WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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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" country.

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.

I said 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 living together.

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 discovered.

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 demonstra […tions]
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page  Back Page 130 Forward  Next Page