WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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life or death of our co-religionists depended knew perfectly well the terrible fate that awaited the people they had arrested.

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.

I immediately 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 Augsburg)
Subject: Public prosecutor's penal investigation in the Augsburg Landesgericht of Klaus Barbie for alleged complicity in murder.
1. The 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.
   
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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