Serge reminded me that the earliest newspaper reports
about Kiesinger would surely be in the Potsdam archives in East Germany. He had
already got the basic data from the Library of Contemporary Jewish Documents
(CDJC) in Paris. Then he remembered one of the lecturers he had had at the
Sorbonne, Professor George Castellan, a historian of the German army. Serge
telephoned him and told him he wanted to do research in the Potsdam archives.
Castellan gave him the name of a Herr Heyne, the director of Franco-German
Cultural Relations in East Berlin. |
In 1967, East Berlin was one of the
most mysterious of European cities, and to go there with such a purpose as ours
could be compromising. Serge had worked for Martial de la Fournière, a
technical adviser to Secretary of the Army Pierre Messmer, and so he wrote him
"My wife, a French citizen, has been dismissed from her job
here in France for publishing an article exposing a German as a former Nazi.
France has done nothing to help her, but I myself feel obliged to assist her.
We need to collect data on Kiesinger. The papers we need are in East Berlin. I
want to make all this clear so that I will not be accused of foolhardiness,
espionage, interference with diplomatic relations, etc."
forthrightness must have had some effect, for we had no trouble whatever.
Serge took several days' leave, and went to East Berlin. He located
Heyne in the Volkskammer and explained what he wanted. He was directed to the
Ministry of the Interior, where on the following day he explained his intention
of collecting data on Kiesinger's past to a committee of seven or eight
persons. The committee's response was favorable, and for the next three days
Serge took copious notes on the thick files he was given. He returned from East
Berlin with a huge folder of photocopies. He had also discovered a book by
Raimund Schnabel on radio propaganda under Hitler.
To the papers from
East Berlin we added items we had unearthed at the Wiener Library in London, as
well as thousands of microfilms we ordered to the tune of $400
from the United States State Department catalog. A quick survey of these papers
enabled me to write and have printed at our expense a pamphlet entitled "The
Truth about Kurt-Georg Kiesinger," which appeared before Christmas 1967.
We began to experience the day-to-day hardships produced by