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Camenisch - Mit dem Kopf durch die Wand




Daniel von Aarburg CH 2001 87'

On November 5, 1991, the most wanted Swiss terrorist fell into the Italian police's trap: Upon being arrested in the Tuscan holiday locale of Forte dei Marmi, Marco Camenisch responded by opening fire, injuring a carabinieri and getting shot himself.

With this incident, likely the most spectacular case of ecologically motivated militancy in Switzerland came to an end for the time being. Marco Camenisch has since been behind bars in a series of high-security prisons.

It had all started out relatively harmless: In 1979, Camenisch and an accomplice carried out bomb attacks on NOK (Northeast Switzerland Power) plants in the Grisons. For the damage to property, he was given a rather harsh sentence of ten years in prison to set an example. After just one year, Camenisch managed to elude the sentence by fleeing and disappearing for almost a decade.

Silvio Huonder, today a writer in Berlin (“Adalina”, “Uebungsheft der Liebe”), also came into conflict with the Swiss justice system in the late 1970s: ten months' imprisonment for refusing military service. Huonder never began serving his sentence and escaped abroad after leading a clandestine existence for two years.

Marco Camenisch and Silvio Huonder have known each other since their youth. Working together in Chur as horse groomers, they were in service to the bourgeoisie. For some time, Huonder has been in correspondence with Camenisch. From Berlin, he goes in search of the trail of this colleague he has not seen for over 20 years. On this journey, he attempts to reconstruct the story of a person absent. He journeys to meet Camenisch's former accomplice, his mother, his acquaintances and victims. The focus of Huonder's research are reflections on biography and fate, on the legitimating of resistance in democracy, on the late 1970s and how someone in this highly ideological time who confronted everything head first was bound to be destroyed.