Fritz Teufel
Fritz Teufel was a prominent figure in the West German political left
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 of the 1960s. One of the founders of Kommune 1
Kommune 1
Kommune 1 or K1 was the first politically-motivated commune in Germany. It was created on January 12, 1967, in West Berlin and finally dissolved in November 1969....

, Teufel cultivated a theatrical, humorous public image--encapsulated in his idea of the "Spaßguerilla" ("fun guerilla"). In the 1970s he rejected this image and became involved with the violent Movement 2 June
Movement 2 June
Movement 2 June was a West German terrorist organization that was based out of West Berlin. Active only from 1971–1980, the anarchist group was one of the few violent groups at the time in West Germany. Although Movement 2 June did not share the same ideology as the Red Army Faction , these...

. He was jailed several times in the 1960s and 1970s.

Teufel was born on June 17, 1943, in Ingelheim and was raised in Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about north of Stuttgart city centre, near the river Neckar. It is the largest and primary city of the Ludwigsburg urban district with about 87,000 inhabitants...

. He attended the Free University of Berlin
Free University of Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin is one of the leading and most prestigious research universities in Germany and continental Europe. It distinguishes itself through its modern and international character. It is the largest of the four universities in Berlin. Research at the university is focused on the...

, studying German literature
German literature
German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German part of Switzerland, and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there...

 and theater, which also allowed him to avoid conscription. In January 1967 Teufel, together with Dieter Kunzelmann
Dieter Kunzelmann
Dieter Kunzelmann is a German left-wing activist. In the early 1960s he was a member of the Situationist-inspired artists' group Gruppe SPUR. He was one of the founders of Kommune 1 in 1967. At the end of the 1960s he was one of the leaders of the Tupamaros West-Berlin, which carried out...

 and other radicals, founded Kommune 1 in West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

 on Stuttgarter Platz, the nation's first politically motivated commune. Teufel was one of the instigators of what became known as the "Pudding Assassination", in which protesters planned to throw plastic bags filled with flour, pudding and yogurt at Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Hubert H. Humphrey, during an April 1967 state visit. 11 participants in the "plot" were arrested, but were quickly released, and Teufel was on his way to becoming a celebrity.

Following a demonstration on June 2, 1967 against the Shah of Iran that resulted in the death of protester Benno Ohnesorg
Benno Ohnesorg
Benno Ohnesorg was a German university student killed by a policeman during a demonstration in West Berlin.- Death :On June 2, 1967, Ohnesorg participated in a protest held near the Deutsche Oper, aimed against the state visit of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was attending a...

, Teufel was arrested and charged with treason. It was not until December that he was released, after he and many students with him had begun a hunger strike. His sympathizers held demonstrations, chanting "Freedom for Fritz Teufel" and "Drive the devil out of Moabit!" (Teufel was held in Moabit
Moabit is an inner city locality of Berlin. Since Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it belongs to the newly regrouped governmental borough of Mitte. Previously, from 1920 to 2001, it belonged to the borough of Tiergarten. Moabit's borders are defined by three watercourses, the Spree, the...

 prison and the word "teufel" is German for "devil"). Teufel was eventually acquitted of the charges, but spent six months in custody before his release.

Like Kunzelmann and other German leftists, Teufel drifted toward the embrace of armed struggle at the end of the 1960s; in 1970 he told a journalist that "the clown Teufel is dead." After being tossed out of Kommune 1, Teufel moved to Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, where he lived in a commune with future Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

 member Irmgard Möller
Irmgard Möller
Irmgard Möller is a German militant and a former member of the Red Army Faction...

. Teufel founded the Tupamaros Munich militant group and later became involved with the Movement 2 June
Movement 2 June
Movement 2 June was a West German terrorist organization that was based out of West Berlin. Active only from 1971–1980, the anarchist group was one of the few violent groups at the time in West Germany. Although Movement 2 June did not share the same ideology as the Red Army Faction , these...

. Teufel was arrested in the early 1970s for his involvement in the firebombing of a Munich courthouse, for which he was convicted and sentenced to two years in jail.

In 1975 he was arrested and accused of taking part in the Movement 2 June's kidnapping of Peter Lorenz
Peter Lorenz
Peter Lorenz was a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union .In 1975 Lorenz was a candidate for mayor of West Berlin. He was kidnapped by the militant Movement 2 June group three days before the elections on 27 February...

, a politician from the Christian Democratic Union
Christian Democratic Union
Christian Democratic Union may refer to:* Christian Democratic Union * Christian Democratic Union * Christian Democratic Union * Christian Democratic Union * Christian Democratic Union...

. Teufel was imprisoned for five years before presenting an airtight alibi at his trial, proving that he had been working under an assumed name at a factory in Essen
- Origin of the name :In German-speaking countries, the name of the city Essen often causes confusion as to its origins, because it is commonly known as the German infinitive of the verb for the act of eating, and/or the German noun for food. Although scholars still dispute the interpretation of...

 on the date in question. He would later say that he had remained silent until then to expose flaws in the German justice system. He was convicted of lesser crimes, including firearm possession and robbery, and sentenced to time served.

By the time of his release from prison Teufel had broken with the radical left. He briefly lived in London but in the late 1980s moved back to Berlin, where he contributed articles to Die Tageszeitung
Die tageszeitung
die tageszeitung , was founded in 1978 in Berlin. It is a cooperative-owned German daily newspaper which is administrated by a workers' self-management...

and worked as a bicycle courier. He was willing to grant interviews with reporters only under the condition that they agreed to play an hour of table tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

 before he would be willing to answer any questions. Teufel suffered from Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system...

and died on July 6, 2010, at the age of 67. He was survived by his partner, Helene Lollo.
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