The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History: Volume 2: Dancing with Imperialism

dancingwithimperialismEdited by J. Smith and André Moncourt
Introduction by Ward Churchill
Published by Kersplebedeb and PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-030-6
Pub Date June 2013
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 480 pages
Size: 6 by 9
Subjects: Politics/History


The long-awaited Volume 2 of the first-ever English-language documentary history of the Red Army Faction—West Germany’s most notorious urban guerillas—covers the period immediately following the organization’s near-total decimation in 1977.

This work includes the details of the guerilla’s operations, and its communiqués and texts, from 1978 up until the 1984 offensive. This was a period of regrouping and reorientation for the RAF, with its previous focus on freeing its prisoners replaced by an anti-NATO orientation. This was in response to the emergence of a new radical youth movement in the Federal Republic, the Autonomen, and an attempt to renew its ties to the radical left. The possibilities and perils of an armed underground organization relating to the broader movement are examined, and the RAF’s approach is contrasted to the more fluid and flexible practice of the Revolutionary Cells. At the same time, the history of the 2nd of June Movement (2JM), an eclectic guerilla group with its roots in West Berlin, is also evaluated, especially in light of the split that led to some 2JM members officially disbanding the organization and rallying to the RAF. Finally, the RAF’s relationship to the East German Stasi is examined, as is the abortive attempt by West Germany’s liberal intelligentsia to defuse the armed struggle during Gerhard Baum’s tenure as Minister of the Interior.

Dancing with Imperialism will be required reading for students of the First World guerilla, those with interest in the history of European protest movements, and all who wish to understand the challenges of revolutionary struggle.

The documents by the Red Army Faction in Dancing with Imperialism are also available on this website, which is maintained by the books editors.


Acknowledgements… xiii

Note On Translations And Sources… xiv

Preface… xvi

Acronym Key… xx

German Terms… xxvi

On The Necessity Of Armed Struggle: Reflections On The Raf And The Question Of Moving Forward, by Ward Churchill… 1

1 Previously On Red Army Faction… 15

  • What Is A Rear Base Area?… 23
  • The RAF And The GDR: Benign Neglect No More… 46

2 Twilight Of The Seventies Guerilla… 49

  • Anti-Imperialism Defined… 63

3 The Antinuclear Movement: Old Meets New… 75

4 Kick At The Darkness… 93

5 Shake The Dust From Your Feet… 121

6 The ’81 Offensive… 151

7 Planting Seeds In May… 207

8 Using Honey To Catch Flies… 249

  • Wheels Within Wheels… 259
  • Hans-Joachim Klein: A German Guerilla… 267
  • On The Question Of Collective Responsibility… 273

9 Knockout Punch?… 275

  • A Process Comes To Fruition… 288

10 Tubthumping… 291

Appendix I: Conclusions Of The Third Russell Tribunal… 319

Appendix II: Boock’s Lies… 328

Appendix III: For Us It Was A Question Of Learning Explosives And Shooting Techniques… 333

Dramatis Personae… 345

Armed Struggle In W. Germany: A Chronology… 366

Bibliography… 389

Index… 414