Rudi Dutschke

Alfred Willi Rudolf ‘Rudi’ Dutschke (German: [ˈʁuːdi ˈdʊtʃkə]; 7 March 1940 – 24 December 1979) was a prominent spokesperson of the German student movement of the 1960s. He advocated a ‘long march through the institutions of power’ to create radical change from within government and society by becoming an integral part of the machinery. This was an idea he took up from his interpretation of Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory; accordingly, the quote is often wrongfully attributed to Gramsci. In the 1970s he followed through on this idea by joining the nascent Green movement. He survived an assassination attempt by Josef Bachmann in 1968, but died 11 years later from a seizure brought on from brain damage sustained during the assassination attempt. Radical students blamed an anti-student campaign in the papers of the Axel Springer publishing empire for the assassination attempt. This led to attempts to blockade the distribution of Springer newspapers all over Germany, which in turn led to major street battles in many German cities, considered the largest protests to that date in Germany. … He began to study sociology, ethnology, philosophy and history at the Free University of Berlin under Richard Löwenthal and Klaus Meschkat where he became acquainted with the existentialist theories of Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre, and soon after also with alternative views of Marxism and the history of the labour movement. Dutschke joined the German SDS Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund (which was not the same as the SDS in the US, but quite similar in goals) in 1965 and from that time on the SDS became the center of the student movement, growing very rapidly and organizing demonstrations against the war in Vietnam. … Influenced by critical theory, Rosa Luxemburg, and critical Marxists and informed through his collaboration with fellow students from Africa and Latin America, Dutschke developed a theory and code of practice of social change via the practice of developing democracy in the process of revolutionizing society, collaborating with foreign students.  Dutschke also advocated that the transformation of Western societies should go hand in hand with Third World liberation movements and with democratization in communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. He was from a pious Lutheran family and his socialism had strongly Christian roots; he called Jesus Christ the ‘greatest revolutionary’, and in Easter 1963, he wrote that ‘Jesus is risen. The decisive revolution in world history has happened — a revolution of all-conquering love. If people would fully receive this revealed love into their own existence, into the reality of the ‘now’, then the logic of insanity could no longer continue.’ …”
Rudi Dutschke and the struggle of the 1968 student movement
A Revolutionary Who Shaped a Generation
The Berlin Wall: Attack on Rudi Dutschke (Video)
YouTube: Rudi Dutschke (English Subtitles)

His grave in Berlin-Dahlem

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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