Cover photo, Rainer Langhans from Me Myself and I series by Frank L├╝bke.

This episode is the first part of a multi-part series looking at Kommune 1, the first radical German commune of the 1960s. The series is based around a series of interviews with original K1 communard Rainer Langhans.

In this episode we discover Rainer’s childhood under Nazism, and how that fed into the desire to establish a new mode of anti-authoritarian living in Kommune 1. We look in detail at the commuards’ intense self-investigation and interpersonal ‘mirrroring’, and why this led some to dub them ‘The Horror Commune’. How were these techniques rooted in the the theories of Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse and the antipsychiatrist RD Laing?

Finally we move on to the key actions which propelled Kommune 1 to fame: the so-called ‘Pudding Assassination‘ of the Vice President of the United States (which never actually happened), the ‘Arson Pamphlets‘, and the court cases that followed, which the communards used as a stage for their own brand of subversive political theatre.

The episode takes in what Rainer describes as “phase one” of the commune. Part two will look at the dissolution of that phase and the “sex, drugs & rock and roll” period, including Rainer’s account of how the communards turned on (or dropped out, depending on who you believe) Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green.

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Host & Producer Jamie King

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