Josef Bachmann

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Josef Erwin Bachmann (12 October 1944 Reichenbach im Vogtland, Saxony – 24 February 1970) became widely known in Germany for his assassination attempt on the leader of the German student movement, Rudi Dutschke, firing three bullets at him, on 11 April 1968. He was convicted of the attack and sentenced to a seven-year prison sentence. While in prison in 1970, Bachmann committed suicide.

The attack[edit]

Bachmann approached Dutschke, whom he had never met, in the street, having found out his address from the Einwohnermeldeamt, the registration office. Asking him if he was really Rudi Dutschke, he took out a gun and shot him in the head. Later on he told the judge that he had done it out of hate, calling Dutschke a "dirty communist pig". After the shooting, Bachmann fled to a cellar where he took an overdose of sleeping pills but still continued firing his gun at police officers trying to approach him. He was taken to a hospital to deal with the effects of his overdose.

Dutschke survived the assassination attempt but suffered brain damage and was forced to learn to speak again. He was left with severe health problems which in 1979 led to his death in Aarhus, Denmark.

After Bachmann's conviction, he and Dutschke corresponded by letter.[1] Bachmann committed suicide on the night of 23-24 February 1970 by suffocating himself with a plastic bag over his head.

In media[edit]

Bachmann was portrayed by Tom Schilling in the 2008 film Der Baader Meinhof Komplex.


  1. ^ "Lieber Josef Bachmann: Diese Briefe schrieb Dutschke an seinen Attentäter". Der Bild. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 2017-02-20.