I planned to take along three hundred tracts that I
had had translated into Czech by a professional. |
Then there was the
question of getting a visa. The Czech secretary at the Paris embassy might
recognize my name and remember my Warsaw protest, and he might wonder why the
same B.K. now wanted a visa for Czechoslovakia. It was important that no one
notice my name. So I went to the consulate with Arno, pretending to be a rather
snobbish middle-class woman who wanted to take a pleasure trip in an "exotic"
Arno, who was often a fiend when I took him anywhere, climbed
up on the furniture and the counters and kept throwing forms into the air. I
did not stop him, and he continued to behave so atrociously that people began
to make remarks. As a result, the secretary tended to me as quickly as
possible, gave me a visa there and then, and even reserved a hotel room for me.
I bought a plane ticket Paris-Vienna-Prague-Cologne-Paris.
Parting from my family was difficult. My mother-in-law was wracked with
fear, and predicted that I would be drowned in the Moldau as a Jewish leader
had been in 1968 through the good offices of the Czech police. Serge could
barely conceal his worry. For once Arno was not informed.
good-by to Serge at Orly. We kept staring at each other as I moved away. I
believed that couples who deliberately live by an ideal and in an atmosphere of
danger have a greater chance of seeing their love grow than other couples have.
It's not a matter of letting each go his own way, but of living, and really
I reached Vienna by plane on Saturday, February 6. I
planned to take a train to Prague: airport police are better briefed than
railway guards, and so I would have little chance of passing unnoticed if I got
off the plane in Prague. I would certainly be searched, and my tracts
When I had presented my passport at the Vienna airport, the
Austrian customs officers made me wait an hour because I was on the "black
list." They had to wait for instructions: an aftermath of the Schirmer affair.
I found a hotel room and telephoned Simon Wiesenthal, who met me that
evening in a restaurant. I brought him up to date on my plans, and he gave me
some additional information: the trial of the Trotskyites would not begin on
February 8 because the Czech authorities were afraid that it might provoke