Die Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF) als kulturelles Phänomen: Repräsentationen in literarischen Texten und anderen kulturellen Produkten

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Naylor, Sylvia
Frederiksen, Elke P.
The Red Army Faction (RAF), a radical West German left-wing terrorist group that existed from 1970 to 1998, has been the focus of numerous literary and non-literary texts. I argue that due to the appearance of the RAF in a wide variety of cultural products, such as literary texts, art, music, movies, and the media, one must now examine the RAF as a part of German cultural discourses. I analyze a broad spectrum of texts that are representative of the various portrayals of the RAF over the years, including the short story Lenau by Günter Herburger (1972), the drawing Gruppenbild mit Dame by Gerboth (1972), the film Die bleierne Zeit by Margarethe von Trotta (1981), the drama Berliner November by Holger Teschke (1987), the drama Leviathan by Dea Loher (1993), the drama Rinderwahnsinn by John von Düffel (1999), the painting Meinhof by Johannes Kahrs (2001), the film Baader by Christopher Roth (2002), and newspaper articles from the 1970s to the present. This research project presents an interdisciplinary analysis, incorporating the methodological paradigms of New Historicism and Gender Studies, in order to examine the RAF as a cultural phenomenon. I investigate the portrayal of the RAF in literary and non-literary texts since 1970 with the purpose of understanding how the representations in these texts can be interpreted as products of the political, cultural, and social environment from which they arose. This dissertation analyzes numerous aspects of the RAF discourse, including: (1) how did representations of the RAF in different areas, such as politics, literary texts, and the media contrast and/or influence each other? (2) how did portrayals of the RAF differ in West and East Germany? (3) how did representations of the RAF change over the years? and (4) how were female RAF members depicted in literary and non-literary texts and what role did gender identity in German society play in these depictions?