© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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to French Jews, unless the number of foreign Jews is insufficient for the required quota. Such a proviso should not be taken to mean that French Jews should have any privileged status; in the course of eliminating the Jews of all European countries, the French Jews will also be exterminated. And, to reassure you, you can count on a certain number of French Jews being included in the quota you have indicated.
Of course I received no reply to my open letter. It had to be written, however, so that anyone whose attitude had changed might have a chance to prove it. It ended as follows:
Now the Federal Republic under Gustav Heinemann deserves some respect, especially since Willy Brandt, whom I myself have seen acclaimed in The Hague, London, Paris, Erfurt – in the West as well as in the East – is its Chancellor. Now German youth, even that part of it that was in revolt until October 1969, has some respect for the government's programs, for the youth helped Brandt into power. Your possible appointment, the result of an election deal, will serve only to stir up a controversy we had hoped was settled, and at the same time it will bring dishonor upon the government and on the reputation of the Federal Republic.

Western Europeans have given the committees the responsibility for important economic, social, and political questions, and your presence in Brussels can only affect them adversely.

The choice is even simpler for the French. To them, approving Achenbach is equivalent to approving Abetz and everything he stood for. I myself have already furnished the French government with a report I compiled as soon as I got the astonishing news of your candidacy, and in a few days all the other members of the EEC will have a copy of it.

That is why, sir, I appeal to your sense of public duty, and assure you that you will do yourself great honor by abandoning your candidacy. You may be sure that if you do, in spite of the differences between us, I will feel personally indebted to you.
Photocopies of all the documents quoted above were already in my possession. Serge had quit his job at Continental Grains three months before, and we were living on his separation allowance. It kept shrinking as we engaged in distributing our report and the papers that supported it. Every time I heard the whir of the Xerox machine at the post office, I thought of it as an infernal monster devouring our food and rent money.

What drove us to do it was the conviction that we were the only persons – and we felt desperately lonely – to rise to the demands of the occasion. No government, no political party, no individual
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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