No doubt something got lost in the translation. But on a trip to Germany back in 1967, Minnesota native son and then Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was actually the target of a radical bomb plot – except the bomb apparently contained nothing more explosive than pudding.
Talk about pre-9/11 thinking.
Today the Washington Post carried an obituary for one of the alleged plotters, so-called “fun guerrilla” Fritz Teufel, “a red-bearded prankster whose rabble-rousing stunts made him one of the most famous members of Germany's leftist student movement in the 1960s.”
Teufel, 67, died in Berlin on July 6. According to German press accounts, he had Parkinson’s disease.
Teufel and a few other radicals were briefly jailed in the April 1967 plot, which was foiled by police. Upon their release, apparently for lack of evidence, the “bombers” said they had intended nothing more lethal than a cocktail of flour, yogurt and pudding.
The caper is sometimes described as a “defining moment” in the German student movement of the 1960s and 70s, when the Vietnam War helped radicalize a generation of activists around the world. But it merely warrants a footnote in the legacy of Minnesota’s “Happy Warrior.”