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Putzgruppe (Cleaning Squad) was a German left-wing group, that emerged from the German student movement and was active in the 1970s. It participated in riots against the police. According to Daniel Cohn-Bendit, they tried "to use helmets, to protect themselves against the state power, which sought trouble". The group was the militant branch of a left-wing political organisation called "Revolutionärer Kampf" (Revolutionary Fight). The future German foreign minister Joschka Fischer was known to be the head of this group.[1][2] The term Putzgruppe became popular in Germany in 2000, when the trial against Hans-Joachim Klein, a former member of the group, begun. He joined the terrorist Revolutionary Cells in 1974.[3]

The groups usual area of operation was the violent defense of occupied buildings against eviction by the police.[4] In 2001 Joschka Fischer gave an interview to the German magazine Stern, in which he said that they threw stones.[5] Furthermore, the group may be responsible for the use of Molotov cocktails on a demonstration in May 1976 when the policeman Jürgen Weber suffered severe burns.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Zorn, Thomas (30 September 1998). "Rezension: Sachbuch: Blutgrätsche unter Genossen." [Review: Factbook: Assault on Comrades.]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Zorn, Thomas (12 February 2001). "Kumpane: "Gute Wünsche von ‚Janie'"." [chum: "Good wishes from ‚Janie‘"]. Focus (in German). Munich: Helmut Markwort. pp. 30–33. 
  3. ^ Ditfurth, Jutta; Cohn-Bendit, Daniel (31 May 2005). "Widersprüchliches über Fischers "Putzgruppe"" [Contradictory about Fischers "Putzgruppe"]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Putzgruppe gegen "Focus": Fischer sagt aus" [Putzgruppe against "Focus": Fischer testifies]. n-tv.de (in German). RTL Group. 21 March 2006. [Er] hatte [...] die Putzgruppe als den letztlich untauglichen Versuch bezeichnet, besetzte Häuser gegen die anrückende Polizei zu verteidigen. 
  5. ^ Stark, Holger (3 January 2001). "Joschka Fischer: Der Außenminister bekennt: Wir haben Steine geworfen" [Joschka Fischer: The foreign-minister admits: We threw stones]. Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Berlin. Retrieved 5 February 2014.