Verena Becker

Last updated
Verena Becker
Born (1952-07-31) July 31, 1952 (age 68)
Organization Movement 2 June, Red Army Faction

Verena Becker (born 31 July 1952) is a former West German member of the Movement 2 June and later the Red Army Faction.

Contents

Terrorist career

While a student, Becker initially joined Movement 2 June (J2M) and was involved in bank robberies [1] and the bombing of a British yacht club in West Berlin on 2 February 1972. J2M claimed this bombing was in support of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). Becker was subsequently arrested and on 13 February 1974 she was tried and found guilty of involvement in the bombing. She was sentenced to six years in prison; a year later, she was freed and flown to Aden Southern Yemen as part of the exchange deal proposed by the Peter Lorenz kidnappers. [2]

At some point between 1975 and 1976, Becker returned to West Germany. She became involved in the second generation RAF re-grouped around Siegfried Haag, and it is likely that she came in contact with him whilst in Yemen, as he was there at the same time.

Arrest

In Singen, May 1977, Becker and fellow terrorist Günter Sonnenberg were spotted by police. Alarmed, Becker and Sonnenberg tried to flee. A gunfight ensued which left two police officers badly wounded. Sonnenberg and Becker attempted to drive off in a stolen vehicle, only to drive into a dead-end street. They abandoned the vehicle and ran, but were shot down and arrested. Sonnenberg was seriously injured by a gunshot wound to the head, and Becker was shot in the leg. A submachine gun was found in their abandoned car. It turned out to be the gun used to assassinate Chief Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback. [2]

Imprisonment

In late 1977 Becker was sentenced to life imprisonment [3] for her involvement in a criminal organisation. In prison she took part in hunger strikes and was force-fed. [4]

She was released from prison in 1989 after being pardoned by Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker. [1] She lived anonymously in Germany, under an assumed name.

Assassination of Siegfried Buback and rearrest

On 7 April 1977, Siegfried Buback, then the chief federal prosecutor for the Bundesgerichtshof, was shot by members of the RAF while travelling from his home in Neureut to the Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe; while Buback's Mercedes was stopped at a traffic light a motorcycle pulled alongside and the passenger on the rear of the motorcycle opened fire with an automatic weapon at the vehicle. There is some evidence [5] suggesting that Becker took part in the assassination of Buback, though she herself claims Stefan Wisniewski was the one who killed him. DNA evidence however indicates that Becker probably did not take part in the killing. [6] The case has been reopened [7] and Becker was re-arrested on charges relating to the assassination on 28 August 2009. [8] In April 2010, following examination of DNA on a letter claiming responsibility for the murder, she was charged for the 1977 murder. [9] In July 2012, she was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of Buback and sentenced to four years in prison. [10]

Alleged informant activities

Some observers, chiefly former fellow member of the Movement 2 June Bommi Baumann contend that Becker had been an informant of the West German intelligence since at least 1972. [11] [12] [ clarification needed ]

Related Research Articles

Red Army Faction Terrorist group in Germany 1970–1998

The Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader–Meinhof Group or Baader–Meinhof Gang, was a West German far-left militant organization founded in 1970. Key early figures included Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin, and Horst Mahler, among others. The government of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as most Western media and literature, considered the Red Army Faction to be a terrorist organization. The group was motivated by leftist political concerns and the perceived failure of their parents' generation to confront Germany's Nazi past.

The German Autumn was a series of events in Germany in late 1977 associated with the kidnapping and murder of industrialist, businessman and former SS member Hanns Martin Schleyer, president of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), by the Red Army Faction (RAF) far-left militant organisation, and the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181 by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). They demanded the release of ten RAF members detained at the Stammheim Prison plus two Palestinian compatriots held in Turkey and US$15 million in exchange for the hostages. The assassination of Siegfried Buback, the attorney-general of West Germany on 7 April 1977, and the failed kidnapping and murder of the banker Jürgen Ponto on 30 July 1977, marked the beginning of the German Autumn. It ended on 18 October, with the liberation of the Landshut, the death of the leading figures of the first generation of the RAF in their prison cells, and the death of Schleyer.

Siegfried Buback Public Prosecutor General of Germany from 1974 until his assassination in 1977

Siegfried Buback was the Attorney General of Germany from 1974 until his murder.

Brigitte Margret Ida Mohnhaupt is a German convicted former terrorist associated with the second generation of the Red Army Faction (RAF) members. She was also part of the Socialist Patients' Collective (SPK). From 1971 until 1982 she was active within the RAF.

Members of the Red Army Faction

The Red Army Faction (RAF) existed in West Germany from 1970 to 1998, committing numerous crimes, especially in the autumn of 1977, which led to a national crisis that became known as the "German Autumn". The RAF was founded in 1970 by Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof, Horst Mahler, and others. The first generation of the organization was commonly referred to by the press and the government as the "Baader-Meinhof Gang", a name the group did not use to refer to itself.

Siegfried Hausner was a student member of the German Socialist Patients' Collective who was sentenced to three years imprisonment in 1972 for terrorist related crimes. When he was released in 1974, like many other former members of the SPK, he joined the Red Army Faction.

Susanne Albrecht is a former member of the Red Army Faction.

Andrea Martina Klump is a former far-left terrorist.

Eva Sybille Haule-Frimpong is a former terrorist associated with the third generation Red Army Faction (RAF). She took her abitur in Stuttgart before going underground in 1984.

Christian Klar is a former leading member of the second generation Red Army Faction (RAF), active between the 1970s and 1980s. Imprisoned in 1982 in Bruchsal Prison, he was released on 19 December 2008, after serving over 26 years of his life sentence.

Michael Buback German chemist

Michael Buback is a chemist and professor at Göttingen University. He is the son of Siegfried Buback, the former chief federal prosecutor of Germany who was assassinated by Red Army Fraction (RAF) militant group in the German Autumn 1977.

Heckler & Koch HK43 Semi-automatic rifle

The Heckler and Koch HK43 is a semi-automatic rifle based upon the Heckler & Koch HK33 rifle and is the predecessor of the Heckler & Koch HK93 semi-automatic rifle.

Rolf Clemens Wagner

Rolf Clemens Wagner was a member of the left wing terrorist organisation Red Army Faction (RAF).

Stefan Wisniewski is a former member of the Red Army Faction (RAF).

<i>The Baader Meinhof Complex</i> 2008 German drama film

The Baader Meinhof Complex is a 2008 German drama film directed by Uli Edel. Written and produced by Bernd Eichinger, it stars Moritz Bleibtreu, Martina Gedeck, and Johanna Wokalek. The film is based on the 1985 German best selling non-fiction book of the same name by Stefan Aust. It retells the story of the early years of the West German far-left terrorist organisation the Rote Armee Fraktion from 1967 to 1977.

Siegfried Haag was a member of the West German Red Army Faction (RAF). He became a leading figure of the second generation of the group.

Adelheid Schulz is a former member of the West German terrorist Red Army Faction.

Peter-Jürgen Boock is a former terrorist of the Red Army Faction.

Knut Folkerts

Knut Detlef Folkerts is a former member of the terrorist group, the Red Army Faction (RAF).

Kidnapping and murder of Hanns-Martin Schleyer

The kidnapping and murder of Hanns-Martin Schleyer marked the end of the German Autumn in 1977.

References

  1. 1 2 Stuberger, Ulf G. "Ex-RAF-Terroristin Verena Becker: Versteckt zwischen Sonnenblumen". Faz.net.
  2. 1 2 Becker, Jillian. Hitler's Children: The Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang, DIANE Publishing Company 1998, ISBN   0-7881-5472-9 or Panther edition 1978, ISBN   0-586-04665-8, Page. 334
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2013-12-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Who Assassinated Siegfried Buback?: Germany Revisits RAF Terrorism Verdict".
  6. "DNA Tests Rule Out Buback Murder Suspect | DW | 23.07.2008".
  7. (in German)Prantl, Heribert: Wisniewski? Stefan Wisniewski? Archived October 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine . Süddeutsche Zeitung online. Accessed January 3, 2008.
  8. "Fall Buback: Ex-RAF-Terroristin Becker festgenommen".
  9. "German gang member charged with 1977 murder". 10 April 2010.
  10. "Red Army Faction militant Becker jailed for 1977 murder". BBC News. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  11. "Dubiose Stasi-Akte über Verena Becker".
  12. "Terrorist on German spy service payroll".