Finally it was decided that the delegation should go
by plane. The LICA, which I was to represent in Munich, paid for my ticket as
well as some other delegates'. |
In early September we made up twenty-one
sets of our data in German for representatives from the Federal Republic to the
Congress of the Interparliamentary Union in Paris, and thirty more for
distribution to Munich reporters on September 13.
In anticipation of
the delegation's arrival in Munich, the spokesman for the prosecutor's court
let it be known that if new evidence was forthcoming, the case would be
reopened. Proof was essential. The German courts would not be satisfied with
motions, statements, or stands. It was not enough for us to go to Munich; there
had to be at least sufficient evidence to allow the German courts to renew
their investigation. Serge and I tackled this tedious task, and examined
innumerable documents at the CDJC in search of a lead to the ones mentioning
Among many that led nowhere because of a person's death or
disappearance, an important one did turn up. I noticed that the UGIF
that obligatory association that Kurt Lischka had created to represent the
Jewish population before the French and the Occupation authorities had a
liaison office with the Gestapo's Bureau for Jewish Affairs. In 1943 and 1944
it was directed by a former lawyer from Berlin, Kurt Schendel, who had
emigrated to France because of racial persecutions.
Schendel's task was
often dramatic, for he was in direct contact with the two supreme managers of
the Final Solution in France: Heinz Röthke, head of the Gestapo's Bureau
for Jewish Affairs, and Alois Brunner, one of Eichmann's deputies. Brunner
headed a secret service commando squad whose job it was to speed up arrests and
deportations, while Röthke took charge of the more administrative duties.
Imagine my feelings when I discovered a document dated August 31, 1944, in
which Schendel recorded a moving talk he had with S.S.-Hauptsturmführer
Alois Brunner on Thursday, July 30, 1944! Brunner showed Schendel a pamphlet,
most of which dealt with atrocities committed by the Germans in the Dordogne.
Brunner gave me a full explanation of them.
He indicated that he had been present at them in person. A Jewish proprietor of
a restaurant or a bakery had lured an automobile full of officers into a
Resistance ambush. Brunner told me that to him there was nothing more sacred
than the blood of a German soldier, and that he had decided to arrest not only
the young people of our communities, but also the