WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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The communists did nothing. The Düsseldorf Deutsche Volkszeitung, for which I wrote regularly, did not publish my piece on Achenbach. East Germany kept silent. And although I paid a call on the Tass Agency in Paris, I found it equally unenthusiastic. Achenbach, a prominent big business lawyer, represented powerful outlets in the East. Once again governmental interests were in conflict with morality.

How was I to break so many dikes that this affair would overflow onto the international scene? What had been published in Paris on April 7 was sufficient reason for going into action. In Bonn, Walter Scheel stated: "The press will probably make a big fuss about this affair for a couple of weeks, and then no one will hear any more about it." The single AFP dispatch was not enough. Consequently we substituted wide geographical coverage for further news releases. I telegraphed for an interview on the 9th with Joseph Luns, the Netherlands' Foreign Minister; Gaston Eykens, the Belgian Prime Minister; and Jean Rey, president of the European Committee; and on the 10th with Conrad Ahlers, the German government spokesman.

Consequently, within twenty-four hours, all press dispatches from Holland, Belgium, and Germany carried the same news: "Hostile Reaction to Achenbach Due to Disclosure of His Nazi Past." European newspapers got three dispatches on the same topic on the same day. They decided, with such excitment [sic] over the Achenbach affair in three capitals simultaneously, they would give the story some prominence.

Late in the evening of Tuesday, April 7, I landed at Schiphol airport. Television crews and a number of reporters were waiting for me. I talked freely in German about the purpose of my visit, which was to give the Dutch government the facts about Achenbach as well as my personal opinion of him, and I had an opportunity to show the television audience some actual documents. The scene appeared on the late news that night, and on the following day as well.

I spent the night with a couple of reporters in an Amsterdam suburb, and at 9 A.M. I presented myself at the Foreign Ministry. Luns's chief of staff received me. He told me that the Dutch Foreign Minister was having an interview with the son of Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba, but that if I could wait, he would see me. I had no time, however. I had to take the eleven o'clock train
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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