Neustrasse/corner Josefstrasse – Large police presence and crowd shortly after the attack (Photo: W. Sevenich)

The terrorist organization RAF (Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group) shocked the population with a murderous attack on the border street.On All Saints’ Day 1978, a couple crossed the border here, with the bouquet of flowers they were carrying probably used as camouflage.
When four Dutch border guards decided to check the couple, the man suddenly pulled out a pistol and the woman a submachine gun.
A large number of shots were fired at the officers, two of whom died with another seriously injured.
The bouquet of flowers was thrown next to the victims, as if to mock them, before the couple fled towards the centre of Kerkrade.
The terrorists then held up a baker at gunpoint in a side street, and stole his van as a getaway vehicle.
RAF members Rolf Heissler and Adelheid Schulz were identified as the perpetrators, and later convicted.
A memorial plaque was placed between the paving stones at the crime scene in memory of the victims.

Peter Dinninghoff

Dirk de Jong was only 20 years old when he died on the spot after being fatally shot in the head. His 24-year-old colleague Jan Goemans was also shot in the head and taken to hospital in critical condition, where he later succumbed to his injuries. A third customs officer survived the attack with a shoulder wound, but the event will haunt him and his uninjured fourth colleague for the rest of their lives. The customs officers had a view of the wall and the border crossings from a civilian vehicle and therefore wanted to check the couple who, with a bouquet of flowers and a briefcase in their hands, crossed the border crossing on Josefstrasse towards Kerkrade.

Police crowd at the corner of Neustraße/Kokelestraat (Photos: W. Sevenich)

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