© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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him with a lawsuit that would have shown that the extreme leftist press was more unfair to its employees than the Springer monopoly, but I finally got the money.

I shall let Marco tell you the story of the Lischka operation. It could have ended tragically, but it was actually often quite comic.


In March 1971, Beate and Serge told me all about Lischka, and their plan to kidnap the former top man in the Nazi police in France.

I asked them: "Who is going to help you?"

"That's the problem. We don't have anyone."

I recalled my conversation of a week earlier with a Jewish photographer named Eli, who had warned me that the whole extreme left in France was full of communist cells and that the only organizations that were not communist were the Jewish ones. I suggested to Serge:

"You should get in touch with him and see if he knows anyone who would help."

The three of us met in a pub. Eli's mother had been deported and killed after the Vel d'Hiv round-up ordered by Lischka, but his first reaction was negative. As far as he was concerned, Nazi criminals were hidden in the depths of a virgin forest. It seemed extraordinary and even insane to him that the man who had issued the orders for that round-up could be living openly and peacefully under his own name in Cologne. Then Serge showed him documentary evidence.

It finally got through to Eli that it was not a matter of an imaginary band of avengers executing Beate and Serge's scheme, but that if people like him or me did not do it, Lischka would go on living out a happy life in Cologne.

"Listen," he said to Serge. "I don't like to put the finger on fellows, but basically I'm willing to go along with you."

His decision and his reasoning persuaded me also. I found the project intriguing, almost historic. Going after Lischka could bring to light a number of facts that had not been officially disclosed since the war. I believe there is no distinction between Germans and non-Germans; everyone is more or less to blame. There was no reason why a non-Jewish Frenchman like myself should not take part in such a righteous undertaking.

In the last analysis we were not going to commit a crime, for we
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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