This dossier contains communiques, discussion papers / critiques and news articles by and about the Anti-Imperialist Cell / Anti-Imperialistiche Zelle / AIZ.
The AIZ was active in Germany from 1992 (forming just after the dissolution of the Red Army Faction ) to 1996 (when two persons were arrested and charged with membership in the AIZ) and carried out nine armed actions during that period.
The AIZ were particularly critiqued and criticized by the German radical left …. both in terms of their politics (calling for a continuation of RAF politics and then turning towards support for Libya and the Islamic states) and their praxis (actions which were seen as reckless / irresponsible / inappropriate).
News: The Riddle of ‘Weekend’ Terrorism: Germany Scores First Victory In Battle Against Extremism
Anti-Imperialist Cells: Communique – April 22, 1992 – “22 Years Of Armed Struggle By The RAF In Germany”.
Anti-Imperialist Cells: Discussion Paper – May 22, 1992 – “Resistance Means Attack!” – A Critique Of The RAF
Anti-Imperialist Cells: Communique – November 17, 1993 – Statement Concerning The Attack On ‘Gesamtmetall’ In Cologne
Anti-Imperialist Cells: Communique – June 5, 1994 – Statement Concerning The Attack On The CDU Office In Dusseldorf
News: Bomb Detonated In Front Of FDP Office In Bremen
News: Anti-Imperialist Cell Threatens New Attacks
Anti-Imperialist Cells: Discussion Paper – Early November 1994 – “Struggle Together!”
German Ex-Minister’s Home Bombed, No One Hurt
Critique: “A Critique Of The Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ)” – Group Barbara Kistler – March 1995
News: Leftists Say They Bombed German Politician’s Home
News: German Politician Escapes Bomb Attack
Critique: Warning! The Following Is Another Article About The Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ) – April 1995
Critique: Another Critique Of The AIZ – May 1995
News: Guerrillas Say They Bombed German Office Over Peru
News: Germany Issues Arrest Warrants For Guerrillas
Critique: There Are Many Ways To Express Leftist Politics – One Of Them Is Solidarity!Some Thoughts About The Anti-Imperialist Cell
News: Alleged AIZ Members Still Not Charged As Solidarity Slowly Builds
News: Partial Admission In AIZ Trial: So There Were Only Two Of Them After All…
News: Update On The AIZ Trial In Germany; Six Months In Prison For Witness Who Refused To Testify In The “AIZ Trial”
The Riddle of ‘Weekend’ Terrorism
Germany Scores First Victory In Battle Against Extremism
The Observer, March 1996
The detectives from Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt (the equivalent of America’s FBI) could hardly believe their luck last Sunday as they watched two suspects loading 3.5kg of explosives into a wine-coloured VW Passat from a dump outside Berlin.
They followed the car to Hamburg before instructing police to arrest the two young physics graduates identified only as Bernhard F and Michael S. But when bomb disposal experts looked inside the Passat, they were flabbergasted: the explosives had vanished.
It was the latest twist in a three-year battle by German police and intelligence chiefs to capture the Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ), a bizarre left-wing terror group the authorities claim is more dangerous than any of its predecessors.
‘You can see the danger from the 10 (bomb] attacks the group has carried out since its foundation in 1993,’ says Ernst Uhrlau, Hamburg chief of the Verfassungsschutz, Germany’s MI5. ‘Up to now they have only damaged property but it is pure chance that nobody has been killed or injured.’
Dubbed ‘weekend terrorists’ by the authorities, the AIZ is believed to number no more than 50 activists, mostly university graduates in their mid-twenties.
Unlike the infamous Red Army Faction, which flaunted its rejection of bourgeois society, AIZ members operate in complete secrecy, using the in-former-proof cell structure favoured by the IRA. Their intended victims have been middle-ranking officials, few of whom enjoy round-the-clock police protection.
In lengthy position papers the AIZ places itself within the tradition of the Red Army Fac-tion prior to that group’s abandonment of the ‘armed struggle’ in 1992.
The RAF, also known as Baader-Meinhof after its founders, was Germany’s most effective and durable post-war terrorist movement. After a series of spectacular actions in the early Seventies, including a bomb attack on the US army base at Heidelberg, most of the group’s activities were aimed at securing their members’ release from jail.
But recent AIZ statements have expressed support for such diverse causes as Peru’s Shining Path guerrillas, the Kurdish PKK, and Islamic fun-damentalist groups.
Political observers are puzzled by the return of terrorism to Germany after the end of the Cold War. The last wave of left-wing terror had its roots in the student revolts of 1968, when an entire generation was gripped by radical politics. ‘The background then was the idea that you could change society,’ says Gunter Bierbrauer, professor of social psychology at the University of Osnabruck. ‘That was very widespread even outside the universities, and some splinter groups grew up which felt that violence was the only way to bring change quickly.’
The first such group was the 2 June Movement, a West Berlin terror group with links to the Italian Red Brigades, which specialised in bomb attacks, arson and kidnapping.
Founder member Michael ‘Bommi’ Baumann was wanted on bombing, bank robbery and firearms charges when he fled Germany in 1972. He was extradited from Britain in 1981 and, after serving five years in jail, he now works as a project manager on a building site. He believes that political ideology accounts for only half of the motivation behind the terrorist activity of his generation.
‘Most or us came from families of Nazis, let’s face it. My father was the SA chief in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin and my uncle was an SS chief in Ukraine. This is your family and in the end they are murderers. And if the same people are telling you how to cut your hair, what clothes to wear and what music to listen to, it is hard to take.’
He is contemptuous of the AIZ, pointing out that its activities have damaged the chances of freeing the remaining Red Army Faction prisoners in German jails.
Bierbrauer believes today’s young terrorists are driven above all by an urge to be on the right side of a moral argument. ‘If you identify injustice in the world and do not accept it, you can set yourself up as a Robin Hood figure. That gives you a sense of your own moral uprightness. This is not part of a social movement as it was in the 1970s,’ he says.
The authorities hope that, despite the vanishing explosives, last week’s arrests represent their first successful blow against the AIZ. But even if’ the AIZ is crushed, Bierbrauer doubts if extremism will ever leave the political stage in Germany for good.
‘If I know my fellow Germans, I must admit that they tend to extremes. There is an extreme form of idealism here which teaches that the world can be shaped in a certain way. It is a typical product of seventeenth and eighteenth-century German philosophy. I think it is no wonder that Karl Marx Was a German, and that the idea you could create a society on ideological grounds was born here.
Anti-Imperialist Cell Communique
April 22, 1992
22 Years Of Armed Struggle By The RAF In Germany
1970: The liberation of Andreas Baader from prison. The “Red Army Fraction” (RAF) is born. “A revolutionary political praxis under the present conditions – if not always – makes a priority of the integration of the individual character and the political motivation, that means political identity.
We think that organizing armed resistance groups in West Germany and West Berlin at this point in time is right, is possible, is justified. It is right, possible, and justified to organize an urban guerrilla here and now.
By giving developmental and military aid to the wars of aggression being waged by the USA, Germany is profiting from the exploitation of the Third World, while not assuming any responsibility for these wars and while not having to deal with a domestic opposition movement. While no less aggressive than American imperialism, it is less easy to attack. The political possibilities of imperialism here have not been exhausted, neither in their reformist nor their fascist varieties; there is no end to its ability to integrate or suppress the contradictions which it gives rise to. The urban guerrilla concept of the Red Army Fraction is not based on an optimistic evaluation of the situation in West Germany and West Berlin.
“The left at that time knew that it would be right to link the spreading of socialist propaganda to the actual hindering of the deliveries of the Bild-Zeitung [a right-wing daily newspaper – trans.]. That is would be right to link the spreading of propaganda to the GIs, urging them not to go to Vietnam, to actual attacks on airplanes destined to be sent to Vietnam, to disrupt the plans of the German army by attacking NATO airports. That it would be right to link the critique of class justice to blowing up prison walls, to link the critique of the Springer Corporation to the physical disarming of their security guards, to set up our own transmitter, to demoralize the police, to find illegal living spaces for army deserters, to be able to agitate among foreign workers by being able to give them forged papers, to sabotage the factory production of napalm.
“The urban guerrilla is supposed to undermine certain points of the state’s power apparatus, to remove its power step by step, and to destroy the myth that the state is omnipotent. The urban guerrilla advances the development of an illegal apparatus, namely homes, weapons, munitions, cars, identification. The most important aspects of this were spelled out by Marighella in his mini-handbook for the urban guerrilla. We are prepared at any time to tell other aspects of this to anyone who needs to know it, if they want to do it. We don’t know a lot of things yet, but we still know quite a lot.
“The Red Army Fraction is organizing the underground as an offensive position for revolutionary intervention. To form an urban guerrilla means to offensively wage an anti-imperialist struggle. The Red Army Fraction is providing a link between the legal and the illegal struggle, between the national and the international struggle, between the political and the armed struggle. (…) “Despite the weakness of the revolutionary forces here in Germany and West Berlin, urban guerrilla means revolutionary intervention here and now!
– “The Concept Of The Urban Guerrilla”, Red Army Fraction, April 1971
1972: Attacks on: 1) the headquarters of the 5th US Corps in Frankfurt; 2) the police headquarters in Augsburg; 3) the LKA [state criminal justice office – trans.] office in Munich; 4) Buddenberg (federal judge) in Karlsruhe; 5) the Springer Corporation headquarters in Hamburg; 6) the Heidelberg headquarters of the US army forces in Europe.
1975: Occupation of the German embassy in Stockholm.
1977: Attacks on Buback (federal prosecutor) in Karlsruhe and Ponto (chairman of the Dresdner Bank) in Oberursel; attempted attack on the federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe; kidnapping of Schleyer (head of the employers’ association) in Cologne.
“The system has created a situation in the metropoles whereby the masses are sunk so deeply in their own filth that they, as objects of the imperialist system, have lost all feeling for their status as exploited and oppressed peoples, so that they are now willing to put up with any crime committed by the system as long as they can have a car, a little money, life insurance, and a mortgage, and they couldn’t imagine or dream of anything better than having their own car, a vacation, or a glazed tile bathtub. It follows from this, therefore, that the revolutionary subject is anyone who has freed themselves from these urges and who refuses to participate in the system’s crimes. That means that anyone who finds their identity in the liberation struggles of the peoples of the Third World or anyone who refuses to just go along is a revolutionary subject. Only if we succeed in making the connection between imperialism and anti-imperialism 24 hours every day can we really formulate and present people’s problems in terms so that people will understand us and not only our actions – in the same way the RAF is understood, so too will our propaganda, our speech, our words be understood. To serve the people! If the people of the Third World are the vanguard of the anti-imperialist revolution, that means that it is our task to realize the big hopes of the people in the metropoles for their own liberation and to link the liberation struggles of the people in the Third World to the desire for liberation in the metropoles, wherever it manifests itself: in schools and colleges, in the factories, in families, in the prisons, in the big office buildings, in hospitals, in bureaucratic offices, in political parties, in unions – everywhere. Against everything which negates this connection, suppresses it, destroys it: consumption, the media, conformism, opportunism, dogmatism, domination, patronizing, brutalizing, isolation. ‘We mean everyone!’ We all are revolutionary subjects. Anyone who starts to struggle and to resist is one of us.
– “The Action By Black September In Munich: On The Strategy Of The Anti-Imperialist Struggle”, Red Army Fraction, November 1972
1979: Attack on Haig (NATO commander) in Obourg, Belgium.
1981: Attacks on the US forces headquarters in Europe (Ramstein) and NATO general Kroesen (supreme commander of US forces in Europe).
1984: Attempted attack on the NATO school in Oberammergau.
1985: Attacks on Zimmerman (chairman of the armaments corporation MTU) in Gauting and the US airbase in Frankfurt.
1986: Attacks on Beckurts (Siemens executive) in Strasslach and Braunmuhl (deputy foreign minister) in Bonn.
1988: Attempted attack on Tietmeyer (state secretary of the
finance ministry) in Bonn.
1989: Attack on Herrhausen (head of the Deutsche Bank) in Homburg.
1990: Attack on Neusel (state secretary for the interior ministry) in Bonn.
1991: Attacks on the US embassy in Bonn and Rohwedder (head of the Treuhand Agency) in Dusseldorf.
“The objective situation brings to mind the question of whether the guerrilla are now finally finished. A subjective one for many, who have no more future here, at that moment of existential experience, that if this really is the case, then all their hopes and dreams of another life will have vanished, too. There is only hope so long as there is struggle.
“For 7 years, in this political desert where everything is just appearance, products, packaging, lies, and deception, we tried to find the spirit and the morality, the praxis and the political orientation of a final break with and the destruction of the system. Guerrilla. Out of the identity with and connection to the struggles in South East Asia, Africa, and Latin America, we tried to make a violent break and to establish ourselves. That which Che called the period of survival and anchoring meant for us here the phase of pushing through a concept which will live on and be taken up, even in times when the existing illegal armed groups are defeated. Pushed through violently in any case. In every respect. And isolated. Not only in the face of a historically unique apparatus of repression.
In this landscape, which has been flattened and trampled down for generations, it’s hardly possibly anymore to push thoughts of liberation through the meters-thick wall of corruption, alienation, and deformation and into peoples’ hearts and minds.
“To struggle in an open strategic concept where everyone is a part of the revolutionary front here who, from the seriousness of their history and their subjective process, sees the politics of the guerrilla as having the shared goal of revolutionary social change and the destruction of the imperialist system. And from the very first moment, their task as well as ours is to develop the front in the centre. That’s what we mean when we say: ‘struggle together’. A front.
“We say: When armed and illegal organizations are at the heart of this strategy, the full strength will only be realized when armed politics are brought together with militant attacks and with struggles from the entire spectrum of oppression and alienation and with the political struggle to convey this process towards a conscious and targeted attack against the turning point and foundations of the imperialist centre.
“We conclude: Fundamental opposition to this system, like in no other time in the past, is needed. Cold, without illusions, nothing more to be achieved through the state. There will be no more ‘changing of the system’ or ‘alternative models’ under this state. These are simply impossible. This is the end – only when this system is finished will it be possible to imagine a perspective on life.
“Over the last 2 years, there have been several flyers and actions with the slogan ‘A front with the RAF’ and we know that there is the need and the willingness for this in all politicized sectors. But there is still a major discrepancy between this need, willingness, and budding potential and its realization in a development process, organization, and movement.”
“The discussion is still the same, in so far as isolated positions and ideals are pointed out, but the strictness of individual group thought and the determination to start taking on matters are lacking in those places where the understanding of the situation becomes one’s own: The anti-imperialist front is both as necessary as it is weak, it could be potentially strong in its position in the centres of Western Europe and there are
enormous possibilities in the international liberation struggle.
“For us, too, the situation is one where we are relatively weak in the face of a power which possesses just about everything here and – in the long-term – won’t allow a front to develop which threatens its power, because it is forced to use aggression as the solution to all its problems at the social, societal, and military-political level. In doing so, the political boundaries, the ‘annoyances’, in the metropoles are transgressed – democracy, welfare, internal security – and this can’t be kept up for ever if the state is continually being broken by the anti-imperialist struggle, which means that the confrontation becomes open and the thin ideological division between the state and the society gets torn down.
“The concentration and centralization of capital, rationalization, planned levels of massive unemployment, the instrumentalization of people as tools in the machine, the
forcing of energy policies due to the use of energy sources as a weapon of war on the international market, the destruction of social structures in the interest of the police and big money, wearing people out in their struggle to make a living, training to be factory cops, the justice system, prison, etc. These are advances in this militarily-planned offensive, this iron curtain around all sectors of metropolitan society, which has left us
with no alternative but to create a front in the centre whether we want to or not – the war is underway. The only question now is whether there will be a revolutionary front to respond to this reactionary offensive.
“Resistance to the imperialist machine which is so exploitative here – that’s our definition of the guerrilla’s function and the development of an anti-imperialist front – means to attack and to develop the revolutionary front in the centre as part of a world-wide struggle.
“Revolutionary politics here is the strategy which sees resistance to the day to day reality here as a process of the struggle for liberation, and which views this as part of a world-wide struggle, and only by working together can the goal be reached. This form of politics has nothing whatsoever to do with how one looks at the world. It is not based on an exhausted ideological model which we should hope to be realized in the future. It can only be a concrete process.”
– “Guerrilla, Resistance, And The Anti-Imperialist Front”, Red Army Fraction, May 1982
“Anyone that does not struggle will die over time! Freedom is only possible in the struggle for liberation!”
And we, as part of the resistance movement in Germany, would like to add to that now (22.4.92): Resistance means that the history of the past 22 years should not be abandoned to the state and the media. This history lives on in us. Resistance to the imperialist superpower Germany will be determined by these experiences. The struggle goes forward together.
Anti-Imperialist Cell Discussion Paper – May 22, 1992
“Resistance Means Attack!”
A Critique Of The RAF
“Everyone has to die. The question is only how, and how you live your life, and the matter is quite clear: Fighting against the pigs for the liberation of humanity! Revolutionary, in struggle – with a love of life, and contempt for death. For me, that’s how
you serve the people – RAF.”
(from the last letter written by Holger Meins, 31.10.74)
On 22.4.92, we said: “The struggle goes forward together.”
Now (22.5.92) we’d like to examine that more closely, to take a look at the necessity/meaning of militant resistance in Germany. We see this as an answer to what the comrades from the guerrilla wrote on 10.4.92. We accept this decision which the comrades decided upon as a decision which applies to themselves. But at the same time we sharply criticize a whole series of passages in their statement which are given a political expression. The taz [a liberal daily newspaper – trans.] was wrong when they when they wrote in the 25.4.92 edition of their paper that we are a “RAF splinter-group”.
We understand ourselves to be part of the resistance movement in Germany. We have our own form of militant politics and we intend to further develop this. We will leave all further speculation to those people whose job it is to track down people who carry out resistance in Germany.
Whereas the ruling powers are signalling the “end of the RAF” as the end of militant resistance in Germany with propaganda spread through the media, our approach is diametrically opposed to this: We want to learn from the theoretical/practical experiences of the guerrilla (and that means also to learn from the mistakes) and to contribute to the further development of militant politics in this country. This is at a time when the entire system allows practically no genuine free space whatsoever for people to search for alternatives. During the 22 years that the Red Army Fraction carried out its armed struggle, it was proven that it is possible to carry out attacks in the heart of the state, even here in Germany, in one of the most highly developed imperialist centres. In the last few years, these attacks were no longer the part of an overall strategy, without
which it’s impossible to make revolutionary politics. The guerrilla are not the ones responsible for this, but rather this is the fault of everyone for whom the slogan “struggle together” has any meaning. We don’t criticize these attacks in and of themselves, but rather the fact that, since they were not imbedded in comprehensive politics, they attacks could no longer achieve their potential political effect. Nevertheless: The successful attacks on Herrhausen and Rohwedder made a lot more people silently happy than the comrades themselves seem to admit.
Greetings to the Ulrich Wessel Commando!
For us, the most important thing is the content of revolutionary politics. Naturally, a part of this is the world- wide struggle for freedom for all comrades presently detained in
As for those comrades imprisoned here in Germany, we demand: Freedom for all prisoners from the RAF and resistance within a reasonable period of time! In particular, the immediate release of Isabel, Ali, and Bernd, who are ill. Immediate regroupment of all prisoners from the RAF and resistance! No new trials against comrades already in prison! As for all foreign comrades: Immediate release and the possibility to travel to any country they choose!
In their statement, the guerrilla describe the “fractionalization” of the state security apparatus in a manner which we feel to be mistaken. The ultimate aim of the people like von Stahl [attorney general – trans.], Werthebach, and Kinkel, who has since been promoted to the post of foreign minister, is domestic peace in Germany. In other words, the ruling elite have made the following demand on the politicians: There can be no visible resistance which is in a position to bring into question the state’s totality. But the state security apparatus is confronted with the fact that the means of destructive prison conditions has only been partially successful towards that end.
The Kinkel-Initiative was an attempt to weaken the resistance in Germany over a long period of time, in the hope of eventually eliminating it.
For Kinkel, the prisoners are simply a means to an end. The inhumanity of his politics is made very clear by some of his statements, in which he hardly denies that the prisoners serve the function of hostages. The leading people involved in the KGT [Anti-Terrorism Coordinating Group – trans.] feel that those people which the state has available in its prisons can be played off against those people who oppose the system. That’s the core
of Kinkel’s calming statement on ZDF television when he called our first communique a “disruption manoeuvre” against his policies. What careerists like him fail to understand is that it is from this very system which the resistance originally came. As long as this system continues to oppress people, both here and abroad, there will be resistance.
The fact that we are struggling in a country which has never witnessed a successful revolution, a country where a particularly evil variant of fascist “national socialism” once ruled, a country in which there are only a few traditions of resistance, all of this makes it even more important for there to be a continuity of resistance. It follows from this: Those things which the comrades correctly/decisively recognized years ago in their analysis need to be applied to the present social/political situation. On May 6, 1975, two days before her death, Ulrike Meinhof was visited by the Italian R.A. Capelli. In her May 7 report of the conversation, she said, among other things, that: “The function of the reactionary integration of Western Europe for counter-revolution in the Third World and the development of North-South antagonism, the general connection between the struggle in the metropoles and the development of the front in the Third World – the conversation astounded him (Capelli, that is).”
Militant resistance in Germany has as its strategic goal the establishment of a link between the struggles of the Three Continents and that which is at hand or which can (potentially) be developed here in the form of resistance. We would like to say more about that.
Firstly: Considering the level of exploitation/destruction of human existence in the Three Continents, it is the fucking moral duty of everyone in Germany who defines him- or herself as left-radical to continually make new attacks here. That’s why we can fully understand the anger of the foreign comrades we have spoken with when we discussed the recent statement from the guerrilla: They can’t understand how comrades who surely realize that the imperialist elite’s war against the people of the Three Continents advances more and more every day can be responsible for calling an end to armed struggle in Germany.
Struggle together in a front with those people waging resistance in the Three Continents!
Secondly: We have to bear in mind the actual social reality in Germany. The relative stability of the system in the metropoles is based on the consistent ability of the ruling
powers to make the actual/supposed identity of the people that of the “middle class”. The system is (still) able to adapt mechanisms of integration to the actual present situation
whenever necessary. That is (perhaps the decisive) part of German reality.
We have to bear in mind the social conflicts/moods of the “lower classes” in this society. Here, the situation is, for example, as follows:
In an asylum-seekers’ hostel in Hunxe, 8-year-old Zeinap is so badly burned by a group of skinheads that she will be disfigured for life. In Magdeburg, 23-year-old Thorsten is beaten to death by a skinhead at a birthday party. A 28-year-old Iranian prevents his deportation to Turkey by slashing his wrists in the back of the police car taking him to the airport in Frankfurt. An 18-year-old is found dead, hung in his cell, at 6:00pm by guards, after having been brought to prison at 3:30pm. According to “statistics”, 4 youths commit suicide every day in Germany. A 44- year-old unemployed man in Zepernick hangs himself in his garden just hours before he is to be forcibly evicted from his property. Of the 14,000 suicides registered in 1990, 4,000 were elderly people. In Oschersleben, 50 unemployed persons take over the state employment office and begin a hungerstrike. After 18 years, workers in the “public sector” go on strike against the will of both the employers and the unions. In the states of Baden- Wurtenburg and Schleswig-Holstein, 30% of people don’t even bother to “vote” while two fascist parties book election “successes”.
We have to deal with today’s reality and all of its contradictions. We have to deal with a system which functionalizes peoples’ fear of poverty (with 3 million unemployed and 352,000 homeless) to its own ends. In those places where the mechanisms of integration fail, the ruling politics is exposed to be the same thing here as it is with respect to the Three Continents: inhumane. These politics are based on having people redirect their hate, anger, disillusionment, and resignation against another person or against weaker persons, not against the ruling powers.
In so far as militant politics can break through this strategy, they have a political effect. Every day when the destruction of human value is experienced in the metropoles, a way out can be found in an attack on the elite, the corporations, the organs of repression, etc. That means that this has to be carried out to its logical conclusion, otherwise there can be no freedom.
Freedom is only possible in the struggle for liberation!
All people in the metropoles who struggle for liberation eventually recognize that our enemy here is the same one against whom the peoples of the Three Continents are struggling in order to have a humane life.
International solidarity is what the ruling powers fear the most.
We would like to discuss three more individual points from the statement by the guerrilla which must not be allowed to remain uncontradicted:
The first point concerns the collapse of those states which were known as “socialist”. The guerrilla foresees a “catastrophic development for millions of people across the world”. This statement should be made more precise: a catastrophic development for the people of Cuba or Vietnam (for example, in 1991 there were 1.1 million people infected with malaria in Vietnam and 4,500 died; previously the Soviet Union had provided free medical supplies). The material situation of several liberation movements has also been worsened. But, when the guerrilla write that everyone around the world struggling for freedom is now thrust back on their own resources”, that is simply not true. Even before 1989 it was clear that every country develops an anti-imperialist resistance based on its own unique conditions. Those people who are struggling just as hard in 1992 as they did
in 1985 or 1989 are proof that the notion that they are just dependent on the “socialist” states, and that they are just serving their ends, was just imperialist propaganda. The clarity of the confrontation (on the one side, imperialism, and on the other side, the people struggling for liberation) makes it possible for revolutionaries here and in the Three Continents to reach a new self-consciousness!
The second point has to do with the notion of “social prisoners” which the comrades used, without even defining just what “social” means. The prison system in Germany is a specific expression of the entire system which we are struggling against. We send our greetings to all prisoners in German prisons!
The third point is as follows: The guerrilla write that “the question” is “whether or not German soldiers will once again march against other people”. The fact is, during the 33rd Commanders Conference in Leipzig, people like Ruehe [defence minister -trans.] and Naumann [military chief of staff – trans.] left no doubt that, in the long-term, they intend to send the German army on armed, Out-of-Area missions. The decisive factor in this is Germany’s role in NATO: New stationing agreements imply that Germany will remain a important station and base for global US imperialist interventions for the unforeseeable future. Even apart from this, Germany’s role is quite clear: At 6.5 billion dollars, Germany was one of the four biggest financiers of the Gulf War.
The differences between US and German imperialism were spelled out rather clearly in 1971 in “The Concept Of The Urban Guerrilla”: “While no less aggressive than American imperialism, it (German imperialism) is less easy to attack.”
At a conference of American publishers in New York, Kohl said: “We accept President Bush’s invitation to be ‘partners in leadership’.” The enemy has therefore given us a sufficient self- characterization.
Everywhere in the world, people are standing up and waging militant anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and anti-patriarchal struggles against the system. From Los Angeles to Lima, from Durban to Qalqilia, from Cizre to Cagayan.
In Germany, militant actions are not only morally necessary, they are also politically useful!
Resistance means attack!
“But that’s who we are, that’s where we’re from: The blood of the processes of destruction and degradation in metropolitan society, the war of everyone against everyone, the competition of everyone against everyone, the system, the law of fear, the pressure to succeed, all of this is what rules over us, for the one at the cost of the many, the division of people into men and women, young and old, healthy and unhealthy, foreigners and Germans, the struggles for prestige. And that’s where we’re from: The isolation of the row houses, the concrete jungles in the suburbs, the prison cells, the asylums and the clinics. From the brainwashing by the media, consumption, punishment through beatings, the ideology of non-violence; from depression, sickness, and the declassifying, insulting, and degrading of people, all exploited peoples under imperialism. Until we have satisfied the needs of each of us and the necessity of liberation from imperialism, there is nothing to lose in this system of destruction, and there is everything to gain in the armed struggle: collective liberation, life, humanity, identity. That the concerns of the people, the masses, the assembly line workers, the lumpen, the prisoners, the students, the lowest class of people here and the liberation movements of the Third World are our concerns, too. Our concern: armed, anti-imperialist struggle is the concern of the masses, and vice versa – even when it’s a long, slow process at first, the guerrilla’s military- political offensive can become a real people’s war. It can become real.”
(from the speech by Ulrike Meinhof about the liberation of Andreas Baader from Moabit Prison, 13.9.74)
Anti-Imperialist Cell Communique November 17, 1993
Statement Concerning The Attack On ‘Gesamtmetall’ In Cologne
“The meaning and content of our politics are part of our lives, an inseparable and existential unity, and that’s why we struggle for these.”
(Brigitte Mohnhaupt, October 1993)
This evening, we had the second floor of Volksgartenstrasse 54a in Cologne in our sights and we shot at it. This is the offices of the Metal Union Employers Association ‘Gesamtmetall’.
The employers who belong to Gesamtmetall are part of the German elite who are directly responsible for determining the social reality of thousands of people both here and abroad. The cancellation of loan agreements in the West German sectors of the metal and electronics industry is a concrete example here of the global capitalist crisis.
Gesamtmetall is ready for anything, even strikes. In this present wage dispute, the employers are trying to find out just how much they can get away with here in Germany; for the workers, this means a decline in their social/material standards. Gesamtmetall has the following alternative options: They either take away jobs in their now accelerated restructuring process and deposit their capital in profitable funds, or they invest elsewhere. While some workers here are trying to figure out how to eventually resist this, at least regionally, Gesamtmetall has already been operating at the
international level: Capital is invested in places where maximum profit rates can be obtained. More and more workers are feeling uncertain and are frightened of being forced to a lower social status: The developments which have been forced by capitalism means that they will be discarded and, in some cases, they will face real material distress. Those workers here in Germany who wish to stop being treated in an arbitrary manner by the capitalist elite are a minority. But, in contrast to the union’s strategy, by which the workers are forced to collaborate with Gesamtmetall, the number of those beginning to resist is on the rise.
In answer to the question of how a counter-power from below can be developed here in Germany, these social questions are, of course, one national point of reference. Local resistance alone will never be able to become a real danger to international capital. The strategy of local extortion by organizations like Gesamtmetall can only be broken by an international anti- capitalist struggle. The international elite are responsible for the brutality with which the human labour forces of the Three Continents are exploited. Our militant action against Gesamtmetall follows in logical consequence.
That which binds the anti-imperialist struggle internationally is the subjective radicalism which is militantly displayed in the struggle for liberation, self-determination, and self-organization.
We would like to say something to our Palestinian and Kurdish comrades, to whom we feel most closely bonded: We don’t know what Arafat was thinking when he signed the Gaza-Jehrico Agreement in Washington, D.C. on September 13, or when he took Rabin’s right hand and shook it firmly. We also don’t know about all the deals which were struck between the PLO leadership and the Zionist representatives. But what’s clear is that the resistance struggle will continue, in a variety of forms, and militant/armed actions will be a part of this. For this, the Palestinian comrades are counting on world-wide support. We cannot forget the support which was given to the anti-imperialist movement in West Germany in the 1970s. It’s about time that people here started finally thinking about how they can now give assistance to the comrades in the Near East.
In the Turkish-occupied section of Kurdistan, the situation is escalating every day. The Turkish military have declared an “operation of destruction” for this winter. Because the movement of Kurdish militants continues to grow, the occupiers have resorted to using terror against the civilian population, as was recently the case in the city of Lice. It is well known that they are supported in this by the German government (arms sales, training of terror units by the GSG-9). Thousands of German tourists go on “holiday” every year in Turkey/Kurdistan, although they surely know that they are thereby directly supporting Turkish state terrorism. It is natural that Kurdish comrades are carrying out militant actions in Turkey. The fact that they are also an organized force in the middle of Germany as well was proven on June 24 and November 4 [when Kurdish militants carried out a series of organized attacks on Turkish banks, travel agencies, and diplomatic agencies in several cities across Europe, particularly in Germany – trans.].
Since October 8 and November 4, new trials have been opened in Frankfurt against Rolf-Clemens Wagner and Eva Haule, both of whom fought in the guerrilla and have been in prison for several years. Rolf was organized in the guerrilla at the time when, among other things, the action against Schleyer (head of the German employers’ association) was carried out in Cologne. In this new state witness trial, he is to be convicted of participation in the action against Haig (NATO commander). Eva was arrested during the anti-imperialist front offensive of the mid-80s. The level of confrontation from that period of time must be recreated now. To do that, we need militant/armed actions as a part of an overall strategy, one which is relevant to the reality of the 90s.
Develop the politics of militant/armed intervention in Germany as a part of the international struggle for liberation!
Both here and internationally, the creation of a revolutionary counter-power results from, among other things, a direct confrontation with the ruling capitalist elite!
Attack the elite and their centres during social struggles, which also means: Make progress towards an anti-imperialist front here in Germany!
The important thing is, what type of politics are practiced and how they are materialized. That which was created by the guerrilla between 14.5.1970 and 1.4.1991 is the point of reference for our politics. The existence of an anti-imperialist guerrilla in Germany does not automatically follow from the fact that there are comrades living underground. We must continually struggle to make the guerrilla exist as an offensive political force. It should be the task of all comrades to draw self- determined consequences from that fact.
Militants from the anti-imperialist resistance in Germany November 1993
Anti-Imperialist Cell Communique – June 5, 1994
Statement Concerning The Attack On The CDU Office In Dusseldorf
On the night of June 4/5, 1994, one week before the elections for the European parliament, we deposited four explosive devices behind the building complex at Kaiserswertherstrasse 93 in Dusseldorf. This building houses, among others, the offices of the CDU [christian democratic party – trans.] in Dusseldorf as well as the CDU regional office for the ‘Bergischesland’ region (Solingen, Wuppertal, etc.). We chose this site because of the minimal risk to uninvolved persons. By means of this action, we want to start an open discussion concerning the CDU and the politics represented by this party.
Whether in Palestine or Kurdistan or Turkey, the German state, led by the CDU, is at war. Germany, as an important imperialist state, is on the side of the ruling powers in those areas. The struggle being carried out by militant comrades, who are not willing to accept the status quo, is a struggle for freedom and socialism.
“From now on, our stance against the PKK will be even tougher. The PKK should know that they cannot move freely anywhere now.”
– (Kanther, CDU, interior minister, March 20, 1994)
This statement from Kanther increased the resolve of two Kurds living in Mannheim, Nilgun Yildirim and Bedriye Tas, as they themselves stated, who burned themselves to death in protest against the German state on March 21 (Newroz). In the statement they left behind, Nilgun and Bedriye make mention of German weapons sales to the ruling Demirel/Ciller [Turkish government leaders – trans.] clique. There has been a lot of debate recently concerning these weapons shipments, but the facts speak for themselves: Under the terms of three material aid agreements (1990-1994), 100 Leopard-1s, 300 BRT-60s, 30 Phantoms, 131 artillery systems, and 187 MTW M-113s have been delivered.
Between 1985-1991, the German state donated 256,000 Kalaschnikovs, 5,000 MGs, 100,000 tank shells, and 445 million rounds of ammunition. On April 7, the government enacted a temporary halt of arms shipments to Turkey, but this ban was lifted again on May 4. And this ban did not prevent the Dornier corporation from shipping 212 Stinger missiles on April 15. To make the military dimension by which the imperialist states arm their vassal allies perfectly clear, in 1993, the USA gave Turkey 932 tanks and Germany shipped an additional 85. In other words, in the space of one year, Turkey was given enough tanks to equal the total number presently possessed by Great Britain. At present, 500,000 soldiers and 50,000 militias (so-called village guards) are stationed in 13 provinces (the state of emergency region) to carry out a war against the Kurdish liberation struggle. The war against militants there and the repression here are closely linked: On November 26, 1993, Kanther (CDU) “banned” the PKK and other Kurdish organizations; at the end of March alone, 547 Kurds were arrested in Germany; while chancellor Kohl (CDU)described the Kurdish Autobahn blockades as an “unbearable misuse of guest rights”, deportation orders were signed and carried out step by step. The raid by a police commando, including GSG-9 agents, in Saarbrucken last week is a clear sign of the course which is presently being followed. On March 7, after a trial lasting more than 4 years in the court bunker in Dusseldorf, a verdict was handed down: Both Kurds, Ali Aktas and Hasan Hayri Guller, were given life sentences. On April 12, a trial began in Munich against 13 Kurds who occupied the Turkish consulate on June 24, 1993. By means of this action, the Kurds had hoped to force Kohl (CDU) to publicly declare an end to weapons shipments to Turkey. The Kurdish militants have acted according to their conviction that “resistance is life – berxwedan jiyane”.
“Turkey is the only existing model of a democratic, free-market, Muslim state.”
(Lamers, CDU, parliamentary foreigner affairs spokesman)
Germany is also a party in the war against the Turkish communist resistance that has been waged since 1982. Already in 1983, Devrimci Sol was banned, and militants and activists that have sought political asylum in Germany have often been deported. In order to avoid being handed over to the fascist military junta (that seized power in a putsch on September 12, 1980), Cemal Altun, one of the founders of ‘Ankara Liseli Devrimci Genclik’, threw himself out of a window in a Berlin courthouse on August 30, 1983, and died later from his injuries.
“Deportations to Turkey are something that happen hundreds of times each year in Germany. It’s a normal part of our laws dealing with foreigners.”
– (Kanther, CDU, in parliament)
The BND [German intelligence agency – trans.] and the Turkish secret police (MIT) work in close cooperation, thus making the immediate arrest of deported persons at Turkish airports possible. And the MIT can even make “arrests” in Germany: For example, 4 Devrimci Sol militants were kidnapped in Germany and taken to Ankara in 1986. Torture in Turkish prisons has been well documented. And this torture continues in the courtroom: 7 Devrimci Sol prisoners were beaten up in a courtroom in Istanbul because a May 1st banner was unfurled; another 5 Devrimci Sol prisoners were beaten with clubs in the courtroom in Kayseri. The Turkish security forces, armed and trained by Germans, have shot and killed several Devrimci Sol militants during arrest operations over the past few years. We particularly want to make mention of the raid on a house on March 6, 1993, during which Bedri Yagan and Gurcan Ozgur, who made important contributions to the further development of communist resistance in Turkey, were killed.
Corporations like HDW, Thyssen, MTU, Krupp, MAN, Krauss Maffei, Heckler & Koch, Rohde-Schwarz, Dornier, and others make profits from arms sales to Turkey. In the political arena, it is the duty of the CDU to press forward with the interests of these corporations. On May 30, the federal government wrote a letter to the business group BDI, insuring them that restrictions on arms sales to countries outside of NATO would soon be eased. For a corporation like Daimler, who commented on the sale of Unimogs to the Sudan (where two million refugees are continually threatened with death through famine) with the words “the deal went through perfectly”, the common interests of major German corporations and the CDU politicians are solidified through personal contacts and consultations. For example, von Wartenberg (BDI executive) and Schoser (DIHT executive) are part of Kohl’s election team. Stihl, Necker, and Murmann make no secret of the fact that they hope that the government’s present course is further pushed through during the next legislative period.
The centralized command structure of the CDU and of economics in Germany makes it easier for party and corporation politics to be coordinated. The power-centre of the CDU is Kohl and his team of advisors, the so-called breakfast club (Ackermann, Bohl, Pfeiffer, Ludewig). The power-centre of the German economy is the 13-man executive board of the Deutsche Bank, to which more than 100 supervisory boards of the most important corporations are linked. The majors banks are well served by the politics of the CDU/CSU/FDP government. With profits of more than 2.2 billion DM, the Bank has more than enough reason to feel pleased (which is why the 50 million DM debt which Mr. Schneider had to write off is just “peanuts”, as he himself stated at a press conference).
Of course the major corporations, who are the backbone of Germany, don’t just support one party, but rather they finance the politics of all the major parties, CDU/CSU/FDP/SPD, who are actually little different from one another. For example, the biggest single contributors in 1992 (ca. 500,000 DM for each party) were: for the CDU it was the Daimler corporation, for the CSU [the Bavarian CDU – trans.] it was Bavarian metal industry, for the FDP [liberal party – trans.] it was the North Rhein-Westphalia metal industry, and for the SPD [social democratic party – trans.] it was also Daimler. But no matter how hard Scharping [SPD leader – trans.] tries to lure the wealthy to his side, the commanders of the economic sector share the neutral position of Kinkel [FDP leader – trans.]: “When the SPD just presents itself as the CDU with a red veneer, why shouldn’t we just stick with the original?”
“As someone who was raised in the country, I can say that what you plant in the spring will be harvested in October.”
– (Kohl, CDU, in the garden of the Germany embassy to the Vatican, May 3, 1994)
Kohl bases his optimism [for the October 16/94 general election – trans.], with good reason, on the prognosis that the German economy will have expanded by 1.5% in 1994. In particular, foreign demands have led to increased profits. When, for example, the Bayer corporation reports “increasing profits, 2,000 jobs phased out”, the one enhances the other. Daimler stocks are now being traded on the Singapore market, the Dresdner Bank wants to open up branches in Mexico and Poland, etc. In other words, the international expansion of banks and corporations is continuing nicely. After having expanded into the ex-DDR (where 85% of all capital is in the hands of West German corporations), Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic) is the next region to move into. At the same time, 12 years of CDU rule have led to social polarization: At present there are 8 million people (including those in re-schooling programs) out of work, 2.2 million children live in poverty, and at least 2.5 million new homes are needed. Workplace reconstruction has led to the following: This year alone, 100,000 machinery jobs will be lost, as will 30,000 in the electronics industry and 23,000 in the steel industry, and so on. The CDU government is furthering these developments through it privatization program (another 35,000 railway jobs will be cut this year) and is expecting the number of unemployed to grow by at least 500,000 by the end of 1994. Around 60% of the population are worried about the present situation in Germany, particularly regarding uncertain employment, and a majority of the German population has a lot, on a global scale, to lose in all of this. The workers in the steel industry are, thanks to the situation with the corporation Eko-Stahl, getting first-hand experience at how big capitalists can eliminate an entire industrial region if they feel like it: In 1989, there were 11,000 jobs, now there are only 3,000. First Krupp refused to take the firm over, now Riva is also refusing. Ever since the CDU first came to power in Dusseldorf in 1949, nothing has changed in the way this party mobilizes large sectors of the population in the interest of the capitalist elite. Unlike the FDP, which openly characterizes itself as a party of the elite and thereby always gets at least 5% of the vote [the minimum required for representation in parliament – trans.], the CDU is supposed to be a “people’s party” whose voter potential reaches well outside its own regular clientele (businessmen, self-employed persons).
“The facts surrounding the anti-terror action in Bad Kleinen have been cleared up, we introduced anti-crime legislation in 1994, we have worked out a concept for the BKA [federal crime bureau – trans.] and the BGS [federal border protection agency – trans.], the asylum-problem has improved, the violent PKK has been banned, and the program for internal security has been approved. That’s how I want to work.” – (Kanther, CDU, in an interview at the end of April)
To those people in Germany who have a lot to lose, and they are the majority, the CDU presents itself as a party of internal and external security. For internal matters, that means full prisons, more cops, more cops on the street, honourary cops, a lessening of the separation between the police and the intelligence agencies, etc. The new police bill introduced in Saxony, “the best and most modern one in all of Germany” (Kanther), calls for 14-day internment and eased restrictions on telephone tapping. Private guard and security services are the ones that profit most of all from all of this security hysteria: 280,000 of these security people are presently “protecting” cars, subways, airports, etc. External security politics for the CDU [“Safe into the future!” European election slogan – trans.] means not only developing the Eurofighter 2000, but also purchasing it for 102 million DM (Ruehe, CDU, wants 140 of these jets). The wall of security around the countries of the West European Union is a reality as of May 5 (cutting off Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Rumania, and the three Baltic
states). Previous associations with Norway, Iceland, and Turkey are being re-evaluated. All is quiet for the time being, because there are not enough provisions for the 50,000 soldiers who will make up the quick-reaction force, which will intervene in actions like the one in Somalia, because “until now, these were designed for action in Central Europe and they are not adequate to meet the demands of, for example, desert regions.”
“We Germans are, at the present time, once again being made into a fated society.”
– (Herzog, CDU, German president, in a magazine interview)
Since 1979, the CDU has always been the party which has filled the office of federal president [a significant albeit ceremonial post – trans.]. Richard von Weizaecker (CDU) was especially esteemed by a majority of the German population. From 1958-1962, he was a banker in Dusseldorf and Essen before moving to the chemical corporation Boehringer in Ingelheim. Weizaecker was the number-two man in this corporation, which made its profits by selling dioxins to Dow Chemical for its Agent Orange production during the Vietnam War. At the same time (1964-1970), he was president of the “German Evangelical Church Days”. Because he was so apt at joining one thing to another, he was predestined for the post of German president. And this is just what he did from 1984-1994: For thousands of people across the globe, he praised the murderous imperialist business practices of the great power Germany in his polite and refined christian way of speaking. On May 25 of this year, Roman Herzog (CDU) was sworn in
as his successor in the Reichstag during a 2.5 million DM ceremony. Herzog’s career is closely tied to that of the Nazi Maunz, with whom he studied and with whom he issued the “Maunz-Duerig-Herzog” commentary on the German constitution. Maunz makes no secret of the fact that he often gave judicial advice to the leader of the fascist DVU party, Frey. So it’s no surprise that Frey’s newspaper ‘Nationalzeitung’ wrote in 1982 that it’s impossible to imagine “a more honourable person than Dr. Herzog to serve at the head of Germany’s highest court”. In 1987, Herzog became head of Germany’s constitutional court, and even before his election as president, he stated in an interview with Focus magazine that he supports a form of politics which would have pleased his deceased friend Maunz. Focus: “The preamble of the German constitution speaks about the German people (“das Deutsche Volk”)…” Herzog: “The Weimar constitution phrased it even better: The German people, united in its roots… Those people that don’t wish to become German should be allowed an adequate amount of time to make up their minds. In the end, if they decide against taking up German citizenship, then we should say to them: We expect you to go back to that country which you consider to be your home.”
This Herzog-variation of “Foreigners out!” (“Auslaender raus!”) is to be seen against the backdrop of the development of CDU politics over the past 5 years: In 1989, the social polarization as a result of 7 years of CDU politics was extreme; while the so-called revolutionary left was more concerned with itself than it was with the development of a fundamental systemic anti-capitalist alternative, fascist groups shouted their racist “solution” to the problems of unemployment and a lack of housing: “Auslaender raus!” This fascist mobilization was successful: The Republikaner won 7.5% of the vote in Berlin in January 1989 and 7.1% during the European elections in June 1989. During their party conference in Bremen in September 1989, the CDU drew the necessary conclusions Instead of the solution offered by Lummer (CDU), who proposed a coalition with the Republikaner, a decision was made to make Republikaner voters feel at home in the CDU by forcing through anti-foreigner politics. Geissler was replaced as the party’s general secretary by Ruehe, and Ruehe got all the local CDU organizations to take up anti-immigrant policies step by step, thus clearing a path for the changing of Article 16 [the guaranteed right to asylum – trans.] in the German constitution. After November 9, 1989, the CDU made an offensive to present itself as a truly national party, thus leading to election success in the ecstatic year 1990. In 1992, camps were set up all across Germany where refugees were to be put during their first three months of residency. Ruehe’s campaign was tremendously successful: He achieved a sort of division of labour between the racists on the streets (Hoyerswerda, Rostock, etc.) and CDU party politicians. By means of a self-fulfilling prophecy, “so that things don’t get even worse”, the CDU was able to abolish the right to asylum in Germany. It’s no surprise that the vote to change the constitution and the fascist firebombing in Solingen took place during the same week in May 1993.
“The present levels of immigration exceed that which a population can successfully integrate.”
– (Olderog, CDU, during the parliamentary debate regarding the racist pogrom in Magdeburg on May 12, 1994)
Since November 1, 1993, the CDU has pushed through another extremely racist piece of legislation, namely the “Refugee Service Law”. Now, refugees receive only 80% the level of subsistence welfare payments given out to Germans, and even this is paid out in the form of humiliating food packets or vouchers. The levels of deportations have greatly increased since Germany’s constitution was changed. The Berlin interior minister Heckelmann (CDU) reported a six-fold increase in January 1994. On May 1, the first step was taken towards Germany’s biggest-ever deportation action: 100,000 Croatian refugees are to be sent back home, a move which the Croatian government has used to justify its deportation of 200,000 Muslim refugees back to Bosnia.
“We Germans need to once again feel ourselves to be one nation.”
– (Schauble, CDU)
Schauble, the present leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary fraction, is practically the number-two man in the party, and he is already preparing himself for the post-Kohl era. At the Berlin party conference in 1993, he gave a hint at its direction with his notions of a “protected and fated German society” and “our German fatherland”: The CDU as the party of German imperialism for the 1990s. The party delegates welcomed this ideological direction, and they rewarded him with standing ovations. With this direction, Schauble is not only reaching out to Republikaner voters, but he is also securing an ideological course which will hold together the party’s own 700,000 members after Kohl is gone. Schauble accepted his position as key negotiator, first with the last DDR government (the reunification agreement) and then with the SPD (changing the asylum clause in the constitution). But he is not only a pragmatic power-politician, but rather he is also one of the few CDU leaders who can effectively articulate the party’s ideology.
That is made clear in his 256-page book ‘Und der Zukunft zugewandt’, which is a mixture of bland capitalist political demands (for example, more daily hours of machine production) and reactionary-fascist proposals (he writes that the German (!) family is the foundation of the German state, and he hopes to reverse the declining birth-rate of the German (!) population, something which he describes as an “active form of constitutional
protection” for the German state).
Attack the CDU in those areas where the party has its decentralized bases of operation, the regional and local offices!
“Many different forms of armed actions and militancy will simply take place in various political and social confrontations. It doesn’t matter what the RAF or the prisoners say.”
– (Helmut Pohl, RAF-prisoner, August 1993)
Stop the state witness trial against Heidi Schulz which began on May 25!
Greetings and solidarity to Fatma, Mehmet, and Abidin!
We have nothing to lose.
Bomb Detonated In Front Of FDP Office In Bremen
Just one week before the “National Unity Fesitval” scheduled to be held in Bremen on October 3 to celebrate four years of German reunification, police detonated an explosive device which was discovered outside an office of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Bremen. The detonation blew out the windows of several surrounding buildings. The FDP party, headed by foreign affairs minister and former interior minister Klaus Kinkel, is the centrist coalition partner of German chancellor Helmut Kohl’s conservative CDU party.
The September 26 attack in Bremen was claimed by the Anti- Imperialist Resistance Cell “Nadia Shehadah”. In a seven-page communique delivered to the liberal newspaper taz, the Nadia Shehadah cell, which bombed a CDU office in Dusseldorf in June one week before the European elections, expressed solidarity with the RAF political prisoners collective as well as with the imprisoned anti-fascists in Berlin who are now on trial for the death of a leading neo-fascist figure back in 1992. The communique also spells out an extensive critique of the politics of the FDP, just as the June communique analyzed the politics of the CDU.
One day before the Bremen attack, on Sunday, September 25, a CDU building on the town of Siegburg was attacked. Four offices belonging to CDU politicians were destroyed by fire in the attack by the Nadia Shehadah cell.
Anti-Imperialist Cell Threatens New Attacks
Bonn, Germany (AFP) – A left-wing extremist group with the name “Anti-Imperialist Cell” has threatened further attacks on the so-called “German elite”. In a four-page communique which was sent to the AFP news agency in Bonn, the group recalled the bombing attacks on the CDU party office in Dusseldorf, the FDP party office in Bremen, and the CDU party office in Siegburg in June and September. The group’s resistance is aimed at the “politics of the ruling party block CSU/CDU/FDP/Greens/SPD”, which rules over Germany by means of an “all-party coalition”. The attacks in Dusseldorf and Bremen were claimed in a communique by the “Anti-Imperialist Resistance Cell Nadia Shedahah”, which characterizes itself as a follow-up organization to the left-wing extremist Red Army Fraction (RAF). The Siegburg attack was claimed by a group with the name “Barbara Kistler”. In this latest text, the authors call on people to support the accused RAF-terrorist Birgit Hogefeld, who goes on trial in Frankfurt on November 15.
(Translated from the Bavarian daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung – Tuesday, November 8, 1994)
Anti-Imperialist Cell Discussion Paper – Early November 1994
“The horrible realization was that we knew everything, yet did nothing, so things kept spiralling downward: each person, the group, ‘Stammheim’ the institution, guerrilla, illegality, apology. And now to see just how fucked up, dirty, and mean it is, and that the simplicity (on the one side) lies in once again recognizing oneself as a fighter, how it was, what you know about yourself, our methods, the level – to break through countless levels to arrive at ‘we’: reality as a fight – and certainly not a have/should have balance,…”
– (Ingrid Schubert, prisoner from the Red Army Fraction, November 21, 1976)
We have been struggling since April 22, 1992, for the creation of a militant anti-imperialist resistance in Germany. We want to contribute to the further development of a militant resistance in Germany, one which has its roots in the political content of the militant/armed struggle of the Red Army Fraction (May 14, 1970 – April 1, 1991). We don’t view militant resistance as something for the few, but rather as a matter for all those people who have not imprisoned their hearts and minds in resignation, depoliticization, and apathy. At the end of September/beginning of October in Bremen, it was shown, despite preventive measures from the German state, that various comrades from the anti-national resistance could articulate militancy from a position of weakness. The “politics of needle pricks” of the militant resistance, which Bremen’s interior senator Nispen (FDP) mentioned, was a politically painful reality for the self-representation of the German state. We deposited explosive devices in early June (before the European elections) at the CDU office in Dusseldorf and at the end of September (before the German elections) at the FDP office in Bremen. We did this, because we think it’s important to have a militant exchange with the politics of the ruling party bloc CSU/CDU/FDP/Greens/SPD. In our communiques from both actions, we attempted to thematize the politics of the ruling CDU and FDP parties. The result of the parliamentary elections is that Germany will in future still be ruled by an all-party coalition, as was the case previously. The situation in the institution conglomerate parliament/upper house/mediation committee makes that clear.
“An extra-parliamentary opposition which wishes to enter parliament loses its own quality and becomes a force of the system which can perhaps overcome the 5% hurdle, but which cannot carry out extra-parliamentary politics on the basis of a theoretically-grounded strategy.”
– (Agnoli, late 1968)
It’s not even worth mentioning the fact that the BSA [Trotskyist splinter-party – trans.]and the MLPD [the biggest Marxist/Leninist splinter-party in Germany – trans.] are on the
election ballot. But we do consider the effects of the PDS [Party of Democratic Socialism; has 30 seats in the German parliament – trans.] to be problematic. This party, which has established itself as the third-largest political force in East Germany, has caused several people who do not accept the ruling conditions in Germany to be fooled by the illusion that it is not necessary to self-consciously break through the boundaries for action set up
by the state in order to push through their demands against the satisfied majority of the German population. Even several West German leftists are fascinated by the PDS, which is grotesque when you consider the last 26 years of the history of the German left: The course of the ’68 movement could have taught us a lot about extra-parliamentary opposition. And then there’s the development of the Green Party: True, Fischer [parliamentary fraction leader of Buendis 90/The Greens – trans.] hasn’t yet been named as foreigner minister, but the “adaptation trip of these stuffy bourgeois fools”, as Jutta Ditfurth put it, will continue. If the German left does not draw any consequences from its history, then the further development of the resistance will certainly not be possible.
The task of leftists who define themselves as antagonists with regards to the German state is to concentrate on a consequential form of extra-parliamentary resistance politics in order to figure out how progress can be made on the path towards the self-organization of those people who, as a minority here in Germany, are interested in change. During the recent parliamentary elections, 19.3% of voters in West Germany and 26.3% in East Germany decided not to take part in the voting ritual. Leftists interested in becoming socially relevant should make an effort to understand the motives of these “non-voters”.
Even though the polit-cliques of the major political parties don’t like to talk about it, it still causes them to worry when, on June 26 for example, only 54.8% of eligible voters took part in the state elections in Saxony-Anhalt. After the general elections in 1990, the CDU in Stuttgart hired Dr. Eilfort from Tuebingen to carry out “abstention research” to figure out the political motives of “non-voters”, and he described his findings as “shocking”: Approximately 80% of “non-voters” described themselves as politically interested, but they reject the ruling political parties. These people assume that “the politicians do what they want”, they are unhappy with their socio-economic situation, they can’t identify a real political alternative and hence they become apathetic. Eilfort concludes in his dissertation: “There seems to be a strong correlation between poverty and voter abstention: Those people who should be most interested in change take part the least in voting.” The relationship between voters and non-voters is, therefore, a reflection of the splits within German society in general. The following data from the so-called poverty conference also illustrate these splits: In 1992, 7.5% of people in the West and 14.8% of people in the East had to get by with an income which was less than half the average level in Germany. Approximately 2.2 million children in Germany live in poverty (1 out of every 7 children). The minority cannot push through its demands against the majority through “democratic” legal means. Here is where the responsibility of militant resistance politics comes in.
Other comrades attacked the CDU office in Siegburg at the end of September. This was the office of the CDU/CSU parliamentary fraction’s external affairs spokesman, Lamers. Lamers, together with Schaeuble [head of the CDU parliamentary fraction – trans.], presented a paper from the parliamentary fraction on September 1 with the seemingly harmless title “Thoughts On European Politics”. This 14-page document could be considered the fundamental strategy for making Germany into a world power. Lamers/Schaeuble assume that Germany is destined to become a superpower “because of its geographic location, its size, and its history”. A quasi-ultimatum is issued to France,
together with the Benelux states, to force an integration of the so-called core of Europe, because otherwise Germany “might have to stabilize Eastern Europe on its own, with traditional means, on account of our own security interests”. At the end of Germany’s term as EU president during the upcoming summit meeting in Essen in December, a “development strategy” for the states of Eastern Europe will be presented, the goal of which is to expand the European Union to the east. Right now, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria are associated with the EU; agreements are now being prepared for the Baltic states and Slovenia. Germany has the biggest interest of all the EU-member nations of seeing the European Union expanded eastward: Germany controls more than 50% of all EU trade with Eastern Europe. Furthermore, Lumers/Schaeuble note that “the East is also an important arena for Germany’s foreign policy”, in other words, it’s a sort of front yard for military strategy. When Finland and Austria, and most likely Sweden and Norway as well, become EU-member states in January 1995, Germany’s role as the EU’s central power will be further strengthened.
In the Lamers-Schaeuble-paper, the relationship between Germany and France is described as the “core of the core”, with the Benelux states serving as filler; the EU commission’s future president, Santer (from Luxembourg), is a German/French puppet.Economically, Germany is dominant in the EU with its D-mark. It’s unlikely that Europe’s monetary union will go into effect on January 1, 1999, with the D-mark being dropped as the basis of predominance. Schaeuble/Lamers want Germany to advance, not only economically, but militarily/politically as well, to put Germany on the same level as the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. Therefore, Germany is willing to make a deal with France which will allow the French franc to gain from the D-mark’s
stability in the monetary union, as long as France is willing to help Germany to become a military-political superpower. France is willing to accept this deal; when France takes over the EU presidency from Germany in January 1995, they will put forward a plan to develop a joint air force which can be deployed in international missions. To emphasize this new cooperation for the French population, on July 14, German tanks were allowed to roll down the Champs Elysees for the first time since 1945. It is known that France continues to intervene in Africa with the arrogance of a military superpower and a former colonial power.
When the French government recently invited the German armed forces to take part in the intervention in Zaire/Rwanda, even Ruehe [German defence minister – trans.] was surprised. Along with the EU’s expansion to the east and the taking in of 4 new
members, the EU summit in Essen will also deal with the issue of EU politics with regards to non-EU states in the Mediterranean. There are plans to discuss “EU association treaties to create a free-trade zone” which will stretch all the way from Morocco to Israel. A common security strategy with all of these nations will be strived after, with only the Jamahiriya excluded. “We can’t concern ourselves with reformist demands to the
institutions of the EU. The decisive factor must be our resistance…” wrote comrades preparing for the demonstration against the EU summit in Essen on November 12. A precondition to the resistance on this day is continuous content work with regards to EU politics. Back in 1982, the May Paper [from the RAF – trans.] discussed the significance of the developments in Western Europe. When comrades from the guerrilla thematized the politics of the Western European Union in their attack on
Braunmuehl, this analysis had a rather singular character. A broad anti-EU discussion has thus far been lacking. Content work is made even more difficult by the fact that the institutional conglomerate of the EU apparatus is so hard to understand in its entirety. This can be confirmed by those people who have attempted to keep track of internal EU developments on such issues as the bioethics convention, patent standards, biotechnological discoveries, new food prescriptions, drinking water and pesticide guidelines, etc. On the other hand, there are facts which clearly illustrate the full inhuman extent of EU politics: While 786 million people are starving across the world, the EU bought up and destroyed 2.5 billion kilograms of fruit and vegetables in 1993/94. The world’s food production would be more than sufficient if things were distributed more justly; each person in the world could receive 2,500 calories per day, 150 more than are required for good nutrition.
“The fact is, if we don’t act now, a flood of refugees will overwhelm the states of Europe in the very near future. At the present time, there are approximately 100 million refugees in the world, fleeing for whatever reason. At least 10 million are seeking to enter the EU. Because of television, which broadcasts images of the high standard of living in the EU even to the furthest corner of Africa, the number of refugees seeking to enter the EU could swell as high as 20-30 million.”
– (state secretary Repnik, CDU)
The formation of the “European nation” (whatever that is), by means of which the fragmented metropolitan society will be held together, has bitter consequences for immigrants in the EU. In Germany, approximately 5,000 refugees are waiting to be deported. More and more of these are taking action to make their situation known to the public (for example in Bueren, Leverkusen, Kassel, and Berlin). The Nigerian refugee Kola Bankole did not survive his mistreatment in Frankfurt’s airport at the hands of the German federal border police (“biting protection” and sedative injections), and Tamil refugees drown in the Neisse river trying to enter German territory which is guarded by federal border troops – all of that is reality in this country. In France, repression minister Pasque is the main person responsible for state racism: Dark skin colour is enough of a reason for the police to terrorize migrants from Maghreb. Education minister Bayrou increased the racist mood in France with his decree issued on August 20. In Lille, for example, the head of the Lycee Faidherbe refused to allow 18 young women to attend classes at the school. The reason: they were wearing Islamic head scarves.
“Our only right to resist them, their laws, the system and its conformism, to resist the state, to defend ourselves against this day-to-day exploitation and humiliation, is the right to revolt, to refuse, the right of emancipation, the right to speak out, to take up arms, to criticize, to organize ourselves, to struggle, to rise up and fight to the end, everywhere, without pause.”
– (Joelle, Nathalie, and Jean-Marc, imprisoned militants from Action Directe, May 2, 1994)
Our politics will from now on be oriented towards making a militant/armed intervention in those places where the German elite have their workplaces and homes.
We call on all comrades to give solidarity and support to Birgit Hogefeld during her trial in Frankfurt.
Early November 1994
German Ex-Minister’s Home Bombed, No One Hurt
Hannover, Germany (Reuter – January 22, 1995) The home of a former German junior minister was bombed early on Sunday but he and his wife were out and no one was injured, the federal prosecutor’s office said.
A note claiming responsibility for the attack on the house of Volkmar Koehler in the northern town of Wolfsburg was found nearby.
Rolf Hannich, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, said the note appeared to come from the Anti-Imperalist Cell (AIZ), a radical offshoot of the left-wing Red Army Faction (RAF) urban guerrilla group.
The explosion damaged the front door and windows of the house. A second bomb was found outside the house and was defused by police.
Hannich said the note referred to Koehler’s role in foreign aid policy. Koehler, 64, was a junior minister in the Development Ministry from 1982 to 1989.
The prosecutor’s office believes the group carried out two bombings last year -at a Duesseldorf office of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and at an office of the Free Democrats, Kohl’s coalition partners, in Bremen.
The group is also believed to have carried out attacks since 1992 on Hamburg University’s law department and on the engineering industry employers’ federation Gesamtmetall. No one was hurt in the attacks.
A group signing itself “anti-imperialist resistance cell nadia shehadah” claimed responsibility in December 1993 for the Gesamtmetall attack. It called for the release of imprisoned RAF members and promised “selective attacks on individuals in politics and the economy.”
The group also criticised the RAF for seeking reconciliation with German authorities after a bloody 20-year campaign of kidnappings and assassinations against the establishment.
Authorities said at the time they believed the group could be composed of hard-core RAF members who disapproved of what they saw as its sell-out to the establishment.
Koehler is a former CDU member of parliament for Wolfsburg, He had also worked as a manager for carmaker Volkswagen, which is based in the town
A Critique Of The Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ)
During the heated general election campaign last year, we planted a bomb at the regional office of the christian democratic CDU party in Siegburg on September 24. Among others, the CDU’s parliamentary foreign policy spokesperson Kurt Lamers and CDU general secretary Peter Hinze had offices there. The media falsely credited this action to the Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ).
For this reason, we think it’s necessary to examine the politics of the AIZ and, on the basis of this critique, to start a discussion concerning the further-development of militant intervention. This paper is not just directed at the AIZ. We hope that we can contribute to the discussion of the goals of militant actions in the struggle of the radical-left towards socialism.
Although we initially considered the direction of the AIZ to be correct and therefore linked our struggle to theirs, both in terms of content as well as time period, we now realize that the AIZ would give different answers to several fundamental questions than
The AIZ disagreed with the RAF cease-fire of April 1992 and they see their own politics as the continuation of this old line.
We, on the other hand, see the break which was made by the RAF as the result of the past 20 years of politics. This break was an attempt to differentiate right from wrong, a method which is still a fundamental part of revolutionary development. The AIZ refuses to recognize this dead-end which the RAF had reached, as if there had never been any need to have a new beginning. Their actions are little more than just a cheap imitation of 20 years of armed experience. The RAF left lots of things open in terms of the further-development of their politics. They haven’t been able to fill in the gaps of their political content, but nor do they attempt to make up for their weakness, and the weakness of the left in general, by simply continuing on a path which has clearly failed.
“In order to create political pressure, we have consciously inserted a limited time and space of potentially lethal danger in those places where we carry out actions.” (AIZ 13.03.95)
Revolutionary responsibility means balancing the danger to those involved with the political effect. In this sense, those involved refers to anyone in positions of responsibility at the target attacked. Danger to uninvolved persons must, in every case, be prevented. We reject a lack of scruples, the notion that “the ends justify the means”. In our opinion, targeted attacks against individuals, and that doesn’t just mean the potential danger caused by an action, are out of the question at the present time in Germany.
Anyone in Germany who militantly intervenes in social processes must take the responsibility for the political repercussions. A death, even of someone involved in carrying out the action, would destroy all attempts to bring militant politics from out of the confines of a small circle of people. The attacks in Bremen (on the office of the centrist FDP party) and in Wolfsburg (on the house of Volkmar Koehler, former Secretary of State and present chairman of the German-Moroccan Friendship
Society) entailed potentially fatal danger, even for uninvolved persons. If someone had been killed in those attacks, both the immediate price (a life) as well as the political price would not in any way have justified the political benefit (anchoring) of the actions.
Revolutionary responsibility means always examining the danger posed to uninvolved persons and coordinating the technical aspects of the action in relation to this danger. The AIZ have not done this, and they have arrived at a position which we cannot agree
The Attack On The House Of Volkmar Koehler
We have the following criticisms of the attack on the house of Volkmar Koehler:
1. Inappropriate Means
A bomb can be a very useful tool for damaging the logistics of individuals, a corporation, a government office, etc. When placed in front of a house, this weapon merely becomes a symbol for a potentially deadly threat. Militant groups should reject this type of symbolic action because of the potential risk of killing uninvolved persons.
2. The Meaning Of The Attack
This attack had no meaning for people, neither in the general public nor within the radical-left. Nor will the action have any affect on the politics of the German-Moroccan Friendship Society, nor will it shed any public light on that group’s activities, at least not any more than what was written by the AIZ in their communique. Nor will the attack help strengthen progressive forces in Morocco.
3. The Communique And The Militant Action
The communique is a good research document on the situation in Morocco. It exposes the Friendship Society and its role in the Moroccan government’s war against the leftist opposition. But the communique fails to point out any possible perspectives for developments either here or in Morocco. The bomb exploded in a vacuum. The only effect it had, apart from damaging the house, was finding a broad readership for the communique. And by proclaiming a potentially deadly threat, the PR effect was increased even more.
In the Koehler communique, the AIZ make positive references to Khadaffi and the Islamic movement. Whereas political analyses can be made of the latter, we find it impossible to express any solidarity with the state of Libya. A purely anti-imperialist stance, such as Libya has, is not sufficient if this position is not also linked to the fundamental principles of emancipatory politics. For example, when Khadaffi writes in his ‘Green Book’ that the role of women is defined by nature and that a “woman who neglects motherhood has forsaken her natural role in life”, this removes any possibility for solidarity.
Imperialism means the economic and cultural exploitation of vast portions of the world by highly industrialized states. This is a form of capitalist values being placed on entire continents. An anti-imperialist struggle which only seeks liberation from imperialist conditions is not necessarily a progressive struggle if it doesn’t also seek liberation from the exploitation and oppression of some people by other people. A part of this, of course, is liberation from patriarchal structures. We need to measure anti-imperialist movements and organizations on the basis of their emancipatory content in order to join our struggle with their struggle for worldwide liberation. Only in this way can our international solidarity be put into practice.
The Task Of Militant Groups In Germany
The present situation of the left is characterized by splintering and collapse. Most political initiatives don’t progress beyond subjective elements of liberation. They look at social reality here in Germany based on their own political development. Militant fighting groups are searching for new ways to break out of this social isolation.
A central question of revolutionary politics is the question of anchoring. This has to do with socialist perspectives which can provide an alternative to capitalism for broad sectors of the population. We should make use of the gap between “those above who
do what they want” and those who say “what can I do about it?” in order to provide something positive for those people who want change. The objective weakness of the radical-left can only be changed through strong content and consistent politics in the
society, outside the confines of the scene-ghetto.
Groups who are concerned with the effects of the contemporary social order (neighbourhood groups, groups who work with the homeless and the unemployed, anti-racist groups, etc.) can provide the basis for revolutionary politics. If we can agree that different forms of struggle should relate to one another, then militant and armed initiatives have the potential to strengthen these movements and add pressure to their demands. They bring into question the omnipotence of capitalism and they can cause an objective material weakening of the logistics of the state while at the same time strengthening the radical movements.
The AIZ does not fulfil any of the criteria by which we measure revolutionary groups. For this reason, we suggest that they abandon their project.
Group Barbara Kistler
(Barbara Kistler was a Swiss internationalist who was killed by the
Turkish army in Kurdistan.)
Leftists Say They Bombed German Politician’s Home
Bonn, Germany (Reuter – April 24, 1995) A radical German left-wing group claimed responsibility on Monday for a weekend bomb attack on the home of a parliamentary deputy from Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
No one was hurt by the bomb, which was planted at the entrance of deputy Theo Blank’s house near the western city of Duesseldorf.
The Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ), believed to be an offshoot of the Red Army Faction (RAF), said in a statement that it had attacked Blank because he belonged to the leadership of the CDU’s parliamentary group.
“Without potentially lethal actions the German Left will not be able to exert the pressure on the elite which is necessary in the international struggle between imperialism and those fighting for liberation”, the AIZ said in a six-page statement delivered to the German news agency DPA.
AIZ also accused Germany of supporting Turkey’s military operations against Kurdish separatists and of profiting from arms exports at the expense of the developing world.
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office said it believed the letter was genuine. It said it matched a note sent after the most recent incident which the AIZ has claimed reponsibility for – a bomb attack on the home of former junior minister Volkmar Koehler, also of the CDU, in the own of Wolfsburg in January.
The office says the AIZ carried out two bombings last year – at a Duesseldorf office of the CDU, and at a Bremen office of the Free Democrats, Kohl’s junior coalition partners.
The AIZ is also believed to have carried out attacks since 1992 on Hamburg University’s law department and on the engineering industry employers’ federation Gesamtmetall.
The authorities have said AIZ members could be hard-core RAF members who disapprove of what they see as its sell-out to the establishment in recent years.
The RAF was once known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, named after founders Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, which became notorious for a series of killings and kidnappings it carried out in the 1970s.
German Politician Escapes Bomb Attack
Duesseldorf, Germany (Reuter – April 23, 1995) A German politician and his family escaped injury when a bomb, believed by police to have been planted by left-wing extremists, exploded outside his home on Sunday.
Police said the blast caused about $44,000 worth of damage to Christian Democrat (CDU) MP Theo Blank’s home near Duesseldorf.
Federal Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Rolf Hannich said Blank’s wife had heard a whistling noise early on Sunday morning and discovered a package near the entrance to their house.
Blank, his wife and son escaped through the rear of the house before the bomb exploded. No-one was injured in the blast.
The attack comes just days after police sealed off German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Bonn office on Thursday after finding a suspicious package outside.
The package, destroyed in a controlled explosion, turned out to contain a brake cylinder.
Earlier this month the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said it was opening a terrorist investigation after police discovered a van loaded with 120 kg (260 pounds) of explosives parked near a Berlin prison.
Warning! The Following Is Another Article About The Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ)
In Interim #327, the Group Barbara Kistler presented a discussion paper about the Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ). We are also working on such a paper and plan to publish it in the near future. This preliminary statement is a result of some comments made by Group Barbara Kistler. In short, what they wrote disturbed us so much that we couldn’t wait until our paper was finished.
We’re not really sure what Group BK hoped to prove by publishing such a paper. The paper was written in such a harsh style and showed no solidarity whatsoever, and some of the accusations made are way out of line when you look at what is actually stated in AIZ communiques.
The praxis and political orientation of the AIZ have been dealt with so superficially that all previous analyses are very suspect to us. In our opinion, the discussion papers of the AIZ have a high degree of political value. It is urgently necessary that all people interested in the further development and reorientation of revolutionary politics in Germany concern themselves with the AIZ. This text from us is our contribution to
Group BK wrote: “The AIZ could not accept the RAF cease-fire of April 1992 and their politics are a continuation of this old line.” This statement is completely false. As early as their first discussion paper (22.5.92), the AIZ wrote:” We want to learn from the theoretical/practical experiences of the guerrilla (that also means learning from their mistakes) and contribute to the further development of militant politics in this country.”
The notion that they are simply sticking to the RAF’s old line (up to April 1992) tells us that either you never read any of the AIZ’s papers or that you wish to consciously misrepresent the politics of the AIZ in order to discredit them. Even you all cannot deny the fact that the AIZ are one of the few groups right now in Germany seeking to propagate a reorientation of militant politics. As for analyzing the old politics of the RAF, the AIZ have already given us something productive to read (see their communique from 8.7.94).
We also find it impossible to see how you can justify your negative comments concerning the AIZ action against Kohler, for example by dismissing the action by stating that the potential for loss of life also applied to uninvolved persons. Sure, anywhere a bomb goes off or a molotov gets tossed danger can never be theoretically entirely eliminated since chance occurrences can result in uninvolved persons being harmed. Even with very careful planning, human beings cannot rule out bad luck. Even with your own action when a CDU office went up in flames, maybe someone (like a burglar, for instance) could have been inside at the time. Or maybe the cops in Berlin could have found the device which was designed to blow up the new deportation prison just at the exact moment it went off. As far as that action was concerned, these cops would have counted as “uninvolved persons” since they weren’t the target of the attack. But let’s forget about such useless and absurd speculations. It’s clear to everyone that actions should be planned in such a way that uninvolved persons are not harmed. But we can never fully rule out coincidences. We think the AIZ fulfilled these necessary criteria during their actions.
The next point we’d like to discuss is the segment of your text under the subheading “Solidarity”. You make it clear that it is impossible for you to be in solidarity with Libya. To justify this, you pull out quotations from Muammar Al-Khaddafi’s Green Book as proof of his non-emancipatory politics. This is further evidence of your superficial and casual approach to analysis. The damning of everything which doesn’t fit in with Autonome notions of PC is characteristic of the present times. The fact is, however, that the Great Socialist Libyan-Arab People’s Jamahiriya is the last clearly anti-imperialist state in the world. The Libyan people have developed a truly unique form of base democracy. The organs of popular power from the bottom (people’s referendums) to the top (general people’s congresses) are built on the principle of the reversed pyramid. The second element which is designed to guarantee the unperverted implementation of this popular power is the imperative mandate. This means that Libya has no system of representatives, rather delegates only come together when people’s congresses are convened. The illiteracy rate, which stood at 90% when Libya gained its independence in 1969, has sunk to less than 40% today, and school enrollment figures are presently higher than 90%. There are no slums, each family owns a home. Health care in Libya is free, a fact which has risen the life expectancy from 37 in 1969 to 60 today. Furthermore, the Jamahiriya is the only Arab country where all people are guaranteed a minimum income and a level of social security which is comparable to international standards. As for the role of women in Libyan society, Karam Khella wrote the following in the newspaper Al Karamah: “Libya is one of the only Arab or Islamic countries in which the traditional role of women has been surpassed in quick steps. In educational labor, and decision-making structures (people’s congresses), the number of women is continually rising. The mobilization of women has been a tremendous service to the Libyan revolution. From this, it can be seen that the praxis of women has gone well beyond the boundaries described in the third volume of the Green Book.”
Of course it’s clear that Libya is still a male-dominated society. But our point, in contrast to that of Group BK, is as follows: Especially now (with UN sanctions in place because of
Libya’s refusal to hand over two Lockerbie bombing suspects) the Jamahiriya is in a situation where they need support. The aggressors know that a land invasion of Libya would be a suicidal tactic. Because, under the motto “All weapons, wealth, and power in the hands of the people! The people armed shall never be defeated!”, ever since 1980 a policy of arming all Libyan citizens has been in place. So, the imperialist nations, especially the USA, have chosen other means, such as cowardly air attacks and sanctions, to destroy the Jamahiriya. The defeat of the Jamahiriya would be a heavy blow to all progressive anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist forces in the Arab region. So, let’s be active! Let’s not abandon them in their struggle against U.S. imperialism! The UN sanctions must be ended! (A good book about the Jamahiriya is “Libya In The Crosshairs” (Libya im fadenkreuz) by Ingrid Schnurbusch.)
In closing, we’d like to comment on Group BK’s call for the AIZ to disband. The Anti-Imperialist Cell is one of the only revolutionary militant groups in this country. Critiques of their content and praxis are certainly needed. But it’s also important to give each other solidarity. Demands that the AIZ cease to exist are counter-productive and seem similar to the methods of counter-insurgency. That’s all for now.
In honorable memory of Siegfried Hausner of the “Holger Meins Commando” who was murdered during the RAF’s occupation of the German embassy in Stockholm 20 years ago.
We will win!
The Fruits of Rage (Die Erben des Zorns)
“There are different places, but there is only one front – fight imperialism, everywhere!”
Another Critique Of The AIZ
Dear Anti-Imperialist Cell!
You all are doing a load of crap!
Most people on the left, those people you are trying to reach, either don’t understand your activities, or they reject them. The same is true for us, the editorial collective of ‘Agitare Bene’.
Let’s start with your internationalist political stance. You have interesting analyses of the politics of the FDP in Bremen (which are representative of their politics at the federal level) and the role of Germany and the UN in Magreb.
But that’s about it. We have fundamental problems with the way you carried out your last few actions, specifically the attacks on the homes of politicians Kohler and Blank. We haven’t read your communique for the action against Blank in Erkrath yet, but that’s not important as far as our critique is concerned.
A fundamental criteria for revolutionary actions is that those people who carry them out have things under control from start to finish so that all possible accidents are excluded. This is essential in order to prevent uninvolved persons from being hurt, something which would allow the other side to turn the action around and use it in its own favor.
You all were very irresponsible in your last actions which were aimed at the homes of politicians located in residential areas. As for the warning siren which you used in Erkrath, it’s unclear whether this actually scared people away or in fact drew curious people towards it.
And your formula of potentially “deadly threats” just adds to this. We think that this scarcely political position is just your attempt to escape having any sort of responsibility. Surely you all must know whether you want to kill someone or not (and why). Your formula seems to us to be something like, “oh well, let’s just do it and see what happens”. The revolutionary left in Germany can be glad that there were no injured family members or neighbours in Erkrath. Particularly in the aftermath of the Oklahoma massacre, the ruling classes could have utilized that to launch a massive campaign of repression against the left.
The superficiality of your praxis is reflected in other ways as well. When you set a barricade on fire outside the home of the parents of a GSG-9 commando, who was the target of the action but who didn’t actually live at the home which was targeted, you had
good intentions, but little else. So you shouldn’t be surprised if your actions are difficult to convey to people. Many people think that you all will simply accept anything that happens, just so long as your analysis is correct. Which brings us back to Erkrath.
We think you all need to have a fundamental discussion about what you are doing and how you are doing it. Because of the high standards which you aim at and the intensity level of the confrontation which you desire, you all have a level of responsibility which goes far beyond just yourselves.
Guerrillas Say They Bombed German Office Over Peru
Bonn, Germany (Reuter – December 27, 1995) A guerrilla organisation calling itself the Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ) said on Wednesday it bombed a Duesseldorf office block four days ago to highlight what it said was the plight of the majority of Peruvian people.
The blast, early on Saturday morning, shattered windows in a building housing the Peruvian consulate. No-one was injured.
In a 23-page statement sent to news agencies, AIZ said it planted the bomb to draw attention to conditions in which Peruvians lived. It warned of more “fatal” attacks to come. “With the explosives, which we put in the main entrace of a building…which houses the Peruvian Consulate, we highlight the situation of the majority of people in Peru,” it said.
In a statement written in a mixture of German, English, and Spanish, AIZ expressed solidarity with Peru’s clandestine Maoist guerrilla organisation, “Shining Path.” It criticised the German government for pursuing what it said were imperialist policies in Latin America and for promoting a “military-civilian dictatorship” in Peru. The group said it planned further “potentially fatal” action with revolutionaries inspired by Islam to fight imperialism.
The statement was signed “Action Khaled Kelkal” after an Algerian shot dead by French police on suspicion of having carried out a bomb attack in Paris in September. German prosecutors said they could not say yet whether the letter was genuine, but they said it looked similar to previous statements sent in the name of AIZ.
Germany Issues Arrest Warrants For Guerrillas
Bonn, Germany (Reuter – February 27, 1996) A German court has issued arrest warrants for two suspected bombers from the Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ), a shadowy guerrilla group blamed for recent attacks on politicians, the federal prosecutor said on Tuesday.
The two men were detained late on Sunday near Hamburg.
If police suspicions are confirmed, the detentions would be the first significant strike against the AIZ, which has claimed responsibility for a series of bomb attacks on the homes of second-tier politicians over the last year.
The prosecutor’s office said in a statement the two men, – identified only as Bernhard F, 28 years old, and Michael S, 29 years old – were suspected of attempted murder, membership in a terrorist organisation and of planting bombs.
The two were suspected of having bombed the Peruvian honorary consulate in Duesseldorf in December in an explosion that caused damage but no injuries.
The prosecutor’s statement said the two men were sighted driving near the consulate before the attack and in the area shortly thereafter.
They were later seen in the university town of Goettingen, from where a letter was sent claiming responsibility for the attack, it said.
The men were also suspected of having buried 3.5 kilos (7.7 lbs) of gunpowder near Berlin this month and of having unearthed it on Sunday. They were seized later that day.
The AIZ depicts itself as a successor to the Red Army Faction, once known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, which waged war on the German establishment with kidnappings and assassinations in the 1970s and 1980s.
There Are Many Ways To Express Leftist
Politics – One Of Them Is Solidarity!”
Some Thoughts About The Anti-Imperialist Cell
Bernhard and Michael have been in prison since the end of February. They are accused of being members of the “Anti-Imperialist Cell” (AIZ). The police and the federal prosecutor’s office are claiming to have finally captured some members of the AIZ. So far, we have neither heard nor read very much in the way of solidarity. With this text, we would like to offer a few thoughts for discussion and call for solidarity against the repression apparatus.
We aren’t going to speculate about whether or not the two men in question are actually members of the AIZ. We have no idea, and we are going to assume that the official statements which have been made regarding this matter are full of lies as usual.
What we do know is that both men have been active in the autonomist and anti-imperialist scenes for years now. We have been shocked by the non-reaction of the left-radical movement since their arrest. Over the last few weeks, the Interim hasn’t bothered to print anything about this incident. We feel that the arrest of two comrades who have been active in similar projects that the rest of us have worked on over the past several years is reason enough to demonstrate solidarity. A non-reaction only supports the cops, because it means going along with the cops’ claim that both men were part of the AIZ – for our part, we are always skeptical of official explanations.
Bernhard and Michael were part of the campaign against Shell, and both were jailed for one year because of this. They have struggled for the freedom of political prisoners, they
campaigned against militarism and fascism, and both traveled regularly to Berlin for the revolutionary May 1st demos. Both, like many others, were victims of the June 13, 1995 raids against Radikal, KOMITEE, and the AIZ. A typical, West German autonomist
resume. Our development was very similar in almost every way. The very fact alone that these two guys worked on similar projects as many other people who are facing criminalization makes it a scandal in our minds that both have been sitting in prison without anyone showing them the smallest bit of solidarity. Solidarity has two components: one personal and one political. It is essential that politically active people be able to rely upon support in the event that they become victims of state repression. If this fundamental security does not exist, then in principle there is also no basis for resistance. That’s why we feel it’s very important to support these two people. Politically, solidarity is a means of struggle. Since we know full well that the state will seek to repress all forms of fundamental opposition, we need to create conditions where opposition can exist and at the same time win some ground against prison conditions and create some publicity around political themes. Such a form of solidarity need not be defensive in nature.
At the present time in Germany, all forms of leftist, militant (not necessarily violent) resistance are being heavily repressed. In addition to the AIZ, there is the campaign against the editors of Radikal, the investigations against comrades in Frankfurt, Saarbrucken, and Wiesbaden because of the state informant Steinmetz, and the charges to be tried against alleged members of Autonome Antifa (M) in Gottingen; smaller AA/BO groups are also being investigated, albeit at a “lower level”. Militant groups have always faced repression, and it’s obvious that the cops aren’t just gonna let people plant bombs in front of the homes of members of parliament. (We haven’t mentioned the
repression against Kurdish comrades at this point because this fits into a different category.) Nonetheless, it seems that the state security apparatus has recently felt that it now has the chance to get a grip on all clandestinely organized left-wing opposition. The RAF’s statement in 1992 concerning their end to fatal attacks and the announcements of dissolution from several RZ groups and the virtual disbanding of that organization signalled the de facto end of all structures which had operated up until that time. Nothing had been heard from the Rote Zora [This is partially inaccurate as Rote Zora has carried out 2 actions in the last two years and released communiques for both. They also wrote and distributed a long history and self-critique called “Mili’s Tanz auf dem Eis” in December 1993 – ATS.] since the wave of repression in 1987. A lot of this had to do with the end of the East-West conflict and the increasing uncertainty and defensiveness on the left. The trials against Monika Haas, Johannes Weinrich, and Birgit Hogefeld are all about “revenge” and “wiping out the remnants”. What remains of the left has less points of orientation from which to develop militant, conspiratory politics. The cops know this as well. For those who continue to try, it has become much harder to act.
At this point, we’d like to comment on the notion that militancy today can only have a reformist rather than a revolutionary character. The times when militant, clandestine
groups represented a break with the capitalist system are over. What’s left are reformist actions: against Nazis, atomic waste transports, the wealthy, etc. They’re little more than an effective way of distributing leaflets, and although they exert a different form of pressure that legal actions, they have little antagonistic character. (A similar development can be seen in other European countries as well, with the exception of groups who have more of a national liberation character such as ETA or the IRA.) Maybe that’s why groups like the AIZ seem so anachronistic, because they are based on a point orientation which most people no longer have any hope in, and they don’t alter their praxis because they think that vanguard actions will somehow advance the movement.
What the AIZ are doing is trying to replace a lack of political strength with excessive radicalism. We think it’s great when comrades are willing to put all their strength into
something – that’s lacking in much of the autonome scene. The texts of both the AIZ as well as KOMITEE seem to speak of this. Such considerations aren’t new to us, but we have tried to balance this with reality and we have come to the conclusion that there’s little point in carrying out isolated actions. The praxis of the AIZ is a paradox: They seek to mobilize, but all they do is generate criticism. From this they draw the conclusion that
they need to become even more distant in their praxis, and yet they still seek to orient themselves to the left-radical scene. But it would make more sense for them to publish their statements in publications which deal with Islamic resistance rather that in the Interim.
We would like to discuss these points some more, because we think its important to understand attempts at revolutionary politics and to learn from them. There are two important things to keep in mind when evaluating militant groups: Where are they
coming from and what do they want. The AIZ see themselves as leftists who have come out of the anti-imperialist resistance, but they have chosen a path which many people fully reject and no longer consider progressive. We would be glad to know how all this came about. How did this separation come into being? It’s rather strange that a militant group could exist without any supporters, no scene which discusses its politics, nothing at all. In addition to being a criticism of the AIZ, that’s also indicative of the present situation on the left: The core of leftist politics must remain an understanding with others, the common search for liberation. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that such a development has happened at a time when the left is very weak. For this reason, we think that we all share the common responsibility to further develop leftist theory and praxis so that we can all struggle together. That’s why we show solidarity, as well as offer criticism. As for Bernhard and Michael, they must be released! We can only discuss their ideas and the praxis which they support when we are all together on the outside. We refused to sit around and talk about who what where when and why the cops have locked them up, just as we refused to do so for the Kaindl defendants, the Antifa (M), the Radikal suspects, and all others!
We haven’t said that much about the theory and praxis of the AIZ, because we felt it was more important to stress our solidarity, and also because several critiques of the AIZ have already been printed. We will publish our own sometime in the future, focussing primarily on the AIZ’s concept of the imperialism vs. Islam, because we believe that this is tending to replace the old antagonism of imperialism vs. socialism.
(Translated by Arm The Spirit from Interim #368 – March 21, 1996)
Alleged AIZ Members Still Not Charged As Solidarity Slowly Builds
Michael S. and Bernhard F. have been in prison since February 26, 1996 for alleged membership in the Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ). According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office (BAW) formal charges against the two men have still not been filed. The
investigations are set to last for some time yet. It seems that the media circus surrounding the arrest (complete with an anti-bomb robotic device) suggested more evidence at hand than was actually the case. For example, still unexplained is the
contradiction between police claims that the two men were under surveillance during the time of the attack on the Peruvian consulate in Dusseldorf by means of a homing device in their car and the fact that they then managed to shake off the tail.
Both men are accused of membership in a terrorist organization (Paragraph 129a) as well as attempted murder and the use of explosives. According Michael’s lawyer, Ursula Erhard, both men are being held in isolation, one in Lubeck and the other in Cologne-Ossendorf.
The leftist scene remained hesitant following the arrests in February. The autonomist weekly “Interim” completely ignored the arrests for several weeks. The reason for the group’s isolation from the scene are critiques of the AIZ, especially the group’s outdated anti-imperialism and open support for Islamic fundamentalism. Many people even wonder if the AIZ are “leftist” and those arrested “comrades”. But since then, solidarity groups and anti-repression committees have called for the unconditional release of the two men, who to this point have not commented on the claims that they are AIZ members. “Not showing solidarity with Berhard and Michael simply because they are accused of membership in the controversial group AIZ means believing all the lies of the BAW”, stated the Anti-Repression Group in Aachen.
A similar argument has been put forward by the Solidarity Group in Hamburg, which has formulated a “general notion of solidarity” which “offers support and protection for all comrades who face state repression and destruction”. The Solidarity Plenum in Lubeck has also called for the “immediate release of Michael and Bernhard”. The two prisoners are now being included in solidarity leaflets concerning the wave of police raids on June 13, 1995.
(Translated by Arm The Spirit from Junge Welt, April 13/14, 1996)
Partial Admission In AIZ Trial
So There Were Only Two Of Them After All…
Everyone involved in the trial was taken by surprise. State’s attorney Heike Beck-Klein immediately reached for her pen. Defense attorneys rubbed their eyes and likewise tried to take down the statement word for word. The five judges in the State Supreme Court in Dusseldorf sat up in their comfortable chairs.
Bernhard Falk, who is on trial together with Michael Steinau charged with membership in the Anti-Imperialist Cells (AIZ) and attempted murder, stared in disbelief at his former schoolmate. Although Steinau had previously refused to make any statements with regards to the charges against him, the former physics student now said: “I admit to carrying out the attack.”
The trial against Bernhard Falk and Michael Steinau has been going on for the past ten months in Dusseldorf, Germany. The two are accused of a total of six bombings which were carried out in 1994 and 1995 and which were claimed by the AIZ. Steinau, 31-years-old, has been in custody since February 1996. He took the stand after the Christian Democrat (CDU) Member of Parliament Paul Breuer. Breuer, whose house was attacked in September 1995, testified as a witness and said the attack had “put the lives of innocent people in danger”.
Steinau, who, like Falk, has converted to Islam, replied to Breuer that “the paths of their lives had crossed”. He admitted: “I am jointly responsible for the attack on your house, and I took part as a member of the AIZ.” Before this statement, much to Breuer’s dislike, the accused gave a lengthy statement on the topic of Christianity and Islam.
When the wife of the MP took the stand and described the attack, the former-autonomist, now a Muslim, interrupted: “Without me, this attack could not have taken place.” But today he no longer supports the goals of the Anti-Imperialist Cells. “That was a mistake, he said.
Falk, on the other hand, has up until now described the trial as a “construction”. His lawyers have tried in recent weeks to have him released from custody due to a lack of evidence in the trial. In support of this application to the court, Falk, who has been in prison for 30 months already, started a hungerstrike. Steinau’s confession does not yet constitute a turning point in the AIZ trial. The state is still seeking life terms for both
men. But now, as before, it’s still not clear who actually belonged to the AIZ. The isolated AIZ, which began to identify itself with radical Islam and which was always a controversial group among the radical-left, is considered to be an exaggerated phenomenon by many people. Since the arrest of Falk and Steinau, the group has not been heard of.
In the past, Germany’s intelligence agency speculated that there could be as many as four dozen activists in the group. Now the state is simply trying to find a mysterious “third man” to meet the legal requirements for a “terrorist organization” [under German law, a criminal organization must have at least three members]. At least one supporter of the group has come forward so far: Michael Steinau.
(Translated by Arm The Spirit from ‘jungle World’ #38 – September
Update On The AIZ Trial In Germany;
Six Months In Prison For Witness Who Refused To Testify In The
Since November 1997, Bernhard Falk and Michael Steinau have been on trial at the State Supreme Court in Dusseldorf, Germany on charges of violating Article 129a, “forming a terrorist organization”, namely the Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ). They are also charged with participation in several bomb attacks. A prosecution witness from the North Rhine Westphalia state intelligence agency, Mr. Duren, told a tale to the court that the
former Aachen Anti-Repression Group was a front for the AIZ. He accused three women of being AIZ members, and he accused other members of the Aachen Anti-Repression Group of complicity in AIZ actions. He also accused people in other cities of being “contact persons” for the AIZ.
At the beginning of March of this year, Judge Ottmar Breidling called seven witnesses to the trial, including Frank Ament, who had moved from Hamburg to Berlin. Frank called in sick and did not attend the court session. He was called again to testify on March 23. Frank did not go, so he was fined 400 DM and sentenced to four days in jail. On April 11, 1999, he was arrested at his home in Berlin and taken by force to Dusseldorf. In the courtroom, he stood with his back turned to the judge and did not respond to any of the questions which were put to him. The court sentenced him to one week in jail for his conduct, and ordered him to testify on April 20. But the judge, noting Frank’s “political motives” in refusing to testify, ordered that Frank be held for six months and pay a fine of 800 DM.