© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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Kiesinger's Fall

At those times Nazism seemed to belong entirely to the past; the dead to be definitely dead; and all suffering soothed by time. I thought of myself as alone and very small. Then I would count up all the personal benefits I was deriving from my efforts. I would cling to Serge's love, which had never ceased to grow, and to the trust that so many unknown persons had in me. I was getting letters from all over the world – from Jews, non Jews, Germans, Frenchmen.

The reason people who did not know me as I actually was kept writing me with such complete confidence was that what I was doing was an incarnation of anti-Hitlerian Germany, a Germany that was acknowledging the burden of its past in order the better to combat it. That was why there was sometimes such enthusiasm for me. It sprang from the deepest feelings of men and women who still could not face up to what Germany had done. The German people had caused such terrible destruction that the scars on the flesh of Europe were still tender. Distrust of Germans in general was so great that, by a kind of backlash, individual Germans who rightly or wrongly were thought exemplary were trusted as one would have liked to trust the German people as a whole.

In the countryside and in the towns of Germany, I conscientiously pursued the task I had set myself. I went from the speaking platform to leadership of a demonstration. I thought up attention-provoking exploits. I wrote exhaustive reports. I clung like a mongrel to Kiesinger's trouser cuffs. I barked, and sometimes I also bit.

November 7, 1968. I slapped Chancellor Kiesinger.

November 11. Brussels. Raissa and I arrived two days ahead of Kiesinger, who was to speak to the Belgian NATO officials.

I had asked the help of Belgium's Jewish Students' Union and of Michel Lang's Jewish Club in Berlin. We made plans for a conference to take place at the Free University of Brussels a few hours before Kiesinger's address. I paid for the Berliners' trip with the two thousand marks I had received for an article in Horizont, an East German magazine of international politics. The students' suitcases, stuffed with copies of "The Truth about Kurt-Georg Kiesinger," went astray at the Berlin air terminal but turned up on the next plane.

November 13. 7 A.M. Persistent rapping on our hotel room door. Police! Identity check." My mother-in-law opened the door a
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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