aspects of this complicated case will
assure you a greater likelihood of success than any court decision
The Minister of Justice thereby showed me the path I
should take. I would make a political issue of the case in Germany rather than
get myself involved in long legal actions. My battle was to resume on another
February 1968. Reporters keep going in and out in little
groups. They go to the nearby Elysée Palace to follow the Franco-German
dialogues, then come back to swap data and evaluate the handouts that the
government spokesmen or the press secretaries have just issued. The Hotel
Bristol bar is a nerve center. Willy Brandt likes to stay at that hotel,
whereas Chancellor Kiesinger prefers the ambassador's residence on rue de
The day is drawing to a close. One by one the ministers who have
accompanied Chancellor Kiesinger are taking the temperature of the press. They
hang around the bar or the lounges in order to chat in a relaxed atmosphere.
Finance Minister Franz Joseph Strauss has just joined the little knot of
reporters around me. It is almost 11:30 P.M. We end the long discussion we have
been having about my latest disclosures on Kiesinger's past. I step aside, for
I cordially dislike Strauss, the strong man of German conservatism, who is
The son of Axel Springer, the German press lord, is
keeping me company. He is a photographer.
"This campaign of yours
against Kiesinger is absolutely futile," he tells me. "You would be well
advised not to talk about it any more, for he got into power by the democratic
process. It's too late to protest."
Late in the evening Willy Brandt
makes his appearance. The reporters jump up to get to him. He stops in front of
the elevators. He is tanned and relaxed and is wearing an elegant pin-striped
suit quite different from the man I had met in the summer of 1966. I
take advantage of the occasion to remind him of the interview I had asked him
to give me for Combat, for which I had sent him a list of questions that
dealt, for the most part, with his personal recollections of his stay in France
before the war.
"I'll get to work on it soon," he says.
never did. Later, when my campaign against Kiesinger had become still fiercer,
one of Brandt's aides told me of the appre- [