had protested up until then simply because they
lacked the energy. |
Once we had the basic data ready, I undertook to
circulate it. I took it first to the politicians, sending a copy to the
president of the EEC; to the Foreign Ministries of The Netherlands, Italy, and
Luxemburg; to Willy Brandt; to the Prime Ministers of Belgium and Great
Britain. In Paris I went to the Elysée Palace, where a deputy took my
report and promised to give it the "careful examination it deserved." I also
went to the Quai d'Orsay, and there is no doubt that Foreign Minister Maurice
Schumann studied the documents I left there for his attention. Some months
later, on June 23, he replied to the letter in which I had asked him to take
action for the exclusion of Achenbach from the Franco-German parliamentary
group: "I will seize the first opportunity available to me for making known our
But the politicians will budge only if the press
creates a stir. So, to get the press moving, I had to meet several conditions:
first, see that they had copies of the report; second, create a situation that
would give reporters and commentators a reason for expressing their opinion.
One writer on foreign affairs told me: "You push Achenbach out a window, and
I'll print your report."
I spent all of April 4 going to the
international press services, the big French dailies, and representatives of
the most important European papers. I did not just leave my report with them,
but discussed it and tried to get them to accept my interpretation of
Achenbach's possible appointment.
I made long telephone calls to two
friends in Brussels: Philippe Lemaître, who covered the Common Market for
Le Monde, and a young German woman who was an executive in its inner
circles. Some of her associates had reacted violently when they learned that
Achenbach was about to represent the Federal Republic.
Haferkamp, the other German commissioner in Brussels, took advantage of a
mission to Jerusalem to look for documents that were more compromising to
Achenbach in the Yad Vashem archives, a center of information on victims of
Nazism. Unfortunately he found none, and so he sent a young member of his staff
to Paris. The young man got in touch with Serge and returned to Brussels with a
briefcase bulging with documents. These so convinced Haferkamp that on April 15
he went to work in earnest against Achenbach.
But to return to the
situation in Brussels on April 4, during the course of some fierce arguments
with my friends we reached a