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.
1968. I slapped Chancellor Kiesinger.
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