naeem mohaiemen

feature

War of six six six against sixty million

VHS in stop motion, photograph; 2007

Naeem Mohaiemen

Finnish Museum of Photography

What to make of the hyperventilating ceremony around Hans-Martin Schleyer’s funeral. Death in RAF captivity transformed him from SS officer to national hero, with state funeral and a 3 minute silence (time enough to drown) in the Daimler factory. To the German state, fear-fantasies of ubiquitous terrorist conspiracy tranformed Baader’s followers into “Hitler’s children”. But to Rote Armee Fraktion, the reception to Schleyer’s death proved (again) that the Generation of Auschwitz still controlled the wirschaftwunder. Hysteria is contagious, as Franz-Josef Strauss demands that a terrorist hostage is shot for every RAF kidnapping, and Gudrun Ensslin writes from her prison cell, “Those of us in there, to put it bluntly, can only be surprised they don’t spray the gas in.” She was not only a RAF founder, but also a descendant of Hegel.

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posted by md

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