Politics and protest

Politik und Protest, 68er-Bewegung, Max Scheler

Politics and Protests

The generation conflict between the student movement and the conservatism of the Adenauer era and its descendants led to tensions due to the rapid process of social and cultural change, among other things due to a lack of engagement with the Nazi past. Around eight million Germans born between 1940 and 1950 belong to this rebellious generation, and if they took an active part in the protests, they are now considered "68er" or "Alt-68er".

The tensions first erupted during the Schwabing riots in 1962 as harbingers of the student riots. The extra-parliamentary opposition (APO) emerged under the leadership of the Socialist German Student Union (SDS). The shooting of student Benno Ohnesorg on 2 June 1967 during a demonstration against the visit of the Shah of Persia to Berlin and the assassination of student leader Rudi Dutschke triggered increasingly violent protests, including against the Springer group. The conflict was further ignited by the emergency laws. The initially peaceful protest movement - "Unter den Talaren – Muff von 1000 Jahren" - turned into a radical student revolt that swept through almost all university towns.

The effects of the student protests on the political culture and legal policy of the Federal Republic of Germany concerned a reorganization of criminal law, as well as sexual criminal law and jurisdiction in crimes against public safety and order.

With the election of the social-liberal coalition, the desire for change already manifested itself in 1969 in federal politics. The 68ers also paved the way for later protest movements such as the environmental movement or the anti-nuclear movement. But the spirit of resistance was sometimes misguided: The Red Army Faction (RAF) was formed from militant members of the student movement and spread terror and terror in the Federal Republic of Germany in the German autumn of 1977.