Oh my God, they killed Kenny! You Bastards!
ULRIKE MEINHOF, member of the RAF (Red Army Faction), an intellectual
GUDRUN ENSSLIN, member of the RAF, a radical terrorist
ANDREAS BAADER, member of the RAF, later as ANTI-MAN
POLICEMAN, later pigeon–hearted, later with a hole in his chest, finally with a new heart; fights against the RAF
LUCKY, GUDRUN ENSSLIN’s son, abandoned by her when he was six months old
SQUIRREL-MAN, collective RAF victim, the subject of an experiment, dies once a day over and over again.
And HOST (off-stage), Sound B, Sound C, Wing, Voice over the telephone.
The history recounted in the play actually happened.
ULRIKE MEINHOF helped to free ANDREAS BAADER, abandoned her children, went underground to fight for a New Germany.
She wrote the RAF manifesto, participated in or helped to organize bank robberies, threw bombs.
She was arrested, her skull was forcibly X-rayed.
In prison she went on a hunger strike along with the other imprisoned members of the RAF.
She committed suicide in her cell by hanging herself on Mother’s Day.
ANDREAS BAADER and GUDRUN ENSSLIN also committed suicide in prison.
A fashion show of over-the-head paper bags with audience participation
Paper bag head wear accounts for only one percent of paper bag sales, but it is a market that is constantly expanding. In order to launch a new German line, a fashion show with audience participation has been organized. An attractive head in a paper bag can promote a new brand, that’s why the manufacturer concluded that this unusual form of promotion will be remembered by a hitherto abused public. The German public loves to be abused, what about you?
VOICE OF THE HOST (off): Numbers one, two, three, four, five, six; step forward!
The designated numbers step forward. Their heads are covered with gray paper bags with cut-out openings for the eyes and the mouth. They come out on the runway. Right, left, right, left--movements geared to the runway.
VOICE OF THE HOST (off): Ulrike Meinhof has agreed to become the face of our latest paper bag collection! Ulrike Meinhof, hidden under a paper bag, unsubmissive, rebellious, true to her principles to the very end. Let’s greet her with a hearty round of applause!
We applaud and applaud, after all she’s a real star.
VOICE OF THE HOST (off): We know her face from TV appearances, we’ve admired her in many fabulous car chases, attempted killings, hold-ups, murders, and mass executions, punctuated with black humor and wit.
The numbers come to a stop facing the public.
VOICE OF THE HOST (off): Ladies and gentlemen, you can surely point out which bag our star is hidden under . . .?! Thanks to Ulrike, you dear lady, you dear sir, and our entire global village, soon we’ll all put bags over our heads and view the world from a totally new perspective. Please point out Ulrike Meinhof!
Silence. Silence. Silence.
VOICE OF THE HOST(off): It’s not easy to point out Ulrike Meinhof, since she has a bag over her head. Because of the bag we don’t know who is under it. Anybody could be under the bag, we are all equals in an encounter with the bag. Bag-given liberty, equality and fraternity. Show yourself to us, Ulrike Meinhof, we want to see the human face of the bag!
ULRIKE MEINHOF (tears off the bag): I’m Ulrike Meinhof!
ANDREAS BAADER (tears off the bag): I’m Ulrike Meinhof!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (tears off the bag): I’m Ulrike Meinhof!
POLICEMAN (tears off the bag): I’m Ulrike Meinhof!
SQUIRREL-MAN (tears off the bag): I’m Ulrike Meinhof!
LUCKY (tears off the bag): I’m Ulrike Meinhof!
All together to the Public, that is, to us.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I spit on you, you pigs!
ANDREAS BAADER: I spit on you, you pigs!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I spit on you, you pigs!
SQUIRREL-MAN: I spit on you, you pigs!
LUCKY: I spit on you, you pigs!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: This show is a farce! It’s only a performance!
ANDREAS BAADER: This show is a farce! It’s only a performance!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: This show is a farce! It’s only a performance!
POLICEMAN (pigeon-hearted): This show is a farce! It’s only a performance!
SQUIRREL-MAN: This show is a farce! It’s only a performance!
LUCKY: This show is a farce! It’s only a performance!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I’m Ulrike Meinhof. I spit on you, pigs. This show is a farce. It’s only a performance.
SQUIRREL-MAN is lying on the ground in an uncomfortable position. He’d like to talk to ULRIKE, but it’s not easy. The various voices in her head that reverberated some seven years ago, or was it just yesterday, now resound even louder than the crude moaning heard coming from SQUIRREL-MAN lying under the wheels of her car.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Excuse me, down here, down here!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I couldn’t hear what you said. Are you talking to me?
SQUIRREL-MAN: I’m glad that you can hear me now.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: What are you doing down there?
SQUIRREL-MAN: Honestly, that’s what I’d like to know myself.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Come out from under there at once.
SQUIRREL-MAN: I just wanted to say that you ran over me when you were parking your car.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I have my own opinion on the subject.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Could you please drive off me? I’d feel relieved. By the way, you ought to practice parking.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Nonsense.
SQUIRREL-MAN: All the same, you should give it some serious thought. Otherwise you’ll end up running over somebody else.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Let me explain what really happened to you. You’ve been cheated, your freedom was stolen and instead you got a pitiful sham. It’s a disgrace.
SQUIRREL-MAN: I saw your car approaching, but I felt safe.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You’re living a lie, you’re unaware of the real situation, just like all the rest.
SQUIRREL-MAN: You speeded through the parking lot, over the sidewalk and rammed into a store; on the way you ran over me.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I won’t let people I despise mark off zones or set limits “from here to there” for me! Freedom! Freedom not of this world! That’s how I want to live.
SQUIRREL-MAN: You’re an unusual person, really quite different from me. I completely agree with you with respect to restrictions. There’s not enough parking space. Our authorities have nothing to be proud of in this business.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Don’t say “authorities.” Say “pigs.”
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Getting better.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Like me.
At this moment SQUIRREL-MAN dies from injuries sustained from being run over. He died as he usually does, but since he is the object of an ongoing experiment and his death had already been included in operating expenses, it made no impression on anyone. ULRIKE, on the other hand, had to explain her poor parking and she did so. The case seemed to have come to a close, but on the contrary—it was just getting started. She had a basic feeling that every one has the right to express one’s views, and that means that she does too. The only discordant note that blemished an otherwise highly successful day was a stone that fell from the sky and damaged the hood of her car.
An Anti-Man from an Anti-World
A Poet went for a walk when a pot of poetry broke above his head and a cluster of bubbles was formed. From one of the bubbles there sprang a small moon-maloon, a galaxy, little stars and a cosmos, and from all of that ANTI-MAN was born and popped up to the surface to introduce himself.
ANTI-MAN: My name is Anti-Man. I don’t have kidneys, lungs, heart, spleen, stomach or any of the rest of that crap inside me. Therefore I have no need of a can, doctors, the achievements of civilization, health-food, laundry detergent and the coupons for laundry detergent boxes, washing machines, washing machine factories, unions in washing machine factories, government commissions investigating financial fraud by the unions in washing machine factories, or any government that sends government commissions to washing machine factories.
In my opinion that’s all shit, but it’s your shit, not mine, because I don’t shit.
That’s what his self- presentation sounded like, but there were also witnesses who insisted that it sounded different.
SOUND B: My name is Anti-Man and I protest the postwar policies of the German state concerning employment in washing machine factories. Those factories employ former Nazi party functionaries, members of the SS, and war criminals who now are washing their bloody rags there. To sum up, instead of decent entrails the German state's belly contains one big hunk of shit, which I repudiate.
SOUND C: My name is Anti-Man and I spit on you pigs. Capitalism has stuffed your bellies with the riches of the Third World, which rots away miserably there, and your pig anuses excrete unrecognizably altered bananas from Bolivia, gold from Africa, and oil from the Persian Gulf. The bombing of Vietnam is still going on, which means that you’ve failed to learn anything from your last pig war or it serves you right that as punishment the German Democratic Republic came into being!
It is evident that sounds B and C are quite different in content, so let’s stick with sound A
Freedom not of this world
ULRIKE was walking across terrestrial grass, passing street lamps on which perched pigeons classified in terrestrial atlases. She kept absorbing the sounds with all her senses. The sounds were German sounds, and the state was Germany, so she heard in sequence: the creaking door of the Deutsche Bank branch, the pig voices of German policemen, shooting during a German demonstration, weeping, the wail of sirens, and the soft hum of military marches. Her walk brings her finally to a cozy café. All this is happening during one German autumn, although it was in fact spring, and the now is taking place right now.
A Deutsche Mark coin rolls on the café table; SQUIRREL-MAN catches it deftly.
SQUIRREL-MAN: I wanted to meet you to explain myself. You appeal to me a lot.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You caught that German mark quite deftly.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Thanks. Well, last time I didn’t have a chance to tell you much about myself, because I died, a fact which I’m afraid made me unattractive in your eyes. However, I’d like to tell you that I die once a day because I’m the object of an experiment.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I beg your pardon, I have a splitting headache.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Can I be of any help to you?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Your voice reaches me with great difficulty. I keep hearing German sounds that drown out everything else.
SQUIRREL-MAN: I’m German myself.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: What did you say?
SQUIRREL–MAN: German! You parked on top of me. I had hoped that somehow that would bring us closer. You appeal to me enormously, but as a victim of your parking, I don’t stand a chance, do I?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I’ll tell you what I hear: the snapping shut of handcuffs, gagging, choking, shooting, bombing. A door creaks in despair, the voices of the police give the order to stop, the wail of sirens sets the boundaries!
SQUIRREL–MAN: That’s me! It is about me! That’s my life!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I see your lips moving, but I don’t hear anything.
SQUIRREL–MAN: I’m the one being handcuffed, gagged, choked, shot, blown sky-high and scattered to the winds! It is my door that creaks in despair, the voices of the police order me to stop, the wail of sirens establishes the boundaries!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You seem like an animal in your fierce, soundless movements. The freedom not of this world that I long for is the pure Absolute. I give it to all humanity, and all of us will become angels. It’s no laughing matter, it demands victims.
SQUIRREL–MAN: I’m ready. Too bad you can’t hear me.
SQUIRREL–MAN picks up the one Mark coin and drops it in the jukebox.
The strains of the famous hit song, “Too Bad You Can’t Hear Me,” fill the café. SQUIRREL–MAN dances to the music and sings along with it. ULRIKE can’t hear him and thinks he’s a dimwit.
ULRIKE hears a knock at the door. She gets up and opens the door. A large package is lying on the doorstep. ULRIKE brings the package in and looks it over. She finds a note attached to the package. She reads: “To my beloved U with best wishes from your loving God.”
She opens the package. It contains a left wing with a label, on which is written: “Made from the matter of light.”
ULRIKE hesitates. Now she knows what to do. And she knows what to think. Now she doesn’t know what to do. And she doesn’t know what to think. Finally she decides to interrogate the left wing.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Who sent you here?
The wing is silent.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Don’t tell me it was God. I don’t believe in parcels from God.
The wing is silent.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I don’t believe, period. Could it be the Americans? The German government? The police?
The wing is silent.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: And why just one wing?
The wing is silent.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Ha, ha, how unfathomable are God’s judgments! Of course! Why precisely a left wing? Is that supposed to be some kind of political allusion?
The wing is silent.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Do you think God can’t make allusions? Enough of this nonsense. You’re bugged, is that it?
The wing is silent.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Don’t deny it. That won’t help you. Admit it, you won’t suffer for it.
The wing is silent.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: So you’re not afraid? Let’s see.
ULRIKE picks up a knife and cuts the wing open. She lights a match and sets the wing on fire. She hangs it upside down. Wax drips out of the wing. It contains no bug.
Another knock on the door. Someone is knocking as if seeking shelter. ULRIKE wakes up. She hears the knock. She gets up and opens the door.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I heard a knock on the door as if someone were seeking shelter.
ANTI-MAN: I don’t need shelter. I appear on the doorstep and simply am. She’s the one (points to GUDRUN ENSSLIN)
who knocked as if she needed shelter.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I must tell my children a fairy tale about who you are.
ANTI-MAN: Say we’re Reds.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Say we go from house to house and tell fairytales about the Color Red.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I can’t make up my mind. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to think.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Listen. Once upon a time there was the Color Red. Nobody liked it. Baneberry took it, and got squashed under foot, blood took it, and got hidden under the skin, red shoes took it, and got burned at the stake. The Color Red grew angry and began to bite. The bomb took it, because it wasn’t afraid of it. The bomb exploded and started a fire in the big department store. The store burned red hot. The Color Red called the Deutsche Presse Agentur and said in my voice, “This is the Color Red taking revenge.” And went its own way.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: What happens next?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: If you let them in, Uncle Hans and Auntie Grete will tell the children what happens next.
ULRIKE lets them in. As a result God changes his plans and did not send ULRIKE the right wing, and with only one wing, and a burned one at that, it’s impossible to fly.
The Policeman and Anti-Man
Maybe it’s true that ANTI-MAN is an enemy of civilization, but sometimes he makes exceptions. Right now he’s racing down the open highway at a speed that makes his hair stream back, and his soul soars to the heights of the moon-maloon. The BMW races along, and the BMW Company will thank him some day for it, mentally, since it is wouldn’t be proper to do so openly.
This racing lasts a bit longer than the twinkle of an eye, but the ANTI-MAN does not let himself be taken in by appearances. Germany is a police state, although the police of one Bundesland does not cooperate with the police of another Bundesland. There are problems of establishing contact. Nonetheless the appearance of the POLICEMAN at this point is inevitable.
POLICEMAN: It’s my pleasure, Sir, to pull you over for excessive speeding in your comfortable and fast automobile.
ANTI-MAN: Do what you’re supposed to, police pig, and as for the automobile I agree with your assessment.
POLICEMAN: Alright, let me tell you something. The events of the last war have caused a part of society to look at the German uniform with suspicion, but it isn’t really such a large part.
ANTI-MAN: I do all I can to shake the conscience of this horrible German nation. Owing to my efforts you will be called police pig more and more frequently, you police pig.
POLICEMAN: Possibly, possibly, but even though you are in the avant-garde of invective for the time being, socially you're nothing but an outcast.
ANTI-MAN: Wretched cop, dogcatcher, limp prick.
POLICEMAN: Now that’s getting personal. Your papers, please.
ANTI-MAN: Here, you fucking loser.
POLICEMAN (reads): Peter Chenowitz. (Looks ANTI-MAN over.) That’s not true.
ANTI-MAN: What’s not true, uniformed asshole?
POLICEMAN: Your name isn’t Peter Chenowitz..
ANTI-MAN: And just what is it, you dimwitted hammerhead of the regime?
POLICEMAN: I was there at your self-presentation. You sprang from a bubble, from the moon-maloon, which means you’re Anti-Man!
POLICEMAN: I arrest you for possession of forged documents.
The POLICEMAN locks ANTI-MAN in a cage and covers him with a dark cloth like a canary.
The telephone rings.
POLICEMAN: Berlin Police Station. Please speak quietly, the birdie’s asleep in his cage.
VOICE ON THE TELEPHONE: You pig snout, you imperialist uniformed bastard, don't you dare touch one hair on the head of our great, dear Andreas whom you arrested illegally!
POLICEMAN: I’m very glad that I’ve arrested Herr Baader, I had no idea who it was. Could you come to Berlin to confirm his identity?
Unfortunately at this point the connection is cut off, but we already know that ANTI-MAN is ANDREAS BAADER, and ANDREAS BAADER is ANTI-MAN.
The Pigeon-hearted Policeman
The POLICEMAN is guarding the cage containing ANDREAS ANTI-MAN, and casts stern glances now here, now there. At the bottom of his soul, however, the POLICEMAN is pigeon-hearted. Probably due to an error on the part of nature. Once nature becomes aware of the error, it will replace his pigeon-heart with a new one.
The POLICEMAN’s menacing glare does not scare GUDRUN and ULRIKE.
POLICEMAN: Guten Morgen! What are you looking for, ladies?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: We brought seeds for the canary.
POLICEMAN: He’s not a canary. Did you ladies think he’s a canary?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Yes.
POLICEMAN: He’s not a canary. He’s Andreas Baader.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You locked him up in a cage and covered him with a cloth like a canary.
POLICEMAN: I’ll admit it may look that way. Like a cage with a canary. But it’s a bubble.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: A bubble!
POLICEMAN: I made Herr Baader’s cage in the shape of a bubble so he’d feel at home.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN and ULRIKE MEINHOF (in unison): How did you know that Herr Baader came out of a bubble!?
POLICEMAN: The German police know more than meets the eye. (pause) But since you ladies also seem to know that Herr Baader came out of a bubble, why did you bring him seeds, eh? After all, he doesn’t eat, he has no guts.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: The seeds are for the canary, not for Herr Baader.
POLICEMAN: Whew. Do I feel relieved. Please give me the seeds. (Takes the seeds and nibbles some.) I’m pigeon-hearted and food for canaries is good for me; it’s rich in minerals. That’s very good for the heart. And then there’s this dovish trustfulness of mine, somewhat out of place in a policeman. I’m trying to overcome it, and that’s why I ask these questions that are embarrassing to all of us, whew. So you ladies don’t know Herr Baader?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: No, how could we? We’re conducting scholarly research, and bird feeding in police stations is our contribution to the study of the threatened ecosystem.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (introducing herself): Doctor Grete W.
POLICEMAN: I think scholarly research should be done on Herr Baader. He’s unusual in every respect. He doesn’t eat, as I have already mentioned, in the human sense of the word. You understand, ladies, Wurst and that kind of thing—not a bit of it ...
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: He must eat something, or he’d croak.
POLICEMAN: I can see right away that you are a doctor! (pause) I thought and thought about it, and it occurred to me to try to feed him something out of the ordinary.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You should have asked for help from science instead of conducting experiments on your own.
POLICEMAN: I did not experiment on my own. I consulted Herr Baader. He asked for a good book.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: And what happened?
POLICEMAN: He threw them all away except for one. That one he devoured from start to finish. But it took me a lot of searching to find that one ...
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I want to see Baader as soon as possible.
POLICEMAN: Easy, easy. I figured out that since he’s occupied with planting bombs himself, this book would meet with his approval. The title is ta-da Mini-manual of the Urban Guerilla by Carlos Marighella! Now I’m waiting for your praise.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I don’t give a shit about any of that and I simply speak my mind: How could you lock up such an extraordinary person, one who devours the latest published works, in a cage?
POLICEMAN: But he is Andreas Baader, isn’t he?!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: You only locked him up in a cage purely because his name is Andreas Baader.
POLICEMAN: I’m only following orders, that’s all.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Moron.
POLICEMAN: Please try to understand me, ladies: I’m not without a heart. I have a family and loved ones.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Moron.
POLICEMAN: He behaved badly, ladies. He blew up a large department store. You can’t do things like that, and please don’t draw any parallels to the Nuremberg trial here.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Did you ever give a thought to what’s happening in the world right now?
POLICEMAN : I can’t grasp the entire world with my reason. I have a relative in Poland, a six year old girl. . . I have a premonition, I tell you, ladies, that at this very moment she stepped on a shard of glass with her bare feet and that she’s crying her eyes out. That’s an example of what is happening in the world right now.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I’ll tell what’s happening in the world right now: Persian crude oil flows in a broad stream, along with Bolivian bananas and African gold. Exploitation of the Third World.
POLICEMAN: You’ve counted how many worlds there are, because you’re in sciences, but I am not. I’m afraid that blood is flowing from the little girl’s foot and that her mother is not at home.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Moron. The German police are morons.
POLICEMAN: You’re wrong there, lady. We’re looking for Gudrun Ensslin who was an accomplice in planting the bomb in that store. Do you happen to know her?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: And why should I know her?
POLICEMAN: Too bad. I’m simply asking, I ask here and there, all the time, that’s my job. I ask people in the streets: “Have you seen such and such person, her name is Gudrun Ensslin,” and they say, “Unfortunately, no, but if we do see her, we’ll let you know.” Maybe she’ll turn herself in, who knows?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: That’s likely.
GUDRUNN ENSSLIN: Now can we finally see Baader?
POLICEMAN: Of course. (He removes the cover from the cage, opens the door and lets ENSSLIN and ULRIKE go in.) You’ve got visitors, Herr Baader, they’ll cheer you up.
ANDREAS BAADER (to ENSSLIN): Gudrun!
POLICEMAN: The lady’s name is Grete.
ANDREAS BAADER: I’ll call her Gudrun. Now please get out of here, I have to fuck her.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: For scientific purposes.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: And I’ll watch.
POLICEMAN: I’m going, I’m going. (To himself.) Youth, youth, oy, and all I’ve got are seeds, oy, could make you envious.
Tactfully, the POLICEMAN leaves the premises. Although he feels that one of the ladies who claims to be Doctor Grete W. is in fact GUDRUN ENSSLIN, BAADER’s girlfriend who is at this very moment discussing an escape plan with the well-known leftist journalist and screenwriter, ULRIKE MEINHOF. But no one would believe him if he were to report this to the authorities. The authorities cannot believe in premonitions. In any case, the POLICEMAN decided to put in a call to Poland to find out how the little girl was doing. But the call could not go through because in those days there were no cell phones, only rotary ones with six digits numbers: 22 93 22. Rain quickly washed away the blood from the girl’s cut foot. The janitor cleaned up the broken glass from the beer bottle.
The Poles drank a lot because they were oppressed by Marxism.
The chancellor of Germany said that the Germans are as likable and hard-working as squirrels. He would like to see the squirrel on the German coat of arms, but for the time being it is a black eagle with wings outspread on the shield like “tsiplata-tabak” (roasted chicken), a popular dish in Soviet railroad stations.
The chancellor is pleased. “Everything bad is already behind us,” he says, but not all Germans agree with him. GUDRUN ENSSLIN, for example, is also pleased, but does not agree. ENSSLIN feels that the time has come to start a decent circus.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (cracks her whip): Here comes the famous Squirrel-Man!
SQUIRREL-MAN runs in.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Squirrel-Man—if you haven’t seen him, take a look, if you haven’t heard him, give a listen! Squirrel-Man hoards provisions for winter-time, nurtures his young, shelters them tenderly, looks to the future apprehensively, checks current prices, pays his debts on time, worries about losing his hair, hops around, writes verses, is useful, easy to get to bed, on a cot, on a grill, propagates rapidly!
SQUIRREL-MAN listens to ENSSLIN.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: And now Squirrel-Man will kick the Policeman in the ass !
GUDRUN cracks her whip. The POLICEMAN runs in.
POLICEMAN (good-naturedly): I’ve decided to take part in this German circus. People deserve some fun and entertainment after this horrible war. A kick in the ass is a somewhat crude form of entertainment, but the art of the circus isn’t particularly intellectually demanding and I accept that.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: The intellectuals will take part in the show too, I promise you ! (Cracks her whip again. ULRIKE runs in.)
GUDRUN ENSLLIN: Now the intellectuals join the show! They spew out the scholarly Kick the Policeman in the Ass Manifesto!
SQUIRREL-MAN looks at ULRIKE.
SQUIRREL-MAN: What good luck—to see you again! I thought of you during long sleepless nights, with my heart pounding I composed endless scenarios about our meeting, in the course of which I would always die of love. Can you hear me?
ULRIKE again doesn’t listen to him, she is absorbed in her own thoughts.
POLICEMAN (to ULRIKE): Dear Frau U. Although I’m standing in the spotlight in this arena of events, in a somewhat uncomfortable position, well, of necessity bent over backside raised, so it won’t sound comical, I’ll only say: No, dear Madame, go on reading Count Tolstoy, or do research on the secret life of dolphins.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: A jabbering ass! Who ever saw such a jabbering ass?
SQUIRREL-MAN: I’m used to dying once a day. In my dreams I die even more often, but of my own free will. I won’t kick the Policeman in the ass. If I do, you’ll be forced by this lady here to write a manifesto.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Stupid critter, full of squirrel guts! That’s exactly what she’s waiting for.
POLICEMAN: All that’s a joke, a fairground amusement, Herr comrade. Go ahead, kick me in the ass, let the public have a healthy laugh. Frau U. is a part of the show, there’s nothing to get upset about. It makes me feel uncomfortable too, keep that in mind.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: The words keep blurting out of my mouth as if they’d grown wings, but I can’t get started.
SQUIRREL-MAN: I won’t kick.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Well, all right then. Now I’ll beat the living daylights out of you, or else you kill yourself.
POLICEMAN: Easy does it, my friends, it’s all just a part of this lousy show.
POLICEMAN: I’ll hang myself with my tie, although that’s a tricky business.
He hangs himself in the air with his tie, although that’s a tricky business. ULRIKE, watching him, is carried away by inspiration. At last the words fly out of her mouth like birds. How far they’ll fly depends on the quality of their wings.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: At the sight of this person’s death my semi-radical words have become one hundred percent radicalized. The ideological foundations for ass-kicking are one thing, and those for death are another. This person gave his life defending imaginary values. My answer is: Enough! I demand the immediate withdrawal of the troops from Indochina!
POLICEMAN: Stop pretending, my friend. You can’t hang yourself in the air by your own tie.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (to ULRIKE): Avoid intellectual shortcuts, we need to fill twenty-two pages of fine print.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: In life’s goodness I’m no believer.
POLICEMAN: Here’s what I’ll add: In life’s no-goodness I’m a believer since you seldom get laid by a beaver.
(pause) A circus should be a real circus!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: End of show.
The POLICEMAN immediately resumes his search for GUDRUN ENSSLIN, since he’s a person who goes and goes until he finally gets up on his toes and does his duty. Meanwhile ULRIKE admiringly regards her winged words, which are already landing on a blank sheet of paper.
Tree and Wind
Ulrike would like to go underground. Ulrike does not know if she would like to go underground.
A female member of the Red Brigades declared: “I was convinced that I was endangering my life, but that the revolution would eventually come—and it wouldn’t be in twenty years but much sooner ... Frontline soldiers in the struggle [like me] had to sever all ties with their former way of life, have no contact with their families or their communities and go underground.”
If we’re citing quotations, making wise faces, earning a doctorate, compiling a decent bibliography for the play, then, for the sake of balance, why shouldn’t we also say something stupid, recite blank verse for example: “What shall we do with him? Let him dance, let him dance! What shall we do with him? Let’s kill him, but let him dance!”
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Woman is earth, damp, darkness. To be down there, underground, draw strength from darkness, from the dark, damp terrifying interior, is to draw directly from the source of strength. Life and death: all-powerful.
GUDRUN ENSLLIN: Anybody peeked into your small, dark, terrifying interior lately? Been doing any fucking?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: At night I can manage to die of love, but during the day I scoff at it. There is no one in my life now, and there never will be.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: You’re still young.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I’m old and wise. I want to go underground. I’m afraid of going underground.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Little coward. Hypocritical bitch.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: A tree buffeted by doubts.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: You’re the tree, I’m the wind.
ULRIKE is a tree. GUDRUN is the wind.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (wrestling with ULRIKE): I’ll knock you over. You’ll disappear from the face of the earth.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You won’t be able to.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I’ll knock you over.
URIKE MEINHOF: Two small identical apples, my fruit.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Shake them off, then you’ll go underground.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I’m rooted underground..
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Shake them off, then you’ll go underground.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Kingdom of shadows, of ghosts, of non-existences, of false identities, of forged passports, of stolen registration plates, of rented apartments, of arms dealers, of double agents, of spies from the first, second and third world.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: The Underground is not for bitches.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Roots are underground. I bid farewell to the tree.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: The apples roll. The tree is no more..
ULRIKE is no longer a tree.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Any one who stands in my way but does not yet know it wakes up with a scream, without knowing why fear takes away one’s breath. What shall I do with him? Let him dance, let him dance. What shall I do with him? I’ll kill him, but let him dance!
When was the last time you woke up with a scream?
When was the last time you woke up with a scream?
Let us take a look at the window of the cage through which the little bird BAADER flew away. There is nothing unusual about it. And yet the special agents of all the police investigative services in the world are staring at it as if they were spellbound. Even Emperor Bokassa who took a break from cutting off the ears of his subjects stops and stares at it. No wonder—he senses competition. That is why Emperor Bokassa decides to devour a few of his subjects and to teach a chimpanzee how to smoke cigarettes. Emperor Bokassa jealously guards his position of leadership.
At the moment we are in the reading room of the Institute for Social Studies in Berlin. SQUIRREL-MAN and ULRIKE MEINHOF are among the readers.
SQUIRREL-MAN (to himself): Everyday I wake up thinking that this time I’ll say that something special which will make this woman love me. (To ULRIKE.) Did you know that Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital in this reading room? (Silence. To himself.) I made that up, Marx wrote it in the reading room of the British Museum. (To ULRIKE.) I thought it might move you, but if not, I’ll try to amuse you with Lenin. Did you know that Lenin sat in this reading room and wrote under the pseudonym Jacob Richter? It’s a joke, of course, but do you hear me?
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to herself): Every day I wake up thinking tha other people do something real, while I only deceive myself with make-believe actions. This time I have decided to do something that surprises even me. I deny myself the right to lead an ordinary life in a country that is marked by a monstrous crime everyone wants to forget as fast as possible.
SQUIRREL-MAN: What crime are you talking about?
Enter the POLICEMAN and BAADER. BAADER in handcuffs.
POLICEMAN: What crime are you talking about?
SQUIRREL-MAN: I’m deeply in love with this lady without her loving me in return, and, to make her pay attention to me, I’m ready to take up any subject that’s of interest to her, no matter how strange. Unfortunately, I am too individual for her. She cares only for humanity in general.
POLICEMAN: Crime as a subject interests me professionally. I can contribute to your discussion from my own point of view.
ANDREAS BAADER: I intend to commit a series of crimes, you pig of a policeman, but I do not consider my future crimes to be crimes.
POLICEMAN: I’ve grown fond of your provocative way of conducting a conversation. In the depths of your heart you are a good man, an extremely good man. Yes, I know that belief in the goodness of man has many a time been put to the test and failed. As a policeman I’ve decided to fulfill my professional duties by trusting people. (Takes off BAADER’s handcuffs.)
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to the POLICEMAN): Trust him, he doesn’t lie and he will certainly commit many crimes, in your understanding of the word—and I’ll help him. I actually stand on the border between two worlds, do you understand? One of these worlds is here, inside this reading room, and the other is there, outside the window.
POLICEMAN: I already told you that you see the borders between worlds, between first, second and third worlds—although for others they are invisible. What I perceive outside this window is the springtime greenness of Berlin.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Springtime greenness, laughing children, the colors of autumn—the triteness of all that slices my ear like a razor.
ANDREAS BAADER (to the POLICEMAN): Now I can tell you openly that I possess superhuman abilities. I can catch a bomb falling on a rice-paddy and hurl it at Frankfurt or Munich. The inhabitants of those cities can, thanks to me, experience the horrors of a war that is not their own and inhale the smell of burned flesh.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Bravo!
SQUIRREL-MAN (to ULRIKE): Are you in love with him? I feel myself so unattractive compared to that extraordinary Herr Baader . . . Besides, I’m afraid he’s talking about my flesh.
POLICEMAN: Herr Baader poses no threat to us. He came here to probe himself sociologically with the help of Frau Meinhof.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Gentlemen. I’m starting a new life. I give you my word. Two witnesses please.
POLICEMAN: I’m really here to keep an eye on Herr Baader, but I trust him. (Goes over to ULRIKE and extends his hand to her.)
SQUIRREL-MAN: My friend, who loves German literature more than anything, told me that no one ever talked to him like you. I’m here to keep an eye on Herr Baader, but—although I don’t trust him—I’ll be a witness to your oath (goes over to ULRIKE).
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I solemnly swear to do everything possible so as not to waste my life.
Enter GUDRUN ENSSLIN.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I’ve been standing at the door listening for a few minutes, because I was curious as to what you’d swear. But it wasn’t worth waiting for. Cunt.
ANDREAS BAADER: Enough of boredom! With my superhuman strength I open this window! (Goes to the window and opens it.)
POLICEMAN: You’re not allowed to leave the reading room! You have to probe your own depths, not run away!
SQUIRREL-MAN (to ULRIKE): Stay here, please!
SQUIRREL-MAN goes over to the window and blocks the exit.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I won’t shoot you, Squirrel-Man; it’s for your sake that we are starting the revolution in Germany.
(She shoots SQUIRREL-MAN. Fatally hit in the liver, SQUIRREL-MAN falls to the ground.)
SQUIRREL–MAN: Halt! Fatally hit in the liver, I just had a dying vision connected with this window!
Listen to the story of a dying man.
ANDREAS BAADER: But make it short.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Let’s hurry, Baby, I missed you so much!
ANDREAS BAADER: Let’s hear his vision, and you, Meinhof, accustom yourself to the sight of someone fatally hit in the liver and other organs.
POLICEMAN: That’s a big, big mistake, Herr Baader, you’re unleashing a spiral of violence, oh, my, what’s coming next, this is no longer a circus.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Can I finally say something?
All somewhat contritely nod.
SQUIRREL-MAN: The title of my vision is “The Story of a Guy Who Had an Airplane Fly Through the Window.”
ANDREAS BAADER and GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Oh, no! Even the title is too long! We’re leaving.
(They start to leave.)
SQUIRREL-MAN: A plane flew in through the first window. A plane flew in through the second window. A plane flew in through the third window . . . (He dies.)
We’ll never know what he had in mind. Perhaps a story about how a plane flew in through the window? If so, Emperor Bokassa and his chimpanzee pale in comparison.
Desert and Pumpkin
ULRIKE MEINHOF and GUDRUN ENSSLIN like two lizards leave a trail in the sand. They are in the desert, only sand and sky. The Promised Land. One grain of that sand represents good, another evil, and so on ad infinitum. ULRIKE and GUDRUN carefully separate out the right grains of sand and load them into the howitzer, mortar, hand-held bomb launcher.
Bang, bang. The grains fly.
You can learn anything, you just have to be properly motivated.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: (fires a round at the pumpkin—misses it): That pumpkin is no good.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (looking at the unscathed pumpkin): What an ironic twist of fate! You have before your eyes, clearly delineated against the blue sky, the classic American symbol of inanity, of spookiness, of death. Provided, of course, that you first disembowel it like a pig with automatic firepower, pluck out its eyes, force its snout to scream.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Sure as shit. That pumpkin is somehow shady.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: A shapely, chubby, juicy pumpkin. It’s waiting for you to slaughter it and stick a burning candle inside it. It’ll light the way to hell for some American pig in Heidelberg.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Words, words. Even when you fart, you find a catchy name for it.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: That’s the only thing I do well, my dear.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (fires another round; the pumpkin is shattered into little pieces. With satisfaction.): That shitty Heidelberg will wake up from its sleep when American entrails fly into its gardens.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Don’t get me wrong, but can I bow down to you?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Go ahead, bow down, I don’t give it a thought. I keep on loading and shooting. (Fires again.)
ULRIKE MEINHOF (bows): You’re the personification of firmness, of pure energy, of strength. I bow down to you, I wish I could erect a temple in your honor, et cetera.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: You’re talking shit, just get to the point.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: An overheated Kalashnikov, fired up from shooting, loads me up with energy and clarity of thought. I see, I finally see what else I can give of myself besides words.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Out with it.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I have twin girls, two useless daughters. I’ll take them away from the volcano at Mount Etna where they have a safe but inane shelter and I’ll shut them up here in the camp in the Promised Land.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Children mean trouble even in a camp.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: But my children can be useful. They’ll be my eyes and my fingers. They’ll pull the trigger and die for the Vietnamese, Angolan, Cuban, Guatemalan and Palestinian cause.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: They’re big enough. Thinking, by heck, you’re good at that all right. You’ve got a head like that pumpkin.
But this ingenious, maternal plan was thwarted by a number of people of good will who failed to recognize its merits. The girls flew from the inane volcano at Mount Etna in the opposite direction, that is, to Germany, where the sole Kalashnikov they encountered was depicted on the logo RAF, which was later replaced by a Heckler und Koch (a submachine assault rifle).
The Book of Names. Felix Means Lucky
LUCKY is talking to GUDRUN ENSSLIN on a wanted poster. “Wanted ENSSLIN.” The poster was put up by the POLICEMAN.
LUCKY: Mommy, Mommy, I’m burning.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I know because I decided to burn you up. Uncle Hans set you on fire, that’s why you’re burning.
LUCKY: I’m glad you know all about it, but I’m suffering terribly. I’m burning up.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I’m very sorry we didn’t succeed in burning you up entirely and that you’re still burning.
LUCKY: What am I supposed to do? Am I responsible for the fact that I'm still burning and suffering terribly?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I feel bad about it myself. If you’d burned up entirely, we could’ve scattered your ashes and ended the whole thing.
LUCKY: Mommy, I’d really like you to do something . . . for me. But it’s so hard for me to ask for anything that all I’d like to say is “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.”
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I want to do something for you too.
LUCKY: What is it, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I’ve got some poison for you.
LUCKY: To drink, something from Mommy to drink? I’m afraid to drink it. It’s hard to do, Mommy.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN It’s easy to do. It’s a present. The Color Red went for a walk and gave out presents. Drink it to a better world.
LUCKY: Really, Mommy, Mommy? When I call you “Mommy,” I believe you.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Then call me “Mommy” all the time and give me your hand..
LUCKY: That’s what I have to do? Call you “Mommy” and give you my hand like this?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: You do that very well. You say what is necessary, and your hand is outstretched. I’m your Mommy. You have to grab the glass. Hold on to it tight so as not to spill. Keep thinking “Mommy.”
LUCKY stretches out his hand in a firmly clenched fist.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Hold the glass tight, your hand is burned and weak. Drink.
LUCKY: It’s hard.
GUDRUN ESSLIN: It’s best.
LUCKY: I don’t want to.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Repeat the words.
LUCKY: Mommy, Mommy . . . Help me.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: It’ll be much easier now.
LUCKY: Yes, it’s easier.
POLICEMAN (butting in): Don’t give him poison. That’s illegal.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: In life’s no-goodness I’m a believer.
POLICEMAN: Since you seldom get laid by a beaver, I know. Please comply and don’t give him poison.
Thanks to this intervention LUCKY continues to burn. He falls asleep and dreams a dream: His burned hands fly over the desert. The wind carries them into a garden. The hands fall to the ground, a pumpkin grows out of them. His Mother picks the pumpkin and sets it in the sand. “This pumpkin is no good,” she says. What could that mean?
The pumpkin is a magical vegetable
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I heard the strange story of what happened to that man, although I don’t know who he is. Why did he talk to Gudrun’s photo on the wanted poster? The pigeon-hearted Policeman came up to him and forbade him from talking to the wanted poster. Why didn’t the Policeman forbid the wanted poster from talking to the man? That’s not a fair law! If German law prohibits wanted posters from talking to strangers, then the Policeman could arrest a poster like that and put it in jail.
Since I came back to Germany, I’ve noticed there are pumpkins everywhere. Even in banks: Guten Tag, Herr Pumpkin, how was your vacation, Frau Pumpkin . . . No, that was a joke, pumpkins don’t go on vacation. What’s most important is that I’ve changed my life. I no longer deceive myself, I no longer get raped, nobody rapes me. That’s supreme happiness, the absolute tops. Anyone who was ever raped knows what I’m talking about. Now I exist in a new reality. I’m a different person. I’m (laughs) Robin Hood.
I say things, like in the movies. For example, I say . . . (laughs again) . . . seriously, for example, I say, things like . . . like . . . (trying to smother her laughter) . . . say it for me, Gudrun . . .
The bank robbery begins. BAADER turns on a boom-box. Loud music.
ULRIKE MEINHOF . . . Say it, Gudrun . . .
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (shrieks; holding a submachine gun): This is a hold-up . . .
ULRIKE MEINHOF (laughs): Yes, this is a hold-up . . .
ANDREAS BAADER (shrieks): This a hold-up!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (shrieks): Hands up! Face to the wall!
ULRIKE MEINHOF (laughs): Yes, hands up . . . right now . . . or I’ll blow your pumpkin heads off!
ANDREAS BAADER (shrieks): Hands up!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (shrieks): Face to the wall! Keep quiet!
BAADER jumps on the counter and takes aim with his gun.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Gudrun says that for all these words we’ll get a total of two hundred and eighty five thousand Deutsche marks! (Laughter.) I have a gun too. Gudrun says we must have guns, because they want to kill us.
Enter the POLICEMAN on all fours.
POLICEMAN: Lower your voices, please. I’ve been shot in the back, and my face was cut by flying glass.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Why are you on all fours?
POLICEMAN: Because I’m bleeding, you know how debilitating that is? There’s a car parked in front of the bank, from which somebody shot at me.
ANDREAS BAADER: That’s our car.
POLICEMAN: Herr Baader, I told you you can’t disregard the “no parking” sign. I have to write you a ticket.
ANDREAS BAADER: I don’t give a shit about your “no parking” sign.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Neither do I.
POLICEMAN: You’re not doctor Grete. You’re Gudrun Ensslin on the wanted poster.
ANDREAS BAADER: You’re a pigeon-hearted moron.
POLICEMAN: I trusted you. I was a trusting policeman.
ANDREAS BAADER: And my eyes are blue.
BAADER jumps off the counter, lifts the POLICEMAN up on his knees, and shoots him through the heart. The POLICEMAN falls to the ground.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (peering into the hole in the POLICEMAN’s body; to BAADER): You got him right through his pigeon heart, Baby.
ANDREAS BAADER: Let them replace it with a piggy heart, since he’s a pig.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (peering into the hole in the POLICEMAN’s body): What a terrible hole.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Come on, Ulrike, we didn’t come here to peer into that hole.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to herself): I’m running a fever. I’m running a fever and I’m raving. Somebody has turned my pumpkin into a carriage. I’m racing, I’m racing and I’m realizing my dreams. I must get back by twelve, then I’ll turn back into that other Ulrike, (in whisper) the one that got raped. I have to hurry.
ULRIKE subjects herself to self-analysis, but also listens to public opinion.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Yesterday I was ill, I don’t remember much, but I am aware that I can easily be classified as a Sacred Female Fanatic character—and just what does that means, gentlemen? It means that extreme variations and emotional instability affect me, perhaps even suppress and repress me. On the one hand, I fluctuate between mystical states and total doubt; on the other, my fanaticism sometimes changes into its opposite, that is to say, a lack of faith. To sum up: Yesterday doubt and lack of faith, today energy and optimism, you surely know what I’m talking about, gentlemen? Maybe you too have got all the makings of terrorists? (Cups her hands into a megaphone through which she speaks.)
War is war! Members of society, form ranks!
Society forms ranks: The POLICEMAN with the hole in his chest, ANDREAS, GUDRUN, SQUIRREL-MAN, and LUCKY.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Count off!
ANDREAS BAADER: Meenie.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Minie.
POLICEMAN: A Tiger.
ANDREAS BAADER: By the.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Toe.
SQUIRREL-MAN: If he.
ANDREAS BAADER: Him.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Go.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: The winner is the gentleman who talked to Gudrun Ensslin’s picture on the wanted poster. The well-known and respected Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research has an important question for you: What is your feeling for the Red Army Faction terrorists?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I’m delighted to hear it! Tell us something about yourself, please.
LUCKY: I’m every fifth and every tenth German.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: The next important question: Would you let a member of the RAF in need of shelter stay overnight in your apartment?
LUCKY: I would.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: My flesh and blood!
ULRIKE ENSSLIN (to GUDRUN): You haven’t spilled any yet.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: My flesh and blood—my son! (To LUCKY.) I’m proud of you, my son.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to LUCKY): Is she your Mommy ?
LUCKY: Yes, she’s my Mommy.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to herself): Life provides solutions to riddles when we least expect them. (To LUCKY) Now you are grown up, but I heard that Gurdun abandoned you when you were six months old. Aren’t you angry at her for deserting you?
LUCKY: No, I’m not angry. I’m proud.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN (cutting in): After all, who has a Mommy like me? Whose Mommy fights as I do? Without me, he wouldn’t know that politicians tell lies, that Vietnam is being bombed, and that if somebody says “no,” he’ll be shot!
LUCKY: Yes, Mommy.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Next question: Could you name the well-known German politician, whose title begins with “F,” responsible for crimes against humanity?
LUCKY: The Few-roar?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: N-n-no.
LUCKY: The Fur-rear? The Furry-ear? No? . . . Exactly what did he do? What crimes did he commit?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: This is a crime. I told you at the time, when I crossed over the invisible border between the world of peace and the world of terror, when I jumped out the window, and when I changed my life. I said: “I deny myself the right to live an ordinary life in a country marked by crimes every one wants to forget as quickly as possible.”
ANDREAS BAADER (to ULRIKE): Don’t be too smart for your own good.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to ANDREAS): You promised to tell us all a fairytale about The Color Red. Where’s the fairytale?
POLICEMAN: I don’t trust you anymore, Herr Baader! You said you had no entrails and that you don’t shit . . . and yesterday you said, “I shit on your no-parking sign.” I shit on it!
SQUIRREL-MAN: And I’d like to step out of the ranks of society. I bought a new car and I want to show it to a friend.
ANDREAS BAADER: Get the fuck out of here! Only members of the RAF get to stay!
The RAF members gather in a tight circle.
The POLICEMAN feels bad with a hole in his chest. LUCKY wants to boast that he once saw his Mommy Gudrun acting in a porno movie, but he’s embarrassed and decides to keep the information to himself. SQUIRREL-MAN goes to the parking lot to get his car, and the RAF plans the complete fairytale about the Color Red.
Seeds of Fear
SQUIRREL-MAN: I told her I wanted to show off my new car, but I was lying. It was just one more attempt to make a statement that would make her fall in love with me. I made her understand–between the lines—that I could leave her, that she meant nothing to me. That I was in a hurry to get back to my car. That she had miscalculated. That I didn’t love her any more. Pretty clever, eh? But a convincing delivery cost me a lot of effort: “I bought a new car and I want to show it to a friend.” Now my whole jaw aches and my throat is hoarse from saying those words. You can hear that, can’t you? She doesn’t love me because she loves the Vietnamese, the Angolans, the Guatemalans, the Ethiopians, and not me. I’m pitiful, aren’t I? I’ll go and tell her: "I take back the words: 'I bought a new car and I want to show it to a friend' — I take back those words, they’re burning my throat.”
POLICEMAN WITH A HOLE IN HIS CHEST: I can’t sleep. Those RAF terrorists formed a circle and plotted. One out of five and one out of ten Germans likes them and is willing to give them shelter, although they killed me straight through the heart. Perhaps that Baader, the Anti-Man from moon-maloon, was right after all to call me a pig? Perhaps people on the moon see better from high up that I’m a pig, and who would shed a tear for a pig?
SQUIRREL-MAN: They have sown a seeds of fear in us, haven’t they, Herr Policeman?
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): They have sown the seeds of fear, yes, Herr Squirrel-Man.
SQUIRREL-MAN: They have sown, they have sown the seeds of fear.
POLICEMAN: (with a hole in his chest): They have sown, they have sown the seeds of fear.
SQUIRREL-MAN: And where in you did they sow it?
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): And where in you did they sow it?
SQUIRREL-MAN: Let’s look for it.
POLICEMAN(with the hole in his chest): Let’s look for it.
They search themselves, looking for the seeds of fear everywhere: in their pockets, in their wallets, under their belts, in their underwear. They find what they were looking for.
SQUIRREL-MAN: I’ve got it here.
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): And I’ve got it here.
They show each other the seeds of fear they have found.
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest, carefully examines seeds): Oh, I’m afraid they’re not seeds.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Not seeds? Then what are they then?
POLICEMAN (with the hole in his chest): Bombs.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Bombs are seeds too.
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): Oh, no. I know all about seeds. These are bombs.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Bombs –“the seeds of fear.” Just a metaphor.
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): It’s no metaphor. Let’s get out of here.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Do you think Frau Meinhof sowed this bomb in me?
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): I wouldn’t rule it out, it’s altogether possible, Herr Squirrel-Man.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Then why should I flee?
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): The bomb will explode, you’ll be killed.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Frau Meinhof already ran over me once, when she was parking, but it was unintentional.
POLICEMAN (with the hole in his chest): My intuition tells me she wants to kill you.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Then you’d better flee. I have something to tell her.
The POLICEMAN listens to his intuition.
SQUIRREL-MAN clears his throat once. Then clears it again. The bomb explodes. Something goes down and lodges in his throat.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to the SQUIRREL-MAN): How are my seeds of fear doing?
SQUIRREL-MAN (rattling): I bought . . . a new . . .
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Why are you rattling like that?
SQUIRREL-MAN (rattling): . . . car . . .
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): He’s rattling, because a splinter of glass from the window cut his throat. From that bomb of yours.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (picks up another piece of glass): I recognize this piece of glass! It’s from the window I jumped out of so I could go fight.
SQUIRREL-MAN (rattling) : . . . and I want to . . .
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): It’s glass from the window through which the plane flew. You opened that window, and then a plane flew through it. He said so. (To SQUIRREL-MAN.) Did you say so?
SQUIRREL-MAN (rattling): . . . to show . . . to show it . . to a friend . . .
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I don’t know what he’s trying to say.
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): He’s taking back the statement that he wants to show a friend his car. He lied, because he loves you.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I don’t want to hear about it.
POLICEMAN (with a hole in his chest): I have a question about the glass that cut his throat. Didn’t you advise your friends to fly their plane through some window or other? Was that your idea?
ULRIKE MEINHOF (reflects): Maybe . . . I’m always thinking, I think up things even if I don’t want to.
SQUIRREL-MAN (rattling): I love you. (He dies.)
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to herself): I’m not going to worry about him, the resurrection is tomorrow.
We Look for Europe, We Build the New Germany
ANDREAS BAADER (pokes in trash cans containing unidentified body parts): What could this be? Liver? Heart? Hands?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Let’s just bury all that, Baby, it’s all the same.
ANDREAS BAADER: No, it makes a difference. You plant some old gut in the ground and shit grows out of it.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (to ANDREAS): Admit openly that you don’t know what it is. That you have to ask me for help. That intellectuals are really needed.
ANDREAS BAADER (uncertainly poking around in the hands and legs—not his own of course): I’ll remember.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Good luck . . . You don’t even have a high school diploma.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: How much longer is she going to insult you, Baby?
ANDREAS BAADER (to ULRIKE): While you’re jabbering, these trash cans are beginning to stink.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (on cue): . . . Intellectuals are needed.
ANDREAS BAADER: They’re fucking needed all right.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Okay, (begins) Cadmus looked everywhere for many years, but found no trace of his sister Europa.
ANDREAS BAADER: Cut it short.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Boor.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Shut your noise, twat.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Cadmus challenged the dragon to single combat and dealt it a mortal blow. The goddess bid him pull out the dragon’s fangs and sow them in the earth.
ANDREAS BAADER: The dragon’s teeth, its fucking teeth!
ULRIKE MEINHOF. Cadmus did as he was told and from the earth there sprang up armed warriors who immediately fell upon each other with hate, wounding and killing one another in fratricidal battle. The earth greedily drank their blood. Five of them survived and built the city of Thebes on that ground poisoned by the spilled blood.
ANDREAS BAADER: Get at the teeth, girls! The earth is waiting!
With unexpected skill they pull out the teeth, sow them in the ground so that a new city-state, the New Germany, can arise. They sow the teeth, sticking them in the freshly dug ground. They look and wait. The POLICEMAN emerges from the ground.
POLICEMAN: Two hundred thousand Deutsche marks identity cards and passports official seals from the town hall two hundred eighty five thousand marks thirteen wounded one fatality one bomb in the police station in Augsburg provincial bureau of criminal investigation in Munich material losses wife of a federal judge seventeen wounded two bombs three killed seven wounded US army supreme headquarters in Heidelberg Petra Schelm commando Thomas Weissbecker commando movement 2 June commando movement 15 July commando.
ANDREAS BAADER: What are you yapping about, pig face?
POLICEMAN: Greetings, Herr Baader, there’s a time to sow and a time to reap, dear ladies. We’ll celebrate it together.
A Thanksgiving House was built on a potato field in the Stammheim district of Stuttgart at a cost of twelve million marks. It was the best guarded Thanksgiving House in Europe, for which Cadmus once searched in vain.
The Policeman X-rays Ulrike
ULRIKE MEINHOF: No, no, it wasn’t at all like that. The Policeman didn’t grow out of the contaminated ground. They caught each of us separately. Baader was picked up in Frankfurt, they showed it on television. They got Gudrun Ensslin in Hamburg as she was buying clothes. And I’m going to be caught in a moment.
A bell rings.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: “Who’s there?” I say, not suspecting anything.
POLICEMAN: Open up!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: So I have to open the door. (She opens the door. To the POLICEMAN.) Oh, it’s you, Herr Policeman. Where’s the hole in your chest, did you get a new heart implanted?
POLICEMAN: It grew back all by itself, dear lady, there’s so much blood everywhere, scraps of meat in the air, the air heavy like in a pig slaughterhouse. The RAF company’s best fertilizer for heart growth.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: That’s wonderful, you must feel better now. And what’s your business with me?
POLICEMAN: I’ll tell you right away and show you. By the way I have greetings for you from Squirrel-Man. He went to show his new car to a friend . Your bomb went off and he was blown to pieces; his head went one way, and his legs another . . . His head was still looking at the car, his legs were hanging in a tree. Funny, isn’t it?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: There are no innocent civilians.
POLICEMAN: I’ll convey that to his head.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Now they are really afraid of us. You are too, aren’t you?
POLICEMAN: I have a new heart. Thanks to you, I’m a new man.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: But did we achieve our goal? Are you really afraid?
POLICEMAN: Now I’m going to tell you and now I’m going to show you. It will be a performance. (Bows.) You say: Goslings, goslings, what are you afraid of?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: That’s silly, stop it.
The POLICEMAN kicks her in the face with zest and zeal.
POLICEMAN: Goslings, goslings, what are you afraid of?
ULRIKE MEINHOF (on her knees): At that point I realized I’d really been caught. I started to cry. He was such a nice Policeman. He got all his nourishment from bird seed.
The POLICEMAN kicks her in the face with zest and zeal.
POLICEMAN: Goslings, goslings, what are you afraid of?
ULRIKE MEINHOF (lying on the ground): The big bad wolf.
The POLICEMAN kicks her in the face with zest and zeal.
POLICEMAN: Wrong answer.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I am afraid of you.
POLICEMAN: Clever girl. Clever girls give the best blow jobs. (Kicks her in the face with zest and zeal.) On your knees. Don’t move.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You’re not allowed to do that.
POLICEMAN: I’m going to x-ray you. Has anyone x-rayed you before?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You’re not allowed to do that.
POLICEMAN: I’ll shine the light clean through you.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: You’re not allowed to do that. You’re not allowed to do that. You’re not allowed to do that.
POLICEMAN: Good. Good. Good.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: My head is no longer mine, my mouth is no longer mine, my body is no longer mine.
POLICEMAN: I don’t feel sorry for you, you sick brain, you sick brain, you sick, sick brain, I’ve made an x-ray of you, the right way, I’ve made an x-ray, whether you wanted me to or not, you asked for it, you brought it on yourself, and now I’m meting out your punishment, I’ll lock you in a box, I’ll starve you, I’ll force feed you, I’ll starve you . . . Funny, isn’t it?
The x-ray showed the presence of a metal pin that was inserted in Ulrike Meinhof’s head during the brain surgery that she had undergone some years ago. It was the best proof that Ulrike Meinhof was Ulrike Meinhof.
The Silent Revenge of the Potatoes
Numbers 1, 2, 3 are sitting with paper bags over their heads. They’ve been put behind bars. So now they’re locked up on the inside, although they’d probably prefer to be strolling about on the outside, looking at terrestrial grass, street lamps on which perch pigeons classified in terrestrial atlases. They’d probably prefer to listen, to hear with their own ears the sounds of the Heimat: the creaking of the door at the Deutsche Bank branch, gunshots during a demonstration, a one-mark coin rolling across the table in a cozy cafe.
The Policeman is well aware of all that, but he doesn’t allow them to get up, walk around, or listen. He has different plans for them.
In the background the singing of the cannibals from Kealakekua Bay who ate Captain Cook can be heard.
POLICEMAN: Welcome to Stammheim, ladies and gentlemen. Our prison cost twelve million marks. It is perfectly equipped to provide you with everything needed for the life sentence to which you have been condemned. I must also inform you that Stammheim prison is located in the middle of a potato field. Should you want some one to help you, ask the potatoes for assistance. Funny, isn’t it?
NUMBER 1: I spit on you, pig!
NUMBER 2: I spit on you, pig!
NUMBER 3: I spit on you, pig!
POLICEMAN: I’m a pig, I’m a pig! (The POLICEMAN stirs some grub in a metal bowl, goes up to NUMBER 1. Pushes a spoonful of food at him.) Yum, yum.
NUMBER 1 turns his head away.
POLICEMAN (tries again): Yum, yum.
NUMBER 1 turns his head away. The POLICEMAN holds NUMBER 1’s chin and forces him to swallow the food. It turns out that NUMBER 1 like the other Numbers, is tied to the chair with top-quality leather straps.
POLICEMAN: Taste good?
NUMBER 1 spits the food out.
POLICEMAN: Seems you didn’t like it. (Goes up to NUMBER 2 and gives him a spoonful of food. NUMBER 2 passively swallows it.)
POLICEMAN: Was it good?
NUMBER 2: I can’t taste anything, I can’t taste anything, I can’t taste anything.
POLICEMAN: Then how can we tell if the Stammheim kitchen deserves four stars or not . . . (Goes up to NUMBER 3. Hands the food to him.) How is it?
NUMBER 3 (swallows the food): Excellent, is that what you want to hear, pig snout? Delicious!
POLICEMAN: Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Guess who won our gourmet test? (Removes the paper bag from NUMBER 3’s head.) Herr Baader, man in the moon, liked our Stammheim dinner, today’s special dish, excellent, excellent! And what was it? Attention: ta-da! . . . chopped Captain Clyde Bonner of the US Army Supreme Headquarters in Heidelberg!
That’s right, Herr Baader, you’ve just eaten Mister Bonner, the one who bombed Vietnam, and as punishment, as pun-ish-ment you ate him, bravo, and you liked it, you’ve won my contest, and as a reward you’ll get the rest of Captain Bonner!
ANDREAS BAADER: I don’t believe you, you pig!
POLICEMAN: Oh, are you implying that I could have been lying?! After all, you blew him up with your bomb! Yes! You didn’t like him! To punish Bonner you blew him up, that’s what you did! (Pulls out Bonner’s leg, which has not yet been chopped.)
POLICEMAN: And what did I cook up? (Swinging the leg around.) I saved Bonner’s leg to be roasted, and from the rest, I made grilled ribs from the torso, I used the heart and the lungs for pate, I fricasseed the kidneys with basil, sautéed the liver with onions, roasted the neck with green peppercorns, parbroiled the brains, boiled the tongue in cream, of course the eyes, veins and fat went into breakfast sausages, and I don’t remember what else, oh, yes there’s the tripe, Bonner’s tripe will be prepared too, with spices . . .
ANDREAS BAADER: Hold it, hold it, hold it. I declare a hunger-strike.
POLICEMAN: Gobble him down! I said gobble Bonner down! Gobble him down! He’s your political enemy!
The POLICEMAN is completely carried away. For one thing, he worked hard to make something tasty out of Bonner’s remains—for another, he doesn’t like to waste food. He takes the bowl with Bonner’s stew and sticks BAADER’s head into it. We can understand his frustration. If Emperor Bokassa ate his political enemies, then why shouldn’t Baader be willing to eat his?
Meanwhile GUDRUN ENSSLIN and ULRIKE MEINHOF have been furiously shaking their paper-bag-covered heads, crying for help. The potatoes hear their cries but do not react. The potatoes still have their own accounts to settle with humankind and now they take their revenge, silently and with satisfaction.
Lucky at last
GUDRUN ENSSLIN is alone in her cell. Nothing unusual about that, Stammheim prison is full of cells. She would so much like not to be alone. It is night.
LUCKY: Cuddle up close to me.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: It is so dark, I can’t see a thing, what a night.
LUCKY: Cuddle up close to me.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I long for you, Baby. I dream that I’m talking to you.
LUCKY: I long for you, too.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Do you love me?
LUCKY: And how. You can’t imagine how much.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Love me, Baby.
LUCKY: I love you.
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: That’s wonderful.
LUCKY: Can you feel me?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Oh, yes.
LUCKY: Can you feel me inside you?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Oh, yes, Baby, yes.
LUCKY: Can you feel me deep inside you?
GUDRRUN ENSSLIN: Yes, deep inside me, Baby.
LUCKY: Do you feel my dick inside you?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Don’t talk like that, Baby.
LUCKY: It was small, and now it’s big. Can you feel it?
GURDRUN ENSSLIN: Stop.
LUCKY: It was so small, so small the last time you saw it. Can you feel it? It was only six months old then. Do you feel it, Mommy? Do you feel it?
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: Life is no good.
LUCKY: I’m inside you, Mommy, do you feel it? I always wanted to be inside you, I wanted to return there, get inside you, get back into your belly, can you understand that, Mommy? I’m there, Mommy, I’m coming there, Mommy, love me, Mommy.
The Final Death of the Squirrel-Man
SQUIRREL-MAN and ULRIKE together in a cell, knotting a rope.
ULRIKE MEINHOF (knotting a rope from her prison towel torn into strips): Work is much easier done together. (pause) Why don’t you say anything?
SQUIRREL-MAN (joins her in knotting the rope): I no longer believe that I’ll ever say those words that would make you fall in love with me. (Pause.) I’m pathetic, right?
ULRIKE MEINHOF (warmly): A bit.
SQUIRREL-MAN: We can be quiet and twine the rope. That’s pleasant, too. (Pause.) Do you remember running over me that first time?
ULRIKE MEINHOF (smiling): Yes. I didn’t hear you at all then.
SQUIRREL-MAN (smiling): That’s true. And I was terribly jealous. Because you heard others, but not me.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: But later on I did talk to you a little.
SQUIRREL-MAN: That’s a fact, you did.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: All that was so long ago. Ages ago.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Do you also remember the time that Gudrun Ensslin shot me?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Of course.
SQUIRREL-MAN: We’ve been through so much together. But even so you still didn’t fall in love with me.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Your wishful thinking alone wasn’t enough.
SQUIRREL-MAN: You’re right, you’re right.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Will you help me hang myself?
SQUIRREL-MAN: I’ll help. But why do you want to do that?
ULRIKE MEINHOF: What does it matter why?
SQUIRREL-MAN: Everybody’s curious. And as for me personally, I love you so much.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: That’s your problem. (pause) Let’s say because I’ve wasted my life. Will you help me hang myself?
If you won’t, please get out of here. Oh, what’s the difference, you can watch me.
SQUIRREL-MAN (ardently): I’ll hang myself in your place! Please let me!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: What for? I don’t want to go on living.
SQUIRREL-MAN: Here’s my plan: I’ll hang myself in your place. You’ll take the rope and keep on knotting it. It has to be a hundred stories long. When you’ve finished knotting it, God will send you wings. He sent you a single wing once before! Then you’ll fly out this window and fly around and give this rope to the people whose window the plane flew through. A super plan!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I’ll have wings like an angel? How do you know?
SQUIRREL-MAN: I know, that’s all. All you have to do is finish knotting this rope! Please!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: Are you really willing to hang yourself in my place?
SQUIRREL-MAN: For you. For love.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: And what will you hang yourself with?
SQUIRREL-MAN: My tie. I have a knack for that. What do you say? Please! One last time?!
ULRIKE MEINHOH: And I’ll become an angel of God. That’s wonderful.
SQUIRREL-MAN: All you have to do is believe me. I will die for you for love.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: All right. Die!
SQUIRREL-MAN hangs himself.
SQUIRREL-MAN’s body swings back and forth.
ULRIKE stops knotting the rope. She starts to swing just like him.
They swing together. Finally they are doing something together. That’s an improvement.
The Big Bang
ULRIKE MEINHOF, ANDREAS BAADER and GUDRUN ENSSLIN are wearing paper-bags with their mug-shots on them.
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I’m Ulrike Meinhof!
ANDREAS BAADER: I’m Andreas Baader!
GUDRUN NESSLIN: I’m Gudrun Ensslin!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: I spit on you, pigs!
ANDREAS BAADER: I spit on you, pigs!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: I spit on you, pigs!
ULRIKE MEINHOF: We will live forever, even though we die!
ANDREAS BAADER: We will live forever, even though we die!
GUDRUN ENSSLIN: We will live forever, even though we die!
They remove the paper-bags from their heads and burst them with a big bang.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Now their fresh corpses bare their teeth at everybody.
The POLICEMAN enters carrying Bonner’s leg.
POLICEMAN (through a microphone): Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement to make: All’s well that ends well!
Approaches different people in the audience with the microphone.
POLICEMAN: Isn’t that right? The evil people died. Good. Isn’t that right? Good. Isn’t that right? (He looks at the corpses with their bared teeth.) Well, all right . . . if that’s the way it is . . . I’ll eat Bonner’s leg myself.
Funeral music, suitable for a dance and for a meat cutlet, or, more precisely, for a roasted leg.
Originally published in: New Europe: Plays from the Continent, eds. Bonnie Marranca, Małgorzata Semil. PAJ Publications, New York 2001. Translation revised and edited. The editors of „View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture” would like to thank the author and the translator for the right to reprint the text.