WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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The only thing left to do was to telephone. I rang so long I was about to give up. Then someone who did not speak French finally answered. I could not speak a word of Polish. In very halting German the man on the other end of the line said he was just a carpenter who was making some repairs in the AFP office, but at least I found out from him where it was.

After I had waited a full hour, a short, sloppily dressed man came in. He had a very heavy accent. I felt everything tumbling down around me, for the AFP correspondent was apparently a Pole. It would be impossible to tell him what I intended to do.

"I'm a French tourist," I told him. "A friend of my husband who works for AFP in Paris suggested I get in touch with you for information about the city."

He seemed amazed and incredulous. Since I could not continue that line, I took the plunge.

"Are you French?" I asked. "I mean, of French nationality?"

"Yes. But why do you ask?"

"That makes all the difference. I would like to give you some advance notice about something. Can we talk here?"

"No, no, no. It would be safer in my car."

I was somewhat reassured to find that his car had French license plates. I told him what I planned to do about noon that day. He did not seem too happy about it, for censorship was very strict, but he agreed to watch me.

"All I ask you to do," I said, "is just pass by – you don't have to say a word – and send a dispatch to Paris."

I made my final preparations in a restaurant washroom, where I fastened a chain around my waist under my dress and pulled the end of it through a buttonhole of my coat.

In a few minutes the streets were full, for the stroke of noon brought large crowds out on to the Marszalkowska in the heart of Warsaw.

I carefully chose a solid-looking tree near a traffic light at a wide and busy intersection. It would suit my purpose, for more automobiles than I had expected would come to a stop only a few feet away from me. I stationed myself right in the middle of the stream of people approaching the crosswalk. The time was right.

I put my flight bag at my feet. Unobtrusively, and as quickly as possible, I pulled out the chain. It almost slipped out of my hands, for I was trembling. I passed the chain around the tree and snapped the padlock shut. Now what to do with the key?
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page  Back Page 119 Forward  Next Page