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