skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 78821 Find in a Library
Title: Terrorism and the State in West Germany During the 1970s - A Threat to Stability or a Case of Political Over-reaction? (From Terrorism - A Challenge to the State, P 11-56, 1981, Juliet Lodge, ed. - See NCJ-78820)
Author(s): G Pridham
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 46
Sponsoring Agency: St Martin's Press
New York, NY 10010
Sale Source: St Martin's Press
Scholarly & Reference Division
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The historical, ideological, and sociological dimensions of terrorism in West Germany are discussed, and the political and institutional responses to terrorist activity are considered.
Abstract: Historically, organized terrorist activity in West Germany emerged when elements of the radical left became disillusioned with the constitutional left as represented by the Social Democrats. Some of the ideological reasoning of the Red Army Faction, the 2nd June Movement, and other revolutionary cells contains the concept of the 'armed struggle' and the model of Third World liberation movements, the connection drawn between Naziism and the operations of the Federal Republic, and the rejection of the consumer capitalist society as being potentially if not actually fascistic. The predominantly bourgeois background of the terrorists and the prominence of women may contribute to the somewhat utopian outlook of the terrorists, and their political isolation tends to nurture a continuing subculture alienated from legitimate power channels, thus fostering violence as a means of manifesting power. By the end of the 1970's, West Germany had developed an elaborate and sophisticated internal security system, which clearly has had an impact in helping to reduce terrorist activities. This process has been controversial because of the growth in the powers of the State and its scope for personal intrusion. Just as the specter of Nazi terrorist tactics produced a strong Government response to terrorism, so the same specter should fuel public reaction to excessive internal security measures and so temper their application. A total of 128 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Baader-Meinhof Gang; Counter-terrorism tactics; Germany; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorism/Mass Violence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.