WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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was the emotional response to Pompidou's recent remark about the Resistance. If he were forcefully to demand a swift extradition, the President could put an end to that reaction. The unfavorable factor had to do with the relations between France and Peru, which he felt did constitute an obstacle to the extradition of Barbie. The adviser told him: "One has nothing to do with the other."

Serge was not so sure. "If something isn't done soon," he said, "we'll have to proceed in a different fashion."

Serge repeated that in the circumstances secrecy was not called for. I telephoned Herbert John in Lima. He told me: "Fritz Schwend, Barbie's friend, works for the CIA in Peru. He came here in 1949 under the name of a Yugoslavian, Wenceslas Turi, a Nazi criminal who was sentenced in absentia in Bolzano, Italy, to twenty-one years in prison. He belonged to Department IV of the RSHA in Berlin, and was in charge of the Nazis' celebrated counterfeiting of pounds sterling. He became a chicken farmer, but he actually continued practicing his specialty. He set up postal censorship here, and he has feelers everywhere. If France were to make a request for extradition, Schwend would know about it in five minutes, and so would Barbie."

Therefore it was important that France firmly state that she would prosecute crimes committed by Nazis. In any event, even if everything were done to prevent it, a criminal could manage to flee from Peru.

Later we would be asked: "Why didn't you kill him? You could have taken him unawares."

None of the people who said that would have done it himself. My job was to try to build a fire under legal means for bringing criminals to trial so that public opinion would be aroused, and to prevent the rehabilitation of Nazis who had committed crimes in France. To do that I had to concentrate all my energies on the top criminals – Lischka, Hagen, and Barbie. Only through arguments and the emotion their names aroused would the problem of the insufferable ease those butchers were enjoying be settled one way or another. For if the most egregious of them managed to escape punishment, the cause of justice would suffer a heavy blow from the mass excitement their fate aroused. But if Barbie were to be identified and brought to trial, then people would be truly convinced that the crimes of the Nazis should not be subject to a time limit and were not being minimized and forgotten.

Killing Barbie would not have proved a thing. The papers would
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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