WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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aspects of this complicated case will assure you a greater likelihood of success than any court decision would....

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 front.

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 Lille.

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 almost drunk.

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.

He never did. Later, when my campaign against Kiesinger had become still fiercer, one of Brandt's aides told me of the appre- […hension]
     
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page  Back Page 39 Forward  Next Page