Rote Armee Fraktion - Documents
This is a collection of 1,200 digitized documents by and on the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction, 'RAF'). The aim of this website is to provide these documents in their authentic form to researchers, historians and other people interested, not to support or oppose any views expressed in these documents. The collection is the digitized version of the original documents held at the Rote Armee Fraktion Collection of the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam (see http://www.iisg.nl/archives/en/files/r/10844439.php). A complete list of documents is available at http://www.iisg.nl/archives/docs/raf.pdf.
The collection can be browsed by folder. Documents can be searched by author and title. All documents are available as PDF files, scanned from the originals at the International Institute of Social History. Full-text versions of the most important documents are provided, which can be searched too, and a number of translations in English and French. (The German full-text versions have been checked against the originals word for word. Many translations were sourced from superficially translated copies that could only be corrected to some extent; English translations partly from A. Moncourt, J. Smith, The Red Army Faction: A Documentary History, Montreal 2009-2010. Other translations often sourced from poorly translated documents that have only been corrected to some extent.).
You can also consult a bibliography, a chronology of events, a list of the main RAF-related collections at archives and libraries, a list of the Stammheim prisoners' library and other additional documents. This website will be extended later with a poster gallery.
The Rote Armee Fraktion was founded in 1970 as a group of urban guerilla in West Germany. The group considered itself part of a larger anti-imperialist movement in the continuation of liberation movements in the Third World and the student revolts of the sixties. In May 1972, the group committed its first bomb attacks against US-Army bases in West Germany and other targets. After the arrest of its leaders, the struggle was continued in prison, with hunger strikes and a learning program. Despite several waves of arrests, the group continued to be operational, e.g. with the kidnapping of German Employers Federation president Hanns-Martin Schleyer and the killing of captains of industry and representatives of the political establishment. In the course of 1992 activities stopped, and in 1998 the group was dissolved.
This collection was compiled and digitized by Ron Augustin, a member of the group from 1971 and imprisoned in West Germany from 1973 to 1980. It includes all publications, interviews, communiqués and other public statements of the Rote Armee Fraktion. Also included are documents from internal discussions, as well as letters, discussions, press releases, pamphlets and brochures reflecting the group's strategic considerations and struggles inside and outside prison. Documents on groups and movements in other countries have been included in as far as they were considered relevant for the comprehension of the Red Army Faction's history and international context.