In publica commoda

Student movement: Buback-Nachruf 1977

The so-called Buback Obituary (Göttinger Nachrichten [Göttingen news] on the 25th of April 1977) displays the two-facedness of the student movement and the forces resulting from it in an exemplary fashion – on the one hand progressive, emancipatory, antifascist, on the other inhuman, dogmatic, even fascistic. Additionally the “Obituary” is an expression of the fact that the “Left” was becoming increasingly aware of these aberrations:

“My immediate reaction, my ‘shock’ following the shooting of Buback can be described quickly: I could and I would (and will) not suppress a secret feeling of pleasure. I have often heard this guy stir up hatred. [...]. Anyone who has taken a close look at his face over the last few days was able to recognise the characteristics of this constitutional state which he embodied in such an outstanding way.” In the following the author then however goes on to present various arguments against the assassination. He considers it strategically clumsy, as it reinforces the prosecution efforts of the police and the judiciary. He subsequently however also fundamentally questions the “armed conflict”. “How can I decide that Buback is important, not only for myself and my people, but also for the other people. That he is more important than judge X at prison Y or one of his guards. [...] When one of these killers legitimised by the state is killed off in Argentina or even Spain I do not have this problem. I believe I sense that the public’s hatred against these figures really is a public hatred. But who and how many people have hated Buback (to the death)? Where could I, if I was one of the armed fighters, obtain my competence to make decisions on life and death? [...] Whatever we do: it always illuminates that for which we strive.”

7th of April 1977: Attorney General Siegfried Buback is murdered in Karlsruhe by the RAF [Red Army Faction].

25. April 1977: Buback Obituary in the Göttinger Nachrichten published by ASTA [General Council of Students]

11th of May 1977: On the campus of the Centre for Humanities of the University 3000 to 4000 congregated students decide to boycott teaching initially until the 16th of May. The cause is the argument surrounding the article about the assassination of Attorney General Buback, from which the ASTA is refusing to distance itself.

On the 6th of March 1978 the so-called “Buback Trial” begins before the 2nd Grand Division of the Regional Court Göttingen against four accused students who are being made responsible for the publication of the Buback Obituary.

5. April 1978: On the seventh day of the trial around the “Buback Obituary” before the 2nd Grand Division two students are acquitted, as their participation in the preparation of the article could not be proved. Klaus Lodewick and Hans-Josef Karbach were sentenced to a financial penalty of 1800 DM each for defamation of the State in conjunction with defamation of the memory of a deceased person.