The Spassguerilla (fun guerrilla) was a grouping within the student protest movement of the 1960s in Germany that agitated for social change, in particular for a more libertarian, less authoritarian, and less materialistic society, using tactics characterized by disrespectful humour and provocative and disruptive actions of a minimally violent nature. Events organized by the groups included such actions as attacking politicians or the police with custard pies. One of the main proponents was Fritz Teufel, sometimes referred to as the political clown of the Extraparliamentary Opposition. The lack of respect for traditional, "bourgeois," "repressive" forms of authority and ritual, countered by irony and humour, was typified by Fritz Teufel's reply when told to stand for the judge at a trial: "If it helps the search for the truth" (Wenn's der Wahrheitsfindung dient).
The tactics and attitudes of this grouping including Fritz Teufel were in contrast to the more serious, revolutionary rhetoric and actions of other groups centred on the SDS and figures like Rudi Dutschke.
The tactics of the Spassguerilla were characterized by civil disobedience, symbolic (rather than real) violence, provocation of authority, using actions of the "authoritarian" state, such as trials, as opportunities for "unmasking" outdated traditions. However, genuine civil disobedience involves a refusal to obey certain laws without resorting to physical violence.
It was Wolfgang Lefèvre who said that every event or demonstration should be planned so as to be fun for the participants.
While Rudi Dutschke talked of a "Stadtguerilla" (urban guerrilla), Fritz Teufel talked of a "Spassguerilla" (fun guerrilla).
The forms of provocative and disruptive protest invented by the Spassguerilla were later adopted by the peace movement of the 1980s and later by youth protest movements in the reunified Germany.
The word Spaßgerilja
Fritz Teufel used the word "Spaßgerilja". Though the normal German spelling is Spaßguerilla, Teufel's spelling became known as the "teuflische Schreibweise" (a pun meaning either "Teufelian" spelling or "diabolical spelling"; Teufel in German means devil). This spelling is retained by some, including academics (see references).
- Teune, Simon (2007-11-21). "Humour as a Guerrilla Tactic: The West German Student Movement's Mockery of the Establishment". International Review of Social History (Cambridge University Press) 52: 115–132. doi:10.1017/S002085900700315X. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Fitz, Birgit (2008). Die Konstruktion der Vergangenheit am Beispiel Rudi Dutschke.: Eine vergleichende Inhaltsanalyse der Zeitungen "Bild" und "Der Spiegel" (Studienarbeit). GRIN Verlag. p. 17. ISBN 3-638-91771-1.
- Walther, Rudolf (2008-06-06). "Ein direkter Weg von der Spassguerilla zum Terrorismus? Aktions- und Gewaltformen in der Protestbewegung". 68: Jahre der Rebellion. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Rucht, Dieter (1997). "The Structure and Culture of Collective Protest". In David S. Meyer and Sidney Tarrow. The Social Movement Society: Contentious Politics for a New Century. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 54, p56 (note 24). ISBN 0-8476-8541-1.
- Bock, Karin; Nicole Pfaff (2003). "Jugendkulturen in der neuen Bundesrepublik". In Sabine Andresen and Karin Bock. Vereintes Deutschland--geteilte Jugend: Ein politisches Handbuch. VS Verlag. p. 111. ISBN 3-8100-3560-2.
- Teubener, Katy (2005). "Flanieren als Protestbewegung". In Cilja Harders, Heike Kahlert, Delia Schindler. Forschungsfeld Politik: geschlechtskategoriale Einführung in die Sozialwissenschaften. VS Verlag. p. 302. ISBN 3-8100-4074-6.