© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page Back  Contents  Contents Page 52 Home Page Home Page  Forward Next Page 
"You work for Combat?"

The young secretary whipped through her card file, but found nothing. Was I going to have to go back empty handed after getting through three police lines to reach the press office? I insisted politely. I had to have a press card to open doors for me during the sessions.

"If you'll show me your press card, I'll ask my boss."

I could not back down. Serge had given me an expired ORTF pass. I was counting on its red, white, and blue chevron to influence the accrediting officials. I had removed Serge's picture and replaced it with mine.

The secretary returned a few minutes later smiling apologetically: "Unfortunately all the seats are taken this morning. There are too many reporters."

Now what? How was I to get close to Kiesinger?

The night before, a leader of the leftist groups told me to go to the big demonstration in support of Horst Mahler at the Court of Appeals. Mahler, a young lawyer, was to appear before a legal review board for having taken part in a raid on the Springer offices in Berlin. He stood a good chance of being disbarred.

The atmosphere of the Berlin streets grew charged as I got closer to the courthouse. Both camps were seized with excitement. In less than half an hour they clashed. As if by miracle, three thousand young people sprang up around the building. Anti-riot squads were everywhere. Molotov cocktails began exploding.

"Come this way," shouted a girl in a crash helmet hanging on to the rear of a motorcycle that jumped onto the sidewalk.

The clash was one of the most violent there had been between the police and the students. There were over a hundred casualties among the students and as many among the police. I worked my way around the police barriers. Behind me tear-gas bombs were exploding, echoing the bursts of the Molotov cocktails. Police sirens were followed by ambulance sirens. I saw how desperately the young Berliners and their allies, the underprivileged young, could fight for Mahler and how bitter they were over failing to prevent the CDU Congress.

On a street corner a young man turned around and yelled at me. I recognized Reinhard, whom I had invited to Paris a few months earlier to talk about Germany at the Anne Frank Club. He yanked me into a nearby café. I reminded him of the promise I had made
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page  Back Page 52 Forward  Next Page