WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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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the Chancellor, you probably thought we would be pleased to know that a former Nazi had lost his job, and that he had been replaced by a longtime militant anti-Nazi, one of the few Germans of that age who can look any one of us straight in the eye without shame.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, since
     
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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