Seizure of West German embassy in Stockholm
|Seizure of West German|
embassy in Stockholm
|Tysklands ambassad i Stockholm|
(German Embassy Stockholm), 2008
|Official name||Seizure of West German|
embassy in Stockholm
|Story Perps/s||Red Army Faction|
The West German Embassy siege in Stockholm, Sweden, was a hostage standoff initiated by the Red Army Faction (RAF) on 24 April 1975. Collectively, the attackers referred to themselves as Kommando Holger Meins, after Holger Meins, an RAF member who had died of starvation during a (collective) hunger strike in Wittlich Prison on 9 November 1974.
The RAF group carried out the attack with the goal of forcing the release of other RAF members from prison in West Germany. During the siege they stated: "The Holger Meins Commando is holding members of the embassy staff in order to free prisoners in West Germany. If the police move in, we shall blow the building up with 15 kilos of TNT."
They entered the embassy, took thirteen embassy officials, including ambassador Dietrich Stoecher, hostage (or twelve officials, according to some sources), and then proceeded to occupy the upper floors of the building.
They warned Swedish police to back off or some hostages would be killed, but the police did not comply and one of the hostages, Andreas Baron von Mirbach, a German military attaché was marched out on to the landing and shot dead.
Swedish police prepared to storm the building, but before they had the chance to do so, the embassy was rocked by a series of violent explosions; the TNT had somehow been detonated. It turned out that one of the terrorists, Ulrich Wessel, had dropped a grenade, which killed him and detonated the TNT cache.
The explosion of the embassy was caught on tape. Swedish news reporter Bo Holmström was standing outside the embassy ready to broadcast when the explosions took place. After taking cover Holmström started yelling "Lägg ut, lägg ut!" ("Put it on, put it on!"), i.e. "Put me on the air!". Once he knew he was live he began reporting on the events.
- A Brief History of the Red Army Faction A Brief History of the Red Army Faction
- Video Bo Holmström "Lägg ut, lägg ut!" Video Bo Holmström "Lägg ut, lägg ut!"
- Video of the embassy burning after the explosion Video of the embassy burning after the explosion
- BBC On This Day: 1975: Baader-Meinhof blow up embassy 
- Wikipedia: Events attributed to the RAF [MSM 1]
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