© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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our campaign. It was so expensive that we had to stop paying taxes. Though we knew they would only increase by such postponement, we at least had cash in the meantime. We reduced our food budget and sold our old car. We dismissed the nurse and one of the au pair girls.

The hours I devoted to politics conflicted with the housework, but I had no trouble switching from one to the other. I was washing our own dirty linen and Germany's at one and the same time. My mother-in-law worried about what would happen to us, thinking that an undertaking like ours would deprive us of a normal existence. She kept reminding us of our duty to Arno. Deep in: her heart, however, she approved of what we were doing. She took care of Arno when I had to be away, and when we needed money, she or my sister-in-law helped us out. My own mother, however, who had been a widow for a year, highly disapproved of my campaign. To her it was quite natural for me to have been fired for criticizing the Chancellor.

Night after night I pored over miles of microfilm looking for even the tiniest items that might support my argument. Bit by bit I was able to reconstruct Kiesinger's past. Luck was with me. In the summer of 1968, I met the historian Joseph Billig, who had written an extraordinary work, L'Hitlérisme et le systéme concentrationnaire ("Hitlerism and the Concentration System").

Billig was one of the few persons who truly understood and could describe the part some German diplomats had played in the extermination of the Jews under Hitler. He seemed, however, uncommunicative and skeptical when I first told him about Kiesinger.

"What he did is of little interest to me," Billig said. "I doubt that he did very much."

Nevertheless, he agreed to examine our research, and soon he admitted that it had convinced him. Thus we were able to prepare: a deeper study. Kiesinger or Subtle Fascism contained my direct accusation and definitely stripped the veil from the true face of Kurt-Georg Kiesinger.


Kiesinger joined the Nazi Party on May 1, 1933, when he was a young lawyer close to thirty years of age – no longer an adolescent. His membership card, which he kept until the collapse of Nazism, was No. 2,633,930.

In his student days he belonged to some Catholic organizations,
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