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Andreas Baader

Andreas Baader

Andreas Baader (May 6, 1944 – October 18, 1977) was the first leader of the German terrorist organization Red Army Faction, commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof gang. A high school dropout, he was one of the few members of the German terror movement who did not attend a university.

In 1968, Baader and his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin were convicted of the arson bombing of a department store in Frankfurt, Germany. Two years later he escaped from custody, aided by journalist Ulrike Meinhof, giving rise to the term Baader-Meinhof Group.

From 1970 to 1972, Baader robbed banks and bombed buildings. His lifestyle and that of other members of the gang involved opulence, glamorous apartments, sports cars, and weekends in Paris in 5-star hotels. Characteristics of the lifestyle led Baader, Meinhof and other gang members to be expelled from a Fedayeen training camp in Jordan in 1970.

On June 1, 1972, he and fellow gang members Jan-Carl Raspe and Holger Meins were apprehended in a lengthy shootout in Frankfurt.

Baader was then convicted in what was the longest and most expensive trial in German history. He died in his prison cell from a gunshot wound. Though all official inquiries on the matter concluded that Baader committed suicide, the rumor still persists in radical leftwing circles that he was murdered.

In 2002, director Christopher Roth released a film about Baader titled Baader.

See also: Bonnie and Clyde, Gudrun Ensslin, Klaus Rainer Röhl, German Autumn, Irmgard Möller, Hanns Martin Schleyer, Wolfgang Grams

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