Friedrich Wilke

Born in 1993 in Langenhagen, Germany
High school student (Langenhagen Gymnasium)

"On Heroes, Anti-Heroes and the Individuals Behind All This - the Story of Fritz Rodewald" (2009)

On the 15th June 1972 in the city of Langenhagen by Hannover Airport, a spectacular arrest was made: Ulrike Meinhof, the co-founder of the Red Army Fraction (RAF- Rote Armee Fraktion), one of post–World War II Germany's most violent and prominent left wing groups was taken from the house of Fritz Rodewald, a functionary of the teachers’ union and a supporter of the political left himself. For the bourgeois part of Germany Rodewald was a hero: the attorney general wanted to pay him a reward and the office of the president offered him the Federal Cross of Merit. His friends, workmates and like-minded persons avoided him and called him a “traitor”. Rodewald had been providing accommodation to deserters from the U.S. Armed Forces and agreed to receive a stranger asking for an overnighting house in his home, but later he became suspicious that the woman might be involved with the RAF and eventually decided to call the police. The conclusion of the author is that Fritz Rodewald was not someone who did not know what he was doing, as he tried to picture himself, but that he was indeed a hero, as he wanted to prevent further violence from the RAF, and also because his life was in danger while hosting Ulrike Meinhof.

For his paper Friedrich Wilke won the third national prize in the 2009/2010 national German competition, the topic of which was "HEROES - idolized - misjudged - forgotten".

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