Wednesday, 3 April 2013

baader-meinhof or the episode where mister s learns his apartment is haunted

There are loads of gracious old villas in my neighbourhood, all of which, I’m sure, have very colourful histories. I didn’t imagine that my nondescript and rather anonymous building ever saw much excitement, let alone infamy, mostly the temporary dwelling, as in my case, for people working in the city during the week and it seems that rooms are rented for guest-workers in the construction business—which is pretty practical for all involved.

The building’s supervisor, according to my landlords, is a bit nosy and perhaps paranoid about the tenants, and asks for a bit more background and documentation than is customary—and probably tolerable to most Germans. I guess I am another Auslander passing through here, and complied. I learned afterwards that the cause for this prying was rooted in the fact that these apartments, with the same super at the helm, hosted a cell of the Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion) in the mid-80s. Ideology is always dependent on which side one asks: rebels, freedom-fighters, and merry men are also insurgents and terrorists, but it was certainly a dark chapter for Germany—especially with the latter generation who seemed more poised towards violence.
Specifically, what transpired in this building, where a couple, both members lived, involved a plot to wile an American soldier stationed in the area, whom was killed, once lured back to the apartment, for his ID card. The pass allowed other operatives access to the Rhein-Main Air Base (on the grounds of the Frankfurt Airport) with a car full of explosives to detonate. Captured and convicted years later, the woman who was the honey-trap was also implicated for her part in a failed assassination attempt on the former Bundesbank president who would later oversee the introduction of the euro and was nearly put in charge of the Vatican City bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR). Every corner is reeking with it, but that’s a bit more of a story than I was ready for.