Bergmannstrasse seems a nice, colorful street with lots of shops, bars and Buddahs for lost souls that try to find peace. But in 1975 a local politician running for mayor, Peter Lorenz, was kidnapped and kept in a basement for six days by the terrorist organization ‘Bewegung 2. Juni’ at Bergmannstrasse.
Kidnapping at Bergmannstrasse
Bergmannstrasse is a nice street. The windowsills have colorful stuff, sell vintage stuff and relaxed Buddahs. People relax at the many cafes in and around Bergmanstrasse. But on February 27, 1975 this Kreuzberg area was less peaceful, without anyone realizing it. Early in the morning Peter Lorenz who is running for mayor in Berlin for the CDU party left his home Zehlendorf and a few minutes later his car was blocked by a van and another car crashed into his. His driver got beaten up and Lorenz got a syringe with drugs in his arm to make the kidnapping a bit easier. The people of the anarchistic, terrorist group ‘Bewegung 2.Juni’ (movement of June 2, refers to the violent death of student Benno Ohnesorg) drove Lorenz around town, before they took him to an attic at the Bergmannstrasse. The mare candidate had no clue where the kidnappers had taken him. He only noticed it was an attic. The travel to the Bergmannstrasse was a blur because of the drugs he was injected with. 24 hours after he kidnapping the people of Bewegung 2. Juni took a polaroid of Lorenz to show the world outside he was still alive and that the movement had kidnapped him.
The kidnappers didn’t want any money to return Lorenz to his family. They had a very special question for the police. They wanted six terrorists in prison released, before they would let Lorenz go. The police were in doubt. Should they really release for dangerous terrorists in return for Peter Lorenz? Politicians were afraid to release those terrorists back in society, but didn’t like the idea of the blood of Peter Lorenz on their hands either. People were looking for Lorenz, but weren’t successful. They decided to release the terrorists. The six of them were taken to an airplane. Destination: Aden, south Yemen. A television show broadcasted the release live on the tellie. When the terrorists were safe in Yemen, Peter Lorenz was released. He had stayed six days in the attic on Bergmannstrasse.
It was the first and last time the German government did what a terrorist group wanted to release a kidnapped person. But it wasn’t the last time a left wing terrorist group kidnapped someone. Two months after the kidnapping of Peter Lorenz, the RAF held the German embassy in Stockholm prison. They demanded 26 people to be released out of prison, but than the German government didn’t give in. Two diplomats died. That’s something to remember if you walk on Bergmannstrasse…