© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page Back  Contents  Contents Page 55 Home Page Home Page  Forward Next Page 
been declared invalid, and whole vanloads of loyal Christian Democrats were imported for the occasion.

The session ended with terrific applause for Kiesinger and shouts of "Down with the Reds! The Reds are all Cohn bandits!" – a pun on the name of the radical leader, Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

To have slapped Kiesinger under these circumstances would have aroused uncontrollable resentment. I could have been lynched or trampled. Now that I look back on it, I admit I was afraid.

There was only one morning session left. I had to grasp my last opportunity during the final session at the Congress Palace.

The day began badly. About 9 A.M. my photographer told me he had not been able to get a pass. However, he did help me to cross the three outside barriers in his car. We could not get any closer, so he left me in the parking lot, lying on the floor of the car, holding my breath every time anyone came near.

We had decided that he should go in to test the admissions officials and sample the atmosphere of the hall. Long minutes passed. My fingers and feet were freezing. Fifteen minutes. Twenty minutes. 'What if he decided it would be too hard to get me in and didn't come back at all? I was considering leaving the car and trying to get past the checkpoints by myself.

Was I going to be defeated now that my goal was so near? My nerves were taut. Then at last I saw Michael threading his way through the parked cars, his cameras dangling from his neck. The guards who had checked him in and then seen him go out let him in again.

I stuck out just one corner of the green pass. Then I checked my brown coat trimmed with a wide white stripe that made a big Cross of Lorraine. I was wearing a red skirt with a wide belt, and a white turtleneck. I got out my notebook. Back again to playing reporter.

The huge hall was full. Michael took back his pass with relief. Little groups were chatting in the aisles while they waited for the party leaders to arrive.

The chairman of the welfare agencies, Margot Kalinke, was speaking, but no one paid any attention. On the platform sat the presiding officer and important members of the Christian Democratic party machine. Below, on the floor of the hall, was a long table covered with a white cloth. There were flowers everywhere.
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page  Back Page 55 Forward  Next Page