By Julian Preece (auth.)
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Additional info for Baader-Meinhof and the Novel: Narratives of the Nation / Fantasies of the Revolution, 1970–2010
The survivors were proud of their achievement, but wanted the past to remain buried with the rubble. The student radicals, on the other hand, wanted to dig it all up. They saw that both East and West Germany were still occupied by the Allies, the most powerful of which was now engaged in similar bombing missions in Vietnam. One reason for the new RAF’s choice of name was to remind Germans of their own recent wartime suffering: what the Americans were now doing to the Vietnamese, the Americans and the British did to the Germans not so long ago.
Several of these films influenced the novels that are the subject of this book. After the release of The Journey (dir. Imhof) and Stammheim (dir. Hauff), both in 1985, there were only two more Baader-Meinhof feature films before Death Game (dir. 51 The new films thus reenvisioned the terrorist past for a new generation of audiences by reinscribing the wellknown images. From this point, novels are richer and more varied and no longer reliant on film for their imagery. According to Meinhof’s ex-husband Klaus Rainer Röhl, her love affair with political violence began with Viva Maria!
Images were all-important to the founders of the 2nd June Movement, who chose that name because whenever it was mentioned it would be necessary to explain that it commemorated the day in 1967 that Benno Ohnesorg was shot. In this climate, Holger Meins’s death by self-starvation can be transmuted into murder (instead of sacrificial suicide). Perhaps the RAF’s greatest coup of all, which took the form of an especially macabre work of art, was to convince much of the world that their three leaders had been murdered on the night of October 17–18, 1977.