Tupamaros West Berlin

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The Tupamaros West Berlin (TW) were a left- wing terrorist group of a maximum of 15 people, which existed from November 1969 to July 19, 1970. Its founder was Dieter Kunzelmann . Members of the group carried out firebomb attacks in West Berlin , in which no one was injured by chance. Historians and political scientists see the group as the ideological forerunner of the terrorist organizations Movement June 2nd and the Red Army Faction , primarily because of their appeal to the originally Latin American concept of the urban guerrilla .

Foundation and concept

The Tupamaros West Berlin emerged from a subcultural West Berlin scene of around 100 residential communities, which called themselves " blues " and were connected to one another through informal, personal and political contacts without a fixed form of organization.

Kunzelmann, founding member of West Berlin Commune I , began looking for more radical forms of action from the summer of 1969. His girlfriend Ina Siepmann , Albert Fichter , Georg von Rauch and Roswitha Lena Conradt traveled to Jordan at the end of September 1969 and received training in firearms and time bombing at an Al-Fatah camp from October 5th . There the plan arose to form a group in Berlin for the “armed struggle” against “US imperialism ” and “ Zionism ”. What was meant were acts of terrorism using incendiary bombs against various institutions that were seen as a means of suppressing the Palestinians and other peoples.

When he returned to Germany on November 2, 1969, Kunzelmann initiated the founding of Tupamaros Munich with Fritz Teufel in Munich , and then that of Tupamaros West Berlin in West Berlin. In addition to those who traveled to Jordan, members included Thomas Weisbecker , Hilmar Budde and Annkathrin Brunn . Both groups were founded to provide practical and organizational support for an international campaign of the PLO that began on November 2, 1969 against the states in the Middle East that had emerged since the Balfour Declaration and to propagate this support within the APO .

The name of the group followed the model of the underground movement Movimiento de Liberación Nacional - Tupamaros in Uruguay . They carried out attacks in large cities in the 1960s and 1970s, kidnapped high-ranking personalities and robbed banks. Kunzelmann's concept was close to the concept of an “urban guerrilla” that Ulrike Meinhof announced a few months later .

Attack attempt on the Jewish parish hall in Berlin

The target of the first Tupamaros bomb attack: Jewish community center on Fasanenstrasse

On November 9, 1969, the deliberately chosen anniversary of the November pogroms in 1938 , Albert Fichter placed a bomb with a time fuse in the Jewish parish hall in Berlin. It was supposed to explode during a memorial service for the November pogroms, which did not happen because of an old primer. The timer was triggered. According to a report by the explosives experts of the Berlin police, who detonated a replica, the bomb "tore up the house" and killed many of the 250 participants in the memorial event. Among those present were the Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Schütz and the chairman of the Jewish community, Heinz Galinski .

According to Albert Fichter , his brother Tilman Fichter and other witnesses, Kunzelmann was the initiator and planner of the attempted attack. This was already known to the investigators when they were interrogated in November 1969. Albert Fichter fell out with Kunzelmann over the attack, fled abroad from criminal prosecution and thus left the Tupamaros West Berlin.

In 2005, the political scientist Wolfgang Kraushaar revealed that Peter Urbach , an undercover agent for the Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution , had delivered the bomb. Through him, the Berlin authorities knew the names of the perpetrators involved, which were named in the final report of a special commission. However, the prosecution did not bring charges; the then responsible public prosecutor did not want to comment in 2005. Kraushaar explains this with the "great loss of reputation of the Federal Republic" if the attack on the Jewish community center was carried out with state funds. Urbach's role in the attack has not been fully clarified.

The Tupamaros West Berlin justified the attack in a leaflet that appeared in the scene magazine Agit883 as the start of a West German campaign against Zionism and the State of Israel. They wanted to persuade the APO to no longer give priority to the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War , but to support the struggle of the Palestinians against Israel in the Middle East conflict . Possibly, according to another interpretation, they carried out the attack on direct instructions from the Palestinian Al-Fatah. In both cases, the act is an example of anti-Semitism in the process of decay of the APO, when parts of it turned to left-wing terrorism. It is discussed whether this anti-Semitism must be seen as "the decisive root for the attack and to what extent this anti-Semitic dimension can be considered exemplary for the decay phase of the 1968 movement."

Kunzelmann stated in his autobiography in 1998 that the attempted attack was counterproductive: "It should have been clear to every leftist that such an action could not arouse any sympathy for the legitimate concerns of the Palestinians." He did not share responsibility for the act itself. He did not take part in the debate about his role triggered by Albert Fichter's confession.

Further attacks and dissolution

At a meeting of leading West Berlin Tupamaros with the later RAF founders Andreas Baader , Gudrun Ensslin and Horst Mahler in March 1970, there was no joint organization because Kunzelmann and Baader both aspired to a leadership role and the concept of subculturally embedded, loosely networked Tupamaros West Berlin could not be reconciled with the strictly paramilitary and conspiratorial form of organization that Baader was aiming for.

In May 1970, a new member of Tupamaros West Berlin single-handedly carried out an arson attack in the building of the Supreme Court in Berlin-Charlottenburg.

Kunzelmann, who had been put out to search after November 9, 1969, was arrested on July 19, 1970 at Berlin-Tempelhof Airport. He was facing a long prison term. Thereupon the Tupamaros West Berlin disbanded.

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Armin Pfahl-Traughber : Left-wing extremism in Germany: A critical inventory. Springer, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-658-04506-7 , p. 167
  2. Aribert Reimann: Dieter Kunzelmann: Avant-gardist, protester, radical. Göttingen 2009, p. 232 and 250
  3. ^ Gerd Langguth : The protest movement in the Federal Republic of Germany: 1968-1976. Science and politics, 1976, p. 242.
    University of Political Sciences Munich, Hanns Seidel Foundation (Hrsg.): Political studies: monthly books of the University of Political Sciences Munich, issues 366-368. Isar-Verlag, 1999, p. 78.
    Wolfgang Kraushaar: The RAF and the left terrorism, Volume 1. Hamburger Edition, 2006, ISBN 3-936096-65-1 , p. 528-530.
    Jan Fleischhauer: SPON - The Black Channel: Propaganda indeed. In: Spiegel Online . February 21, 2013, accessed November 7, 2019 .
  4. Aribert Reimann: Dieter Kunzelmann: Avant-gardist, protester, radical. Göttingen 2009, pp. 14 and 250.
  5. Aribert Reimann: Dieter Kunzelmann: Avant-gardist, protester, radical. Göttingen 2009, p. 232.
  6. Aribert Reimann: Dieter Kunzelmann: Avant-gardist, protester, radical. Göttingen 2009, p. 236.
  7. Wolfgang Kraushaar: The RAF and the left terrorism, Volume 1. Hamburg 2006, p. 247 and 259.
  8. ^ Wolfgang Kraushaar: The bomb in the Jewish parish hall. Hamburg 2005, p. 39.
  9. a b Gerd Koenen : Rainer, if you only knew! The attack on the Jewish community on November 9, 1969 has now been solved - almost. What was the role of the state? In: Berliner Zeitung . July 6, 2005, accessed November 7, 2019 .
  10. Aribert Reimann: Dieter Kunzelmann: Avant-gardist, protester, radical. Göttingen 2009, p. 246 f.
    Stefan Reinecke : The split off assassination attempt. In: taz.de . July 1, 2005, accessed November 7, 2019 . Philipp Gessler, Stefan Reinecke: “We didn't take it seriously”. In: taz.de. October 25, 2005, accessed on November 7, 2019 (interview with Tilman Fichter ).
  11. ^ Steffen Mayer, Susanne Opalka: Bomb terror against the Jewish community - after 30 years the perpetrator unpacks. In: Contrasts . November 10, 2005, archived from the original on December 27, 2012 ; Retrieved November 7, 2019 (reprinted on blog.lucidaintervalla.com).
  12. a b Wolfgang Kraushaar: The ultimate provocation. In: taz.de. November 12, 2005, accessed November 7, 2019 .
  13. Dieter Kunzelmann: Don't resist! Pictures from my life. Transit, 1998, ISBN 3-88747-132-6 , p. 128.
  14. Aribert Reimann: Dieter Kunzelmann: Avant-gardist, protester, radical. Göttingen 2009, p. 10.
  15. Aribert Reimann: Dieter Kunzelmann: Avant-gardist, protester, radical. Göttingen 2009, p. 254.
  16. Aribert Reimann: Dieter Kunzelmann: Avant-gardist, protester, radical. Göttingen 2009, p. 254.