Michael Baumann, (aka “Bommi the Bomber”), Germany’s greatest rock star revolutionary, died last night after a long illness. In 1975, while on the run, he published a banned book that repudiated his violent past and his many bombings (none of which took any lives), by explaining that after being raised in the post-WWII ghetto of East Berlin, he had been trained towards violent behavior his entire life. But after a few years of promoting terror against the state, he’d realized this was a path the authorities wanted him to pursue.
It’s taken decades for me to absorb some of the nuances of the 1960s counter-revolution. Why has most everything gone so wrong since then? Recent discoveries lead me to believe revolutionary terror is encouraged by intelligence agencies, a conclusion Bommi came to earlier than most. The pro-democracy student movement in Germany in the 1960s was also called SDS and it was also non-violent, at least until June 2, 1967, when the second day of an ugly protest against the visiting Shah of Iran took place in Munich.
To counter the protesters, the Shah unleashed a goon squad attacking the crowd with wooden bats, cracking heads and inflicting serious damage while police melted away, temporarily disappearing. During the melee, a student named Benno Ohnesorg was executed by a policeman with a shot to the back of his head. Still wracked with PTSD from WWII, Germany went into a state of shock after newsreels of the beatings and killing appeared on tv, and despair intensified after the policeman, Karl Kurras, was found innocent of wrongdoing.
The bloody terror campaign of the Beider-Meinhof RAF gang that followed reminds me of similar actions undertaken by the bloody Weather Underground immediately following the assassination of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton by the Chicago police. Notice the leader of the Weather Underground and the leaders of the Neo-Con movement that fomented two devastating and unnecessary wars all emanated from the Rockefeller-funded University of Chicago. This is no accident in my judgment. Like the Weather Underground, the RAF was led by grandstanding publicity seekers who favored plush lifestyles, not the sort of lower-class upbringing Bommi sprang from. Also, Bommi did most of his actions with a sense of humor, something severely lacking in the RAF and Weather Underground.
While I can’t pretend to have penetrated the ranks to determine which German revolutionaries were double agents, Manchurian candidates or true believers, I can tell you with absolute certainty Karl Kurras was an agent of the East German Stasi intelligence agency. And in 1972, Bommi gave an enormous list of names of everyone he knew during an epic interview with the Stasi.
Before he died, George Orwell did the same thing for MI5. It was Orwell who’d first explained how the revolution is actually a mirage secretly created by agents of the state to draw the rebel moths to their flames. If you read between the lines, you realize 1984 is an expose of Communism as a controlled dialectic created by Capitalism, which is why all Communist revolutions are fascism in sheep’s clothing.
Bommi says he was arrested by Stasi while crossing the border with a fake passport and was given the option of telling Stasi everything he knew about the movement (and they had plenty of inside intel to verify if he was telling the truth), or he would be shipped back to West Germany to rot in jail. Bommi also says Kurras was useless as a spy after Ohnesorg’s murder because he became the most infamous policeman in Germany. Spooks need to hide in the shadows and once a spotlight falls on them any future operations become difficult to conceal.
Bommi’s book, “Terror or Love” is only $15 on Amazon. If you want an illuminating look at how a 1960s revolutionary woke up and denounced all terror, you can’t do better than this book. The Western press did not even note his passing.
Late in life Bommi became a very successful businessman and real estate investor. I’d always hoped to interview him some day so I could probe some of the nuances. Sadly, that won’t be happening. RIP Bommi.