The Mimesis that Was Not One: Femininity as Camouflage in the Armed Struggle in West Germany

  • Katharina Karcher
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Postmetaphysical Thought book series (PSPMT)


For almost three decades, a few leftist groups fought for a violent revolution in West Germany, of which the ‘Red Army Faction’ (RAF) was probably the most prominent. In the period from 1970 to 1995, the RAF killed 34 persons, and 17 group members died before the group declared the end of their armed struggle in 1998. In January 1972, ‘the Movement of June 2’ (MJ2) emerged in West Berlin as a ‘militant alternative’ to the RAF. Initially, the MJ2 sought to focus on attacks against property. Yet the group did not remain faithful to this principle: they killed two people and hurt many more. By 1980, most members of the MJ2 had laid down their weapons, and the remainder of the group joined the RAF. A third militant leftist organization emerged in Frankfurt in 1973, when Brigitte Kuhlmann and Wilfried Böse founded the ‘Revolutionary Cells’ (RC). By 1978, at least eleven RCs existed in Germany, and a part of the group, the so-called ‘international wing of the RC’, participated in armed conflicts in a range of other countries. Similar to the MJ2, the RC wanted to be a popular guerrilla group. For the most part, they tried not to hurt or kill people, even if they did not always stick with this policy. In the mid-1970s, a group of women in the RC began to execute attacks with an explicitly feminist agenda. In 1984, this group split off from the militant leftist network and formed the autonomous women’s guerrilla movement called ‘Rote Zora’ (RZ).


Police Officer Armed Conflict Political Violence Reading Room Feminist Agenda 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Katharina Karcher 2015

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  • Katharina Karcher

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