Hells Angels

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A member of the New York Charter on a Harley-Davidson

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club ( HAMC ) is a motorcycle and rocker club whose members typically ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It was founded in 1948 and is currently represented in 32 countries with so-called “charters” (local or national clubs). Nationally and internationally, the club has been regularly brought into connection with various criminal offenses by authorities and the media for decades, and there have been repeated convictions of individual members around the world, e. B. due to violent and drug offenses, offenses against sexual self-determination and protection rackets, as well as bans on entire charter. Any activity of the club is prohibited in the Netherlands .


Members of the California charter with typical leather frocks

The club was founded on March 17, 1948 in the United States in Fontana ( San Bernardino County , California ). Under the leadership of Ralph "Sonny" Barger , other clubs joined forces under this name from April 1, 1957 in Oakland, California . In the course of the 1960s, the group expanded first across the USA, the American continent and then to other countries.

In 1969 the Hells Angels hit the headlines when they acted as stewards at a Rolling Stones concert at Northern California's Altamont Speedway , the Altamont Free Concert . 18-year-old spectator Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by a member right in front of the stage after he was drugged and pulled a gun and aimed it at the Rolling Stones . The court recognized self-defense and cleared the folder.

Charter London was accepted as the first Hells Angels in Europe on July 30, 1969. The first Hells Angels group on the European mainland originated in Switzerland . She received the license in late 1970; Martin "Tino" Schippert is considered to be its founder . In the north of Germany, a rocker group was formed in the late 1960s under the name "Bloody Devils" ; on March 16, 1973 she founded the first regional agency in Germany in Hamburg (see Hells Angels Germany ).

The club made a massive impact in Germany in November 1999 when the most important German motorcycle club up until then, the " Bones ", was transferred ("patchover") . Before that there were charter (subgroups) in Hamburg , Stuttgart , Kiel and Berlin .

The first Hells Angels Charter in Austria was founded in 1975 in Vorarlberg. In the following years the Charter Vienna, Carinthia, Tyrol, Styria and the Nomads in Upper Austria were founded.

According to their own statements, the Hells Angels are based on four values : honesty, reliability, respect and freedom.

The club

Name and symbols

Club name and Death's head emblem as a tattoo
This B-17 (No. 41-24577) belonged to the 358th Bombardment Squadron of the 303rd Bombardment Group ("Hell's Angels") and was recorded on May 13, 1943 at the RAF Molesworth base in Great Britain. It was the first B-17 in the 8th US Air Force to complete 25 missions and returned to the USA on January 20, 1944 after a total of 48 missions for a publicity tour.

The name goes back to a 1930 film by Howard Hughes which, under the title Hell's Angels, dealt with the experiences of fighter pilots of the British Royal Flying Corps in the First World War . The film had its television premiere in Germany in 1986 under the title Höllenflieger . During the Second World War , a USAAF bomber squadron named themselves after the term coined by the film title, Hell's Angels ; this was also the name of at least one B-17F Flying Fortress bomber (Boeing B-17F-25-BO “Hell's Angels” serial number # 41-24577).

The first club in Fontana, founded a few years after the end of the war, then adopted the term in the different spelling Hells Angels , i.e. without an apostrophe . The Hells Angels MC makes it clear on its official website that no member of the 358th Bombardment Squadron of the 303rd Bombardment Group ( Hell's Angels ), nor any member of any of the various other military aviation units that have adopted the name Hell's Angels , is ever a member of the Hells Angels MC . The only connection between the Hells Angels MC and a military unit of the same name is Arvid Olsen. He suggested that the motorcycle club be named "Hells Angels". Arvid Olsen was a member of the Flying Tigers squadron and was friends with some of the founding members of the Hells Angels MC , but never became a member himself.

Today, club members usually wear a (sleeveless) robe made of denim or leather with back patches ; leather jackets with back patches are sometimes worn. The typical backpatch insignia of the Hells Angels consist of lettering with the club name Hells Angels , the abbreviation MC for Motorcycle Club and the name of the respective country or local charter as well as the Hells Angels emblem, a skull with a helmet and wings.

The emblem is also known as Death's head (dt. Skull ), respectively. The lettering is always in the club colors "red on white", that is, as red lettering on a white background. As a font , the font is uniformly Hessian Regular (except for the lettering "MC") used and the lettering are generally only in capital letters executed.

The backpatch emblem Death's head and the name Hells Angels are protected by trademark law. It is also important to the club and its members that these labels are only used by club members and only within the club. That is why there are a number of paraphrases for the club name. For example, 81 have the same meaning, where 8 and 1 stand for H and A (after the respective position in the alphabet), i.e. the club's initials. Other logos are Big Red Machine and Red & White (after the club colors). The letters AFFA , which mean Angels Forever, Forever Angels, are often found .

Worldwide charter

The Hells Angels are currently represented in the following countries: USA, New Zealand, England, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Austria, Canada, Netherlands, Denmark, France, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Finland, Liechtenstein, Spain, Belgium, Argentina, Wales, Czech Republic (Bohemia), Greece, Portugal, Chile, Croatia, Russia, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Turkey, Poland, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Thailand, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia, the Caribbean, Serbia, Slovakia, Estonia, Romania, Albania, Japan and Ukraine.

Bulgaria, Uruguay, Peru, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ecuador and Namibia are currently listed as “prospect charters”, Venezuela as so-called “hangaround charter”.


The structures of every charter are as follows:

  1. President - managing the charter
  2. Vice-President - Deputy to the President
  3. Secretary - Administration
  4. Sergeant at Arms - responsible for club discipline
  5. Treasurer - treasurer
  6. Road Captain - organization of motorcycle convoys
  7. Member - member
  8. Prospect - candidate for member status
  9. Hangaround - Candidate for prospect status
  10. Supporter - supporting a charter, not a member

Sociological assignment

From a sociological and criminological point of view, the Hells Angels movement can be assigned to a subculture . It is a closed group of people who have different and differentiated norms and values ​​compared to the dominant culture. Subcultures are formed in particular as a reaction of a collective due to adjustment problems in combination with an unequal social situation.

Hells Angels events

A party over a whole weekend, the so-called "World Run", has been held annually since 1979 in a country where the Hells Angels are represented. Only members of the Hells Angels as well as "prospects" and "hangarounds" are allowed to participate, other people only by express invitation.

One of the most famous public Hells Angels events is the "Bulldog Bash" of the Hells Angels England. This takes place every year at the beginning of August in Stratford-upon-Avon in the English county of Warwickshire .

Proximity to crime

Member of the Australian Charter
Hells Angels motorcycles parked in a San Francisco entertainment district
Profiled by the US Department of Justice

Incidents in Europe

In Scandinavia , the Hells Angels fought a rocker war with the Bandidos in the 1990s, with many dead. The grueling competition for drug and arms trafficking and pimping was fought with hand grenades , submachine guns and grenade launchers . In 1996 the Vice-President of the Bandidos was assassinated in Helsinki . The gang wars continued, so in May 2007 there was a stabbing between a bandido and five Hells Angels.

In December 2007, the Catalan police dissolved Charter Barcelona for drug and arms trafficking and extortion. The seized material also contained a swastika flag.

The Hanoverian Frank Hanebuth was arrested in Mallorca in July 2013 together with 20 other Hells Angels members. As the head of the Hells Angels charter "Spain", he is accused of forming a criminal organization, promoting illegal prostitution, drug trafficking and money laundering, among other things. Hanebuth had acquired several brothels. There are also reports on the mistreatment of prostitutes.

At the end of May 2019, a court banned all Hells Angels activities in the Netherlands. The ban not only applies to the Dutch branch of the club, the global organization is no longer allowed to be active in the Netherlands. The organization poses a threat to public order, the court said.

Incidents in Germany

The first German charter of the Hells Angels was founded in Hamburg in the 1970s and was active in St. Pauli and on the Sternschanze for a long time . On August 11, 1983, the then Interior Senator Alfons Pawelczyk (SPD) put an end to the hustle and bustle of the Hells Angels, who had meanwhile also established themselves as brothel operators in Hamburg. 500 police officers stormed the Angels Place clubhouse on Sternschanze. Among other things, several members of the higher Angels hierarchy were accused of having been involved in the brutal killing of a disco operator on Sylt in 1980 . In 1986, this procedure led to prison sentences of six months on probation up to seven years against 13 members of the gang concerned and the ban on the Hamburg charter and its symbols. The ban could only be enforced on the basis of the Association Act, because the Hamburg Charter as an e. V. was registered. Sufficient evidence could not be produced for a prohibition according to § 129 StGB (formation of a criminal organization). The association's ban was upheld in 1988 by the Federal Administrative Court. Today there is another Hells Angels Charter ("Harbor City") in Hamburg. Wearing his symbols was banned until 2012; In March 2012 a Hamburg magistrate decided that the symbols could be worn openly again. The Hamburg Regional Court overturned this judgment; the appeal of the accused before the OLG Hamburg failed.

After the transfer of all "charter" and associated with about 250 of the 497 members of the then largest German motorcycle club Bones , the Hanoverian Bones Charter with its President Frank Hanebuth under the emblem of the Hells Angels in the Hamburg Kiez (= red light district) became active and took power in numerous brothels, including the " Laufhaus " and the "Pascha" on the Reeperbahn . Some women were allegedly ill-treated and forced into prostitution by the Hells Angels . After a senior Angels member beat up a woman, she reported him to the police. In a major raid with 400 police officers on November 1, 2000, the association's new leadership was arrested.

Helmut "Miko" Mikolajek, a leading figure in the Karlsruhe Hells Angels, a 42-year-old brothel owner and well-known red light star in Karlsruhe, was shot dead in broad daylight in a downtown café in January 2004. Previously, in December 2003, a bomb attack on him had failed because of a loose contact in the explosive device. The background to the act were disputes over open pecuniary claims in the red light district.

The Stuttgart Hells Angels present themselves very differently than in Hanover, Hamburg or Karlsruhe (as of 2006). After the Hamburg group was banned in 1986, these are currently the oldest existing German Hells Angels Charter. President Lutz Schelhorn is a photographer full-time and organizes, for example, exhibitions and guided tours on the subject of the deportation of fellow citizens during the Nazi era.

After previous disputes between Hells Angels and Bandidos in Bremen, 47-year-old Hells Angels member Robert König, a motorcycle dealer from the Laggenbeck district, was murdered on May 23, 2007 in Ibbenbüren (Münsterland) . "Robert 81" was "Road Captain" of the Bremen Hells Angels Charters, but lived outside of this region in the Osnabrück area, where supremacy is claimed by the hostile club of the "Bandidos-MC". The trial against two suspected Bandidos members was opened on December 17, 2007 at the Münster Regional Court . Heino B., 48, and Thomas K., 36, were charged with joint murder. Around the start of the process, there was a dispute between members of both clubs in Münster , in which a member of the Bandidos was injured. The process was accompanied by strong security measures. On June 10, 2008, the two defendants of the Bandidos were each sentenced to life imprisonment for the collective murder of the Hells Angels member.

The members of the Hells Angels are also increasingly becoming victims of violent clashes, for example in 2008 when members of the Bandidos MC were attacked on Hells Angels members in Berlin or when a Hells Angels member was shot in Cottbus. In 2009, a trial took place before the district court in Kiel, in which a member of the “right-wing scene” was charged with a knife attack on a member of the Hells Angels, in whose environment there were repeated dangerous attacks.

On the night of October 31st to November 1st, 2009 there was an argument in Duisburg between the members of the hostile groups. The Bandidos clubhouse in Duisburg was stormed and damaged from the outside, in Solingen shots were fired at the residence of some members of Charter Midland, a hand grenade was thrown against the building, but did not explode and was blown up under controlled conditions by the police.

On May 4, 2010, two members of the Hells Angels were sentenced to prison terms of seven and a half years for bodily harm resulting in death and four years for aiding and abetting before the Kaiserslautern Regional Court. The proceedings concerned the killing of the president of the charter Donnersberg des Outlaws MC in June 2009 by multiple knife wounds. The court is convinced that these were carried out by another Hells Angels member who is still on the run.

As part of investigations into disputes in the red-light district, a SEK official from Rhineland-Palatinate was shot through a closed door by a member of the Hells Angels during a house search on March 17, 2010 . The officer succumbed to his injuries a short time later, and the rocker was acquitted by the Federal Court of Justice for defending against putative action .

On May 16, 2011, the former president of the Berlin Hells Angels Charter “Nomads”, Holger “Hokko” Bossen, was attacked by strangers on his property in Altlandsberg near Berlin and seriously injured with knife wounds. Bossen refused to cooperate with the police. In addition to rival motorcycle clubs, such as the Bandidos or their supporter clubs, Hells Angels were also obvious suspects, as Bossen had been excluded from the Hells Angels in 2009 because he is said to have embezzled funds from the club's coffers. He was thus “out in bad standing” ( fair game ) according to the rules of the Hells Angels.

On June 10, 2012 there was another assassination attempt on a former president of the Berlin Hells Angels Charter "Nomads", the 47-year-old André Sommer. Sommer was hit by six bullets and critically injured in front of his restaurant, the “Germanenhof” in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen . Sommer is considered a long-time friend of probably the most influential German Hells Angels, the Hanoverian Frank Hanebuth , president of the Hanover Charter.

Rivalry with the Bandidos

There are often arguments between the Hells Angels and the Bandidos . The press often speaks of a "rocker war" in this context.

In the first half of 2008, a trial against members of the Bandidos was brought before the Münster Regional Court because they were alleged to have shot a member of the Hells Angels in Ibbenbüren . Because of the known hostility between the two groups, there was a large contingent of police on the first day of the negotiations with identity checks. After the first day of the negotiation there was a fight between around 40 members of both groups. On June 10, 2008, the judgment was announced at the Münster Regional Court. Both defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment for collective insidious murder . The judges considered the perpetrators of the two defendants to be proven in view of the available evidence . The defense had demanded acquittal. The police secured the verdict with about 1000 police officers.

At Pentecost 2010, at a public press conference in Hanover, the two rival clubs decided that from now on coexistence would be possible and the dispute would be settled. The police union as well as politicians at the federal level consider these statements to be a tactic to mask criminal machinations and to divert attention from further criminal activities such as human and drug trafficking.

The Flaßhofstrasse in Oberhausen was fought over between the Bandidos and the Hells Angels in 2013. The president of the Oberhausen Hells Angels, previously head of a previous chapter of the Bandidos, was tenant of eight of the 16 houses on Flaßhofstrasse in 2013; the struggle for supremacy was fought with fights and shootings.

Bans on German charters

  • Charter Hamburg: since 1986
  • Charter Düsseldorf: since 2001
  • Charter Flensburg: since April 29, 2010
  • Charter Borderland (Pforzheim): since June 10, 2011
  • Charter Frankfurt: since September 30, 2011
  • Charter Westend: since September 30, 2011
  • Charter Kiel: since January 31, 2012
  • Charter Cologne: since May 3, 2012
  • Charter Berlin: since May 24, 2012
  • Charter Bremen: since June 5, 2013
  • Charter Göttingen: since October 24, 2014


Films with or about the Hells Angels.

  • 1966: The Wild Angels (The Wild Angels) - USA; Actors: Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra
  • 1967: Hell's Angels on Wheels - USA; Actors: Adam Roarke, Jack Nicholson, Oakland Hell's Angels
  • 1969: Gimme Shelter - USA; Cast: Rolling Stones, Ike and Tina Turner, Jefferson Airplane, Meredith Hunter, Oakland Hell's Angels
  • 1969: Hell's Angels '70 - USA; Starring: Tom Stern, Jeremy Slate, Ralph "Sonny" Barger, Terry The Tramp, The Oakland Hell's Angels
  • 1971: Rocker - Germany; Director: Klaus Lemke ; Performers: laypeople from the Hamburg neighborhood , a. a. Members of the then Hamburg motorcycle club Bloody Devils (from which the Hells Angels' charter Hamburg, which has since been banned, later developed)
  • 1983: Hells Angels Forever. The True Story of an American Phenomenon - USA; Starring: Sandy Alexander, Ray Archuleta, Ralph "Sonny" Barger, Bo Diddley, Jerry Garcia, Willie Nelson
  • 2011: Hells Angels vs. Bandidos - The Rocker War - France; Documentary about the two motorcycle clubs and their global conflicts
  • 2011: 81 - The Other World: The World of Hells Angels - Germany; Documentary with Frank Hanebuth and Ben Becker
  • Adrian Winkler: Tino - Frozen Angel. Xenix Film, Switzerland 2014. ( film review and trailer )
  • 2014: A Hells Angel Among Brothers - Germany; Documentary by Marcel Wehn


Songs that mention the Hells Angels.


Web links

Commons : Hells Angels  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. hells-angels.com
  2. nationalmuseum.af.mil ( Memento of the original dated February 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.nationalmuseum.af.mil
  3. Memphis Belle # Notoriety
  4. Photo of the Boeing
  5. ^ Hells Angels MC History. Archived from the original on December 10, 2010 ; Retrieved December 10, 2010 .
  6. - ( Memento of the original from January 9, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved June 26, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / affa.hells-angels.com
  7. Florian Albrecht: Prohibition of the Hells Angels Charter in Germany - a criminological and association law analysis . In: Monthly magazine for criminology and criminal law . No. 2 , 2012, ISSN  0026-9301 , p. 115-131 .
  8. ^ Siegfried Lamnek: Theories of Deviant Behavior 1: "Classical" Approaches: An introduction for sociologists, psychologists, lawyers, journalists and social workers . 8th edition. UTB, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8252-0740-3 .
  9. ^ Hamburger Abendblatt, February 28, 2006
  10. "Hells Angels" rockers shot
  11. Desarticulada una banda de motoristas que traficaba con drogas y extorsionaba (Caso Abierto) ( Memento of the original from December 26th, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.casoabierto.com
  12. "Hells Angels" arrested on Mallorca ( memento from July 25, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), ndr.de, July 23, 2013
  13. Frank Hanebuth on Mallorca: Rockerboss in Handschellen spiegel.de, accessed on July 26, 2013
  14. Tobias Morchner: Frank Hanebuth faces 23 years in prison , HAZ, August 4, 2013
  15. Rocker hell on Mallorca: This is how the Hells Angels' prostitution business worked. In: Focus Online of November 7, 2013, accessed January 8, 2014
  16. ^ "A culture of violence": Dutch court bans Hells Angels. Spiegel Online, May 31, 2019, accessed May 30, 2019 .
  17. How the »Angels« made the neighborhood hell ( Memento from March 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Hamburger Morgenpost, December 15, 2005 (Part 1)
  18. mopo.de
  19. Judgment of April 7, 2014 Az. 1 - 31/13 (Rev), 1 - 31/13 (Rev) - 1 Ss 90/13
  20. http://bike-time.ch/d/biketime.cfm?mNavID=6&sNavID=16&ssNavID=0&btDetID=462 ( Memento from December 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  21. Hamburger Morgenpost December 16, 2005 (part 2)
  22. Suspected angel of death arrested (sueddeutsche.de)
  23. spiegel.de: Montenegro: Suspected "Hells Angels" contract killer captured
  24. Lutz Schelhorn (homepage)
  25. focus.de December 2, 2006: Hell angel looking for traces
  26. a b c gang war in rocker air (sueddeutsche.de December 17, 2007)
  27. Police arrest suspects
  28. ^ Spiegel Online
  29. During the transport, the accused were blindfolded and blindfolded in order to keep them in the dark about their location and thus prevent any attempts by the Bandidos to rescue them.
  30. No mercy for Killer Bandidos (star)
  31. Good rockers don't chat . In: taz Berlin
  32. Shots at competitors . In: Berliner Morgenpost
  33. ^ Gang war: Hells Angels against neo-Nazis . The time
  34. Special Commission against Rocker Violence . Rheinische Post
  35. Mild judges for the hell angels (stern.de, May 4, 2010)
  36. Reinhard Scholzen : The Rockers. Loyalty, respect, brotherhood or criminal associations? In: Mut , No. 7/8, 2012, pp. 42–49.
  37. Hells Angel shoots SEK officers . In: Spiegel Online , March 17, 2010.
  38. ^ BGH acquits Hells Angel after police death . In: Rhein-Zeitung , November 3, 2011.
  39. Injured ex-rocker remains silent about the attack . In: Berliner Morgenpost , May 17, 2011.
  40. Former rocker boss stabbed near Berlin . In: Berliner Morgenpost , May 17, 2011.
  41. Nomad's President struggles with death . In: BZ , June 10, 2012.
  42. ^ Police raid on the Hells Angels . welt.de
  43. n-tv article
  44. Rocker process: I am released to be shot. Spiegel Online, March 4, 2008, accessed March 20, 2012 .
  45. Murder Trial: Deployment of the Rocker Armies. Spiegel Online , December 17, 2007, accessed March 20, 2012 .
  46. Rocker Murder Trial: Life sentences for two members of the Bandidos. Spiegel Online, June 10, 2008, accessed March 20, 2012 .
  47. M. Voltmer, J. Godau: Today peace pact with the star lawyer. In: picture , May 26, 2010.
  48. Rocker: Bandido shot - raid on Hells Angels in Oberhausen . In: The West , November 10, 2013; accessed on January 8, 2014
  49. recht.nrw.de (accessed on July 20, 2011)
  50. Hells Angels and Bandidos banned in the north . stern.de, April 29, 2010
  51. RegioNews ( Memento from July 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on May 24, 2011)
  52. a b Hesse's Interior Minister Rhein forbids “Hells Angels” . welt.de Retrieved September 30, 2011
  53. ^ Raids: North Rhine-Westphalia's Interior Minister bans Hells Angels in Cologne spiegel.de, May 3, 2012
  54. Hells Angels rock club banned in Berlin . welt.de, May 30, 2012
  55. ^ Raids in Bremen and Lower Saxony: Hells Angels ban in Bremen . In: Weser Kurier , June 5, 2013
  56. BAnz AT October 27, 2014 B9