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40 years ago, the 1968-rebel Rudi Dutschke died

On December 24, 1979, the most striking figure of the German 1968 revolt died.

On December 24, 1979, the most striking figure of the German 1968 revolt died. His life ended in the city of Aarhus in Denmark, where he lived in exile. Cause of death: A late consequence of an attack carried out by a right-wing extremist in Berlin on April 11, 1968.

Originally written and published by Autonom Infoservice
Translated from Danish by Adrian Lind

Part I

On February 17-18th, 1968, the International Vietnam Congress was just over. Subsequently, up to 30,000 participants gathered in demonstration through the then West Berlin, standing in solidarity with the liberation movements in Indochina. In the front row, Rudi Dutschke, along with anti-authoritarian 1968 rebels from all over Western Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

The assassination

After more than 23 hours of train travel, Josef Erwin Bachmann (23 years old) got off at West Berlin’s Bahnhof Zoo. It was morning on April 11, 1968. Bachmann had arrived by train from Munich. Neither the West German Border Police nor the GDR‘s National Police had discovered the gun in his leather jacket, which bulged slightly at the left shoulder. Neither his second gun nor the roughly one hundred cartridges stored in his travel bag under his clothes were discovered during police checks on the way to West Berlin.

Bachmann frequented right-wing extremist circles in Germany, read the Nazi magazine Deutsche Nationalzeitung and hated everything leftist. In October 1967 he joined the Foreign Legion in France, but after 8 days he was thrown out due to “immaturity”.

”Stop Dutschke now!”

On the evening of April 10, 1968, he got on the train to West Berlin. Along the way he read the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Bild-Zeitung and above all Deutsche Nationalzeitung, where there were five photographs of Rudi Dutschke, set up as wanted-posters with the subtitle “Stop Dutschke now!“. When Josef Bachmann came to West Berlin, he asked the taxi drivers at the main train station where Rudi Dutschke lives. One of the drivers sent him to Kaiser-Friedrich-Strasse 54, to the well-known left-wing collective Kommune 1. There, the communard Rainer Langhans said he does not know where Rudi lives, but that Bachmann could inquire at the Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund (SDS) at Kurfürstendamm. However, he did not get anything out of it.

By around 15:00 PM, Bachmann had reached “Meldeamt” (the National Register) and here he was handed a note with Rudi’s address: “Rudi Dutschke, Student, 1000 Berlin 31, Kurfürstendamm 140, bei Mahler“. In the same building where SDS had premises. Bachmann entered the building and went out again. On the way across the Kurfürstendamm he turned once again to the direction of the house and in that same moment saw Rudi Dutschke walking with his bicycle out of the gate.

“You dirty communist pig!”

It was a pure coincidence that Rudi was here. For security reasons, the Dutschke family had moved in with the well-known German theologian Helmut Gollwitzer and his wife Barbara in the Dahlem district. Rudi Dutschke, who the bourgeois media proclaimed to be the 1968-rebellion leader, was subjected to a massive and hateful smear campaign. As a result, he was sent death threats by mail and sprayed on his official address: “Vergasst Dutschke!” (“Gas Dutschke!” an unambiguous allusion to the Nazis’ gassing of the Jews).

As usual, on April 11, Rudi Dutschke bicycled from Dahlem to the center of Berlin. He had just delivered a text on the political spring in Prague and on that occasion he would pick up some medicine for his son in a pharmacy nearby.

Rudi wheeled his bike out at the Kurfürstendamm. He did not notice at all the man who was purposefully approaching. The pharmacy, located near the SDS office rooms, had not yet opened and Rudi was waiting, sitting on his bike with one foot on the pavement. A man walked over and placed himself two meters in front of him. The man asked, “Are you Rudi Dutschke?” Rudi hesitated for only a moment. “Yes,” he replied. Then Josef Bachmann shouted, “Your dirty communist pig!” And took a step back before he shot.

Bachmann’s first shot hit Rudi in the cheek. He fell on the lane, made uncontrolled gestures and tore off his shoes and his wristwatch. Bachmann bent over to his victim and shot Rudi in the head and shoulder. Then he ran away.

Rudi Dutschke, who had been briefly unconscious, stood up and tumbled a few steps forward before he collapsed. Two passers-by helped him to a bench and put something under his head. A circle of people gathered around the bench. Some were silent and appeared depressed, others whispered something like “deserved“.

Many comrades at this time heard about the incident on the radio. Shortly afterwards thousands of angry, grieving people poured into the SDS offices at Kurfürstendamm.(1)

Exile in Aarhus

After a long stay in the hospital, Rudi and Gretchen Dutschke and their two children tried to settle outside of Germany. After a minor odyssey via Italy at, among others, the left-wing publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (1926-1972) and in Belgium with the Marxist Ernest Mandel (1923-1995) they hoped to stay in England.

With the help of some sympathetic university staff, Rudi had the opportunity – despite serious memory problems – to complete his studies at Kings College in Cambridge.

Expelled from England as “unwanted persons

But when the newly elected Conservative Tory government came to power, the situation changed from one day to the next. After a brief appeal proceeding, the Dutschke family was expelled from England in February 1971 as “unwanted persons“.

Rudi and Gretchen, together with their children were expelled from England in 1971.

They moved to Aarhus, where Rudi, with the help of progressive university people (Professor Johannes Sløk and student council chair Mihail Larsen), was hired as a teaching assistant. Here he began by teaching the subject “critical-materialistic reflections on the notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat with the Cultural Revolution as an example

“Critical materialistic theory loses its capacity for criticism and self-criticism as soon as it becomes apologetic and positive. The driving force in the worldwide development of human life-conditions and production-conditions became, after the implementation of the first industrial revolution, a hindrance to the unfolding of the human power of creation and its liberation.

It is in this context that the critical-materialistic concept of crisis belongs. Critical-materialistic theory is not a contemplative reflection on existing relationships. Its fundamental goal is a revolution of practice. It is critically subversive, or it ceases to be a critical materialistic theory. (…)

What does class consciousness consist of? How does it come to be? Members of the oppressed class make themselves objects of their own self-understanding. In understanding themselves as an subject-object, they recognize the connection between the elements that constitute the class structure of society – the social and economic world.” 

Extract from Rudi Dutschke’s notes to a seminar at the Institute for the History of Ideas in Aarhus University, February 1971.

The Aldershvile collective and the university environment in Aarhus

Rudi and his family(2) initially moved into the left wing collective Aldershvile at Mols. Here he met Vibeke Sperling, who at that time was active in the “Leninist faction” of the Left-Socialist Party after breaking with the party Communist Federation (she later became a journalist at the newspaper Information), and Niels Ole Finnemann (who later became a university professor) and Carsten Vengsgaard (later a publishing editor on the left-wing publishers Modtryk and Klim).

At one point, the Dutschke family moved out of the collective – not only because of too much drunkenness and chaos. They moved to a property in Heibergsgade 25, in Aarhus and Frederiksberg, together with Vibeke Sperling, who lived in an apartment in the same house. Their stay in Denmark was not always very positive.

Controversies with the supporters of the Marxist “Kapitallogik” current at Aarhus University 

At Aarhus University, the “Kapitallogik” direction of Marxism dominated and Rudi quickly got into political controversies with the most doctrinal sectarians. One of them was the the capital-logician Hans-Jørgen Schanz, known for his writing “Til rekonstruktion af kritikken af den politiske økonomis omfangslogiske status” (To the reconstruction of the critique of the political economy’s scope of logic). Schanz stated that the circle around him disagreed with Rudi to such an extent “that they could hardly discuss with each other“. They criticized Rudi for “theoretical deviation” and “actionism”.(3)

For the Dutschke family, Aarhus was in many ways too provincial, compared to Berlin. And Rudi in particular felt a great distance from the events in Germany. At the same time, he was battling with after effects of the attack.

Rudi Dutschke died at the age of 39, on December 24th, 1979.

As a result of the three shots that hit him in the head in 1968, he had several neuro-logical symptoms. On Christmas Eve of 1979 he had an epileptic seizure in a bathtub and drowned. He was buried in Berlin.(4)

The funeral of Rudi Dutschke in Berlin, 1980.

Part II

Rudi Dutschke speaking
welt.de

“… We cannot settle for an opposition to NATO with passive observation or with protests, but instead we must act. For example, by taking action against NATO ships. ”

Rudi Dutschke

Who was Rudi Dutschke? – A brief biographical outline

Rudi was born on March 7, 1940 in Schönefeld, a small village south of Berlin. He was Elsebeth and Alfred Dutschke’s fourth child. From 1943 the family lived in the town of Luckenwalde in the eastern German state of Brandenburg. The father was a national conservative worker who returned from captivity in 1947. The mother came from a peasant family.

Rudi compensated for the boredom of the provincial city by getting excited about sports – especially football and high jump. He was very disciplined in his training, as his dream was to become a sports journalist.

In 1947, the Soviet military zone in Germany was transformed into the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and the West the German Federal Republic (FRG) was founded. Rudi’s family acquiesced with this development, did not complain about the introduction of ‘socialism’ from above, but merely took care not to get into the spotlight of the state power.

Christian socialist

Rudi was inspired by the progressive local priest and called himself a Christian socialist. A more articulated distance to the official state socialist doctrine was given to Rudi when the Hungarian workers in 1956 rebelled against Soviet “friends” and their puppets in Budapest. Rudi said in that regard: 

“The fact that people wanted to free themselves from disempowerment excited me and I was convinced that the Nagy government(5) stood for a socialist alternative.”

Rudi Dutschke
The Revolution in Hungary 1956
The statue of Stalin in Budapest was torn down by the public, during the Revolution in Hungary, 1956.

Escaped from the GDR three days before the wall was built

However, Rudi Dutschke’s dream of becoming a sports journalist did not materialize. First and foremost because he openly criticized the militarization of the GDR and the lack of freedom to travel for its citizens. After graduating, he refused to serve in the army.

In the years 1960-61 he attended a student course in the West Berlin district of Tempelhof, as his East German Bachelor’s degree was not recognized in the West. After that, he practiced as a sports journalist for almost a year with the conservative daily B.Z., published by the powerful Springer media group.

On August 10, 1961, Rudi Dutschke fled the GDR. Three days later, on August 13, the wall was built. The next day, along with some friends, he tried to tear a piece of the wall down and threw flyers over to the GDR. This was his first demonstration.

Marxist-based, anti-authoritarian socialist

Rudi Dutschke was eventually so politicized that he opted out of the sport study and began reading sociology, philosophy and history at the Freie Universität in West Berlin. He studied the existentialism of Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre and soon also Marxism and the history of the labor movement. He read Marx’s youth writings, Marxist history philosophers such as György Lukács and Ernst Bloch, and prominent representatives of Critical Theory, or the Frankfurter School(6) such as Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse.(7)

Subversive Aktion

Already at an early stage he linked his study with practical community engagement. Thus, together with a few other activists, he founded a Berlin section of the Subversive Aktion, which was perceived as part of the Situationist International. When he met his later spouse Gretchen Klotz, an American theology student, he also became acquainted with works by socially critical theologians such as Karl Barth and Paul Tillich. From being oriented towards religious socialism, Rudi now became a Marxist-based revolutionary, anti-authoritarian socialist. As he always stood firm on the individual’s freedom of action in relation to the social conditions.(8)

Berlin 1968: The International Vietnam Congress

The situation up to the Vietnam Congress was marked by the fact that more and more, preferably young people, joined the extra-parliamentary opposition (APO).

The mobilization against the impending parliamentary adoption of the so-called Notstandsgesetze, or insurgency laws, was at its peak. These laws were passed on May 30, 1968, despite massive opposition and several huge protests by both the 1968 movement and the trade union movement.

Insurgency Laws 1968, Germany
Students of the Hochschule der Kunste Berlin (HdK) are protesting against the insurgency laws with a lecture strike. AP

The Têt Offensive

The Vietnam War had entered a new phase. Thus, on January 31, 1968, the South Vietnamese liberation movement FNL (or “Việt Cộng” the Vietnamese term for communist) started their so-called Têt offensive. 70,000 poorly equipped partisans invaded 36 of a total of 41 South Vietnamese provincial capitals, shaking well and thoroughly the US’s perception of itself as the militarily superior.

The US military avenged itself cruelly by blanket bombing the cities of South Vietnam without regard for the people. The cruel images of the war came to mark the global 1968 revolt like no other event. In the anti-imperialist resistance in Vietnam, Rudi Dutschke saw a revolutionary development that could inspire resistance in other colonial countries (This happened in the Portuguese colonies a few years later). He explicitly defended the Vietnamese Liberation Movement’s armed resistance strategy:

“This revolutionary war is terrible, but even more terrible would be the suffering of the population if the war as such is not ended by people through armed struggle.”

Gaston Salvatore and Rudi Dutschke, in the preface to Che Guevara’s writing: Let’s create two, three, many Vietnams.

“For the Final Victory of the Vietnamese Revolution”

One of the main events of the extra-parliamentary opposition was the International Vietnam Congress held in Berlin on 17-18th of February 1968. At this congress it was not, as so often before, the political analysis that was at the center, but the concrete organization of the resistance.

The political center of the 1968 movement was the student movement “Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund” (SDS), whose most charismatic representative was Rudi Dutschke. He spoke of a “united front” between all anti-imperialist organizations to support the “final victory of the Vietnamese revolution“.

Over 3.000 participants from all over Western Europe and representatives from the US and Latin America – a total of 44 delegations from 14 countries, including a larger group from Denmark(9) – discussed a common strategy to support the liberation struggle in Vietnam over two intensive days.

The international participants referred to the situation in their respective countries and the current development of the resistance. Among the more well-known international participants were:

The Congress ended with a big demonstration through West Berlin with between 20,000 (according to Gretchen Dutschke) and 40,000 (according to the TV channel Arte) participants.

Scenes from the Vietnam Congress in West-Berlin

Debate on militant actions

Rudi participated in various discussions where it was considered to build up groups, who’s job included, among others, to carry out illegal actions in West Germany and in Western Europe altogether.

And political links were made with Italy, France, Spain and Northern Ireland.

The focus of all considerations was both the Vietnam War and the liberation movements around the world. The goal was to give all the support they could possibly think of. Gretchen Dutschke’s contacts with civil rights groups and the anti-war movement in the United States made useful connections across the Atlantic.

Building structures for US military deserters

After the Vietnam Congress, the SDS began to encourage US soldiers stationed in West Germany to desert. The SDS activists provided the deserters with the necessary existential basis. Some of the deserted American soldiers were relocated in non-NATO countries – such as Sweden, Austria and Switzerland.

Shortly after the Vietnam Congress, Rudi Dutschke clarified a general militant strategy in connection with a major activist meeting in Amsterdam. He said :

“… We cannot settle for an opposition to NATO with passive observation or with protests, but instead we must act. For example, by taking action against NATO ships. “

Rudi Dutschke

The CIA recorded this meeting and due to their report, Rudi was later expelled after the attack against him by England. (10)

Rudi’s reflections on revolutionary strategy

Central to Rudi Dutschke’s social criticism was that the capitalist system produces coercion and violence. Which is the result of an authoritarian state with a built-in fascist tendency. The problem for a corresponding opposition to this system was, according to Rudi, that the state-sanctioned violence, for the most part, did not openly manifest itself.

The violent context, in most countries without a bourgeois-democratic tradition is sensible, while it is mostly disguised in those countries with this tradition. Nevertheless, it manifests itself not only in politics and justice, but in all the institutions of society. Therefore, the most important task of the extra-parliamentary opposition should be to make visible this hidden violence through direct actions.

In the book Rebellion der Studenten published in May 1968, Rudi Dutschke writes:

“It is about, through systematic, self-determined and limited confrontations against state power and imperialism, to force representative “democracy” to openly show its character of class division and political power, and to make it reveal itself as the “dictatorship of violence.”

Rudi Dutschke, Rebellion der Studenten (1968)

“Enlightenment through direct action”

This visibilication was to be implemented with “enlightenment through direct action”.

The perspective is not reforms that polishing the system, but the overthrow of the class society through a committed and conscious majority of the population.

With the frequently used slogan “direct action!“, Rudi Dutschke pointed out the importance of precisely planned actions aimed at hitting the system and at the same time being able to initiate a consciousness processes in the public:

Our alternative to the prevailing violence is a growing counter-violence. Or should we continue to be destroyed?(11) No, the oppressed countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa, which are deliberately maintained in a state of dependence, have already started their fight against these conditions. (…) The art of revolutionary resistance is not just to act actively, but to choose the time and place of the confrontations with care, where the opponent is particularly weak. “

Rudi Dutschke: Briefe an Rudi D. Voltaire Flugschrift (1968)
Rudi in a protest
swr.de

Council Communists

“(…) Rudi was enthusiastic about the writings that, at the end of the First World War, dealt with the Council discussions. Already at an early stage, Council Communists Antonie Pannekoek and Hermann Gorter had polemicized against Lenin. They foresaw the danger of the de-democratization emanating from the Leninist party. 

Gretchen Dutschke: Wir hatten ein barbarbarisch schönes Leben
Page 113

And Rudi wrote:

“That the Bolsheviks successfully carried out the October Revolution in union with workers, soldiers and peasants, we know from hundreds of books. But the number of books dealing with the defeat of the Soviets is still poor. My hypothesis is that the downfall of the Soviets is closely related to the emergence of the “new” state machine.” 

Rudi Dutschke: Versuch, Lenin auf die Füße zu stellen, Ffg Forlag (1974)

“Parliamentarism – the pretentious facade of the authoritarian state”

How should the relationship between council structures and parties be, in order to avoid the Leninist despotism and not end in chaos? According to Gretchen Dutschke, Rudi’s organizational concept did not provide the answer to this, as it was not fully developed.

SDS over time developed a foreign-parliamentary concept that was strongly influenced by council democratic positions. West Germany’s parliamentary system was perceived by SDS as an “authoritarian state’s pretentious facade”. With the SDS, the idea of council democratic community alternatives was once again known and discussed in public.

Rudi Dutschke in a panel debate with Conservative and Liberal student union representatives. 1967, Hamburg.

Rudi Dutschke’s relationship to armed underground strategy

When a number of armed subgroups were formed in Germany, such as the Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF), The 2nd June Movement, Rote Ruhrarmee, Revolutionäre Zellen, and the Rote Zora, they did not occur spontaneously.

Prior to that, there was a sea of ​​strategy debates that Rudi Dutschke also participated in. Already in 1966, the Viva-Maria gruppe in the SDS came to intense discussions on the theme of militancy. Rudi Dutschke wrote among other things:

“The struggle of Vietcong and the Mir movement in Peru is our struggle, and must with us go through rational discussions, principled illegal demonstrations and actions that take form through common consciousness processes”.

Rudi Dutschke

But he did not agree with the ‘military’ struggle of the comrades who chose this strategy in West Germany. Rudi maintained the need to build a revolutionary organization that can contribute to and be part of a revolutionary social process. “How else is it possible to create new societal structures?”, He asked in a discussion in the journal Konkret, which had Ulrike Meinhof as editor-in-chief before going underground.

While Rudi Dutschke sharply criticized the RAF strategy of the urban guerrilla group, he also defended his old acquaintance Elisabeth Käsemann, who in the autumn of 1968 went to Chile and later to Argentina, where she participated in the armed underground struggle:

“She (Elisabeth) has been fighting the Argentine class struggle for ten years,” 

Rudi said, defending her choice of the armed struggle under the existing conditions: 

“The military regimes did not recognize even the least degree of civil law and annihilated all left wing flows with military terror. Elisabeth was killed by the military regime – with four shots in the back, her corpse was handed over to Germany. ‘Shot during an escape attempt’ … how often have we heard this.”

Rudi Dutschke: “Ermordetes Leben. Im Gedenken an Elisabeth Käsemann”, Chile-Nachrichten, (July 1977)

The RAF member Holger Meins

On November the 9th, 1974, Rudi Dutschke wrote in his diary:

“Now another has fallen, HM (Holger Meins) died in prison, the pigs have probably calculated an RAF death in connection with the hunger strike (…) Desperate actions and impacts will follow, everyone is sentenced to death. Just what should be done? ”

Rudi Dutschke

Rudi knew Holger Meins since 1967, in connection with the police murder of the student Benno Ohnesorg in an investigative committee. He tried to disprove the lies of the police management.

Holger Meins had, like Ulrike Meinhof, Jan Karl Raspe, Gudrun Ennslin, Andreas Baader, and others, gone underground after the attack against Rudi. Holger Meins was arrested and found himself in total isolation since June 1972. The RAF prisoners’ collective hunger strike had lasted for 50 days when 35-year-old Holger Meins died, while an alcoholic prison doctor failed to show up on time.

Holger Meins' funeral
Rudi Dutschke at Holger Mein’s funeral: “Holger, the fight continues!”

Rudi attended the funeral and after the hundreds of people present sang “The Internationale“, he stepped forward, raised his hand to a clenched fist and said “Holger, Kampf geht weiter!”. The media exploded the following day and Bild-Zeitung called Rudi Dutschke an RAF supporter. In the real world, Rudi was in solidarity with the prisoners’ struggle, but disagreed with their political strategy.

International Congress for the imprisoned GDR dissident Rudolf Bahro

Ten years after the Vietnam Congress, the revolutionary, anti-Stalinist left organized an international congress for the imprisoned dissident Rudolf Bahro in Berlin on November 16-19th, 1978. Bahro was for many years a member of the East German Party apparatus (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands – SED) and its stateled labour unions. After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, he distanced himself from the SED.

In secret, Rudolf Bahro formulated an analytical insider’s criticism of the GDR’s economic and political behavior. The West German weekly magazine Der Spiegel published an excerpt from Bahro’s forthcoming book publication Die Alternative (1977).

The following day, Bahro was arrested in East Berlin and later sentenced to 8 years in prison. The verdict promptly resulted in fierce and persistent protests and solidarity activities throughout Western Europe.

The book sparked an intense debate among the Western European Left. The conditions in the GDR, the so-called ‘real socialism’, were hotly debated.

Also on the Danish left – especially within the Left Socialist Party – Rudolf Bahro’s disparaging criticism of the East German state and party system was discussed.(12)

International solidarity with Bahro culminated in a congress with over 2000 participants. Rudi Dutschke acted as the central speaker. He emphasized that solidarity with Rudolf Bahro’s fate did not erase the critical debate on the situation in the GDR.

From Denmark we were a small group of Left Socialists who participated in the Bahro’s congress. On the way to Berlin in the train, we met the journalist Vibeke Sperling who we knew from political contexts. She covered the events for the Information newspaper. At the Bahro congress we saw Rudi’s charismatic personality and intellectual clarity. This was one of his last public appearances before his tragic death. At the congress, there was also a massive political confrontation with the Social Democratic politicians in attendance, who tried hard to embrace Bahro’s criticism with a pro-capitalist system-maintaining logic.

Rudolf Bahro was granted amnesty on October 11th, 1979, during the 30th anniversary of the founding of the GDR. He later became one of the leaders in the West German party Die Grünen, where he joined the party’s left wing (‘fundis’). Rudolf Bahro died of cancer in December 1997.


About the Author

Autonom Infoservice is a left-radical autonomous media service collective, based in Denmark. In the past, the people around the collective have also been involved in publishing the AUTONOMI (1988-1998), a “journal of daily sabotage against the prevailing social conditions” and COURAGE (1990-1995), an autonomous feminist journal.

Footnotes

  1. Sources for this portrayal. Jutta Ditfurth: Rudi und Ulrike, Geschichte einer Freundschaft, Kroemer Verlag (2008) and Gretchen Dutschke: Wir hatten ein barbarisch, schönes Leben, Knaur Verlag (1998).
  2. Rudi’s wife Gretchen Dutschke-Klotz and his three children lived in Aarhus until 1985. Then Gretchen and two of the children, Polly-Nicole (born 1969) and Rudi-Marek (born in 1980 after his father’s death), moved to the United States – and many years later returned to Germany. The third child, son Hosea-Che Dutschke, who was 17 years old when Rudi died, stayed in Aarhus, and graduated in political science from Aarhus University in 1997. In 2006 he became director of Aarhus Municipality’s magistrate’s department for ‘Health and Care’. Also her daughter Polly-Nicole Dutschke later returned to Aarhus, where she was trained as a nurse and later became the head of a municipal nursing home.
  3. H.J. Schanz has today replaced Marx and Hegel’s interpretation with Knud E. Løgstrup‘s philosophy of religion and acts as a guest speaker at clergy conventions.
  4. Rudi’s 17-year-old son Hosea-Che’s memories of the night his father died: “Das letzte Weihnachten”, SpiegelOnline (2009)
  5. Imre Nagy, formerly Hungary’s head of government, was one of the leading people in the Hungarian uprising. After the Russian military had crushed the uprising, Nagy fled into the Yugoslav embassy. When he was promised safe-conduct, he left the embassy – but was then arrested and executed by the Stalinists in 1958.
  6. The characteristic of the Frankfurt School was to relate the theory of the psychoanalytic, sociological and philosophical characteristics of the “authoritarian personality” to a critical analysis of fascism and civil society.
  7. Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979), a German-American philosopher who exerted a strong influence on the 1968 generation. In his book The One-Dimensional Man published in 1964, he criticized the consumer terror that human beings subjected themselves to without resistance, although it leaves the natural needs unsatisfied and impedes the development of human creative identity. The progress achieved through science and technology should instead be used for the development of a culture that is free of distress and coercion and that reconciles reason and sensuality.
  8. Gretchen Dutschke-Klotz: Rudi Dutschke. Cologne (1996)
  9. “Another aspect of the activities of the (Danish) Vietnam Movement in 1967-68 was the organization of major demonstrations and participation in the international Vietnam demonstrations: Liége in 1967 and Berlin in 1968. Trotskyists and Communist Party members, in particular, participated. And 200 Danes participated in the well-organized demonstration in Berlin in February 1968 with 25,000 participants. This demonstration became a source of inspiration for later demonstrations, with militant Ho-Ho-Chi-Minh shouts and chains of protesters arm in arm.” The quote is from Inger Vinter Johansen and Wilfred Gluud’s Vietnambevægelsen i Danmark 1964-1975.
  10. Gretchen Dutschke: Wir hatten ein barbarisch schönes Leben, Knaur Verlag (1998): Page 188.
  11. The criminalization of the 1968-rebels were in full swing. Thus, the state apparatus had initiated more than 7,000 lawsuits against the activists.
  12. The author of this article had a chronicle in the then left-wing newspaper “Socialistisk Dagblad” (formally newspaper of the Socialist People’s Party in Denmark)).

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