Baader-Meinhof mercy plea revives German split over '70s terrorism

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BERLIN -- A smiling couple arrived bearing a bouquet of roses on the doorstep of the chief executive of Dresdner Bank. As the banker, Jürgen Ponto, turned to call for a vase, he was shot five times through the flowers by a woman terrorist.

That was almost 30 years ago, and yesterday the woman, Brigitte Mohnhaupt, pleaded with German judges to be allowed out on parole.

Now Germany has to decide if it should make its peace with the terrorists of the 1970s. The Baader-Meinhof Gang — later known as the Red Army Faction — killed 34 people, many of them members of the political and business elite.

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