1968: The Global Revolutions

Europe and Latin America > Arts and Provocation in Germany

A variety of small organizations gained notoriety amidst the student uprisings. West Germany’s first politically motivated commune, K1 (Kommune 1), was founded in 1967 in Berlin. With all members sharing a single bedroom, the group’s structure aimed at destroying the “smallest cell of the state”: the nuclear family. Absurdist staged events, provocative interviews, and flyers were hallmarks of the group’s practices. Accused of inciting arson against department stores with a poster referencing the Vietnam war, members Fritz Teufel and Rainer Langhans wrote a book about their lawsuit entitled Klau Mich ("Steal Me"), that attained cult status. By the time K1 disbanded, they were renowned for their hedonism, particularly in the realms of sex and drugs. Another activist group, Aktion 507, took a more formal approach to social commentary. Formed by architecture students at the Technological University of Berlin, Aktion 507 produced a manifesto that critiqued modern urbanism and contemporary construction in West Berlin.

K1 (Kommune I)                      
Kommune I, No. 1, 1968                         
RBML General Manuscripts             

Aktion 507
Aktion 507, 1968           
RBML General Manuscripts 

APO-Enten auf MM-Trip, 1970
RBML General Manuscripts 

Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Butler Library, 6th Fl. East / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-5153 / rbml@libraries.cul.columia.edu