that, which is much more serious than the
purely anti-Semitic reactionary opinions.
One more thing, Beate. After you slapped
the Chancellor, you probably thought we would be pleased to know that a former
Nazi had lost his job, and that he had been replaced by a longtime militant
anti-Nazi, one of the few Germans of that age who can look any one of us
straight in the eye without shame. Well, you are wrong. It would have been much
easier for us to confer with Kiesinger than with Brandt. Precisely the fact
that Kiesinger could not have looked us straight in the eye was one of his
better qualities. During our talks with him we regarded him with exaggerated
pity, and he squirmed, lowered his eyes, and very politely asked us what we
wanted. And he gave it to us without any argument, for he comes of good stock
and has good manners. Brandt, on the other hand, is the son of a servant.
It is always easier for us to confer with
persons whose past is not beyond reproach. They are ready to pay us handsomely
not to remind them of their past. But Brandt can look us in the eye and say:
"Gentlemen, that won't do." We cannot remind him of episodes buried deep in his
past, for they all do credit to him. That is why it is not contrary to our
interest to have former Nazis in high government positions and as masters of
industry. Quite the reverse. The more they rise in importance and influence,
the more eager they are to have their past forgotten and the more our influence
on them increases. We fear the day when a new generation will come into power
a generation that feels no guilt and has no fear of its past being
mentioned. The higher that generation climbs, the more German policy will again
take the path dictated by its own interests. You, Beate, are of that generation
but we cannot fault you. You are perfect. You are magnificent.
This dialogue the Jews of Israel were having with me was
really being directed toward the Germans. My acts had made of me a symbol that
had meaning for the Jews.
In a telephone interview with Israel Wiener
of the army radio station, we learned in May that the National Association of
Israeli Lawyers had decided to assume the expense of a lawyer to defend me.
Serge then went to Israel to give the Association all the facts of the case.
He needed money for a ticket, for we did not have a penny. My
mother-in-law supported us as best she could, but our telephone bills were
enormous because we called Germany so often. Serge went to see a director of
the Council for the Interests of French Jews and told him: "I have come to you
because I think it right for the Jewish community in France to pay my expenses,