WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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We were there at nine o'clock the next morning. It was cold and rainy. We stood on crates I had got from a grocery store, and I had bought Mme. Benguigui some heavy shoes and warm stockings. Over her head I held a sign reading: "I am on a hunger strike for as long as the investigation of Klaus Barbie, who murdered my children, remains closed." My own sign read: "Prosecutor Rabl is rehabilitating war criminals."

By five P.M. there was a big crowd. Reporters and photographers turned out en masse. On the next day the German papers ran our pictures and long stories favorable to our effort. Young Germans were shouting: "It's a disgrace to our country for that poor woman to go to such lengths for justice." Women stroked Mme. Benguigui's hair, and people went to buy her blankets. France Soir had sent an urgent telegram to one of its correspondents to notify the French Consulate, and the vice-consul came with a blanket. The police did nothing but warn us that the sign about Rabl might be libelous, but it stayed in plain sight.

At six P.M. Prosecutor Ludolph was still in his chambers, doubtless thinking: "How can I go home and leave that mother, who has been so physically and mentally tortured, behind on the steps? What if she is still there tomorrow? What if she gets sick during the night? If the sensation-hungry television news shows her still there at three A.M., there will be hell to pay over who let her endure such inhuman treatment. A scapegoat will have to be found, and it may turn out to be me. Should I have her arrested? After what she has suffered already, that won't go down too well anywhere." After such a probable analysis of the situation the prosecutor decided to deal with us. The police politely escorted us to Ludolph's office.

Ludolph was about forty years old, beautifully dressed, and extremely cordial. "What do you want?" he asked.

"To have the prosecution of Barbie reopened."

"I have to have conclusive proofs to do that," he said.

"Did you read the data I sent you yesterday?"

"I have not yet had time."

"Well, now is the time to do it."

When the prosecutor reached Schendel's affidavit, he exclaimed: "This is the sort of thing I was talking about. If Dr. Schendel's informer – the man who actually heard what Barbie said – can be produced, and if he confirms what Barbie is reported to have said, I promise you I will reopen the case."
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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