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,
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.
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.
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.
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.