"The Killers' War against the State": The Kidnapping of Hanns-Martin Schleyer (September 12, 1977)
In response to the imprisonment of most of the members of the first generation of the RAF, a second generation formed. Their primary goal was to free their jailed comrades-in-arms. The RAF’s “Offensive 77,” which was organized by lawyer Siegfried Haag and Brigitte Mohnhaupt, included deadly attacks on Siegfried Buback, West Germany’s chief federal prosecutor (April 7, 1977), and Jürgen Ponto, the chairman of the board of directors of Dresdner Bank (July 31, 1977). On September 5, 1977, an RAF commando unit kidnapped Hanns-Martin Schleyer, the president of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations and demanded the release of the eleven RAF terrorists in custody. Additionally, on October 13, 1977, Palestinian terrorists seized a Lufthansa airliner (“Landshut”) and seconded the demands made by Schleyer’s kidnappers. After the “Landshut” hostages were freed (October 18), and Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe committed suicide in jail (October 18-19), Schleyer was murdered. The Spiegel cover from September 12, 1977, shows Schleyer being held by the terrorists.
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