WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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would be just as possible to force Achenbach to give up his international ambitions. Wouldn't appointing a former Nazi diplomat contribute to the restoration of Nazism and put the Europe of 1970 under the aegis of the swastika that aimed at enlisting Europe in a crusade against bolshevism, Anglo Saxons, democracy, Jews, freedom?

The newsweekly Der Spiegel wrote that Achenbach's candidacy was the result of a bargain made the day after the September 1969 elections between FDP president Walter Scheel and the right wing of his party. Achenbach represented important industrial interests – he was the Essen lawyer for the big industrial interests of the Ruhr – and his appointment to Brussels was one of the conditions the right wing of the party had made for helping Brandt become Chancellor. Der Spiegel reported that Scheel, who had become Foreign Minister, had sent an emissary to Paris in March 1970 to allay any French reservations. "If the French will agree, the Dutch and the rest will follow suit," Scheel is supposed to have said.

That very day Serge and I went to the Library of Contemporary Jewish Documents (CDJC). Every time I cross the square in which stands the monument to the Unknown Jewish Martyr, I am inspired anew by the words of Edmond Fleg inscribed on that white monument that points skyward in the old section of Paris: "Before the Unknown Jewish Martyr bow your head in tribute to all martyrs, and march with them along their sorrowful way, for it will lead you to the mountaintop of justice and truth."

The CDJC was our first recourse, for we knew that it had several boxes of source material from the German Embassy. There were, however, only a few odds and ends about Achenbach. We'd be sunk if now in 1970 we could not show what this Nazi diplomat's real job had been in 1943. We had to collect convincing data quickly and make it public.

Fifteen hours of work at the CDJC and the Library of Contemporary International Information gave us enough material to allow us to spend the night of April 1 compiling a six page memorandum in French and German. This became the basis for my open letter to Achenbach published in the Frankfurter Rundschau on April 4, and in Combat on April 8:
Your actions during the Third Reich, your beliefs at that time, and the part you played at Nuremberg and in the Naumann case do not recommend you as a representative of the Federal Republic ....
     
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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