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Saturday, 16 November, 2002, 19:05 GMT
Red Army Faction brains 'disappeared'
Red Army Factions members Baader, Ensslin and Raspe, who all committed suicide in prison
The brains of the three have disappeared

It has emerged that the brains of three leading members of the urban guerrilla group, the Red Army Faction, including its leader, Andreas Baader, have disappeared after being preserved for scientific research.

The ghoulish revelation comes just days after the daughters of Ulrike Meinhof, another of the revolutionaries, finally won permission to have her brain returned for burial.

Her brain was also held after her suicide in jail in 1976.

The group, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, began a campaign of political killings and kidnappings of senior business leaders in the 1970s aimed at overthrowing the state.

Theft possible

The leading news magazine, Der Spiegel, now reports that the organs of the three members were removed for scientific research in the 1970s, only to disappear.

Ulrike Meinhof
Tests on Meinhof's brain showed damage
The three, Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe, killed themselves in jail in 1977, after first a kidnapping, then a jet hijacking failed to secure their release.

Richard Meyermann, head of the Neurological Research Institute of Tuebingen University where the tests were done, is quoted as saying he could not account for the disappearance of the organs.

They might have been moved to make way for other objects and then finally burned, he said, but he could not rule out theft.

Meinhof damaged

It emerged last week that tests on Ulrike Meinhof's brain soon after her death cast doubt on her fitness to stand trial.

The investigation showed indications of brain damage resulting from an earlier operation.

But the latest revelations indicate the authorities had a morbid fascination with the revolutionary killers and the motives for their violent campaign.

It emerged recently that an unauthorised death mask of Andreas Baader had been made by one of the medical team.

The news comes amid concerns that a series of films about the violent 1970s have portrayed the killers as pop icons.

See also:

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