Rudi Dutschke, political activist, Germany
Rudi Dutschke was one of the most charismatic figures of the 1968 student movement in Germany. Its name is inextricably linked to the SDS (Socialist German Student Union) and the APO (Extra-Parliamentary Opposition). He gave, just like Daniel Cohn-Bendit in France, the movement face and voice. Rudi Dutschke held passionate speeches at countless demonstrations and congresses. He entered the German post-war history as a entfant terrible,"Without provocation we are not perceived at all", but as a theoretician and analyst he clearly distanced himself from terrorist actions.
He was born on 7 March 1940 in Schönfeld, Mark Brandenburg. After graduating from high school, he wanted to study sports journalism at the University of Leipzig. However, this was made impossible because of his refusal to serve in the NVA (National People's Army). Until the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, he shuttled to West Berlin to get the western high school leaving certificate. Then he stayed in the western part of the city and finally enrolled for the winter semester 1961/62 at the FU Berlin in sociology.
In an assassination attempt on 11 April 1968, Dutschke was seriously injured and died 11 years later in the Danish town of Aarhus, probably due to the late aftermath.
After the assassination attempt, it came to the most serious riots the Federal Republic had experienced up to then. In the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Essen, vans of the Springer Publishing House burned down. Demonstrators fought on the streets against the police and threw Molotov cocktails at the Springer Building in Berlin. The reason for this hate was the previous propaganda in all Springer newspapers and magazines against Dutschke and the entire student movement: It is necessary to "crack down", "deport" and "eradicate" the perpetrators.