© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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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.

It 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 everything else.

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."

Jens also 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
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