What happened during the Gladbeck hostage drama? Timeline explored leading up to Netflix Gladbeck: The Hostage Crisis

Netflix is ​​poised to bring viewers another true crime documentary this week Gladbeck: The taking of hostages.

The documentary delves into a well-known media circus surrounding the hostage crisis, in which a bank raid went haywire, lasting nearly three days and killing three. The two bank robbers involved kept German police at bay for 54 hours, killing several people while continuing the drama.

Here’s everything viewers need to know about Dieter Degowski and Hans-Jürgen Rösner before streaming the Netflix documentary.


About the hostage-taking in Gladbeck

In August 1988, two convicted men, Dieter Degowski and Hans-Jürgen Rösner, robbed a bank in Gladbeck, North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany. These armed men then walked through Germany and the Netherlands for two days.

What caught the world’s attention was when the entire episode quickly became a media circus in both countries. A police operation on the A3 motorway ended the crisis, killing three people: two youthful hostages and a police officer who was involved in a car accident.

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This was the first incident in Germany where the media was heavily criticized for its handling of the situation and for conducting interviews with hostages. As a result, the German Press Council banned future interviews with hostage-takers during hostage-taking. This has been called “the darkest hour of German journalism since the end of World War II”.


Timeline of Events

The hostage situation began with a bank robbery. Let’s take a look at the timeline of events:

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On 08/16/1988

Dieter Degowski and Hans-Jürgen Rösner break into a Deutsche Bank branch in Gladbeck, western Germany. The two threatened staff with guns as there were no customers as the bank was not open that day. The police arrived within minutes.

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After long days of negotiations, the police agreed to provide the two perpetrators with an escape vehicle and several hundred thousand Deutschmarks in cash. The couple then disappeared in the night, taking two bank employees hostage. They also picked Rösner’s girlfriend Marion Löblich and then stopped in Bremen.

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On 08/17/1988

After several attempts to rent a car in Bremen, the two men stormed the bus with more than 32 passengers, after which journalists followed. In addition to taking photos on the bus, they tricked Rösner into giving an impromptu press conference on the street while holding a pistol.

After the release of five hostages, the bus was driven to the Grundbergsee motorway service station, where the two bank employees were released. Löblich was then arrested by two police officers as she was using the toilet. Demands for an exchange followed, with Degowski and Rösner threatening to kill a hostage every five minutes.

When their demands were not met, they shot a 14-year-old Italian boy, Emanuele De Giorgi, in the head. The police finally released Löblich. After the incident, the bus was driven to the Netherlands, where during the chase, a police car collided with a truck, killing one officer and injuring another.

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On 08/18/1988

After entering the Netherlands, two women and three children were released, after which the Dutch police refused to negotiate while the children were being held hostage. However, a getaway car was provided for the two men, but it also had a remote-controlled engine that could be stopped.

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On the A3 near Bad Honnef, a police car rammed into the getaway car and immobilized it, triggering a shootout. One of the hostages was able to get out of the car, but 18-year-old Silke Bischoff was fatally hit in the heart. After this incident, the kidnappers were arrested.

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About Netflix Gladbeck: The taking of hostages

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Netflix is ​​ready to release its true crime thriller, Gladbeck: The taking of hostages, on Wednesday 8 June at 12:30 PM IST/GMT+5:30 PM. The series is directed by Volker Heise and has a running time of 1 hour 31 minutes.

The synopsis for the documentary is:

“In August 1988, Hans-Jürgen Rösner and Dieter Degowski attacked a branch of Deutsche Bank in Gladbeck. The hostage-taking that followed led to a massive media spectacle that sparked a debate about the limits and responsibility of journalism.”

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It aims to unpack the eponymous 1988 event and re-examine how law enforcement and the media reacted to the situation in order to escalate it. Both have been heavily criticized for how they handled it, which resulted in a shooting and three deaths.

electricity Gladbeck: The taking of hostages on Netflix Wednesday June 8th.


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