Black Box BRD (2001) Movie Script

Then there was that thud.
Like an explosion.
I called the car phone.
All I heard was:
The number you have dialled
is not available.
That scared me even more.
I knew the car-phone.
Either it was engaged or it rang.
I got into the car straight away.
I drove the same way ...
I drove after him.
There they were. The bodyguards
from the car behind his.
One called out:
Here comes Mrs. Herrhausen!
Both of them took hold of me.
I just wanted to go to the car.
I wanted to see it!
I want to see it!
I asked: ls he dead?
Neither of them replied.
I said: Let me go over there.
Ive seen more in life than you have.
They didnt let me.
They didnt let me through.
These were probably his last steps.
He came round the corner as I did.
He was attacked from all sides.
He fell off the platform backwards,
banged his head ...
and was lying down there.
Two police officers chased him ...
leapt down here on the rails.
One of them knelt on his stomach,
the other was beside him.
They pulled their guns.
When Alfred Herrhausen talked about
whom he might compare us with
he didnt mention Dresdner Bank or so.
He talked about those he saw
as part of the international scene.
The peer group, the larger context,
people around the world.
Aiming high was typical of him.
Saying, if we can get rid
of so much dead weight
why not take a European perspective
or even a global one?
If I am to do that ...
then weve some catching up to do.
He became very enthusiastic.
We can do it, too. We have
what it takes! We have it in us.
We shouldnt set our limits in terms
of geography or a legal system.
We can do more than that!
Were up to it intellectually ...
emotionally and on all fronts.
Good news for young ambitious people
who want to belong.
He didnt want chitchat.
Not at meetings either.
Chairman, Board of Directors, Deutsche Bank
He wanted to attain objectives.
But there was another side to that.
Everyone who had anything
to do with him
felt he didnt have time for them.
He wasnt attentive enough ...
showed little human warmth.
He ticked things off mechanically.
Always racing the clock.
It had to be fast. When he
had questions he really probed deep.
He always put on the pressure,
hurrying, so as not to be hurried.
It was very competitive.
Many people didnt understand that.
The Deutsche Bank was doing well.
We did the phenomenal Flick deal.
We had good operating results.
So why was he so frenetic?
If Herrhausen had been advised
Board Spokesman
which would have been difficult
as spokesman of the Deutsche Bank ...
or not to speak so precisely
on certain issues ...
or to be less compromising
in his wording ...
Alfred Herrhausen
would not have taken that advice.
It wouldnt have suited him at all.
It would have distorted
his character, his personality.
He wouldnt have been true to himself.
He wouldnt have been so successful.
And thats what mattered to him.
His primary school teacher saw
Grams father
he was very musical and said
I can just picture him as
a choirmaster or a conductor.
He started violin lessons.
They told him he had perfect pitch.
Around the age of 16 ...
he stopped playing.
He said: No, Im not continuing.
He always had original ideas
and acted on them.
Sometimes he ran up against limits.
Sometimes his parents
boxed his ears.
In our presence, too.
Later on he was more reserved ...
when asked about it.
He just vanished.
He disappeared.
We imagined hed found
some garden shed or other to crash in.
It was never for long: maybe a day.
Hed go and his mother would panic.
In our family of four,
everyone had their place.
Wolfgang opposite me,
Rainer opposite you.
Sometimes we got into arguments,
especially father and son.
But ...
people like us were happy.
We come from the East.
We were refugees
and not so well off.
We were glad my husband worked ...
so we could afford a few things.
It got better little by little.
We thought we were doing all right.
He didnt want to end up
like his father.
Always getting up at the same time
doing the same thing, day in, day out.
He didnt want that.
No way.
Wolfgang, Gaks,
was really interested in theatre.
He was an extra
in the Wiesbaden Theatre. I was, too.
He had a flair for acting.
Maybe hed have been better off
at drama school.
When we were together
we had our own premiere parties.
We didnt want anything to do with
those snooty people in dinner jackets.
We used to go to the spa park,
to these highbrow places,
roll a joint and get high.
The police came. Always friendly.
They never found anything.
Wed usually finished it
before they turned up.
Thats where we always met.
But even then, I noticed Wolfgang
was headed somewhere else.
He was headed somewhere else.
Wiesbaden is an American army base.
Erbenheim is the biggest air base
outside the USA.
In a way, the Vietnam War
was right on our doorstep.
I didnt have to go
far from my parents flat
to see the planes taking off
from Wiesbaden Erbenheim.
At first he just didnt know.
He had all sorts of ideas
but nothing was clear.
He wanted to maybe become a forester.
Maybe a minister.
I said: if neither works out ...
You learned a bit of music ...
so join the army,
the military band.
Try to find your place there.
Something with music.
They had big arguments,
...shouted at each other.
Sometimes he just left.
He realised they would never agree.
Wolfgang said right from the start:
Carrying a gun
is not for me.
He became a conscientious objector.
It suited him
to take care of helpless people.
Even on their deathbed.
Preparing the corpses
and carrying away the coffin.
Of course we talked about the war.
Wolfgang wanted to know:
What did I do when I was a soldier?
I applied to join the Waffen-SS.
As a volunteer. Simple as that.
It was something special.
Today ld say,
it was like an inner compulsion.
Not that Im trying to make excuses.
An inner compulsion.
We all felt it.
Everyone we knew.
I volunteered to go to war
to serve the state.
As any normal boy
in the Hitler Youth would have done.
Dear classmates! After 55 years
we meet here again,
where we went to school together
for two and a half years.
On behalf
of all those who have died,
whom we cannot greet today,
I mention Alfred Herrhausen
who, sadly, was killed
in a devious, mean attack.
I was very proud to have been
in the same class as him.
If he could be with us today
we would reminisce about old times.
Just as I hope we will do today.
I remember him as squad leader.
We all had a lot of respect for him.
He was full of energy, even then.
A good mate, always friendly.
But he could also be very energetic.
If we didnt want to do
what he, as squad leader, wanted
he knew how to get his own way.
Feldafing was an elite school.
The Reich School of the NSDAP.
It was a National Socialist school
but instruction there was excellent.
Father always told us,
to succeed in life
Herrhausens sister
you must work more than the masses,
at least an hour more. He was right.
One hours not enough of course.
But thats what he told us to do.
Always try to do a bit more
and be a bit better than the others,
than the crowd, the masses.
That proved to be right.
He got to know my sister in law
when he was a student.
She came from an upper class family.
Got whatever she wanted.
She was driven to university
by a chauffeur. That sure helped
my brother, who was still very young,
to make up his mind...
to marry her.
Herrhausens first wife
He went straight to VEW.
His father-in-law was the director.
He progressed very quickly.
My father didnt like that.
He didnt approve.
Understandably, as he always said:
I dont want my son to succeed
as someones protg.
He should succeed on his own.
But it soon became clear.
He wasnt promoted
because of favouritism.
Lots of things bothered him here.
He said: Theres so much poverty
here in Germany.
We should do something about it.
Not just ...
go along with consumerism.
He didnt want all that.
I was almost ashamed to see my son
at the Red Cross,
buying clothes by the kilo.
I couldnt believe it.
But I gave him things, too.
Wolfgangs future was the topic.
His father always wanted to know
what he was going to do.
If he was going to study or what.
He came during lunch break.
He was wearing grey overalls
and he stunk.
I opened the door.
We went straight to my room.
Very good.
Despite the fish.
Back then Gaks, Gerd and l
lived in Graben Street.
It was a good time.
The kind of time ld dreamt of before.
With intense political discussions.
All the human aspects
played a role, too.
There was a closeness, an intensity,
that I hadnt experienced before.
Or since. Such closeness.
Thats one reason
why Gaks means so much to me.
Police violence
is destroying housing here
Eviction date: 28th February.
Were staying!
Mller, Chief Constable in Frankfurt,
praised the police
for not employing firearms.
The street fighting warranted it.
Eyewitnesses talked of a situation
resembling civil war.
I remember
Gaks stood by me
in that situation.
I was scared.
It was the first time
ld seen such rough clashes.
Gaks took it all in his stride.
The first proof of our friendship.
Mr. and Mrs. Herrhausen invited
my wife and I to a restaurant.
Neutral ground.
All evening
we discussed
whether he should go
to Deutsche Bank
or keep his hands clean at VEW.
Thats the way Dr. Herrhausen was.
His fresh style:
Im your new boss.
The first thing he asked me to do
Herrhausens former secretary
was to fetch a bunch off lowers.
For the telephone switchboard.
He said, come with me.
Then we took the flowers
to the telephone switchboard.
He opened the door:
Im Alfred Herrhausen.
ld like to introduce myself.
The ladies there were so surprised.
They almost dropped their pens.
Theyd never seen anything like it.
Among the younger staff,
he had passionate fans.
Board Member
Regarding the banks softer image.
He made it acceptable
to talk about the elite.
We were in the power of the bank
discussion once again.
He showed us away to survive
with decency,
emphasising honour.
You dont have to bow your head and
hide. Rather, yes, we do have power!
Take a look at how we deal with it!
Thats the crux of it.
That gave us a sense of pride.
We dont just earn a lot of money.
We also do it honourably.
And we talk about it. That was new.
Were not intimidated
and ashamed for whatever reasons.
Somehow we left
our bad consciences behind.
He was a key figure in that.
He wasnt spoiled
by his bank career.
Chairman, Board of Directors
He was a young hero, a Siegfried.
He whistled cheerfully and said:
What could frighten me here?
Wheres the monster?
Think it over!
What do you want now?
How do you intend
to get out of this situation?
You havent a chance.
Come out!
The arrest of Andreas Baader
and Holger Meins, 1972
It started
with visits to prisoners.
He had friends in prison
whom he visited.
They were in a real mess.
Political prisoners were important.
Their prison conditions
and how ...
inhumane solitary confinement is.
Without a proper legal trial.
Normal conditions had been suspended.
The hunger strike was about political
prisoners receiving the same treatment
as other prisoners.
They soon realised they werent
going to get anywhere like that.
There was a court order...
...for forced feeding.
Former RAF member
Forced feeding
is one of the most humiliating ways
to feed anyone.
Imagine me on this chair.
All tied up.
The heads pulled back.
They take this big pipe and shove it,
whether you swallow or not,
shove it through your mouth.
They dont even know
where its going to come out.
Often it ended up in your lungs.
Youd cough or God knows what.
Then theyd pull it out again, turn
the tube so it went into the gullet.
Once they got a swallowing reflex,
they took a big syringe full of
liquid food. And pumped it all in.
That was the end of the procedure.
You wobbled back to your cell
and blacked out.
It was clear to Wolfgang.
That it was wrong, you see.
Anyone whos seen that,
the way the visits go...
decided either:
Im never going there again.
I cant take it.
Or: I have to do something about it.
He found something
he could relate to.
This treatment isnt right.
It just cant be true.
I have to object to it.
All Social Democrats must deplore
every victim that has fallen
Federal Chancellor, 1974
as a consequence of an ideology
blinded by rage.
An independent medical commission
will examine the matter.
Let us not forget,
Mr. Meins was a member
of a violent group
that caused others to die:
the Baader Meinhof Group.
Considering what this group has
inflicted on our countrys citizens,
it is utterly inappropriate
to put them up in a holiday home
while they await trial.
They must accept
the discomforts of prison.
Holger, the struggle continues!
Schmidt and Genscher
murdered Holger Meins!
Stop prison killings!
The real criminals work
for the state!
Our commune was at breakfast
when the call came:
Ulrike Meinhof is dead.
We lived with a lot of people,
15 adults.
It split the commune in half.
It was the end
of the Wiesbaden Socialist lnitiative.
Because for some of us it was clear:
Ulrike had been murdered.
The others wanted to talk about
whose turn it was to do the dishes.
I wasnt as outraged
as Wolfgang was.
Too many counter arguments
occurred to me.
It was hard for me
to make such a clear distinction
between the pigs
and the good revolutionaries.
I saw that as a failing on my part.
We talked about it.
But we didnt split up
because of it.
On an evening like this
you really miss Alfred.
You have the whole evening
to think about how things used to be.
We wound up in this kind of place
after our various, very nice trips
here, there and everywhere.
The ladies usually sat
on the sofa next to us.
You could talk to them.
You didnt have to sit in silence.
It was very nice.
Alfred was extremely charming.
Gripping, once he started chatting.
As you can imagine, Im sure.
He did everything brilliantly.
Even more so in the evening,
in a small intimate group.
It was very nice. He enjoyed it
very much. I know he did.
There came a time
when Alfred didnt want to go
back to that house.
He stood at the door thinking:
What awaits me here this time?
Things had grown worse
between the two of them.
She said so clearly:
The important invitations,
trips abroad, receptions...
were meant only for him.
She didnt feel like going along.
The men used to withdraw and discuss
the economy over cigars and cognac.
Which is why they met
in the first place.
The women were left to talk
about gardeners and staff.
She didnt intend to travel
all over Europe just for that.
He needed a woman at his side ...
to give him some support
when they were invited.
Look, Mrs. Herrhausen is here too.
That trip to Texas.
All of a sudden
she decided not to go.
Alfred must have said something
shed just been waiting for.
That was enough.
Someone new came in
whom ld never seen before.
I asked my friend:
Whos that smart young man?
She said: Mr. Herrhausen.
I was very surprised.
ld imagined he was old, as hed gone
to bed early the previous evening.
An estate executor to boot!
I just went over to him and said:
I thought
you must be ancient
but in fact youre really young!
Those were the first words we spoke.
He fell in love with Traudl
at first sight.
He absolutely had to have her.
He asked me:
How shall I go about this?
He told me how, in the morning
when he swam out into the lake,
shed suddenly pop up at his side.
A great swimmer.
Alfred liked to ride Bonana style.
She rode that way, too.
In Texas, where they first met,
they sped all over the grounds.
That was just his cup of tea!
He was enthused by her.
Then he said to me:
I want to marry you, Ms. Baumgrtner.
And I replied: You must
be crazy. Youre already married.
He said: lll explain everything
once were back in Germany.
If I remember correctly...
the spokesman read out a letter
Board Member
that said:
They were getting divorced.
Herrhausen wanted a divorce.
He would understand
if the Board members
asked him to leave the Board.
Until the mid 1970s
no active member
on the Board of Deutsche Bank
had ever divorced.
If they had said,
okay, you have to go
that would have been that.
Maybe it wouldve been better
for him in the long run.
There was the question
of the first marriage.
Hed been married to a Protestant.
Without the agreement
of the Catholic Church,
which he couldnt have obtained
back then, anyhow.
In legal terms
no marriage had taken place.
On a wonderful autumn morning
in September, in lnnsbruck.
Very conventional.
The ladies wore hats.
It was lovely.
Hans Martin Schleyer, President
of the Employers Federation,
has been kidnapped by a commando unit
of the Red Army Faction
One day after, the kidnapping
the RAF stated its demands.
The President of the Employers
Federation maybe exchanged
for 11 imprisoned terrorists.
Schleyer is said
to be alive and unharmed.
Later the whole neighbourhood
was surrounded
by plain clothes cops.
We knew they had everything
under surveillance.
Armed units were everywhere.
The flat Gaks lived in was wrecked.
The walls torn down,
everything smashed up.
ld been round 4 or 5 flats
in 2 hours
and finally, I met a comrade whod
spent the night at a friends place.
All the others had been arrested.
Gaks really resisted being
fingerprinted and photographed.
You could hear him screaming
all over the police station.
In those days everyone knew Schleyer.
Schleyer, the Deutsche Bank
and Daimler Benz were closely linked.
was on the Board of Daimler Benz.
They knew each other well.
Prisoner of the RAF
Here, lve found the letter.
For as long as I can remember
it was always in the nightstand.
Traudl, in case I am kidnapped:
l, the undersigned, A. Herrhausen
ask that no response be made
to irresponsible blackmail
directed against the interests
of the constitutional state
of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Solingen, September 11th, 1977,
Alfred Herrhausen.
The news agency AFP
received a letter from the RAF.
Police would find Schleyers corpse
in Muhlhausen,
in an Audi 100
in Rue Charles Peguy.
Quote. After 43 days
we ended Schleyers
miserable, corrupt existence.
In general terms, in moral terms
we didnt have a problem
with someone being killed.
We said: Millions of people
are killed in the Third World
by exploitation, hunger and poverty.
It was legitimate...
to call to account
the people responsible for that.
When I imagine
how they observed their victims,
their private lives.
It didnt make it any easier.
You have to look beyond that
and see their functions.
In February 78, Anna was born.
Then life really had a meaning.
Yes, it was lovely.
When he was at home,
he was always even tempered.
Even when he worked at weekends.
I used to watch TV next door
and run round the house
with my friends.
It didnt bother him.
You never had to be quiet
because dad was home and working.
I think he rather liked it.
He felt good about being a part
of family life.
One night in Kirchgasse,
there they were, 3 or 4 of them.
They checked their passports.
Of course, they took Grams away.
Accused him of being a sympathiser.
Of working as a courier.
Even of transporting weapons.
I dont know
if he was out of jail then or
if it was when he was still inside.
I said: Wolfgang,
its your decision
what you do with your life.
But no matter what...
theres always
a place for you here.
And he really...
I cant do it.
wasnt impulsive.
He thought things over carefully.
He would only say later
what he thought.
Maybe a bit too late, sometimes.
I saw it
as the natural progression
of what he believed was right.
Friend of Grams
He was prepared to go to jail for it.
I found that admirable.
To have such a clear position,
to be so definite.
Wolfgang was in prison
for 152 days.
He was pretty innocent
as far as Im concerned.
After a year he was compensated
for having been wrongly imprisoned.
In 1980.
So something wasnt quite right.
I reckon
thats when hed had enough. He said:
They can do what ever they like to me.
Gaks and l
went our separate ways.
I was more cowardly than him.
I gave in to the states repression.
I pulled out.
I learned from Alfred Herrhausen:
If youre not ambitious, if you
dont want to achieve anything,
you wont.
And nor do you deserve to.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
He spoke openly. He was ambitious
when it came to his goals.
Alfred Herrhausen
wanted to be number one, on top.
He was the head-boy type.
Now one of two spokesmen
on the Board of Deutsche Bank ...
Germanys largest
financial institution:
consolidated total assets
over 230 billion DM.
We heard these words years ago:
How much the economy can stand.
Can the German economy function
without Deutsche Bank today?
Mr. Ambassador. So pleased to see you.
Come in.
Change of Government 1982
What we have to face?
What I have to face?
despite the need
to solve economic problems,
is first and foremost
an intellectual and moral challenge.
At Frankfurt airport,
returning from a hard week in the USA.
I said: lve a plane waiting.
You must fly to Budapest
this evening.
He was quite beside himself.
Hed had enough.
I said: I already talked to Traudl.
Shes just as cross ...
but theres no-one else.
Please do it.
So, grumbling and not at all happy
about this change of plans
he went to Budapest.
It was a success
for Hungary and for us.
It wasnt just
a question of friendship.
That was patriotism in practice.
Those who have fallen
live on in our struggles,
their image etched indelibly
into our dreams and hopes.
United in the struggle for freedom.
He asked me:
How serious are you
About doing something
changing something here?
I didnt answer straight away.
But ...
The question really was:
Whether wed join
the armed struggle together.
That was how he put the question.
He just turned up out of the blue.
He asked how we were doing,
all very friendly.
He started to tell us about himself.
Slowly it emerged that
he had contacts with the RAF.
He started into a long,
tiring discussion with us.
An acquaintance of Grams
about Imperialism in general.
The key thing for me was:
They considered killing
to be a calculated risk
that served the cause.
I said: Thats not right.
No one has a right to do that.
No idea is so powerful that
a human life may be sacrificed to it.
I just listened.
Whats he getting at?
Where will we end up?
Yes, who chose you anyway?
No one chose you!
You may talk to me
about murdering tyrants
and people who should be killed.
But you have no right to do it.
No one gave you that right!
After two hours
he finally told us what he wanted.
Hed heard
we lived on a secluded farm.
He wanted us to put someone up.
He tried to justify it,
to convince us.
He wanted to involve us marginally.
He wanted lodgings for them.
But to let them stay
would have put us
in the same boat.
ld had enough.
I cut it short:
I want to remember you as a friend
from my youth, a companion
whos been through a lot with me.
When you leave
I wont pick up the phone,
call the police and tell them
what youre planning.
lll do that one last thing for you,
as a friend. But thats it.
Thats it as far as Im concerned.
You can go your own way.
A friend of Grams
Birgit was very different.
Birgit was impulsive ...
hectic, went at everything head first.
She always said
what she thought.
She was always right.
I dont know if it was love.
They moved in together
and I visited them.
Everything ...
turned out differently
than we imagined then.
They wanted to test themselves:
Do we get along together?
Can we cope with difficulties?
Can we get beyond the normal,
everyday blah-blah and ...
somehow achieve something?
For example, what we talked about:
What it meant to shoot someone.
Gaks said: lmagine.
You dont just have to shoot...
You have to be able to strangle
someone with your bare hands.
Not shoot from a distance.
You have to hate someone enough
to strangle him with your bare hands.
I wasnt up to that.
I wished I could be like that.
But I wasnt.
Then one day they were gone.
We had a good security policy.
We were very aware of the danger,
especially for the spokesman
and chairman of the supervisory Board.
Herrhausen used the underground
or local trains on occasion
Member of the Board
to avoid using the same route,
the same vehicles,
the same mode of transport.
I cant pin down exactly when it was.
He said: If anything happens to me
then ld like you to hold my funeral
and give the sermon.
No-one else is to speak unless
Traudl and you agree to it.
It was relatively easy
to set a trap for him.
His response to that was:
Ultimately were in Gods hands.
The police requests your assistance.
A search is underway
for Wolfgang Werner Grams
and Birgit Elisabeth Hogefeld.
They are suspected of belonging to
the Red Army Factions hardcore.
Grams is 33 years old, 1.80m tall
and speaks with a Hessian accent.
He has blue grey eyes and a dark mark
by his nose
They may change their appearance
as indicated in this photo montage.
What was it really?
How did he become a target?
Being a successful banker doesnt
automatically make you a target.
What did he actually stand for?
What did he symbolise?
There was a political dimension.
Did the emphasis on that
play a role?
Daimler and Deutsche Bank were close.
Daimler acquired a company
associated with arms manufacture.
Through MBB, Daimler owns
everything that can fire.
In the air, on land or at sea.
High-tech weapons
in an MBB promotional film
When the Ministry of Defence in Bonn
wants to order military planes
theres only one place in Germany
they can turn to.
the Daimler HQ in Stuttgart.
An arms giant
on a scale never before seen
in post-war West Germany.
The German aerospace industry
must spearhead
the European aerospace industry.
This is essential.
European aerospace will not otherwise
be able to successfully compete
with the Americans.
Nor with the Japanese, one day.
I dont know whether
he had premonitions of death.
I mentioned it to him once.
This RAF list was found somewhere:
He was right up there on the RAF list.
with guards
Im so happy that we have this.
Wolfgang made it
while he was away, underground.
I think its really nice. We dont
have many things to remember him by.
Thats why its so precious to me.
I always tried
to interpret it.
Maybe he was somewhere in Africa.
You see a ship here, and the Nile.
and crocodiles and a hot air balloon.
I used to think he was there.
On the Nile, perhaps?
or in the Middle East.
Vague guesses.
Perhaps he was telling us something.
But now well never know.
Siemens manager
Karl Heinz Beckurts and his chauffeur
have been killed
in a bomb attack in Munich.
Beckurts was a renowned
German scientist
in cutting edge technologies.
An assassination
was a horrible situation.
I was so afraid.
that he, too, might be involved.
That was dreadful for me.
We watched the news all the time.
Of course.
If everything went well,
it was a weight off our shoulders.
I always hoped he was elsewhere,
anywhere but there.
Hoped and hoped all the time.
That conversation he had
with the Mexican President ...
He flew in from Washington for a day.
To talk to him about the debt crisis.
That certainly influenced him.
We talked on the phone for hours.
Before and after ...
always in the middle of the night.
Former President of Mexico
When I met Herrhausen in Sept. 87
I explained our situation to him:
The governments of indebted countries
such as Mexico
couldnt hold out any longer
without debt relief.
Its worth keeping your debtors alive
for a dead debtor
cant pay up.
The Mexican President
put this argument to him.
It got him thinking
along different lines:
Imagine what would happen
in a country such as your own
if you demanded
that people live in poverty
and refused to alleviate their need.
That moved him.
We have to find another way
to tackle the problem.
Banks must make certain sacrifices
and help these countries.
From the start there were
2 possible victims of the crisis:
the creditor banks and the debtors.
They are both still here.
But the banks are now more powerful.
The debtors power has dwindled.
Herrhausen said:
Chairman of the Board of Directors
All these debts would be waived.
Then the problem would be resolved.
A typically intellectual remark:
In theory,
you can solve a problem
by removing the cause of the problem.
A few individuals profit vastly
from the economy
yet many others suffer as a result.
That wasnt his idea
of a well ordered world.
The crucial difficulty
was that so many people were
interested only in their own profits.
Some people questioned
his competence as a banker.
That hurt
but he didnt mention it.
He was proud of having begun
the discussion.
He got amazing support from those
formerly in the 68 student movement,
who held positions by then.
All were in favour
of waiving the debt.
The money belonged to evil banks.
You can destroy them, no problem.
Thats what they get
for giving loans to Brazilians.
To now say, that person objected
How much is a system worth
if it cant cope with such
a crucial question and simply fails?
Someone as alert as he
was eaten up by the question:
Do l, by staying, support something
that I dont want to support?
Cant support?
Perhaps should not support?
He sat there on the bed.
He put on hiking boots.
He was so down.
He missed having supporters.
Who were receptive to his ideas.
Not always those objectors.
He hated them.
I think
he felt more and more lonely.
I remember exactly
how Herrhausen left that meeting,
which was to be his last:
very depressed.
The whole bank resisted.
Everyone was shocked
by the extent of ...
the planned structural changes.
Naturally everyone wondered:
What does it mean for me?
A lot of people realised
the change would affect
their own personal position.
That was the reason for
the immense emotional resistance.
It was too much all at once.
Too big a leap.
Everyone was afraid to leap.
They were scared
theyd land in the ditch.
And the whole bank with them.
Fear of the new.
An aversion to anything too modern.
Xenophobia based on
provincial ways of thinking.
Hatred of everything imported.
From the Anglo-Saxon,
Anglo-American world, and so on.
I thought he got carried away.
That he ran the risk,
and he noticed it himself,
of losing his link,
his ties with the bank ...
and everything he needed
to take that leap.
I was somehow incredulous.
ld never seen him like that.
He said:
Its about my professional survival.
I dont really know
whether I will survive this.
Dr. Herrhausen left the office
lost in thought. We had
no opportunity to say goodbye.
I waited for Alfred.
He came home around 11:30 p.m.
We sat in the kitchen.
We drank a glass of schnaps.
I asked him:
Dont you think
Youre simply going too fast?
Youre way ahead of them.
They need a chance to catch up,
to understand the development.
And then to support it.
Maybe youre simply too fast?
He said:
If even you
say stuff like that.
If even you abandon me.
If not even you can support me.
If even you doubt,
I dont know what will happen next.
The next morning
before he left ...
I gave him a hug.
Said: Goodbye.
Itll be all right.
I repeated it
and patted him on the back.
He was distracted and said:
Well, well see.
3 minutes later came the explosion.
We didnt hear a thing for years.
We didnt even know if he was alive.
Then we got this letter!
We got the message
that we could meet.
But we didnt know how or where.
That was in autumn 92.
Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder.
It was Birgit and Wolfgang.
It took awhile to register.
The last few years ld seen him
only on Wanted posters.
We talked a long time about
how they longed for a life
of more than hiding away,
being hunted and on the run.
How they longed for
a middle class life
a family and a child, children.
Then we came to sit here
and I asked them straight out:
Why they didnt take that thing ...
They always had it somewhere ...
a pistol or revolver or whatever.
Why they didnt simply chuck it
in the water?
And make their wish come true.
I saw that this totally unnerved them.
The whole business was very risky.
But I never once thought not to do it.
I really wanted to see Wolfgang.
We drove in circles for awhile
in the Taunus.
To shake off anyone maybe tailing us.
Suddenly they were on the platform.
I thought I was dreaming.
I thought I was dreaming.
We embraced.
Wolfgang just smiled happily.
He can be so happy.
He was so happy.
It was like a miracle.
When we talked
we couldnt find out:
Where have you been all this time?
How have you been?
Of course we didnt hear about that.
I didnt ask nearly enough.
You dont think
its going to be the last time!
You dont think like that.
Although you had to realise ...
that anything might happen.
When we said goodbye
at the bus stop
he looked round like that.
Two men were standing there.
It was hard to leave.
He stood there.
I can see him waving ...
until the bus turned the corner.
And then he was gone.
On 27th June 1993, Wolfgang Grams
and a police officer were killed
in an exchange of fire
in Bad Kleinen station.
There were numerous omissions
in the police investigation
into the circumstances of his death.
In a letter dated 2nd December 1989
the RAF claimed responsibility for
the assassination of
Alfred Herrhausen.
It is unclear whether Grams was
involved in RAF assassinations.
The assassination of Alfred Herrhausen
and 9 further assassination attempts
made between 1984 and 1993
remain unsolved.