Politics & Policy

Berlin’s New Anti-American Axis

Fischerism spreads.

On February 10, 2003, the government of Germany began building a new, anti-American Berlin-Moscow-Paris Axis. As one of the former Soviet bloc experts on German matters (and chief of a bloc intelligence station in West Germany), I had been waiting for something like that to happen ever since October 1998, when Joschka Fischer became Germany’s foreign minister.

Fischer is an indirect product of the old anti-American intelligence community to which I once belonged. In 1975 Libya’s dictator, Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, informed Romania’s tyrant, Nicolae Ceausescu — through me — that he was preparing a terrorist attack against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and asked my boss to provide him with blueprints of OPEC’s temporary headquarters in Vienna. Ceausescu agreed, and the Romanian espionage service (the DIE) complied. The December 1975 takeover of OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna resulted in the seizure of 60 OPEC officials and staff members as hostages. The kidnapping was organized by Qaddafi and the infamous Ilich Ramírez Sánchez — “Carlos” or “the Jackal.”

Twenty-two years later, Carlos was arrested in Khartoum, Sudan, by the French counterintelligence service (DST), with whose director, Yves Bonnet, I had earlier cooperated after leaving Romania. Carlos was immediately taken to Paris, where he was charged with killing two French police officers in 1979; he was sentenced to life in prison. During interrogation, Carlos asserted that his deputy for the OPEC operation had been German terrorist Hans Joachim Klein, codenamed “Angie,” who had killed an OPEC security man and an Austrian policeman during that attack. Carlos also testified that the weapons used for the OPEC operation had been kept in an apartment in Frankfurt/Main, where Klein was then living with two other “red revolutionaries” of those days, Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Joschka Fischer.

In 2000, Klein, who was a fugitive, was also arrested by the French DST. He was deported to Germany, where he was charged with abetting Carlos’s OPEC terrorist operation, and he cooperated with the prosecution. According to Klein, on December 17, 1975 — four days before the attack — the terrorists led by Carlos had met with officials of the Libyan embassy in Vienna, who provided the blueprints of the building and the security details, which had been passed to them by my DIE. (The DIE had an agent in Vienna who had access to this information.) “The fact that the necessary information about the [OPEC] conference building came from Libya convinced me that the action could be carried out,” Klein testified during his trial. Klein was sentenced to only nine years in prison, since he had aided investigators.

Joschka Fischer, who testified as a character witness at Klein’s trial in 2001, refuted as “grotesque” the allegation that the arms used in the OPEC attack had been kept in the apartment he shared with Hans Joachim Klein and Daniel Cohn-Bendit (currently a member of the European Parliament). I have reason to question Fischer’s statement. In a January 1976 thank-you message to Ceausescu — also sent through me — Qaddafi had emphasized that Carlos’s OPEC operation would not have been possible without the help of the DIE (which had provided the blueprints of OPEC headquarters) and a “West German revolutionary group in Frankfurt/Main” (which had provided Carlos with both manpower and arms). (In giving me the message, Qaddafi, who knew I had at one time been stationed in Frankfurt/Main as chief of the DIE’s West German station, specifically called my attention to the mention of “your” Frankfurt.)

After Carlos was arrested by the DST, German journalist Bettina Roehl (daughter of the late Ulrike Meinhof, co-leader of the terrorist Baader-Meinhof organization) revealed that Fischer did indeed belong to a Frankfurt/Main terrorist group during the 1970s. She also provided pictures showing a helmeted Fischer beating a German police officer during an April 7, 1973, violent demonstration in Frankfurt/Main. The pictures show Fischer fighting side by side with Klein, Carlos’s deputy in the 1975 attack on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna. In 2002, after these photographs had been authenticated by the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Fischer publicly apologized to the beaten police officer. Bettina Roehl also disclosed that Fischer had been the main advocate of using petrol bombs in a 1976 demonstration in which a policeman almost died of terrible burns. This information was also vehemently denied by the German foreign minister.

Veteran German terrorist Margrit Schiller asserted in her book Es war ein harter Kampf um meine Erinnerung that in the 1970s, Fischer had been in contact with illegal members of the Red Army Faction (RAF) in Frankfurt/Main (a terrorist organization my DIE station was at the time supporting with information and money), and that he had thrown stones at representatives of West Germany’s pro-American government. Once again, Fisher has denied both accusations. But Schiller, who in the 1970s belonged to the RAF, remembers staying in 1973 at the Frankfurt apartment of “Herr Fischer and Daniel Cohn-Bendit,” having breakfast with Fischer, and going on a pub crawl with him. In October 2002, Fischer was asked by a German prosecutor about this statement — but he dodged the question, replying simply that his flat had not been a hostel for terrorists.

A 1997 semi-official biography of Joschka Fischer, by Sibylle Krause-Burger, indirectly confirms that Fischer was also involved in hurling stones at West German authorities. These were not spontaneous demonstrations — they were all financed by the Soviet bloc foreign-intelligence community, including my own DIE when I was at its helm. Krause-Burger’s book describes how, in a public debate held in 1974 with the Young Socialist functionary Kartsen Voight, Fischer defended throwing stones at the “representatives of the system” as being a legitimate defense against the tyranny of the (West German) government. It is significant that Voight is now responsible for relations with the U.S. in Fischer’s ministry of foreign affairs.

It may never be possible to prove “beyond the shadow of a doubt” Joschka Fischer’s connection with the Soviet KGB, but I do know that the KGB — and my DIE — was financing West Germany’s anti-American terrorist movements in the 1970s, while I was still in Romania. Fischer’s evidently ingrained anti-Americanism is now spreading throughout the German government, and beyond. This is a monumental display of ingratitude to the 405,399 American soldiers who gave their lives to defeat Berlin’s old Axis, as well as to the millions of American taxpayers who spent trillions of dollars to rebuild Germany’s war-torn economy and to protect West Germany from falling into Communist clutches.

General Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. He is currently finishing a new book, Red Roots: The Origins of Today’s Anti-Americanism.


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