Deportation!
The 8 Prisoners From The RAF Must Be Released – Unconditionally!
For Free Flood!
Militant Cell / Berlin 2000
Translated by Arm The Spirit
The Revolutionary Cells (RZ):
A Chronology Of Repression
August 1978 – Following involuntary statements by blinded RZ member Feiling, a German federal court issued arrest warrants for Sabine Eckle, Rudolf Schindler, Sonja Suder, and Christian Gauger, who are alleged by police to be the Frankfurt cell of the RZ. The four go underground. Tarek [see below] later tells police that Schindler and Eckle lived in Berlin-Kreuzberg from around 1985 to around 1990.
October 26, 1986 – The chief of the Foreigners’ Division of the bureaucracy [the ‘Auslaenderbehoerde’] in Berlin, Harald Hollenberg, is shot in the legs outside his home in Zehlendorf. The police suspect a man and a women carried out the attack, with other men acting as lookouts. The escape vehicle, a Volkswagen Passat, is later discovered in flames. Hollenberg not only pursued a hardline as head of the ‘Auslaenderbehoerde’, he also was guilty of accepting bribes and was eventually forced to resign from his post.
February 1, 1987 – Bomb attack by the RZ on the ‘Zentrale Sozialhilfstelle fuer Asylbewerber’ in Berlin. The attack caused only minor damage, but a later firebombing by the Revolutionary Viruses/Youth Organization of the RZ burned the building to the ground.
September 1, 1987 – The RZ attack Gunter Korbmacher, Chief Justice of the Federal Administrative Court. The 61-year-old was shot twice in the thigh as he left his house. The police suspect two people carried out the attack and then fled on a motorcycle. The motorcycle, with a fake number tag, was later found nearby. Korbmacher’s rulings as judge included one which stated that the oppression of Tamils was not systematic and that therefore each asylum case had to be judged individually. He also spoke out in favor of tightening Germany’s asylum laws; he was well ahead of the times in doing so.
December 18, 1987 – Nationwide police raids against the RZ and Rote Zora result in 33 arrests, including the arrest of Ulla Penselin and Ingrid Strobl. Four people, including Ulli Dillmann, Thomas Kram, and Corinna Kawaters, avoid the raids and go underground.
April 1988 – The police confiscate a car in Dahlem which had been stolen in August 1987. It contains 3kg of explosives, a gas cannister, an alarm clock, two motorcycle helmets, two jogging pants, two wind jackets, and several bags. The car is said to have been an RZ escape vehicle. The explosive did not ignite.
October 1988 – The Federal Prosecutor’s Office drops its investigation of Schindler and Eckle.
June 1989 – Ingrid Strobl is sentenced to 5 years in prison for “supporting a terrorist association”. Later the sentence is reduced to 3 years.
January 1991 – Rudolf Schindler and Sabine Eckle reappear on the wanted posters.
January 1991 – Failed attack on the Social Ministry in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the State Chancellor’s Office in Dusseldorf. Soon thereafter, the cell responsible for these actions announces its dissolution, and the end of the RZ begins.
February 1991 – Bomb attack on the ‘Siegessaeule’ war monument in Berlin in protest against the Gulf War.
June 1991 – Firebombs ignited inside the ‘Reichstag’ in Berlin as an RZ protest against the planned move of Germany’s capital back to Berlin.
July 1991 – The Revolutionary Cells firebomb two Kaiser’s supermarkets, since the chain has plans to construct a new supermarket on the site of the former Ravensbruck concentration camp.
November 1992 – Several homes and workplaces are searched by police in Berlin. Police suspect one Berlin resident is a member of the RZ and participated in the Korbmacher attack. The investigations are later closed.
late March 1995 – The Federal Attorney’s Office (BAW) claim that two youths stole two dozens packets of the explosive Gelamon 40 as well as 4.15m of fuse wire from a cellar in Prenzlauer Berg.
early April 1995 – Police confiscate the above mentioned explosives from the youths, who claim to have found the materials in a park. The significance of the discovery does not dawn on the police at first. It isn’t until the spring of 1999 that the cops claim the explosives are part of a cache of explosives stolen by “unidentified RZ members” from a construction site in North Rhine-Westphalia on June 4, 1987. These explosives are said to have been use in at least three RZ attacks or attempted attacks. Another round of interrogations with the youths takes the police to the cellar.
October 25, 1995 – Corinna Kawaters turns herself in to federal authorities, after having made contact with Mr. Benz of the intelligence agency (VS).
mid-1990s – Ulli Dillmann resurfaces after the investigations against him are closed.
March 1998 – The trial against Corinna Kawaters begins. She is accused of having been a member of the RZ/ Rote Zora for at least 11 months in 1987. During a search of her home, an alarm clock was confiscated.
June 1998 – A court in Stuttgart rules on Corinna Kawaters’ case.
1998 – Hans Jochaim Klein is arrested in France.
May 19, 1999 – Tarek Mousli, said to have rented the cellar mentioned above, is arrested and charged with supporting a terrorist association. He is detained in prison. A former partner of his during the 1990s is also implicated in renting the cellar. Tarek expresses no interest in political support. He treats the matter as a personal matter. Neither he nor his lawyer have offered any information about what the police were interested in. A short notice in a Berlin daily newspaper about his arrest is the only source of information for the political movement.
July 7, 1999 – Tarek Mousli is released on bail. He makes a brief statement about the charges.
November 13, 1999 – Rudolf Schindler is arrested in Frankfurt on charges of “accomplice to murder” as a result of statements made by Hans Jochaim Klein.
November 17, 1999 – Federal authorities file charges against Rudolf Schindler after Klein says he was involved in the OPEC action and provided logistical support.
November 23, 1999 – Tarek Mousli is arrested again, this time for being the “leader of the RZ in Berlin” and is taken to Ossendorf Prison in Cologne. He is concretely charged with the October 28, 1986 shooting of Harald Hollenberg. He is also said to have fired the two shots at Gunter Korbmacher on September 27, 1987. It’s surprising that the BAW did not simply charge him with participating in the attack but rather with actually firing the shots. He is also said to have participated in the February 6, 1987 RZ bomb attack in Berlin. He is also said to have had “immediate access to the weapons depot of the RZ in Berlin”. He is also said to have “participated in the strategy discussions within the RZ in the early 1990s”. The BAW have not said where their evidence for these charges comes from. Tarek’s lawyer makes no statement on the matter. Rumor has it that statements were made by a former partner of Tarek (1995), who, after a long stay abroad, told everything she knew to police. Tarek is said to have spoken openly of his past with her. At exactly the same time on this day, eight sites are raided by police, five in Berlin, two in Brandenburg, and one in Saxony-Anhalt. Four of the sites were regularly used by Tarek, four were the homes of contact persons. These include the homes of Axel H. and Martin B., who had “intensive personal and written contact with the accused” according to authorities. Also, the home of a woman and the woman’s partner are also searched by police. Tarek’s home is also searched, as are his two martial arts studios in Prenzlauer Berg and Marzahn in Berlin.
December 6, 1999 – An article appears in a Berlin newspaper which claims the police are investigating Stasi lawyer Jurgen Wetzenstein-Ollenschlager. He is said to have been involved in concealing millions of German marks belonging to the Stasi and went underground in 1992. He is said to be living somewhere in East Berlin. From the article it becomes clear that the woman whose home was searched because of Tarek’s statements was Ollenschlager’s ex-mother-in-law. According to the article, the police searched the home of a “Ms. K” to find a kind of “life insurance” policy belonging to Tarek Mousli, which lists him as a participant in RZ actions. Whether such a text was actually found is not clear.
December 14, 1999 – Tarek’s lawyer resigns. By this point it should have been obvious that Tarek was handling everything, since his lawyer, a friend of his for many years, could no longer go along with what was happening. But this information was not made known to people in the movement effectively enough. From this day on, at the latest, Tarek began making statements to police. The arrest warrants for Axel, Harald, Sabine, and Rudolf were signed on this date, as was the search order for the raid on the Mehringhof complex. It can be assumed that Tarek has entered the state witness protection program (‘Kronzeugengesetz’), and that in future he will be given a new identity with the help of state authorities.
December 19, 1999 – The Mehringhof and the private homes of Axel, Sabine, and Harald are raided by police. Rudolf, already in prison because of Klein’s statements to the cops, is handed a second arrest order. Despite the efforts of more than 1,000 cops, no RZ weapons depot is uncovered inside the Mehringhof. The raids and arrests were the direct result of statements given by Tarek Mousli. Rumor has it that Tarek gave police the names of 50 people associated with the RZ.
December 27, 1999 – An article in ‘Focus’ magazine mentions a list with the names of 50 suspected RZ members. It’s unclear whether this list really exists, or if it has any judicial relevance, since the statute of limitations on most actions has expired. The fact that the BAW are having problems with the statute of limitations is made clear by the fact that the 1980 accidental fatal shooting of Hessian Economics Minister Karry is no longer referred to as “assault resulting in death” but instead is called a “murder”. There is no statute of limitations on murder charges.
January 4, 2000 – Tarek is said to have made further statements to police and is willing to speak with investigators to clear up inconsistencies in his earlier statements.
(Translated by Arm The Spirit from ‘Interim’ #492 – January 27, 2000)