Wolfgang Kraushaar

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Wolfgang Kraushaar (2012)

Wolfgang Kraushaar (born September 2, 1948 in Niederurff ) is a German political scientist at the Hamburg Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Culture . Since 1981 he has been a member of the Association of German Scientists .


Kraushaar grew up in the north Hessian village of Niederurff, his father was a car mechanic, his mother ran a grocery store. From the 5th grade up to the Abitur in 1968 he attended the König-Heinrich-Schule in Fritzlar . His brother is the journalist and writer Elmar Kraushaar . A key event during his school days that contributed to his politicization was the prominent death of GDR refugee Peter Fechter at the Berlin Wall in 1962. In 1966/67, Kraushaar was the only one in his environment to oppose being drafted into the Bundeswehr and to apply for recognition as a conscientious objector . After his recognition, he completed the community service assigned to him in 1969/70 as a nurse in the closed department of a psychiatric clinic in the Taunus . Together with other community service providers and with the support of a senior physician, he organized an innovative gathering of patients there, at which they could openly express their concerns for the first time. In connection with this experiment, the group of people doing community service was dismissed, which saved Kraushaar the last third of his year and a half of service. He then continued his political science , philosophy and German studies at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main , where he was involved in the student movement. In 1972 he was a co-founder of the Socialist University Initiative, as its candidate 1974/75 chairman of the Frankfurt AStA .

From 1975 to 1977 he was employed as a lecturer at the New Critique publishing house , and from 1978 to 1982 he worked at the Didactic Center of the University of Frankfurt . In 1982 he did his doctorate with Iring Fetscher with a dissertation on the structural change at the German university. Since 1987 he has been working at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS). His research is primarily devoted to the investigation of protest movements in the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR from 1949 to 1990, in particular the 68 movement , RAF and K groups , as well as totalitarian and extremism theory , pop culture and media theory . Because he saw empirical deficits in researching new social movements , he helped to build up an archive on “Protest, Resistance and Utopia in the Federal Republic”, which now represents the main part of the HIS archive headed by Reinhart Schwarz as an archival special collection . In 2004 he was visiting professor at Beijing Normal University in Beijing .

Chronicler of the 1968 movement

Kraushaar is considered a chronicler of the 1968 movement. As early as 1977 he published the first chronology of the student movement . Since 1992 he has published another episode, From the Protest Chronicle, in every issue of Mittelweg 36 . With the Protest Chronik 1949–1959 published in 1996, he corrected the picture of the supposedly apolitical early years of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In particular with his publications on the myths of the 1968 movement, the genesis of West German terrorism, left - wing anti-Semitism, and Rudi Dutschke's nationalism and understanding of violence , he sparked long-lasting controversies. In the year of the 50th return of the 68ers, Kraushaar published three of his own titles and a review that Patrick Bahners described as bullying .

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Benno Ohnesorg , Kraushaar emphasized on June 1, 2017 that not only Dutschke, but also members of Commune I and members of the RAF were deeply rooted in Protestantism and had Christian underpinned their revolutionary Marxist sentiments. Dutschke referred to Jesus throughout, if not publicly, at least in a smaller circle.

Working on left-wing terrorist groups

Kraushaar is considered to be one of the most prominent German researchers on the history of radical left-wing terrorism. He published one of the standard works on the Red Army Faction with The RAF and Left Terrorism . He dealt intensively and critically with the Verena Becker case and its possible role in the assassination attempt on Siegfried Buback in 1977 and published a book about it. He also took part in the trial against Becker as an observer and commented that, in his opinion and that of other observers, "the state is defending the accused". It is a " perversion of the rule of law when the representative of the prosecution secretly represents the interests of the accused, in this case an ex-terrorist". In June 2011 he titled a newspaper article about the trial “A farce in Stammheim ”.

On the basis of the Becker trial, he also commented on the possible influence of secret services on left-wing terrorism. When asked about a possible involvement of secret services in the Buback murder , he said:

“Secret services, western as well as eastern, are still the great unknown in the origin and development of terrorism, of German as well as the international terrorism intertwined with it. If research does not succeed in shedding light on the various interfaces between secret services and terrorist organizations, then the historical representation - such as that of the RAF - will remain highly inadequate. However, I am not of the opinion - to be clear beforehand - that the RAF, the 2nd June Movement , the revolutionary cells and other terrorist groups can be reduced to elements remotely controlled by the secret services . "

The best example of the intelligence influence on the radical left-wing scene is still the only clarified in part role of the Protection of the Constitution V-husband Peter Urbach , of the transition from the student movement of the first Berlin underground groups as a kind of agent provocateur had occurred.

After Kraushaar succeeded in finding the man who, on November 9, 1969, planted a bomb delivered by Urbach into the Jewish community hall in Berlin during a memorial service for the victims of the 1938 Jewish pogrom, Kraushaar conducted his research with this in mind on the so far unexplained arson attack on the old people's home of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde in Munich on February 13, 1970. Indeed, he saw the Tupamaros West Berlin parallels with the activities of their sister organization, the Tupamaros Munich . The evidence that speaks for his assumption that the attack was probably carried out by their members or their immediate environment, he presented in a material-rich publication on the anti-Semitic roots of German terrorism (see “Publications”). In contrast to the case of the bomb placed by the Tupamaros West Berlin, however, he was unable to present a confession of an assassin or irrefutable evidence.

Publications (selection)

  • Notes on a chronology of the student movement. In: Peter Mosler: What we wanted, what we became. Student revolt ten years later. Reinbek 1977, ISBN 3-499-14119-1 , pp. 249-295.
  • (as ed.): Autonomy or Ghetto? Controversies over the alternative movement. New Critique, Frankfurt am Main 1978, ISBN 3-8015-0150-7 .
  • (as ed.): What should the Greens in Parliament? Frankfurt am Main 1983, ISBN 3-8258-6845-1 .
  • Revolt and reflection. Political essays 1976–1987. New Critique, Frankfurt am Main 1990, ISBN 3-8015-0233-3 .
  • The Protest Chronicle 1949–1959. An illustrated story of movement, resistance and utopia. 4 volumes. Rogner & Bernhard at Zweiausendeins, Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-8077-0350-0 .
  • (as ed.): Frankfurt School and Student Movement. From the message in a bottle to the Molotov cocktail. 3 volumes. Rogner & Bernhard, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-8077-0348-9 .
  • 1968 - the year that changed everything. Piper, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-492-04058-6 .
  • 1968 as myth, cipher and caesura. Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-930908-59-X .
  • Left ghost driver. Food for thought for an anti-totalitarian left. New Critique, Frankfurt 2001, ISBN 3-8015-0320-8 .
  • Fischer in Frankfurt. Career of an outsider. Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-930908-69-7 .
  • (together with Karin Wieland and Jan Philipp Reemtsma): Rudi Dutschke, Andreas Baader and the RAF . Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-936096-54-6 .
  • The bomb in the Jewish community center. Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 2005. ISBN 3-936096-53-8 . (About the attempted attack on the Jewish parish hall in Berlin on November 9, 1969 by the Tupamaros West Berlin group led by Dieter Kunzelmann .)
  • (as ed.): The RAF and left-wing terrorism. 2 volumes. Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-936096-65-1 .
  • Sixty-eight. A balance sheet. Propylaea, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-549-07334-6 .
  • Verena Becker and the protection of the constitution. Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-86854-227-1 .
  • The uprising of the educated: From the Arab Spring to the global anti-banking protests: From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement. Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86854-246-2 .
  • Reaching the emergency brake - close-ups of the protest. Wagenbach, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-8031-2691-7 .
  • “When will the fight against the holy cow Israel finally begin?” Munich 1970: about the anti-Semitic roots of German terrorism. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2013, ISBN 978-3-498-03411-5 .
  • The RAF's blind spots. Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-608-98140-7 .
  • The RAF's blind spots. Special edition, Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn, 2018.
  • 1968. A hundred pages. Ditzingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-15-020452-8 .
  • The blind spots of the 1968 movement, Stuttgart 2018, ISBN 978-3608981414 .
  • The 1968 Movement International - An Illustrated Chronicle 1960-1969. Volume I-IV, Stuttgart 2018, ISBN 978-3608962925 .


  • Patrick Bahners : How it all began and continued and never came to an end. The protest chronicler who explains sixty-eight from the sources: Wolfgang Kraushaar is turning seventy. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , September 1, 2018, No. 203, p. 13.

Web links

Commons : Wolfgang Kraushaar  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Munzinger entry
  2. ^ Political scientist Wolfgang Kraushaar. WDR 5 (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) table talk on March 14, 2018, WDR Mediathek
  3. Joachim Güntner: How deep is left anti-Semitism? In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of October 26, 2005
  4. Patrick Bahners' Twitter account
  5. Interview with Wolfgang Kraushaar (Fabian Federl): "Rudi Dutschke took Jesus Christ as a role model" , on zeit.de, June 1, 2017
  6. See Petra Terhoeven : German Autumn in Europe. Left-wing terrorism in the 1970s as a transnational phenomenon. Oldenbourg, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-048490-8 , p. 58.
  7. Wolfgang Kraushaar: A farce in Stammheim , in: the daily newspaper of June 8, 2011, p. 15.
  8. ^ A b Marcus Klöckner: The RAF and the secret services. Interview with Wolfgang Kraushaar. Telepolis, November 10, 2010.
  9. Annette Vowinckel : Review of Kraushaar (ed.): The RAF and the left terrorism In: H-Soz-Kult , October 24, 2007; Alfons Söllner : Standard work on the RAF. In: Yearbook Extremism & Democracy . Volume 19, 2007, pp. 403-406.
  10. 200 pages that will cause trouble. Review of the book on the Verena Becker case. In: taz.de , October 12, 2010.
  11. Anti-Semitic siblings. Review. In: Israelreport. No. 2, 2013, page 14 (PDF; 11.6 MB) ( Memento from December 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ).