WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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activities, in a lengthy conversation to distract him. Nevertheless, he too uttered the fateful words: "So you are a journalist?"

"No. I did some reporting during the electoral campaign, but now I am just a housewife."

"Ah, in that case, just write 'no profession'."

And he granted me my visa.

About 9 P.M. on the evening of August 25, the train began crawling through the suburbs of Berlin. Dare I confess that only then began to be afraid? The demonstration I intended to make in Warsaw would be quite different from everything I had done in the West. I couldn't get out of my mind that young people had been sent to rot in communist prisons for far less.

After a few minutes a man sat down opposite me. He never took his eyes off me, but not until the train was well under way did he begin to talk. He introduced himself as a counselor in the Democratic Republic's embassy in Warsaw.

What a relief! I began to feel less depressed.

"Do you know Warsaw?" he asked.

"Barely. I thought I'd look around it for two or three days."

"I'd be happy to guide you. My family is in East Berlin, so I'll have plenty of time. I would really like you to have a good look at Poland."

It was a distinctly embarrassing invitation, for if this East German diplomat were to be seen in my company, his career would suffer – beginning tomorrow morning.

We had hardly reached Warsaw early in the morning when my diplomat brought up the subject again: 'Let me help you find a hotel."

"I have friends here and I can stay with them. At any rate, I'm going to wander around the city all day. I'll make up my mind later."

"Finally I managed to get rid of my attentive diplomat, but I had no luck at the first two hotels I went to. Time was growing short, so I asked for shelter at a youth hostel, which was full at the moment but let me leave my suitcase.

I had only a few hours in which to alert the Western press. I felt very small and vulnerable in the unfamiliar city. My taxi driver kept going around and around the same block, looking for the number of the Agence France Presse correspondent. I finally told him to let me out and I would find it myself. But I couldn't.
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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