WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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[pass…] port was examined and my luggage searched, and I was sent on my way toward the Austrian frontier with two policemen and a uniformed customs officer.

Suddenly the two policemen stopped without saying a word. There were a few lights along the road for a short distance; beyond them, pitch darkness. The customs officer gave me to understand he could go no farther. Slipping and sliding in the snow, I trudged toward Austria, somewhat relieved but also unpleasantly aware that I had been abandoned in the depths of a forest and that behind me were definitely unfriendly people.

I hurried toward a tiny light I could just make out in the distance. It came from a one-room frontier post. When I entered, two Austrian customs officers stared at me as if I were a ghost.

"Did you come by car?"

"No, on foot."

"Well, where did you come from?"

"I have just been expelled from Czechoslovakia."

"Expelled! You're lucky they didn't make you stay."

It occurred to me that they might be fairly sympathetic, and that I could tell them everything. They could not understand my motives, but they were distinctly anti-communist and consequently willing to help me find a room.

"Listen, Madame," said one of them, "in fifteen minutes –t hat is, at 12:30 – my shift will be over, and I can drive you to the next village. First I'll phone and see if there's a room available at a boardinghouse I know of."

Everything was arranged by the time his relief showed up at about 12:25. After my presence was explained to him, he picked up my passport, which was still on the desk, and began to raise objections:

"She can't be given an entrance visa without authorization from the Vienna police."

He then took the others aside, and I heard him mention Kiesinger's name several times. Obviously he did not approve of my having slapped the Chancellor.

There was, of course, no chance of getting a reply from Vienna until the next day. The customs officer who had offered to drive me to the village could wait no longer. I insisted that they put in an emergency call to Vienna, for I certainly did not want to spend the rest of the night in that hut.

"Why do you need authorization from Vienna?" I asked. "You
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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