] eral newspapers with blazing headlines.
All their front pages were devoted to the previous day's incident, with many
pictures showing the Chancellor with his face behind his hand or, a moment
later, looking disgruntled and with his eyes hidden behind sunglasses. There
were also pictures of me in my Cross-of-Lorraine coat, surrounded by policemen,
or in the defendant's box leaning toward Mahler, or challenging Kiesinger in
the Bundestag with my fists upraised. |
The insult to the Chancellor
eclipsed all other news. The word "slap" entered the German political
vocabulary. All the front-page headlines featured the word.
reporting Kiesinger's embarrassed opinion: "That woman goes around with
university hooligans," and that of his spokesman, Günter Diehl: "She is a
monomaniac about the Chancellor," the press gave even more space to my true
motives: "She slapped the Chancellor because she wanted to reveal to the world
his Nazi past and demonstrate German youth's refusal to have Germany
represented by a former Nazi."
It was impossible to picture me
convincingly as a hysterical woman. The work I had been doing for almost two
years was beginning to pay off. I had written too much, spoken too many times,
agitated too frequently for anyone to be able to pretend that I was just a
Back in Paris, only a few minutes after the incident, Serge
had distributed to the press agencies a release that emphasized:
slapping Chancellor Kiesinger my wife committed an act long planned and
premeditated, which aimed at stressing the Chancellor's Nazi past for the
edification of German youth."
The statement I had recorded before I
left Paris was broadcast over several stations that afternoon.
became clear that the Germans were wondering how their Chancellor could have
put himself into a position of being slapped because of his past, especially
when he had so solemnly declared: "German youth has a right to know how their
Chancellor stood during the Third Reich," but had not kept his word.
the crime of lèse majesté combined with humiliation a
unique one in the annals of German history now was added the scandal of
the sentence: one year of imprisonment. The act itself and the Berlin court's
reaction to it were going to encounter severe criticism during the weeks to
come. Some people approved of my