WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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natured comments from the crowd, and some young people laughed openly. I tried to show the policemen the chain, for they did not seem to have noticed it. Sheepishly one examined the tree, then gestured to me to give him the key.

He repeated the word for key five or six times, but it got him nowhere. I remained planted where I was while he went to rummage in the rear of his car. I did not dare take a step for fear of disclosing the key I had been standing on.

The other policeman, who had stayed right beside me, tried to keep the crowd away, but he could not. In a rage he grabbed one young man, who had been attentively reading my leaflet, and took his identity card.

Meanwhile the other policeman had returned with wire cutters, and he cut me loose. While I was waiting, I got several glimpses of the French correspondent.

The jeep drove us past heavy iron gates guarding the entrance to police headquarters. I was dragged into several different offices before a superintendent who could speak German was located. Then began the usual interrogation. The police officers were courteous, but they could not get through their heads what I had been trying to prove by my public demonstration.

"I came to Warsaw," I told them, "for as a German anti-fascist I cannot stand to see anti-Semitism in Poland."

The police wanted an argument. One of them gave me a long explanation of why there was no anti-Semitism in Poland.

"You are mistaken," he said. "You should have asked for a conducted tour. We would have shown you everything. You could have observed our way of life, and then you would have reached the conclusion that there is no anti-Semitism here."

They asked me whether I had any more leaflets.

"Yes," I said, "in the suitcase I left at a youth hostel."

Presently we were on our way there by car. On the way back, still another policeman tried to persuade me that anti-Semitism was no more.

"Just the same," I said, "out of the fifty thousand Jews who once lived in Poland, only five thousand are here now. I have met some of those who used to live here in Germany and in France, and I have found many who are now confirmed communists. You have turned good socialists out of your country."

"They were all Zionists," he replied.
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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