© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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would certainly carry more weight than all the activity of the young opposition members.

Number 13 Niedstrasse, in Friedenau, was a funny, old fashioned, ivy covered house with a small garden between it and the street. The gate was wide open. Günter Grass welcomed me, and took me through the quite modem dining room to a balcony screened from the street by a hedge. It was already growing dark, and so I had trouble distinguishing his features. He let me talk for some time about my plan. Then he said:

"I am not particularly eager to speak at such a gathering. To my mind, the students have been carrying on disgracefully for some time now."

He seemed more amenable after I told him that this would be a gathering of Jewish students. I left with his promise that he would attend the meeting if nothing untoward developed.

I returned to Berlin on May 9, a few hours before the meeting. It had proved quite hard to organize, and out of caution several good speakers had declined to appear. With the help of Serge, who had come with me, I carefully prepared my part.

The young people in Michel Lang's organization were selling our pamphlet about Kiesinger for thirty pfennigs. They had stuck big posters on walls all over the city and distributed gummed badges.

Well before the demonstration began, almost three thousand young persons had jammed into the university auditorium. Long-haired and bearded, they seemed enchantingly romantic. The advertised speakers were Günter Grass, Johannes Agnoli, Ekkebart Krippendorff, Jacob Taubes, and Michel Lang. Günter Grass's speech, in which he boldly attacked Kiesinger as "the heaviest moral mortgage on Germany," set the tone of the meeting. When my turn came to speak, I was propelled to the microphone. I felt dazed by the crowd squeezed together on the rows of benches, squatting on the floor just below the platform, and standing in the aisles. I declared that we must keep escalating our efforts to break the wall of silence surrounding Kiesinger's Nazi past. And I promised:

"I give you my word that I will publicly slap the Chancellor."

There was a spirited response from the audience. From various parts of the hall came shouts of "childish!" or "stupid!" Some even said: "Do it if you've got the guts!" One group kept sneering. "Promises! Nothing but promises!"
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