By Julian Preece (auth.)
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Additional info for Baader-Meinhof and the Novel: Narratives of the Nation / Fantasies of the Revolution, 1970–2010
30 The 1990s and 2000s witnessed a wave of novels about the Nazi past, which explore the individual involvement of family members in the Third Reich (dubbed the “new German family novel”). The central characters in several recent Baader-Meinhof novels also have personal connections with the terrorist past, which they learn about in the course of the action. Similar scenarios can be found in a number of popular films from the late 2000s. The favorite plot type involves a parent, usually a mother, who may not have played a role in the child’s upbringing or who is mistakenly believed to be dead, and who turns out to have been a terrorist.
He was close to Baader and Ensslin from the summer of 1969 onwards, when they befriended him during their work with Frankfurt adolescents. The self-conscious delinquent teenager became part of the RAF secondgeneration inner circle, which carried out the Schleyer kidnapping eight years later. His autobiographical novel Descent (1988) has some powerful passages, but its purpose is self-justification and its first-person narrator has no self-insight or capacity for reflection: he is the victim of history and gets shot on the novel’s final page in the attempted kidnapping of an American NATO general.
Victims and bystanders came to be the subject of books or even wrote their own. Some of the paradigms in operation, such as “victim fiction,” are borrowed from those devised to work through the memory of Nazism. 30 The 1990s and 2000s witnessed a wave of novels about the Nazi past, which explore the individual involvement of family members in the Third Reich (dubbed the “new German family novel”). The central characters in several recent Baader-Meinhof novels also have personal connections with the terrorist past, which they learn about in the course of the action.