Hans-Joachim Klein and Adoption

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Klein's mother committed suicide when he was four. His father, a policeman who had been a member of Hitler's SS, was a violent man who abused the boy so badly that he was taken to an orphanage.

He grew up to become a member of the left-wing Baader-Meinhof gang, The Red Army Faction, and was one of the three members (under Carlos "The Jackal") who kidnapped the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries oil ministers in Vienna in 1975, during which three people were killed and he was himself was seriously wounded. He escaped to Algeria but became disillusioned in 1977 and left the movement, providing anti-terrorist information to the government. He went into hiding in France and Italy for 22 years, but was arrested in September 1998.


Lichfield, John, and Karacs, Imre. "Law Snatches Retired Terrorist," The Independent on Sunday [London], 13 September 1998, p. 16 Klein, Hans-Joachim. Rückkehr in die Menschlichkeit: Appell eines Ausgestiegenen Terroristen. (Reibek bei Hamburg: Rororo Aktuell, 1979) Leibel, Jochen, and Lohse, Henning. "Die Verhaftung eines 'netten Deutschen,' der ein Terrorist war," Berliner Morgenpost, 10 September 1998. Also available at: