Detlev Karsten Rohwedder

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Detlev Karsten Rohwedder (1990)

Detlev Karsten Rohwedder (October 16, 1932 – April 1, 1991) was a German manager and politician, as member of the Social Democratic Party. He was manager of the Treuhandanstalt.

Rohwedder was born in Gotha. While responsible for the privatisation of state-owned property in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), he was assassinated by a sniper while standing at the window of his highly protected house in Düsseldorf. The West German far-left militant group Red Army Faction (RAF) has claimed responsibility for this act, but the shooter has never been identified.


On Monday, April 1, 1991, at 23:30, Rohwedder was shot and killed through a window on the first floor of his house in the suburb of Düsseldorf-Niederkassel (Kaiser-Friedrich-Ring 71) by the first of three rifle shots. The second shot wounded his wife Hergard; the third hit a bookcase.

The shots were fired from 63 m away from a rifle with 7.62×51mm NATO standard calibre, the same rifle that was used during the RAF's sniper attack on the American embassy in February. An inspection of the scene found three cartridge cases, a plastic chair, a towel, and a letter claiming responsibility from a RAF commando named after Ulrich Wessel, a minor RAF figure who had died in 1975. The shooter has never been identified.

In 2001, a DNA analysis found that hair strands from the crime scene belonged to RAF member Wolfgang Grams. The Attorney General did not consider this evidence sufficient to name Grams as a suspect of the killing.

On April 10, 1991, Rohwedder was honoured in Berlin with a day of mourning by German President Richard von Weizsäcker, Minister-President of North-Rhine Westphalia, Johannes Rau, and Chairman of the Board of Treuhandanstalt Jens Odewald.


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