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Hans-Joachim Klein: My Life as a Terrorist (2005)

De terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein (original title)
On December 21, 1975, six terrorists from the Revolutionary Cells, led by Carlos 'The Jackal' forced their way into the conference room of the OPEC headquarters in Vienna and took seventy ... See full summary »


Alexander Oey


Alexander Oey (concept)




Credited cast:
Daniel Cohn-Bendit ... Himself
Heinrich Gehrke Heinrich Gehrke ... Himself
Hansi Jochmann ... Narrator (voice)
Hans-Joachim Klein Hans-Joachim Klein ... Himself
Hermann Schulz Hermann Schulz ... Himself


On December 21, 1975, six terrorists from the Revolutionary Cells, led by Carlos 'The Jackal' forced their way into the conference room of the OPEC headquarters in Vienna and took seventy ministers hostage. A gun battle with the police ensued, and three people were killed. One terrorist was seriously wounded. The terrorists managed to escape to Algiers with a few hostages and the wounded man. There the hostages were released. The wounded terrorist was Hans-Joachim Klein. At the moment that Klein arrived in Algiers, he decided to quit terrorism. The only question was how. Quitting would be seen as treason, and Carlos was known for his relentless position about this. Klein escaped with the help of an old comrade from the student movement. This comrade was Daniel Cohn-Bendit, and he would continue to help him in subsequent years, until Klein's arrest in 1998. When Klein broke away from terrorism, he took refuge in the countryside of Normandy and continued to hide there for many years. At...

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terrorist | See All (1) »


Not Rated



Netherlands | Germany


English | German

Release Date:

November 2005 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein deutscher Terrorist - Die Geschichte des Hans-Joachim Klein See more »

Filming Locations:

Aosta, Valle d'Aosta, Italy See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

This documentary is about the life the German former terrorist who was involved in the attack of the OPEC building in Vienna in the seventies. He now lives in France.
16 August 2006 | by daracordaSee all my reviews

This documentary was yesterday shown on German television, which i saw after zapping through the channels. First I thought it would be one of those boring ones. Although I was feeling kind of sleepy, I was amazed by this flick. On the one hand the camera work was brilliant which was shot on digi (plus 35mm mini adaptor) thus giving the images a film-look. On the other hand, which I find more important, the story of this very interesting documentary was excellent.

Hans Joachim Klein was a German terrorist who supported the RAF terrorists in Germany almost from the beginning. We learn from his difficult childhood, followed by his sympathies towards the student revolution during the 68'ies and 70'ies and his engagement with the RZ and RAF organisation. During the attack on the OPEC building and the kidnapping of a few members of the security staff, Klein was shot in his stomach forcing him to cooperate with the police to get medical help. During this terrorist operation he saw how 3 men were shot deliberately by the terrorists which Klein until today can not forget. He still describes the assassination of the 3 men as murder, nothing more and nothing less.

Klein was involved in many attacks and protests, but he never killed innocent civilians. Nevertheless he had to flee from Germany. His connections to the notorious terrorist Carlos made him famous, but also his friendship to Cohn Bendit (German MP) and former foreign minister of Germany, Joshka Fischer and last but not least author Jean Paul Satre. Klein then was trained in Yemen by Palestinian terrorist organizations.

The turning point in his career as an terrorist came when he was fulfil a difficult task, namely to kill the head of the Jewish Communities in Germany. This was a shock for Klein, since he learnt that he himself is half Jewish (his mother was held by the German SS in own of those death camps in Ravensburg after she was released she committed suicide)Klein thought 'how could he as a German Jew, kill another Jew in Germany and this was planned by so called leftists who fought for a 'better world'. He somehow managed to turn escape the organisation after dramatic and dangerous arguments with the terrorists.

Klein, from now on a 'refugee', finds himself trapped between the terrorists who want to kill him, because he knows to much, and the interpol. After 24 years of hiding in different places in Europe and the help of friends like Jean Paul Satre and a failed suicide, he decided to give in and went back to Germany to confess and repent for what he did. Klein had to spend 9 years prison, but after 6 years he was released by a German court.

The former terrorist Klein lives now with his family in the Normandie.

This documentary as I said before was a very interesting one, it shows a man and his way of life. How he became a fundamentalist and a decent person again. One of the great moments of the film was his visit in Ravensburg where his mother was held in the death camps. This scene was bizarre, sad and almost mystical at the same time. Kleins relationship to celebrities is a striking point as well which made him not an usual terrorist.

I recommend this documentary to anyone who is interested in this genre. Well done and chapeau as the Frenchmen say. By the way, German filmmakers can do good films when it comes to documentary.

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