A Perfect Crime (2020): Season 1, Episode 2 - Capitalist - full transcript

In a letter left at the scene of the crime the RAF claims responsibility for the assassination of Rohwedder; however, a lack of evidence and motivation shadow this in doubt.

"On April 1, 1991,
our Ulrich Wessel squad

shot the president of the Treuhand
in Berlin, Detlev Karsten Rohwedder.

Rohwedder had been in key positions
in politics and industry for 20 years.

Being installed
as Bonn's governor in East Berlin

was meant to crown his career.

Since its annexation,

the former GDR has become
a de facto colony of West Germany.

The former GDR's economy
is being systematically dismantled.

So that capitalism
has free rein to rebuild the country,

according to its demands, while ignoring
the needs the uprooted people.

The West German government
chose Rohwedder to implement this plan.

And they picked the right man,
with his brutality and arrogance.

'Forty years of socialism
on the former GDR's territory

had caused more damage
than the Second World War,'

he once remarked.

This from a man
who only judges the world

in terms of profit and productivity,
and for whom human lives don't count.

The Treuhand's actions have caused
more harm to people than just job loss.

Not only has it materially harmed
millions of the unemployed,

it has impoverished
their hearts and minds."

If the Treuhand gets its way…

"For most of the humiliated
and insulted people

this development represents
the destruction of their way of life.

They are to be confined to the suburbs,

which are designed
to isolate people from one another."

"At the same time, sexist behavior
against women erupts openly.

Women are the first to be fired
when former GDR firms are shut down.

Daycare facilities disappear.

And women are losing their right to choose
how many, if any, children to have.

For us in West Germany,
this is nothing new.

We view our attack against
one architect of this new greater Germany

as an attack that targets the source
of this reactionary development."

Why do I feel so lousy?

Why do I feel so lousy?

Why do I feel so lousy?

Why do I feel so lousy?

So lousy

So lousy

Why do we feel so lousy?

Why do we feel so lousy?

Why do we feel so lousy?

Why do we feel so lousy?

So lousy

So lousy

So lousy

So lousy

"Those who do not fight
die little by little.

Freedom can only be gained
through the struggle for liberation.

Red Army Faction,

Ulrich Wessel squad."

In my opinion, this confession
is the best the RAF has ever written.

It has everything.



The German Reich…

Nobody has any intention
of building a wall.

West and East Germany - a divided nation.

Unity and justice and freedom...

Red Army Faction

Insane attacks by barbaric terrorists


Risen from ruins

Tear down this wall!

Our fatherland, reunited.

Flourish, German fatherland


Dr. Detlev Rohwedder, son of a bookseller,

studied law and economics.

In 1979, he became a member
of the Board of Hoesch AG in Dortmund,

of which he has been chairman since 1980.

Today, Mr. Rohwedder,
you have a reputation

as a tough and determined manager.

Did your profession
change you as a person?

I never doubted it was the RAF.

That they hold
the political responsibility

and are guilty
of committing the murder.

That was clear to me.

The head of the Berlin Treuhand has
reportedly been murdered by terrorists.\

The Red Army Faction
claims responsibility.

This is one of the usual letters...

the Red Army Faction
issues after its attacks.

We, at the Federal Criminal Police Office,

had to analyze its authenticity.

For this, we had several options.

The RAF had its own printing press.

They published letters with the red star,
the submachine gun, and "RAF"

using so-called gravure printing.

Once our forensics team
was able to compare these prints

under an electron microscope,

we could confirm they came
from the same printing plate.

Then we knew it was an RAF original.

What's in this letter of confession?

It's a brief self-incriminating message

written in typical
RAF political gibberish.

"In the struggle
against the reactionary plans

of Greater Germany and Western Europe

to suppress and exploit the people here."

And so on and so forth.

In a five-page letter,
Rohwedder is accused

of being a capitalist strategist
and brutal company restructurer.

It is a pamphlet full of quirky,
pseudo-revolutionary buzzwords.

Meanwhile, the criminal virility
of these people has grown.

They hardly leave
any usable traces or clues.

The Red Army Faction was no Red Army.

It was…

If you look at its entire
twenty-eight years of existence,

it was, at best, a faction

of a relatively small group of people.

There are people who distinguish
between several RAF generations.

Essentially, there was
a constant influx of newcomers

being assimilated into the RAF.

They lived like fish in water.

They were urban guerrillas.

They lived underground.

But this group was daring enough to attack

West Germany's political class...

and business elite

and the country's leading figures.

This daring was unprecedented
on a historical scale.

Political bombing in West Germany.

A new form of political confrontation

has frightened millions
of Germans in recent weeks.

The record of terrorism
could hardly look more frightening.

The Federal Prosecutor General Buback

was shot dead in Karlsruhe
in the middle of the street.

Jürgen Pronto, a foremost German banker,

died as the result
of an assassination attempt.

In the Schleyer abduction case,

increasing evidence suggests that
the President of the Employers Association

was murdered by terrorists.

We warned them.

We predicted who would be the next victim.

But at the same time,

I saw that Germany's operational
security forces were unable to counter

these predictable attacks by the RAF.


Rohwedder has always been
one of those "desk murders"

who would routinely stop at nothing

when it came to planning
misery and desperation

for millions of people,
in the interest of power and profit.

In the '80s, Rohwedder
made a name for himself

as a brutal corporate reconstructionist.

Stop talking about "our" losses!

Mr. Rohwedder, do you think
the workforce likes you?

No, I don't think so.

I also don't think this
is what the head of a company

should strive towards or expect.

There needs to be a specific…
how can I put it…

not the idea of an enemy,
but a person who is clearly responsible

upon whom frustration,
existential worries,

disappointed expectations, low wages,

fear of unemployment and the like

can be unloaded.

He eliminates jobs

without creating new opportunities for us!

This is a scandal in a city

which already has
an unemployment rate of 18% and rising!

Within just a few years,

he fired over two-thirds
of the Hoesch workforce

and led the bankrupt group
back to new profits.

For this, he was awarded
Manager of the Year in 1983.

His appointment as the governor
of Bonn in East Berlin

was the crowning achievement of his career.

Has your experience at Dortmund
prepared you for Berlin?

Absolutely, yes.

I believe this experience
is why I was offered the job

and why my abilities are trusted,

because there will be a lot of conflict
to deal with in the new federal states.

And I believe you'll need
someone who's not afraid

to stand before the workers
and speak to them.

Let me repeat this to you:

We face a situation
that has dramatically worsened.

Gentlemen, I am not the kind of conductor

who doesn't care
which direction the train is going.

Is it possible,

that it's easier for you to let people go

because as chairman,
you don't know the workers personally?

Yes, certainly.

If you knew each of them personally,

you'd be absorbed
in each individual's fate.

This would make decisions more difficult.

But when a company's existence
is at stake, certain things must be done.

In the Rohwedder case,
I believe it is close to 100% certain

that the so-called third RAF generation
was involved and responsible.

The murderers of Treuhand manager
Detlev Rohwedder

vanished into thin air.

No useful evidence was found
at the crime scene in Düsseldorf.

Investigations have stalled.

Minister of Justice Kinkel
returned from his holiday in Switzerland.

His statement on the day
after the murder was like an oath.

We estimate the core group
has about 15 members.

But frankly, we don't know
who these people are.

That's simply due
to the small size of the group,

and unlike in the past,
they did not leave any clues.

It's true.

Since Hessian Finance Minister Karry
was shot dead ten years ago,

and MTU Manager Zimmermann
near Munich four years later,

there have been no additional clues.

The 1986 case
of Siemens CEO Beckurts remains open.

Likewise, no evidence was found
after a similar attack

on Secretary of State Hans Neusel.

As always, the RAF claimed responsibility,
but left no incriminating evidence.

The RAF's predictability,
which I consider to be a key tenet,

also applies to their behavior
towards the authorities.

There was never a case

where the RAF provided
intel to the authorities.


Let me put it this way...

capitalism was to blame.

But you can't shoot capitalism. Otherwise,
someone would have done it a long time ago.

I am Lutz Taufer.
Together with five other people,

I attacked the German embassy
in Stockholm and we killed two hostages.

Two of our people also died.

I spent 20 years in prison,

mostly in different forms
of solitary confinement.

The "third generation…"

I'm not quite sure who they were.

I did not have contact with these people.

Perhaps, I've met one of them since
then without knowing who they were.

Of course, the RAF was communist,

socialist, leftist in some form.

We hoped to fight the global system

which gave rise
to both fascism and colonialism.

We wanted to fight, overcome,
and smash the existing system,

so that a different system,

a more humane society,
could take its place.

I was part of the first
post-war generation

in a country that had started
two world wars.

I grew up in a culture

where fascism hadn't yet been rejected.

One of my teachers came to class
with a portable record player.

He made us listen
to recordings of Hitler's speeches.

This German people
have grown strong again,

strong in spirit, strong in will…

When I was 16 or 17 years old,

I learned that six million Jews
had been killed during World War II.

Now, I know my father was in the SS.

His only reaction was,
"Who told you this nonsense?"

This is where I got my motivation

to escape such narrow-mindedness.

Around the same time,
the Vietnam War was going on.

We took to the streets to demonstrate

for peace in Vietnam.

People should have applauded us.

But they spat on us.


Exterminate them, I say!

That would be best...

Eradicate them!

Shoot them.

They live off our hard-earned tax money.

Away with them.
Up against the wall and shoot them!

People shouted at us,
"They forgot to gas you!"

That was the situation back then.

We were in a country
where we couldn't breathe.

Nobody wanted us.

We had no chance of starting
a normal life in this environment.

We did everything we could
to overpower the system.

On April 24, 1975,

six terrorists occupied
the German Embassy in Stockholm.

They demanded
the release of RAF prisoners.

After the West German government
rejected their demands,

they shot two embassy personnel
and detonated their bombs.

Put it on the air!

We're at the German Embassy
and just heard a massive explosion.

Our goal was to free...
sixteen prisoners, I think.

And in the end, there were four dead...

and four people with life sentences.



There had never been
such a violent attack before.

All... our actions...

were also meant to inspire others...

who would see us as an example
and join the armed struggle.

We had many discussions back then.

Violence: yes or no? 

Is it a legitimate means or isn't it?

I always felt,

if I wanted to really fight the system,

I needed to do so with full conviction.

I believe, the members of the RAF
were willing to sacrifice everything,

even their own lives.

And I thought…

I thought this was special.

So first, I burned all my documents

in order to become a member of the RAF.

Right after that
I was given a gun.

Silke Maier-Witt, 27 years of age,
is considered very dangerous.

She's accused of participating
in several serious crimes.

Silke Maier-Witt is 1.71 meters tall
with a slender build.

She has blue eyes and dark blonde hair.

Her distinct feature
is several missing teeth.

I was responsible for hiring cars.

I learned how to forge passports...

things like that.



Sixteen RAF members are on the run,
but the police know who they are.

A manhunt is ongoing.

Report any useful information,
to your nearest police station.

By 1980…

the RAF was basically...

on its knees due to an incident.

A coincidence had led
to a wave of arrests in Frankfurt.

The entire RAF leadership was apprehended.

It was a major achievement,
especially the capture of Christian Klar.

Without a doubt,
he was the RAF's main assassin.

He had ruthlessly killed several people.

We were convinced,
"Now we've got them. That's it."

With all those arrests,
the RAF was effectively ended.

We were literally…



one of our group
made contact with the Stasi.

And they told us…

we were going to the GDR.

My next question was,
"What do I know about the GDR?"

Nothing, really.

I was disappointed at first,

because I thought, "What revolutionary
action could I do in the GDR?"


We then received our GDR ID cards

and became official GDR citizens.

Already, this was a brash move,

but I had to hand it to the Stasi,

which handled it very professionally.

Their resumes were rewritten,

they were provided with accommodations

and suitable jobs.

Everything was done for them...

so that they could settle
in their new socialist homeland.

But at the same time,
their every step was watched...

with the greatest suspicion.

It was 24/7 surveillance.

Someone used to drop by regularly.

And I thought,

"I'm really at the mercy
of this organization."

But what was my alternative?
Go to prison? For the same length of time?

The RAF developed a capability

rarely seen in terrorist organizations.

They managed to turn
every defeat into a victory.

Whenever the state succeeded
in weakening the RAF,

the RAF always managed
to recruit new members.

The last, third, generation of the RAF

was characterized...

by unusual criminal energy

and discipline.

What's also striking is that,

to this very day, their biggest crimes

are nowhere near being solved...

in terms of finding the perpetrators...

and understanding their actions.


For all the attacks launched since 1983,

many hold the so-called
"third generation" of the RAF responsible.

I just don't believe this.

I don't think
this third generation ever existed.

I have worked for the Federal Criminal
Police Office for 35 years...

as a police investigator.

I just don't believe the RAF…

from 1987 onwards,

and probably earlier,

could execute such precise attacks,
such as the ones on Rohwedder

and also Herrhausen.

NOVEMBER 30, 1989


Good evening.

The head of Deutsche Bank

Alfred Herrhausen was murdered
today by terrorists.

The attack has shaken German society,

because Alfred Herrhausen
ruled a business empire.

The terror group known as the Red
Army Faction may be behind the murder.

Investigators call this "high-tech terror"

and blame what may be
a third RAF generation.

Here you see our colleagues on site.

This officer is part
of the Crime Scene Unit.

You can clearly see the force
with which the Red Army Faction's bomb

burst into Herrhausen's armored vehicle.

They used a self-made hollow charge,

set off by a photo sensor.

The sensor itself had
to be primed by someone nearby.

First, the escort vehicle went past,
then the sensor was primed,

and then the blast ripped
into the right rear door.

There are only a few people in Germany,

mostly military or explosives experts,
who could build something like this.

It gave us a lot to think about.

Who could have pulled this off?

I was there myself
at the Herrhausen crime scene.

I live nearby.

I heard this huge bang,

so I drove over there
and saw what had happened.

It was a completely new way
of carrying out an assassination.

All prior attacks had been rather crude.

Drive-by shootings
on motorcycles and things like that.

These were not typical for the RAF.

Herrhausen was assassinated
with an elaborate trap

and Rohwedder was assassinated
with an exceptional sniper shot.

These highly precise operations…

in my view, were military-style.

The Rohwedder case…

I have great doubts
about who was behind that.

It was a precise shot from about 60 meters

in difficult lighting conditions -
the window would have refracted the light.

These are conditions
only a professional can master.

Karsten Rohwedder's study,
where he was shot dead.

Using a laser beam,

the Federal Police
are tracing the ballistic curve

and the exact location
from where the shots were fired.

-Move towards the right.
-The right.

Stop, this should be it.

A little higher.

-Lower. Now?
-A little higher and to the right.

A little higher and to the right. Stop!

-This is exactly the position.


We're directing a laser
through the window to trace the bullets

and to determine the exact location
of the gunman in this garden.

We plan to do a second procedure
to reconstruct the scene

with a G1 rifle like the one used.

We never found the rifle.

But we found the casings,

which was essential for determining
what kind of weapon was used.

A microscopic analysis
of the bullets

showed that the same rifle
was used a few weeks earlier

to attack the US embassy in Bonn.



Our news office in Bonn reports
that a terrorist attack was made

against the US Embassy
in Bonn this evening.

The big building was apparently fired on
with machine guns from across the Rhine.

More than 200 shots were fired,

but not a single
potential victim was in sight.

What an amateurish attack!

They shot at the US Embassy
from across the river.

We thought this
was too amateurish for RAF standards.

And just a few weeks later
the same rifle is used to kill Rohwedder?

We had nothing, absolutely nothing.

It is striking

that after each precise attack,
a very amateurish one would follow.

In my opinion, this only serves to obscure

the actual motives and perpetrators.

Let's assume
the generation theory is true.

How can it be
that no member of the third generation

has ever surfaced
or been identified by the authorities?

How is it that this generation

virtually left no traces at all,

meaning there's no longer
any kind of objective proof?


This is a point one can make.

But I, who always tried to think
in RAF categories,

I am certain that
if the RAF says it was them,

then it was them!

In preparation for our talk,

I re-read the old confession letters.

1985, '86, '87.

The attacks during that time
and the letters...

were all coherent.

However, the Rohwedder confession

is very different from the previous ones.

All of us who are fighting
to live our lives with dignity

in a world free of rulers.

We should roll up our sleeves
and become a common force.

The revolutionary movement

must develop a real
and concrete human perspective.

The seed of a new society must grow,

a society where people
start living together without rulers

in a self-determined manner.

We are prepared to work with anyone

who feels that this capitalist
reality is suffocating them.

"The revolutionary movement must become
an actual and prominent political force."

This means the RAF…

wanted to show people a way out.

Certainly, this is a well-thought-out
political strategy,

but it is impossible to make a reality.

Not even with violence.

The people in the GDR
wanted something completely different.

MARCH 14, 1990




What already bothered me back then

was the idea that everything
that came from the West was good.

That no one scrutinized this,

that no one said,

"Now this is capitalism,

and it isn't good."


On March 14, 1883,

Karl Marx died.

On March 14, 1990,

we lay his philosophy to rest.

I want to tell
our fellow Germans in the GDR,

no one will be worse off,
and many will be better off.

It was clear to me
that nothing in the GDR would survive.

So the inevitable happened.

The hardware chains opened.

And when the first Coke cans
littered the streets,

it was clear that all
this stuff had arrived.

I found it all disgusting.

And in the supermarket, I thought,

"My God! This can't be real!

Who needs 50, 60 different types
of yogurt?"

Before, in the GDR, we had one
with strawberry flavor and one without.

That sufficed, too!

The free-market system
pretends to offer people a chance

to secure a spot in the wealthy country
called Greater Germany,

and to revel
in the euphoria of consumption.

When in reality, the system is designed

to make people ignorant and apathetic.

If security exists at all,
it only exists for those who are prepared

to unconditionally sell themselves
to a greater degree than others.

For most of the humiliated
and insulted people,

this development represents
the destruction of their way of life.

It was and is state policy,

to beat the propaganda drum
of "Germany, our one and only fatherland,"

which has made nationalism
socially acceptable again,

especially in the former GDR.

This vitriolic mantra
of "Now we are somebody again!

Finally, we are real Germans!"


Since the dissolution of the GDR,
openly racist attacks against refugees

and foreign residents have flared up.

Out! Out! Foreigners out!

Fascist groups have gained in strength,

resulting in almost daily attacks
against hostels housing foreigners.

Germany above all else

Above the whole wide world

I'm impressed. My hat's off.

What a comprehensive analysis.

Not badly formulated either.

But it doesn't fit in
with the assassination, does it?

"The creation of revolutionary forces…"

By killing Rohwedder,
this is not a goal you could…

have accomplished.

This doesn't make any sense.

Why Rohwedder?

Why him, given all the ideology involved?

He wasn't really a hardliner or anything.

Nobody can answer this question.

Unless, there is a different motivation
behind all this.

If this was done
by the Stasi or someone else…

as a copycat action,
well, I'd be impressed.

The RAF was an ideal scapegoat.

The RAF was always blamed
whenever an attack took place.

Whenever something happened
back then, the word was: RAF.

But one must try to embark

on this endless adventure of speculation:

who benefits?