Stammheim Prison
Stammheim Prison is a prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

 in Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

, Baden Württemberg, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is situated on the northern boundaries of Stuttgart in the city district of Stuttgart-Stammheim — right between fields and apartment blocks on the fringes of Stammheim. The prison was built as a high security prison between 1959 and 1963 and taken into operation in 1964.

Stammheim Prison became famous when it housed the leading members of the 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...

 urban guerrilla group during their trials, as well as the courthouse in which they were tried. The section in which they were kept was specially built in 1975 and at the time recognized as one of the most secure prison blocks in the world. In spite of this, the arrested guerrillas had firearms smuggled to them.

After Ulrike Meinhof
Ulrike Meinhof
Ulrike Marie Meinhof was a German left-wing militant. She co-founded the Red Army Faction in 1970 after having previously worked as a journalist for the monthly left-wing magazine Konkret. She was arrested in 1972, and eventually charged with numerous murders and the formation of a criminal...

 had hanged herself on 9 May 1976, Andreas Baader
Andreas Baader
Andreas Bernd Baader was one of the first leaders of the German left-wing militant organization Red Army Faction, also commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.- Life :...

, Gudrun Ensslin
Gudrun Ensslin
Gudrun Ensslin was a founder of the German militant group Red Army Faction . After becoming involved with co-founder Andreas Baader, Ensslin was influential in the politicization of Baader's voluntaristic anarchistic beliefs. Ensslin was perhaps the intellectual head of the RAF...

 and Jan-Carl Raspe
Jan-Carl Raspe
Jan-Carl Raspe was a member of the German militant group, the Red Army Faction.- Young life :Raspe was born in Seefeld in Tirol. He was described as gentle but had difficulty communicating with other people. His father had said that he couldn't stand violence...

 reportedly committed suicide in the high security block during the night of 18 October 1977, which became known as the "Death Night" for the leaders of the 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...

. Andreas Baader and Jan-Carl Raspe were said to have shot themselves, whereas Gudrun Ensslin apparently chose a method of supposed suicide similar to that of Ulrike Meinhof. A fourth member, Irmgard Möller
Irmgard Möller
Irmgard Möller is a German militant and a former member of the Red Army Faction...

, allegedly stabbed herself four times in the chest with a stolen knife. She survived her suicide attempt and has since stated that the deaths were not suicide, but rather extrajudical killings undertaken by the German government of the time, a claim strongly denied by the German governments former and present.

The deaths of the prisoners were among the events collectively known as the German Autumn
German Autumn
The German Autumn was a set of events in late 1977, associated with the kidnapping and murder of industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer, President of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations and the Federation of German Industries , by the Red Army Faction , and the hijacking of the...

, which also included a series of terrorist attacks and the West German government's response.

Officials in Baden-Württemberg announced in August 2007 they are planning to tear down the section of Stammheim prison where the leaders of the RAF terrorist group were held during the 1970s. They are considering demolishing the high-rise building because it is in urgent need of renovation and new prison quarters would be built on the site of the demolished building.

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