life or death of our co-religionists
depended knew perfectly well the terrible fate that awaited the people they had
I remember seeing Barbie "froth at the mouth" as he vented
his hatred of Jews, and his remark "Deported or shot, there's no
difference" was truly spoken by him. He said it in front of me and I
reported it to my colleagues in Paris.
telephoned Ludolph to tell him that Pierre-Bloch, the LICA president, and I
were coming to Munich to hand him the affidavit. We made an appointment for
October 1. To get publicity for this next step, the National Committee for the
Pursuit and Punishment of War Criminals called a press conference for September
28. Pierre-Bloch then was authorized to early out the procedure in the name of
the fifty associations that comprised the committee. I notified the German
papers, and Geissmann's testimony was printed in Munich. Pierre-Bloch's
personality arid position impressed the reporters, who were wondering whether
the prosecutor would really reopen the case.
When we got off the plane,
the press greeted us warmly, and so did the Victims of Nazism and the local
chapter of B'nai B'rith. They went with us to Ludolph, who, along with his
assistant Steiner, received us politely. Ludolph read Geissmann's affidavit,
which I had translated into German, and immediately dictated his decision to
his secretary and gave us a carbon copy of it:
Munich, October 1, 1971
File No. 123 Js /7l
(7 Js 61/6 Sta
Subject: Public prosecutor's penal investigation in the Augsburg
Landesgericht of Klaus Barbie for alleged complicity in murder.
investigation will be reopened as to the charge against the defendant that he
took part in the murders of French citizens of Jewish birth by deporting them
from France to the East.
2. The decision for reopening the entire
investigation will be delayed, but is hereby declared without prejudice.
Ludolph said that the Resistance veterans from Lyon had not
sent him the depositions on Barbie's repression of the Resistance that they had
promised him. He did not conceal from us his private opinion that "the page
ought to be turned."
Speaking for the French Resistance, Pierre Bloch
replied that he could not agree, and that the page would not be turned until
Barbie had been tried for all the crimes he committed in France.