By Joshua Sinai
Perspectives on Terrorism
This is a valuable compendium of the manifestos and communiques issued by West Germany’s Red Army Faction (RAF) between 1970 and 1977, with many of them translated into English for the first time. It provides a context for understanding the nature of West Germany’s revolutionary left’s rationale in the 1970s for waging an armed struggle against what they term the “First World.” The compendium begins with a preface, a translators’ note, an acronym key, and an explanation of German terms. This is followed by the volume’s 15 sections. In the first two sections, the editors provide an overview of the historical period in which the RAF had operated. The remaining 13 sections begin with the editors’ overview of the context for that section’s respective documents. The sections cover topics such as “Building a Base and ‘Serving the People”; “The May Offensive: Bringing the War Home”; “Black September: A Statement From Behind Bars”; “Staying Alive: Sensory Deprivation, Torture, and the Struggle Behind Bars”; “A Desperate Bid to Free the Prisoners: The Stockholm Action”; “The Murder of Ulrike Meinhof”; and “The Stammheim Deaths”. The appendices, which include additional documents, are followed by a listing of individuals and their affiliations that are mentioned in the documents, a chronology of the armed struggle in West Germany, a bibliography, and an index.