Hitler's Children is a fast-paced historical/political thriller about Germany's Red Army Faction (aka the Baader-Meinhof group). The novel begins in April 1977 when a Red Army Faction unit assassinates Siegfried Buback, the chief prosecutor at the trial of RAF leaders Andreas Baader, Gudrun Enslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe. A few months later the group assassinates the president of the Dresdner Bank and, with the aid of international terrorist Ilyich Ramirez-Sanchez (the notorious “Carlos”), they abduct Hanns-Martin Schleyer, the CEO of Daimler-Benz, and demand the release of the RAF leaders. When negotiations stall four Palestinian terrorists, claiming solidarity with the RAF, hijack a Lufthansa jet with 87 passengers on board. Interspersed with these events is the story of an American expatriate, Andy Hodge, living in Bremen. He is a former Vietnam War protestor who is involved with a left wing group at the university, but suddenly finds himself caught up in an intricate plot to assassinate the Chancellor in which he too becomes a target.
Most of the characters in the novel are products of the imagination, but several are historical figures. Although 1977 was the zenith of Baader-Meinhof activity, the group continued to surface periodically for more than two decades afterwards. Today historians, political scientists, and sociologists, are re-evaluating the impact of Germany’s Red Army Faction, Italy’s Red Brigades, and the United States’ Weather Underground as precursors of the new terrorism that culminated with 9/11