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Aust, Stefan

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 22/08/2007

Stefan Aust on the RAF phenomenon

Stefan Aust, chief editor of the German weekly Der Spiegel and author of a book about the Red Army Faction (RAF), which was responsible for carrying out a series of terrorist attacks in the 1970s, talks about the RAF phenomenon in an interview with Christian Geyer and Frank Schirrmacher. "Normally we're prevented from becoming extreme in the terrorist sense - by a relatively intact social system and a relatively intact economical system, by the fact that the police are responsible for establishing law and order and no one wants to go to prison. The members of the RAF were forced to create the state of war they constantly invoked... That meant going underground and looking at the world from the observation slits of a tank and regarding the police as the enemy, 'the pigs', as [RAF terrorist] Ulrike Meinhof would say. So they got caught up in the delusion that the society in which they lived was fascist and that the Federal Republic of Germany differed only slightly from the Third Reich. They plunged themselves into a situation which allowed them to fabricate a state of emergency."

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