WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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My article was deliberately forceful; indeed, some people even found it violent and complained that I was only a child when others were fighting in the Resistance, and so what right had I, etc…. Still, weak wills had to be made firm. Otherwise there would be just one result: More criminals would go unpunished or, even worse, be rehabilitated.

Then a wonderful opportunity arose for taking action in Germany: For a whole week the Munich courts were in the limelight because a hold-up had taken place in which the police, on instructions from Prosecutor Schreiber, had opened fire, and a bank clerk had been killed. Germany was horrified. So all that was necessary for us to get some publicity was for a group of us to go to Munich armed with our data, and submit it to the court. Either the Munich judges would be so afraid of an additional scandal that the decision would be revoked, or at least the reporters there would let Germans know the facts about the Barbie case and the stand the French were taking.

Unfortunately, however, the Resistance veterans in Paris whom I talked to slipped away. They belonged to radical associations that were angered by my article, in which I had quoted Deputy Virgile Barel, who was a communist, although I did not know it at the time. Still, I had only talked sense and action. Until I spoke up, not a single German was familiar with the various speeches and appeals Barel had made in the National Assembly. It was not enough for him to demand action from his own government; it would have been just as easy for him to take some action himself. My point was that there had to be unanimous action. Barbie's victims, whether rightists or leftists, Jews, capitalists, or communists, were all up against the Gestapo. It was only fitting that the Gestapo should now be up against all of them.

The leaders of the Nazi police system had not wavered in their repression of the Resistance and of the Jews. Their deceit had helped them overcome many obstacles, for they were fiendishly inventive in the operation of their death machine. Their iron determination and their unremitting efforts were deadly, as the deaths and the misery they caused can testify. What is more, almost all have survived unpunished and full of scorn for their critics, for they have not even bothered to conceal themselves.

How could we fight such an enemy? By making statements that no one would read? By arousing public opinion that would merely expose an unpunished criminal, as in the case of Lammer […ding]
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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