WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
Previous Page Back  Contents  Contents Page 252 Home Page Home Page  Forward Next Page 
     
Chambon was expecting me. He was a former deportee and a forceful, extroverted diplomat who embraced me in the presence of the reporters.

I gave Chambon a set of the documents I had had photocopied at the Intelligence Bureau, and immediately he agreed that Altmann and Barbie were the same person. Then the telephone rang. The consul at Puno was calling to say: "Barbie crossed the frontier at noon, accompanied by two Peruvian policemen who turned him over to the Bolivian police."

The request Chambon had just made of General Pedro Richter, the Peruvian Minister of the Interior, to stop Barbie as a precautionary measure until an official demand for his extradition reached Peru, consequently would be fruitless. I went back to the AFP, where I worked until midnight with press and television people. All that effort was very worthwhile because Peruvian newspapers are read in Bolivia. I observed that Peruvian reporters are more prone than French or German ones to report the proofs in a file. Their stories gave in detail all the arguments for the identity of Altmann and Barbie.

I decided to take a plane the following morning, and follow Barbie to La Paz. The weekend would not be lost because Bolivian papers have Sunday editions. To save money, I spent the night with a young Peruvian secretary from the AFP.

On Saturday morning I had to pay an additional $120 for my plane ticket. The only exchange office that was open would not accept my French francs, so I had to trot out all my eloquence for the clerk to take it upon himself to give me what I wanted. I bought a ticket, and then went back to the AFP office for my luggage. Herbert John took me to Jorge Chavez airport. Farewell, Lima!

A two-hour flight over the mountains on the Braniff plane brought me to the La Paz airport, over thirteen thousand feet above sea level. About twenty photographers, television cameramen, and reporters were on the ramp. It was one P.M. They hurried toward the waiting room and into a small office they had appropriated for the occasion but which was really an infirmary. For an hour I held an improvised press conference while a doctor treated a young woman who had been on my plane. Her nose was bleeding because of the altitude, and they put an oxygen mask over her face.
    
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page  Back Page 252 Forward  Next Page