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Jan-Carl Raspe

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Jan-Carl Raspe
Born(1944-07-24)24 July 1944
Died18 October 1977(1977-10-18) (aged 33)
Cause of deathGunshot wound
Occupation(s)German militant; convicted criminal
OrganizationRed Army Faction

Jan-Carl Raspe (24 July 1944 – 18 October 1977) was a member of the German militant group, the Red Army Faction (RAF).

Early life[edit]

Raspe was born in Seefeld in Tirol (then Germany, now Austria). He was described as gentle but had difficulty communicating with other people. His father, a businessman, died before his birth and Raspe and his two older sisters were raised by his mother and two aunts.[1][2] Although living in East Berlin, he went to West Berlin when the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, and stayed there, living with his uncle and aunt. He co-founded Kommune II in 1967[3] and joined the Red Army Faction, also known as the "Baader-Meinhof Gang", in 1970.[4]


Burial site of Baader, Raspe and Ensslin

On 1 June 1972, Raspe along with Andreas Baader and Holger Meins had gone to check on a garage in Frankfurt where they had been storing materials used to make incendiary devices. Raspe had gone along as the driver (they were driving a Porsche Targa). However, as soon as they arrived at the garage, police began to swarm around the scene. Meins and Baader had already entered the garage and were surrounded but Raspe, who had remained by the car, fired a shot from his gun and tried to run away when he was rushed by police, but to no avail; he was caught and arrested in a nearby garden. Meins and Baader were arrested soon after.

Raspe was convicted on 28 April 1977 and sentenced to life imprisonment.[5][6] On 18 October 1977, Raspe was found with a gunshot wound in his cell in Stammheim Prison, Stuttgart. He died shortly after being admitted to a hospital.[7][8][9] Fellow RAF members and inmates, Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, were found dead in their cells the same morning. Irmgard Möller was found in her cell, wounded after supposedly stabbing herself in the chest, but survived. The official inquiry concluded that this was a collective suicide, but again conspiracy theories abounded.


The Red Army Faction created in 1984 the "Commando Jan Raspe" in Solidarity and rembering of him. The commando parked a car loaded with explosives in front of the shape school in Oberammergau. The cadres for NATO's integrated staff were trained there. The car was noticed and the bomb was defused. RAF said: The aim of the action was to eliminate the military there directly.[10]


  1. ^ Post, Jerrold M. (2007). The Mind of the Terrorist : The Psychology of Terrorism from the IRA to Al-Qaeda. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-230-60859-7.
  2. ^ Aust, Stefan (2009). Baader-Meinhof : The Inside Story of the R.A.F. Translated by Anthea Bell. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-19-537275-5.
  3. ^ Walker, Ian (1987). Zoo Station : Adventures in East and West Berlin. London: Secker & Warburg. p. 31. ISBN 0-436-56093-3.
  4. ^ Atkins, Stephen E. (2004). Encyclopedia of modern worldwide extremists and extremist groups. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-0313324857.
  5. ^ Hockenos, Paul (2008). Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic : An Alternative History of Postwar Germany. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-19-804016-3.
  6. ^ Carlton, David; Schaerf, Carlo (2015). Contemporary Terror : Studies in Sub-State Violence. International School on Disarmament and Research on Conflicts. Abingdon, Oxon: Taylor & Francis. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-317-42430-7.
  7. ^ Childs, David (9 April 2007). "Hans Filbinger". The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  8. ^ Hofmann, Paul (October 19, 1977). "3 JAILED GERMAN TERRORISTS REPORTED SUICIDES AS HOSTAGES FROM HIJACKED PLANE FLY HOME". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  9. ^ "New Pictures of RAF Terror Cell Events Unearthed in Germany". Deutsche Welle. 5 August 2008. Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Kommando Jan Raspe | Social History Portal". socialhistoryportal.org. Retrieved 2024-02-28.

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