Germany in 1968
What is the RAF?
Career as a Journalist
Meinhof and the RAF
The Brain Question?
Bibliography & Links
Meinhof – a family of her own
On December 27th in 1961, Ulrike Meinhof married Klaus Rainer Röhl,
a communist by conviction and the founder of konkret. She gave birth
to twin girls, Regine and Bettina, on September 21, 1962.
In 1968, she divorced Klaus Rainer Röhl and claimed the girls.
In 1970, she moved to Berlin. During this time, she became involved
with more radical individuals. After she helped Andreas
from prison, she had to go underground. Her children disappeared the
same day after school. The father searched for them via Interpol, but
in vain. While Ulrike Meinhof was educated at a Palestinian terrorist
camp in Jordan, the group developed the plan to ultimately bring the
children to a Palestinian orphanage camp.
To prevent the father from contacting his children, Ulrike Meinhof
organized their escape. The twins stayed with a friend in Berlin for
a few days until two women drove them south and crossed the boarder
into France illegally on foot. Another woman received the children
in France and continued towards Italy where they crossed the boarder
by driving over a still closed pass street. Sicily was the end of the
journey. The women returned to Germany, leaving the children with a
girl named Hanna for several weeks during which the children played
on the beach, studied their school books, and played hide and seek
games. After Hanna returned to Berlin, the girls stayed behind in huts
close to Mount Etna where four German Hippies looked after them.
Stefan Aust, the author of the most comprehensive book about the RAF,
flew down to Sicily to fly the children home safe before they could
be claimed by another member of the group. Although the children had
no papers with them, Stefan Aust managed to bring them back to Hamburg
to reunite them with their father. The following night, he was warned
by a friend that he would be killed by the Baader-Meinhof Gang.
At times, Ulrike Meinhof showed remorse and signs of weakness because
she missed her children, but group pressure, a mixture of threats and
accusations proved to be successful, and Ulrike Meinhof surrendered
to the fact that she could not be a terrorist and a mother. She abandoned
her children for what she believed to be a political fight against
the imperialistic state seeking justice in the world. The greater plan
demands personal sacrifices.
This decision is telling about Ulrike Meinhof’s personality.
As much as she was the brain of the group and voice to the outside
world, she was weak and submissive on a personal level to Baader and
Ensslin. She was nervous and tended to engage in harsh self-criticism.
Nowadays, Regine lives in Berlin secluded from the public eye.
Bettina is a freelancing journalist who lives in Hamburg. She has published
several articles on the Baader-Meinhof group and has written a long
essay about Ulrike Meinhof and the debate about her brain. “The
dignity of the dead Ulrike Meinhof. The madhouse republic? Is the
German Terrorism imaginable without the media? Or: The story of Ulrike
Meinhof’s medical brain diagnosis that was suppressed for 26
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