By Julian Preece (auth.)
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Extra resources for Baader-Meinhof and the Novel: Narratives of the Nation / Fantasies of the Revolution, 1970–2010
Hauff, 1985) and The Baader-Meinhof Complex (dir. Edel, 2008) were accused of glamorizing them. When the first full biography of Baader was published in 2007, two of its most revealing findings involved cinema. 58 His nephew’s favorite film, however, was Gilles Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers (1965), which explores the dynamic of terrorism in the Algerian war of independence. 59 As there are so many films about them, it is as if, having stepped off the big screen into real life, the RAF stepped right back on to it.
The favorite plot type involves a parent, usually a mother, who may not have played a role in the child’s upbringing or who is mistakenly believed to be dead, and who turns out to have been a terrorist. There is an urge at work in this fiction to bring what is left of the estranged family back together again. Above all, mothers have to go back to being mothers. To make the emotional connections tangible in fiction, atypical family links are needed. The difference between the RAF and both Nazism and the Wende is that the latter were both experienced by everyone alive at the time.
The story of an innocent woman’s revenge on the reporter who ruined her reputation because she spent the night with a young man who is believed, wrongly as it turns out, to have terrorist connections is a denunciation of the misogynist journalistic practices of Axel Springer’s Bild-Zeitung. Heinrich Böll reacted with horror a couple of months after Katharina Blum was published to the suggestion that his short novel might condone politically inspired murder. In November 1974, the same year that Böll was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Berlin’s most senior judge, Günter von Drenkmann, was killed in cold blood as revenge for the death of Holger Meins.