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The exhibition focuses on the attack of the Red Army Faction in the 70s that made headlines around the world : “Assassinato il più alto magistrato tedesco” – “Four die in kidnap of German industrialist” – “L’Allemagne encore sous le choc de l’assassinat de Schleyer” and points the way citizens and politicians dealt with the Red Army Faction’s terrorist violence.
The exhibitions will try to answers questions such as how did the RAF justify the attacks? What consequences did the acts of violence have for the families of the 34 victims and for the people who survived an attempted murder?
Using the original concept of an exhibition shown in the Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart under the title “RAF – Terror in the Southwest” the German Historical Museum has expanded it to include important new aspects. Previously unpublished film excerpts, photographs and contemporary flyers illustrate scenes of the violence that contributed to the radicalisation of the student protest movement in West-Berlin from 1967 to 1970.
For many people the shooting of Benno Ohnesorg on 2 June 1967 and the attempted murder of Rudi Dutschke on 11 April 1968 were a turning point. A minority decided to take up the armed struggle against the state. The beginning of the history of the RAF dates from the time of the forcible freeing of Andreas Bader from prison detention on 14 May 1970.
How can terrorist violence be combated without jeopardising the democratic state? The question is still relevant today. Letters, sound clips and film documents show how citizens and politicians were actively engaged in bringing the violence to a halt and at the same time maintaining an atmosphere of constructive debate. “The urban guerrilla in the form of the RAF is now past history”, declared the Red Army Faction when they dissolved the organisation in April 1998. The exhibition shows, however, that the confrontation with acts of violence is by no means over.