in a coma for weeks, lost the power of speech for a
long time, and finally had to withdraw completely from the German political
scene. His assailant, it was said, was a mentally deranged loner, but in his
rooms were found swastikas, S.S. insignia, and a bust of Hitler. His attack on
Rudi was the climax of a hate campaign led by Axel Springer through his
newspapers, and by politicians like Kiesinger. |
My charges against
Kiesinger had not yet made the splash I had hoped for in the principal French
and German newspapers. With my bulging file under my arm, I roamed the
editorial offices, insisting on being received by editors-in-chief or by
special-assignment reporters. Invariably I got the same answer: "That's all
very interesting, but what can you do about it? He's already Chancellor."
I had to change my plan of attack.
For the first time I
recognized that my exposures would have small impact unless I did something so
sensational that the papers would want to report it. If I could settle on
something appropriate, and get its meaning across to the public, then the cause
for which I was fighting would come to light. For a long time I pondered how to
proceed. Then I decided I had to do something right in Kiesinger's presence.
From Paris I telephoned the German Parliament in Bonn: "I should like
to attend the Bundestag session on April 1. How do I go about getting in?"
"All you need do is reserve a seat in your name and pick up your ticket
ten minutes before the session begins."
I made a reservation under my
maiden name; I had learned that Kiesinger would be speaking on that day.
As soon as I got to Bonn on March 30, I went in search of a press
photographer. Some students eventually put me in touch with one who worked for
the German Press Agency, and I took him into my confidence. We arranged for him
to spot me discreetly before I entered the Bundestag.
I was almost late
in getting there. I checked my coat, climbed up to the public gallery, and took
a seat in a row of benches guarded by a sergeant-at-arms. Soon Kiesinger
mounted the rostrum and began to speak. It was the first time I had seen him in
I would say merely that he was a handsome