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Fritz Teufel, 'fun guerrilla' in German student movement of 1960s, dies at 67

Fritz Teufel's parents escort him after he was released from prison.
Fritz Teufel's parents escort him after he was released from prison. (1967 Photo By Edwin Reichert/associated Press)

There Mr. Teufel co-founded Kommune 1, where members lived in protest against middle-class trappings such as personal property. They planned satirical demonstrations together, including the pudding assassination.

"We really felt obliged to correct the historical, political development of a Nazi-tainted federal republic," he once said.

In the early 1970s, Mr. Teufel left the commune and moved to Munich, where he fell in with a radical leftist group that embraced violence as a political tactic. He was jailed for two years for trying to firebomb a court, and in 1975 he was one of six members of the militant June 2 Movement who were arrested for kidnapping Peter Lorenz, a leader in West Berlin of the Christian Democratic Union political party.

Mr. Teufel sat in jail for five years as he awaited trial, which was marked by clashes with court authorities. Mr. Teufel once called the judge a "sheep's head" and, to protest frisking, stripped his clothes off and threw them out a window into the street.

Eventually, Mr. Teufel presented his alibi: During the kidnapping, he said, he had been working at a toilet-seat factory in West Germany. He said he had withheld that information to highlight the injustice of Germany's justice system.

Mr. Teufel was acquitted of kidnapping charges but convicted of robbery and belonging to a criminal organization. He was also convicted of firearms offenses, as he had been carrying a pistol and a sawed-off shotgun when he was arrested. ("It did not matter," he said in a 2007 interview, "that my mother told the investigating judge that it was only a very small shotgun.")

He was sentenced to five years in prison, which he had already served.

Mr. Teufel had broken with the radical left by the early 1980s, when he moved to London and worked in a cooperative bakery. He later returned to Berlin, where he worked as a freelance writer and a bicycle courier. He occasionally gave interviews to journalists who agreed to play an hour-long game of table tennis.

According to several news reports, survivors include his companion, Helene Lollo.


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