"You work for Combat?" |
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
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.
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?
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
"Come this way," shouted a girl in a crash helmet hanging on
to the rear of a motorcycle that jumped onto the sidewalk.
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