I have stumbled upon The Dane once again. This time it was a real coincidence caused by my interest in the quirky bits of our history. Those small stories that tend to be forgotten, but somehow might have changed the entire world. At the same time it gives a new perspective as to who The Dane was, what he worked for and maybe a glimpse into some of his motivations. 

Up until now my main theory was that the Dane went from Vietnam to Afghanistan some years after the end of the war. The letter from Vietnam led me in that direction too. This new find could indicate that he did not think of Afghanistan as a final destination but rather just a stop on the way.

I was reading about Rote Armé Fraktion (Red Army Faction) in Germany. One of the small points of interest to me, one of those that could have changed the history of the world is, right here in the story of Benno Ohnesorg. 

Benno was killed by a policeman during a demonstration. This murder is by many regarded as the spark that started the student uprising in germany. Many years later it was discovered that the policeman was a secret agent working for East Germany (DDR).

The murder of Benno Ohnesorg did not only instigate the student uprising. It also started the Red Army Faction – also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group. 

His murder was seen as a fascist attack on the public which was the very thing that he was demonstrationg against. It was used to legitimize the use of weapons in the fight against the regime. It was a fight that The Red Army Faction would continue to wage against the German state for many years to come.  

It wasn’t until after the Fall of The Berlin Wall and the release of most of the old Stasi Archives that the connection was made and it was discovered that the policeman Karl-Heinz Kurras, who fired the shot that killed Benno Ohnesorg, was in fact an agent working for the East German secret service Stasi under the Code Name Otto Bohl. 

I had been caught up in one of those streams of clicking, where you go from one exciting page or document to the next and forget everything around you. It was all about the Baader-meinhof group from old DDR archives and their published letters to each other from the time when they were imprisoned. I read all that I could find up until the time when they committed suicide (if that is in fact, what really happened). 

Then I found a report from 1979 that describes how Carlos The Jackal arrived in Germany using a false name and passport. The report goes on about his nationality and his actions as terrorist are explained to the reader. I am guessing that the report was meant for the eyes of higher ranking officers in the Stasi organization.

Carlos is describes as one of the key figures of a terrorist network that works in alliance with PFLP and other groups fighting to free Palestine, but that he also works for European groups like Red Army Faction and Movement 2. June (Bewegung 2. Juni)

page 1 from a Stasi document about Carlos the Jackal
Page 1 of the Stasi document

And then right there it is. Near the bottom of page 2. He worked with a terrorist with Danish roots. A man known as “The Dane” in those circles.  

Translated is says:

“Rumors have it that he is working with a terrorist of Danish descendance. The identity of this man is unknown and all we know is that he goes by the name “The Dane” in the terrorist networks.”

(bottom of page 2)
page 2 of Stasi document describing the Dane and the Jackal
page 2 of the document – mentioning The Dane

As interesting as this find may be, it raises a lot of questions. I was extremely excited to have stumbled upon him again, but as so often before there are more questions than answers.

When exactly was The Dane in Germany? I haven’t been able to find him anywhere else in the archives (but they are very extensive and it is impossible to read it all). What part did he play in these underground networks=? Could he be The Jackal’s unknown partner? What terrorist acrtion did he parttake in in Germany? Could he have been a part of the planning of the highjacking in 1977? Has he also been to France, where The Jackal is infamous for his actions? When does the KGB get to know The Dane? Is it through Stasi?

page 3 of stasi document describing Carlos the Jackal
The document goes on. This is page 3

It is possible to get some indications of what happened from this small entry in a document from the secret police of former East Germany. For example The Dane didn’t just go to Afghanistan, when he left his pregnant girlfriend in Vietnam. He traveled on to Europe and somehow got in contact with Carlos The Jackal. Their meetings have most likely taken place in Palestine or somewhere else in the Middle East. He could have been on his way home and then been caught up in a new web. 

It does make sense that he went on to new grounds to continue his fight against the USA. He could probably justify this to himself by fighting Israel, which at this time (like nowadays) was a close ally to the USA. 

So he met The Jackal and went with him to Europe in order to expand the war on fascism or imperialism to a new continent or maybe even to continue his fight for communism. After all, the Red Army Faction did get their name from the Red Army for a reason. 

Carlos the Jackal is known to most of all having taken good care of himself. He often played the two sides in the Cold War against each other and I think it is safe to say that his primary objective was his own wealth and life.

There is no doubt that the two of them met. It also indicates that it might not have been coincidence that they both were in Sudan in 1994 where the Jackal was arrested and The Dane probably was active in the borderland between Sudan and South Sudan. 

If all this is true then The Dane must be said to have had a knack for being in the center of events that affected the globe for the last half century without getting caught. He might have worked with or for the secret services, agencies and countries that found him, which could explain how he has stayed out of sight. 

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