Rudi Dutschke, 39, the charismatic Marxist scholar who led West Germany's student revolt in the late 1960s, died Monday in Aarhus, Denmark, after an epileptic seizure, police there reported.
Mr. Dutschke, was on a private visit to friends in Aarhus, where he formerly taught and where his Chicago-born wife, Gretchen, lives with their two children.
Mr. Dutschke, known as "Red Rudi" for his fiery oratory calling for the radicalizing of West German society and government, led sit-ins, hunger strikes and protest demonstrations from his base at West Berlin's Free University.
As the ideologist of the radical leftist German Socialist Student Federation, Mr. Dutschke succeeded in making the student movement the major domestic issue in West Germany at the time and in establishing West Berlin as the center of student and leftist disconcent in Western Europe.
On April 11, 1968, Mr. Dutschke was shot and critically wounded on a West Berlin street by an assailant who said he had been inspired by the assassination in Memphis a week earlier of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While Mr. Dutschke lay seriously ill in the hospital after brain surgery, riots broke out in West Berlin and spread throughout the country.
These disturbances triggered a wave of riots, strikes and demonstrations that shook much of Europe that spring. In France, where student and worker protests disrupted what had been a welcome period of national calm, Charles deGualle was able to call a quick election campaign that returned on overwhelmingly Guallist majority to parliament.
Less than a year later, residual uncertainty and lingering bitterness resulted in his resignation after he had staked his prestige on a relativel minor national referendum.
The targets of Mr. Dutschke's protests included U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the mass media -- in particular, the major publishing concern Axel Springer, and "establishment" figures and institutions. The theory expounded by Mr. Dutschke called for creation of citizens' councils instead of a central government and for "control by the producers over the conditions of production, over the products and over living conditions."
The appeal of his nihilist and some what utopian theory reflected youthful discontent among privileged middle-class student as well as the determination of his committed leftist followers to radically alter a society with which they felt unable to identify.
Mr. Dutschke was born in Schoenefeld, south of Berlin in what is now East Germany, in 1940, the son of a postal employe. After the Communists came to power after World War II, he refused to serve in the army and was prevented from studying his chosen field of journalism.
He became a salesman and traveled between East and West Berlin in the years before Berlin Wall went up. In 1960 he moved to West Berlin and enrolled at the Free University.
After the police shooting of a student in June 1967, during a visit to the city by the shah of Iran, Mr. Dutschke became undisputed leader of the extra-parliamentary opposition.
After he himself had been shot, he moved with his family to Britain, but in 1971 he war ordered to leave the country by the then Conservative government because of alleged political activity.
After his expulsion from Britain, Mr. Dutschke took up a post at Aarhus University at the Institute for the History of the Mind.
Mr. Dutschke lived in Aarhus and later in West Berlin, Bremen and Frankfurt and worked for the leftwing Berlin Tageszeitung Newspaper. In 1975, he started work on a research project at the Free University in West Berlin.
He sought to build up a new left-wing party in West Germany and canvassed extensively for the "Green Environmentalists," who won their first seats in Bremen last October.
But the former student leader remained isolated in West German politics.