German Red Army Faction Member Wins Early Release
By Patrick Donahue
Feb. 12 -- Brigitte Mohnhaupt, a leader of Germany's Red Army Faction terrorist movement responsible for a campaign of murder and kidnap during the 1970s, will be released early after serving 24 years of a five life-term sentence.
Judges of the higher regional court in the southern city of Stuttgart today ordered Mohnhaupt's imprisonment be commuted to parole after federal prosecutors argued that she no longer posed a threat to society, the court said in a statement. Mohnhaupt, now 57, has been in jail since her arrest on Nov. 11, 1982.
Before throwing her lot in with the RAF, Mohnhaupt was first a member of SPK - the Sozialistisches Patienten Kollektiv.
(No, not Graeme Revell's "Metal Dance" / Leichenschrei outfit...)
(Adapted from www.baader-meinhof.com; edited by TS.)
25 April 1975 - Former members of the SPK (who now formed the "second generation" of the RAF) blow up much of the West German embassy in Stockholm.
The SPK was the product of a therapy group at Heidelberg University. Dr. Wolfgang Huber, a psychiatrist at the university's clinic, believed that his patients' mental disorders stemmed from Capitalism, and the only cure was a Marxist society. When the university tried to fire Huber, his patients organized the SPK, held protests, occupied the hospital administration offices, and convinced the university to retain him.
By mid-1971, the SPK had officially disbanded, and many of its former members moved to low-level terrorist activities, releasing communiqués after every "praxis" in keeping with urban guerrilla revolutionary practices. The communiqués stopped being signed with "SPK" and were now being signed "RAF," though it is not clear that they had any connections to the Red Army Faction at this point. By the time that most of the original members of the RAF were in jail in mid-1970s, many former members of the SPK had joined the RAF.
Brigitte Mohnhaupt was purportedly first active in the RAF in 1971. She was arrested on 9 June 1972. After her arrest she was convicted of Membership in a Criminal Organization, and given a sentence of four and a half years. During 1976 she was transferred to Stammheim Prison to serve the final months of her time with most of the other major Baader-Meinhof defendants.
Soon thereafter she was released (27 January, 1977), went immediately underground, and then participated in the July 1977 murder of Jürgen Ponto and the September 1977 kidnapping of Hanns-Martin Schleyer.
And that's where we came in...