Germany considers demolishing 'RAF' prison

2nd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 August 2007, Stuttgart (dpa) - Germany plans to tear down the prison wing where leaders of the Red Army Faction (RAF) urban guerrilla group were held in the 1970s, an official said Wednesday.

2 August 2007

Stuttgart (dpa) - Germany plans to tear down the prison wing where leaders of the Red Army Faction (RAF) urban guerrilla group were held in the 1970s, an official said Wednesday.

"We are considering demolishing the high-rise building which is in urgent need of renovation," said Ulrich Goll, justice minister of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where Stammheim prison is located.

RAF leaders Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof and Jan-Carl Raspe had their cells on the 7th floor of the high-security prison wing where they committed suicide.

The four also went on trial at the prison, which became synonymous with the conflict between the state and the RAF during what is known as the German autumn of 1977. The RAF carried out a series of robberies, bombings and kidnappings in former West Germany.

Some 856 inmates are currently serving sentences at the prison, located between fields and apartment blocks on the northern edge of Stuttgart.

Built between 1959 and 1963, it went into service one year later and was considered the most secure prison in Germany at the time.

State officials said new prison quarters would be built on the site of the demolished building.

The four leaders of the RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, can be heard on 21 audio tapes of the 1975-77 Stammheim trial that were discovered recently in a courtroom basement.

The were found by researchers for a television documentary, which is due to be broadcast in September to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the start of the so-called "German Autumn".

Meinhof was found hanged in her cell in 1976. Baader, Ensslin and Raspe were sentenced to life imprisonment in April 1977 and died in their cells six months later after taking their own lives.

DPA

Subject: German news

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