I talked with wanted to avoid discussing what was on
my mind. But when I showed them the leaflet I had distributed in Warsaw, the
old Resistance people across the table from me changed their tone at once. One
of them said in embarrassment: |
"Yes, we heard about what you did.
Everyone is talking about it in private, but very few wish to discuss it
openly. Many of your friends approve of it, because for a long time there has
been some uneasiness that became especially apparent after the anniversary
ceremonies at Auschwitz and the Warsaw ghetto. Only delegates from the Eastern
countries showed up at them. We have tried to remedy the situation through
discussions with our Polish friends, but nothing has come of them."
relations with East Germany got worse and worse. I tried to go back with Serge
one more time. We were made to wait at the frontier for two hours and then were
told that we could no longer enter East Germany.
I had been ostracized.
But a few weeks after my protest, Chancellor Brandt of the Federal Republic
also chose concrete action as a means of expression when he visited Poland. He
knelt at the memorial to the Warsaw ghetto, thereby greatly displeasing the
Poles and many Germans to boot.
Later, when Brandt won the Nobel Peace
Prize after negotiating the treaties that restored relations between the
Federal Republic and the USSR and Poland, tears I could not repress came to my
eyes. Of everything I have undertaken, the one thing that has given me the most
joy is that for four years I did my best to get Willy Brandt recognition. For
once in my life I had confidence in a politician. Brandt's vigorous and
courageous policy toward the East and his easing of human contacts between the
West Berliners and the East Germans have already found a place in history.
The sudden change of attitude on the part of the East German
authorities did nothing to alter my deep convictions. I continued to think that
the final solution of the German problem was recognition of the two states of
the German nation. For Germany not to be a member of the United Nations seemed
lamentable to me. It was high time for both the Federal Republic and the
Democratic Republic to join it simultaneously.
Several weeks later I
was to testify to that opinion on the occasion of the twenty fifth anniversary
of the San Francisco Charter,