Cities as Battlefields: The Baader-Meinhof Group and Others

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Cities as Battlefields: The Baader-Meinhof Group and Others

<p>Explore the history and legacy of the Baader-Meinhof group, whose left-wing terrorist attacks in the 1970s posed a unique challenge to West Germany’s young democracy; the Italian ‘Red Brigades’,

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Explore the history and legacy of the Baader-Meinhof group, whose left-wing terrorist attacks in the 1970s posed a unique challenge to West Germany’s young democracy; the Italian ‘Red Brigades’, who made world headlines for the kidnapping of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978; and the American ‘Symbionese Liberation Army’. All of whom used cities as their battlefields.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Aust, Stefan, The Baader-Meinhof Complex (London: The Bodley Head, 2008)
  • Chaliand, Gerard, Arnaud Blin, eds., The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007)
  • Rochey, Alberto, 'Guns and Gray Matter: Terrorism in Italy', in: Foreign Affairs, 57, No. 4 (Spring 1979): pp. 921- 940


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • The history and legacy of the German Baader-Meinhof Group (The Red Army Faction)
  • The hijacking of the Lufthansa passenger jet Landshut, and the abduction and killing of the head of the German Employers' Federation, Hans-Martin Schleyer. Excerpts from the film The Baader-Meinhof Complex (2008)
  • The Red Brigades in Italy
  • The Symbionese Liberation Army in the USA and the mystery of the famous Patty Hearst case
  • Excerpts from the US-documentary film Guerilla
  • The taking of Patty Hearst
  • Review and Outlook: Left-wing terror groups of the 1970s in the context of international terrorist activities


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Develop a better understanding of German and European history of the 1970s and aspects of political terror in democratic states;
  2. Evaluate some causes and effects associated with political terror;
  3. Gain an awareness of the variety of ways historians approach the past.