Ulrike Meinhof readings:
! : There seems to be a bit of a shift in Meinhof’s tone after the shooting of Rudy Dutschke, especially in “Everybody Talks About the Weather.” Her writings seem to shift from polite social critiques to demands for change.
? : Before she started actively participating in the RAF’s terrorism, I know that she was a highly respected journalist, but how much of the country agreed with her writings outside of the RAF?
The Baader-Meinhof Complex:
! : In the prison scenes, I was appalled to see the difference between German and American federal prisons. The RAF members, even before the government started fulfilling their demands for better treatment, had shockingly luxurious conditions compared to those in American prisons. This speaks to the inhumanity and institutionalized racism in our American prison system.
? : I have spent extensive time living in Southwestern Germany, and have many family friends who were in their teens and twenties during this time. Gudrun Ensslin even attended the university in Tübingen, the town where I spent several years of my childhood – and yet I have never heard anyone speak about the RAF, even when I visited as a teenager. Could this merely be because I lived a sheltered life as an American visitor? Was I just not listening when my parents spoke to other adults? Is it possible that Germans prefer to avoid this topic out of shame, as they do with the Holocaust?
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum:
! : Throughout the entire film, even as I came to realize that Katharina was not entirely innocent, I was horrified at the amount of lies, slandering, and harassment that she received. It seemed almost like a ridiculously unrealistic dystopian tale, which made it strange to imagine that this kind of treatment of people by the press actually happened.
? : Where can you draw the line when the freedom of the press conflicts with a person’s life and wellbeing, whether they are innocent or not?