can't send me back to Czechoslovakia, because they
won't have me there. I don't want to stay in Austria. I just want to get to
Vienna so that I can take a plane." |
The whole situation reminded me of
Charlie Chaplin in "The Pilgrim," with one foot on the American side of the
border and a sheriff after him, and his other foot on the Mexican side, where
bandits are waiting for him. Here I was, with one foot in each of two camps,
wanted by neither, and facing as much trouble from the East as from the West.
At 6 A.M. Vienna replied that I could enter Austria. I reached the
capital by bus and train, and telephoned Paris to reassure my mother-in-law,
who told me that Serge had gone to Bonn as we had planned. I got a plane to
Frankfurt and transferred to another for Cologne, where I found Serge at about
4 P.M. He had had to release the news of my arrest on Monday himself, for the
reporters had not been able to get their stories past the censor. Serge had
telephoned the Hotel Flora in Prague, but no one there could tell him anything
except that I had checked out. Since he knew from my telegram that I had been
in touch with the Western press correspondents, he called their Paris branches
and asked them to find out from their Prague representatives what had happened
to me. That is how he learned of my arrest, and on Tuesday the newspapers
carried the story. Perhaps that had some bearing on my being expelled.
A few days later the French Trotskyites demonstrated against the trial
of their comrades in Prague by occupying the Czech Consulate and holding a
press conference there. The Prague Trotskyites would doubtless have preferred
their foreign comrades to express their solidarity on the spot, even at the
risk of sharing their fate.
On March 2, in one of his customary local
broadcasts, Husak criticized my "bad behavior" in Prague, doubtless because the
anti-communist Radio Free Europe had made such a big thing of it and because I
had given an interview, broadcast to Czechoslovakia, explaining the reasons for
It is not up to me to entertain, but to tell the truth as
forcefully as I can brutally, if necessary. Forbidden to stay in the
German Democratic Republic, I was soon to be arrested in the Federal Republic.