Andreas Baader: Letter to the Press

The cops will continue to fumble about in the dark, until circumstances oblige them to see that the political situation has become a military situation.


The truth of the matter is that no further information has come out about the group since the first twenty were trained in Jordan. The raf’s work is clandestine. The “security forces,” the security agencies, the police, the bnd, the Verfassungsschutz, the baw, Spiegel, and the Springer Press know nothing.

They know nothing about the size, the number of members, the organization, the firepower, or the tactics of the group. Everything written about us by the police state for public consumption over the past year and a half is false, is speculation, or is counterpropaganda with the objective of discrediting the theory and practice of the urban guerilla and driving a wedge between us and our base.

I haven’t considered turning myself in. No raf members have considered turning themselves in. So far no raf prisoner has provided testimony. Announcements of successes against us have only been about arrests or killings. The guerilla’s strength lies in the determination of each of us. We are not on the run. We are here organizing armed resistance against the regime of the propertied classes and the ongoing exploitation of the people.

The raf’s current activities are directed towards the formation of politico-military cadre, acquiring better arms and training for revolutionaries, and the anchoring of the group in a sympathetic scene that is ready to support armed resistance. The tactical line that we are currently following is to develop the propaganda of the urban guerilla through the revolutionary organizations that are still legal and to develop broad-based logistical support amongst all layers of the population.

None of us see any subjective or objective basis for betraying the struggle to which we have committed ourselves; not Genscher’s dirty amnesty deal, not Ruhland, the Social Democrats’ van der Lubbe,[1] not the extensive militarization of the police, not prison, not torture, and not the police terror against the population. “The stones they have thrown will fall at their own feet.”[2]

If the price for our lives or our freedom is to be the betrayal of the anticapitalist struggle, there is only one response: we won’t pay it.

The armed struggle does not develop from one headline to the next. The politico-military strategy of the urban guerilla is based in the resistance to parliamentary democracy’s fascist drift and the organization of the first regular units of the Red Army in the people’s war. The battle has just begun.

[1]Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch council communist, confessed to the 1933 Reichstag fire under Gestapo torture. It remains unclear if he was, in fact, guilty. Karl-Heinz Ruhland, a fringe member of the raf, under pressure from the bka and with coaching from the baw, provided clearly fabricated testimony against raf prisoners during a series of trials.

[2] This phrase, which will reoccur in a number of different forms in raf documents over the years, comes from a speech Mao gave at the Meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution on November6, 1957: “‘Lifting a rock only to drop it on one’s own feet’ is a Chinese folk saying to describe the behaviour of certain fools. The reactionaries in all countries are fools of this kind. In the final analysis, their persecution of the revolutionary people only serves to accelerate the people’s revolutions on a broader and more intense scale. Did not the persecution of the revolutionary people by the tsar of Russia and by Chiang Kai-shek perform this function in the great Russian and Chinese revolutions?”