WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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to meet us at the airport. I knew the Germans were expecting "the French Resistance" that is, – people stoutly demanding an end to the denial of justice to human rights for which they would speak up in Munich.

The Germans were expecting flags, chests covered with decorations, forced entry into the court. They were expecting fighters, not a few dozen Frenchmen no different from other tourists. This new development certainly seemed calculated to ruin the effectiveness of the trip. I also knew that instead of the documents I had collected, the delegation would take only a memorandum. Such a polite request for justice, it seemed to me, would not make much impression on a prosecutor; he would be swayed only by a forceful presentation of completely convincing documents. How could I make such a show of force all by myself?

Once more the CDJC archives were of invaluable help. Among the children Barbie had arrested in the Jewish camp at Izieu were three brothers: Jacques (thirteen years old), Richard (six years old), and Jean.Claude Benguigui (five years old). They had immediately been shipped to Drancy, as Barbie had stated in a telegram to IV-B in Paris, dated April 6, 1944.

I found the names of the Benguigui children on the list of the April 13, 1944, convoy destined for Auschwitz, where they were killed. The brother of some other Izieu children whom Barbie had deported, Alexandre Halaunbrenner, we located through the telephone directory. He knew Mme. Benguigui, the mother of the three little boys, who lived in the Marais at 33 rue des FrancsBourgeois. I went to see her.

Mme. Benguigui herself had been deported to Auschwitz on May 6, 1943, and was cruelly tortured in Block 10, where medical experiments were conducted. She was seventy-five percent incapacitated, and her only source of income was a meager pension. While she was in the concentration camp, she kept hoping that her children were safe in that underground camp at Izieu, but in the spring of 1944 she recognized her son Jacques' sweater in a pile of clothing that had belonged to recently gassed prisoners.

I told Mme. Benguigui that the man responsible for the death of her children had just been rehabilitated in Germany, and asked her if she felt up to going to Munich to make a protest that would probably be more successful than the delegation's. German public opinion could not fail to be stirred by so martyred a mother. Since
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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