Traudl Herrhausen, is the widow of Alfred Herrhausen. He was was the chairman of the Deutsche Bank , West Germany's largest, and a major member of the German business elite who had driven Germany's post war economic success - whilst East Germany declined.
She has maintained a public silence about his violent assassination on November 30th 1989.
His death was the result of plot executed with flawlessl military precision. A sack of armour piercing explosive on a parked bicycle was triggered remotely by an infra red beam as the first of the 3 car convoy passed. An observer then activated the device.
Construction workers had previously carefully laid the wire connecting the bomb and it's trigger under the pavement in the days preceding this extraordinarily well planned event - on a route he rarely used.
His death (it was said) represented a remarkable 3rd generation of the Red Army Faction utilising new techniques and technology.
With the wall down, known Red Army cadres who had been previously been granted political asylum in East Germany were rounded up. Beginning in about 1980, the Stasi granted refuge to 10 members of the Red Army Faction in East Germany and gave them assumed identities.
They all had solid alibis.
Sixteen months after Mr. Herrhausen's murder, the Red Army Faction claimed its last victim, killing Detlev Karsten Rohwedder, the head of the Treuhandanstalt, the powerful trust that controlled most state-owned assets in the former East Germany and was overseeing their privatization. Mr. Rohwedder was killed n 1st April 1990 by a remarkably skilled sniper while he was standing by the window of his house in Düsseldorf. A hitherto unknown modus operandi of the RAF who had neither the skill, experience or the required equipment (see pic of 3 shots determined the following night by using lasers to be 63 metres away - "Ein mörderisches Meisterstück" said a Bundeskriminalamt officer) . Der RAF ist es wieder einmal gelungen, eine Lücke im Sicherheitssystem zu entdecken - und sie auszunutzen. (cross ref IRA ownership of Barratt Sniper rifles usually handed out only by CIA)
In July 1991, German prosecutors claimed a possible breakthrough when an informant claimed he had allowed two members of the Red Army Faction to stay at his home near the Herrhausen residence. Prosecutors followed that trail 13 years before dropping charges in 2004.
In November 1989, as East Germany disintegrated, groups of citizens forced their way into Stasi installations, seizing control. In Wartin, a small village near the Polish Border a local church minister led a group of demonstrators to the main entrance of the Stasi base. The base closed.
This base was, we now the home to was home to the Stasi's AGM/S -- "Minister Working Group/Special Operations." It got its name because it reported to Mr. Erich Mielke, the minister who headed the Stasi for almost all of East Germany's 40-year history.
As Stasi records (the ones that have survived wholesale incineration)become publicly available it is becoming apparent that there were connections between the RAF and Stasi.
A year after the Red Army Faction's first generation collapsed in 1972, an internal Wartin report said cooperation with terrorists is possible if the individuals could be trusted to maintain secrecy and obey orders. Initial contacts, however, may not have taken place until later in the decade. Disillusionment gripped many of the terrorists living on the lam, according to court records citing witness statements by accused terrorists.
On 15th September 1981, Red Army Faction terrorists had attempted to kill U.S. Gen. Frederick James Kroesen in Heidelberg. They shot a bazooka at his car. About the same time, members of the same Red Army Faction team visited East Germany, where they were asked by the Stasi to shoot a bazooka at a car containing a dog. The dog died, according to court records.
Brigid Mohnhaupt took part in the assassination attempt on US General Frederick James Kroesen using an RPG-7 anti-tank rocket. Kroesen survived but was badly injured.
On 11 November 1982 she was arrested along with Adelheid Schulz, attempting to enter an RAF arms cache in woods near Frankfurt which had been staked out by GSG9 operatives who had infiltrated their cell. She was subsequently charged with involvement in the murder on 30 July 1977 of banker Jürgen Ponto, chairman of the Dresdner Bank board of directors in Oberursel, Taunus ,and also involvement in the kidnappijng and subsequent murder of ex Nazi and German employers representative Hanns Martin Schleyer.
(Off the A57 at Kaast near Cologne there are two new streets named Detlev-Karsten-Rohwedder-Str. and Hans Martin Schleyer Strasse)
She was found guilty and sentenced to 5 life sentences and has since spent most of her time in Aichach prison in Bavaria.
She was released on February 12th 2007
In Wartin, officials wrote up a detailed description of the Red Army Faction members' re-enactment of the Kroesen attack. "It is important to collect all accessible information about the terrorist scene in imperialist countries, to study and analyze their equipment, methods and tactics, so we can do it ourselves," a senior Wartin official wrote in February 1982, according to the report.
West German police discovered two buried caches of Red Army Faction weapons in 1982 and documents buried in German forests. Three terrorists, including Red Army Faction leader Christian Klar, were arrested when they approached the sites. The arms dumps were buried in locations easy to find at night, a tactic used by Wartin's own agents to store operational equipment in West Germany, according to an investigator who viewed the troves and Stasi records. (In May this year Germany's President Horst Köhler unexpectedly announced that he has refused clemency to the convicted RAF terrorists Christian Klar and Birgit Hogefeld.)
That same year, a Wartin official described the staged bombing of a moving vehicle. According to the report, several Stasi officers shed "tears of joy" when electronic sensors detected the approaching car and ignited the detonator.
Werner Grossmann, a former three-star Stasi General, former head of foreign intelligence operations, (and still alive) says the AGM/S was responsible for planning attacks in West Germany, but was dissolved "because it didn't produce results." Mr. Grossmann assumed control of part of the AGM/S after most of the unit was dissolved.
The Red Army Faction today is increasingly viewed by the German public as part of the social upheaval that plagued West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s. More than a quarter of Germans consider former Red Army Faction members to have been misguided idealists. Many think that investigations should be closed for good in the coming decade when the current group of Red Army Faction prisoners finish serving their prison sentences.
You might like also to consider the case of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) , and the the kidnapping on November 25th 2005 the Bavarian archaeologist Susanne Osthoff (45) in Iraq and the surprising release of the Bavarian bonedigger after 3 weeks on December 18th 2005.
Pic Erich Mielke, Erich Honecker, Walter Ulbricht in 1970 - in the apparent harmony these guys who lived in the Wandlitz, the Berlin suburb with its grand 23 single family houses where the Politburo lived - Mileke had his spies even there, gardeners, cooks - like J Edgar Hoover he trusted no-one and had files on all.