He knows a great deal, and he has great ability as a
journalist. That's why we think his appearance before a French court would
accomplish a great deal. |
"On the moral plane, we believe that if a man
leaves his family to surrender to the law and to be tried in another country,
then he has truly changed. He can help present-day society understand how he
became the Herbert Hagen he was in 1940. We would then defend the case of the
Herbert Hagen of 1971 who, under the circumstances, would probably only be
sentenced as a formality. It's the Hagen of 1940 who would be sentenced, not
the Hagen of 1971, whose actions would prove that he now opposes the S.S. of
the old days. On the other hand, if he does not come to France, it is because
he has not changed."
Jens replied that he would convey my proposal to
his father. Our intensity and our logic seemed to make him agree with our
argument. But when he left, Serge and I smiled. We would never get an answer;
we were not naive enough to think we would. But as we were sticklers for the
law, we had to try everything before going into battle in earnest.
was interesting to speculate on how a journalist who considered himself a man
of the left, the son of one of the worst Nazi criminals, could pass judgment on
his father's generation. We had seen how his family loyalty had overshadowed
He had completely endorsed our campaign against
Kiesinger because Kiesinger had continued his career in politics. But,
according to him, his father had been out of politics for a long time. Franz
Six had come to his house in 1951 to persuade him to return to intelligence
work, but Hagen had turned him down.
Six weeks later, after I had been
arrested, the newspapers printed a statement from Jens Hagen: "I do not
understand B.K. . . . I told her several times that my father was not a
bureaucratic assassin, but that woman is a complete fanatic."
told us that he had seen pictures of Eichmann and Hagen in Haifa and Cairo in
1937 in his father's photograph album, and that his father was still so
interested in the Jewish problem that he had gone to Israel as a tourist a few
years before to take another look at the country.
That piece of
information struck us as significant, and it confirmed our theory that it is
absurd for both Jews and non-Jews to believe that Nazi criminals have been
tracked down relentlessly