Ulrich Wegener, the police commando who led the 1977 West German raid that rescued 90 people from a Lufthansa jetliner that four militants had hijacked and flown to Somalia, died on Dec. 28 in Cologne. He was 88.
The death was announced on Wednesday by the German Interior Ministry. Mr. Wegener was widely celebrated as a hero in a country that tends to avoid the term.
The hijacking was one of a series of attacks in 1977 linked to the anarchist Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang. In April of that year, adherents of the gang killed Siegfried Buback, West Germany’s chief public prosecutor, along with his driver and a police escort; in July, they killed Jürgen Ponto, the chairman of Dresdner Bank; and in September, they kidnapped Hanns-Martin Schleyer, head of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, fatally shooting his driver and three policemen in the process.