© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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[base…] ment entrance and took to his heels before violence broke out. There were a few clashes, but to me that was not the main point. Violence served only to make our performance go astray and lose its political significance.

Meanwhile, during an election rally in Württemberg-Baden, the young people of the Extra Parliamentary Opposition (APO) filled two thirds of the hail and shouted: "Kiesinger is a Nazi! A Nazi!"

In order to quiet them, Kiesinger said: "You are too young to have known Nazism, and you have a right to know what your Chancellor did during its regime."

He never kept his promise to tell them.

In April, I went to Esslingen where, I had learned, the political parties would debate in public. I took along three enormous suitcases full of pamphlets.

"If you want to make a short speech and distribute your pamphlets," a student told me, "this is a good chance."

I was not known there, and I had prepared nothing to say. Anyone in the audience, however, was allowed to speak. I waited an hour for my turn.

Once behind the microphone, I panicked. The square was huge, full of young people, and I did not know just what to say. I introduced myself, however, and reviewed my campaign. A burst of applause gave me courage, and I went on to rehearse Kiesinger's past. Probably I was too long winded, for I heard from the crowd: "Make it short! Cut it down!"

That was that. I cut my speech short, and merely announced that I had pamphlets to pass out.

It took four telephone calls for me to reach Günter Grass, who had to leave that day for a writers' conference in Prague.

"I want to ask you to take part in a big meeting we are organizing at the Berlin Polytechnic. I am near your house now and could stop in right away."

He agreed.

The meeting had been organized with the help of Michel Lang, the organizer of the Jewish Work Club of Berlin. It reached a wide audience, for at that time in Federal Germany, any Jewish organization was treated with a certain respect. Considering the guilt complex of the Germans, an attack on Kiesinger from young Jews
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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