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Der Baader Meinhof Komplex

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  635 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Gerade noch rechtzeitig, bevor sich das 68-er Jubiläumsjahr mit dem Kinostart des oskarverdächtigen Spielfilms Der Baader Meinhof Komplex zu Ende neigt, hat der Autor der Drehbuchvorlage, Stefan Aust, eine neue Version seines gleichnamigen Werkes von 1985 vorgelegt. Natürlich drängt sich bei diesem Timing der Verdacht auf, es ginge dem unlängst geschassten Chefredakteur de ...more
Paperback, 660 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag (first published January 1st 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,168)
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Niklas Pivic
The German avant-garde group Einstürzende Neubauten's name means "collapsing new buildings" in English; it points to a couple of relevant things as far as the RAF is concerned:

1. They were young, they collapsed.
2. The name can refer to the state of Germany - and/or its youths - to youths growing up just after the Second World War.

The RAF - also referred to as the Baader-Meinhof group - seems to me a desperate yet affectionate bunch of terrorists. They had strong political beliefs, wanted to topp
K.J. Pierce
I'd been eyeballing this book for months and decided to pick it up after I saw the movie (which was good, too, but left me with a ton of questions). My interest in the Red Army Faction goes back to my childhood growing up in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and a RAF-planted bomb exploding at the base in 1985. The book itself answered a ton of questions, but it was terribly difficult to get through. There is an overall sense of linear narrative, but the book seemed to bounce back and forth between di ...more
Thomas Paul
I grew up with protests against the Vietnam War and with radical leftist organizations like the Weathermen and the RAF. The RAF were perhaps a little more mysterious because they were in far off and, at the time, divided Germany so I was always interested in them. When I discovered this book by Stefan Aust I was excited about the opportunity to read it. I was soon very disappointed. It’s not that there isn’t a lot of interesting information in the book. The problem is that the author didn’t actu ...more
Meticulously researched to the point of nearly drowning within the chaos of the terrorist activities of the Red Army Faction. This is a riveting account of how the idealism of opposing the rise of the right wing in 1960s and 1970s West Germany began to emulate the same atrocities and intolerance within its own ranks through an embrace of violent means. The RAF managed to unleash a wave of crime that forced the German authorities to modernize their means of investigation and prosecution. And for ...more
"Baader-Meinhof: The Inside Story of the R.A.F." is an interesting and important book that explores the history of a group of self-described revolutionaries and their attempts at revolution in then West Germany. The primary focus of the book is on the founding members of the group called variously the Red Army Faction, the Baader-Meinhof group or the Baader-Meinhof gang (the first by the group itself, the latter two by supporters or detractors, respectively), a group that was active from 1970 th ...more
George Ilsley
Having recently seen the movie based on this book, I wanted to learn more about events I barely am able to remember. (The movie is very faithful to the book).

In this telling, we can glimpse the rise of the Big Brother surveillance state, as well as modern techniques for negotiating in hostage situations (ie never give them anything). Even modern prison systems seem designed to prevent things that happened with the RAF members while imprisoned.

Also, there is always a stock character in these narr
Laura Delgado
I was curious to read this book after watching the movie (which is highly recommended!). Although the beginning of the book is quite interesting and easy to read, the level of research and information later on makes it a bit tedious. It took me two months to finish it because it lost me halfway. It is a big book, but I know it took me way longer than it would have usually taken me because of the density of the contents (it is, after all, a real-life account) Still, an interesting and detailed re ...more
i've found that speech is useless without an action.))
Christopher Saunders
Stefan Aust presents a remarkable portrait of the Red Army Faction, West Germany's most successful left-wing terrorist movement. Aust shows the RAF born of outrages like the police murder of Benno Ohnesorg, an assassination attempt on radical leader Rudi Dutschke and American military bases throughout the country. He profiles Andreas Baader, rootless anarchist-turned-urban guerrilla; Gudrun Esslin, the ferocious pastor's daughter who achieved "a state of euphoria" through terrorism; and Ulrike M ...more
Extremely detailed account of Germany's urban guerilla Baader-Meinhof Group from its beginning in 1970 to the deaths of the original leaders in Stammheim in 1977. The group later known as the Red Army Faction continued its terrorism through the 80's and 90's, but this account focuses on the years 1970-77 from its inception with Baader, Ensslin, and Meinhof. Fascinating to read about how such a group came to be, their terrorist training in Jordan, how the police tried to catch them, and later the ...more
Terrorism today is never far from most people's thoughts. Baader-Meinhof offers a gripping account of one of the most violent terrorist groups of the late twentieth century, in a compelling look at what they did, why they did it, and how they were brought to justice.

"The Baader-Meinhof Group--later known as the Red Army Faction (RAF)--was a violent urban guerilla group which terrorized Germany in the 1970s and '80s, killing 47 people, wounding 93, taking 162 hostages, and robbing 35 banks--all i
Of course I saw the film first, because I didn't know anything about the RAF at all before the film, but after seeing it--and it's really great, incidentally--I had to know everything I could about it. This book is really quite good. I'd give it five stars except it's a little choppy in places, and could've been a bit clearer in some of its explanation of the timeline, but I appreciated how plainly Aust tried to tell the story with as little judgment as possible, on either side. I still cannot u ...more
A great book. This is how marxism-Leninism meets the nuthouse. And of course, this should happen in Germany, in the 70's. Amazing how the ideals and Utopias from the 60's gradually degenerate into a nonsense violent political movement with a very small number of members, none of them very sane from the head and, at the same time so influential. Those seeds are still blossoming today (black blocs are a good example) with a mix of anarchism, anti capitalism and violence. The book is very well deve ...more
Jules Newschool
Interessante Sichtweise auf die Geschehnisse und die Motivation der Terroristen. Teilweise mit Vorsicht zu genießen sind die einseitigen Meinungen der Protagonisten. Die Motive der Täter, Mitläufer und Sympathisanten werden in "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex" sehr gut deutlich.
Umbedingt Lesenswert um einen wichtigen Teil deutscher Geschichte und unsere Elterngeneration zu verstehen.

Meiner Meinung nach handelt es sich bei diesem Buch um ein reines Info-Medium, welches jedoch aufgrund der rasanten u
If you haven't seen the movie yet, just watch that. It covers the same material in much less time.

If you have seen the movie and want more information about the political philosophy or the social circumstances (institutional sexism/feminism, post WWII reconstruction, etc.) that lead to the creation of the RAF, you won't find it here. The author seems to have deliberately eschewed almost any analysis in order to be unbiased in his painstakingly detailed recreation of events.

However, Aust does ref
Stefan Aust's Baader-Meinhof: The Inside Story of the R.A.F. is probably as good a narrative of these confusing events as we are ever going to get. Using a journalistic and chronological fact-driven approach, Aust delivers the core points of the narrative without dwelling on excessive historical analysis - that task is largely left to the reader (and quite correctly so). [return][return]In the end, the point of the story is illuminating, depressing, and still quite relevant to the contemporary w ...more
Smart, committed and murderous people are interesting to read about. I was a military policeman in Germany in the mid-80's and remember memorizing pictures of the last wave of RAF members. Responded to their bomb threats as well. I recall how the wanted posters had fewer and fewer members each time they were reprinted, which was fine by me, as they were intent on murdering US servicemen during this period.

Anyway, the book is entertaining, and tends to jump around quite a bit. One can tell this w
A recap of the RAF, from its beginnings to the end. Unusually neutral, Aust gives you the events (and the occasional criticism of both sides) without providing the reader with the comfortable idea of clearly good and bad guys as well as one can do this in a story involving terrorists. This book allows you to form your own opinion.
Stephen Nicholas
So, the questions left in my mind are: how much of the RAF terrorism was a reaction to American imperialism in Indochina; how much was due to the self absorption of the RAF members, and delusions of their own self importance; how much was down to the ineptitude of the German authorities; and what caused the "radicalization" (I know the word is anachronistic in this context) of these young people, was it societal anomie, was it youthful idealism, or was it a reaction against the claustrophobic an ...more
Tereza Fuková
Jul 16, 2014 Tereza Fuková rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tereza by: Timo
Es ist etwas gruselig, wenn man bedenkt, dass alles, was in dem Buch beschrieben wurde, wirklich auch passierte. Auf jeden Fall (obwohl mir die Handlung nicht immer gefallen hat) fand ich das Buch sehr gut, obwohl es für mich sehr Zeit aufwendig war.

Vzhledem k tomu, že o popisovaném období se ve školách vůbec neučíme a běžný mladý člověk o něm asi nemá vůbec tušení, jsem tuhle knížku opravdu ocenila. Autor je věcný, nestraní ani jedné straně a popisuje události tak, jak se (pravděpodobně) odehrá
Anneke Boerkamp-oostwoud
Soms blijft nieuws je altijd bij. Als kind hoorde ik op de radio van de bevrijding van het Lufthansa vliegtuig en de dood in Stammheim van RAF-gevangenen. Dit boek gaat over het ontstaan van de RAF, de "successen" en de uiteindelijke ondergang. Blijft interessant om te zien hoe mannen en vrouwen, hoogopgeleid en afkomstig uit normale gezinnen, zo beïnvloed worden dat ze er voor kiezen om terrorist te worden. Een keuze die ze soms met het mes op de keel (figuurlijk) moesten maken. Goed gedocument ...more
Kaum hatte ich die Vorschau auf den kommenden Film gesehen, dachte ich, ich muss das noch einmal lesen. Man kann die hierin aufgehäuften Fakten und Details ja nicht ewig im Kopf behalten. Ich habe das Buch jetzt zum zweiten Mal gelesen - zum ersten Mal in der überarbeiteten Neuauflage. Ich staune immer noch, wie man diese schiere Masse an Informationen und Zusammenhängen so in Form bringen kann. Das alleine ist schon beeindruckend und ich bin jetzt gespannt, wie der Film das schaffen wird (ab En ...more
Ich habe das Buch als Vorbereitung auf den Kinofilm (den wir mit der Schule schauen sollten) gelesen und für mich ist es im Gegensatz zum Film wirklich gut. Der Film zielt viel zu sehr auf Unterhaltung ab und distanziert sich nicht vom Terrorismus. Das Buch ist für mich DAS Werk über die RAF. Eine detailierte Auseinandersetzung mit dem deutschen Herbst die einen über alles geschehene informiert. Auch wenn man selber nicht dabei gewesen ist, meint man nach dem Buch diese Zeit und ihre Themen zu k ...more
It's rare to find a work of non-fiction that can be so emcompassing as to be exhaustive without being exhausting. Without a recap, because I'm too lazy to get into it, the Aust's history of the RAF is passionate and informed, and despite his peripheral proximity to the group (he worked alongside Ulrich Meinhof for a leftist magazine in the '60s and briefly became a target of the group for helping her children escape to their father), he never stoops to romanticizing or demonizing the actions of ...more
Steve Indig
Fascinating and disturbing history. Sometimes almost too detailed, but well written.
This covers the events of the German Red Army Faction. They were leftist terrorists fighting the remnants of the Nazi culture in Western Germany from the late 1960s until the mid 1990s. Their methods were crude compared to today’s standards, yet the police at the time had never dealt with their level of sophistication. This book is an important lesson… never piss off the left wing to the point of violence. When the intelligent finally are provoked to anger, their minds are hard to stop.
Ho comprato il libro solo perchè il film che ne hanno tratto mi piacque assai... Na palla pazzesca! Il libro ti ammorba di dettagli, chi ha fatto cosa, a che ora e dove, ma si perde là dovo io volevo profondità. Mi sarebbe piaciuto un approccio più articolato alle motivazioni che hanno spinto dei ragazzi a mollare tutto, studi, famiglia, amici, per abbracciare la lotta armata. invece questo aspetto viene trattato solo di striscio, e nemmeno in modo soddisfacente.
A reasonable read, not too dry and weighty. Gave a good overall background to the armed struggle of the RAF, though I personally thought that there could have been a little more depth to the book. The chapters tended to be very short, and at times, extremely terse (almost throwaway in their narrative. Gave no real insight into the motives of the key players, though I did find the story of the main principals time in prison enlightening.
A disappointingly superficial and journalistic survey of the peak years of the Red Army Faction in the 1970s. This never really seems to get to grips with the origins of the movement or to get inside the minds of the main players - which surely is the point of main interest. What was it that drove this desperate band of Maoists and pseudo-Maoists to murder, bomb and shoot their way through 1970s West Germany?
Peter Jakobs
650 pages about 7 year in Germany's 1970s and 47 deaths.

Most of the text can be read as a adventure story and it

probably was the most thrilling aspect of my childhood.

Not really recommended if one really wants to learn about

the background of this rather brutal and irrationale aspect of

BRD society that time.
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