I asked the three who were jailed to give me their
impressions of their visit to Essen. |
Raphy: The official who questioned
me was an old man, who began by saying: "Look here, I have never had anything
to do with the Nazis."
I answered: "You must allow me to doubt that. I
have nothing else to tell you, except that I am a Jew and very tired and
"Take this sandwich," the official said kindly.
don't eat anything that isn't kosher."
The official was annoyed. He
reached for a telephone and asked for the president of the Jewish community in
Essen. He was obliged to ask him to bring over some kosher food.
jail itself was like a movie long corridors and observation posts. A
guard took me to the washroom. "Do you want to take a shower?" he asked me.
I snapped at him: "Only if you take one with me. I know what kind of
showers you Germans give."
Francis: On Sunday they showed us a
Western. I couldn't get over it. At the end, everyone clapped and cheered the
sheriff who killed one of the four bandits. My neighbor, a young Italian,
whispered in my ear that he had strangled his wife. I moved away.
Serge: The police inspector let me talk a lot about Achenbach
and his past, and listened to me carefully without budging from his easy chair.
"It's unbelievable," he said at last. "We could not have imagined it." Was he
sincere? I think so. While he was taking me away he seemed quite relaxed and
chatted with me.
At the hearing, Achenbach's colleague
Rudolf Albrecht, a member of the FDP and the mayor of Gladbeck, was the
prosecutor. He told the court: "What these people have done is vile." He was
confused and excited. He said that it had been impossible to get the streamer
off the window because the glue was too thick and had pitted the panes, which
would have to be replaced, and that was why he was demanding justice. The
prosecutor-general nagged me to tell him the brand of glue Beate had chosen for
the purpose, and where it had come from. I lost patience and shouted at him: "I
don't know how to dissolve that glue, but I do know one thing, and that is that
Achenbach signed papers that led to my family being dissolved in your crematory