his trade from the inner circles of a ruthless police
system under a loathsome dictatorship? Such was the task I accomplished in La
Paz an indispensable one regardless of whether or not Barbie would be
extradited, and one that others more qualified than I, in that they had fought
the Nazis in person, could have accomplished had they seen the purpose of doing
so. Moreover, I was quite familiar with the nature of the Banzer government
and, by attacking in La Paz the fascism of the past, I was helping the
Bolivians make a connection between what had happened under Hitler and what was
going on under Banzer. |
On Tuesday morning I went back to Greminger, who
returned my documents and also my passport. Then he handed me a newspaper in
which he had underlined in red pencil some of my statements. He criticized me
for speaking so freely to the press since I was only a tourist in Bolivia.
Nevertheless, I sensed that he now had more sympathy for me than on the
previous evening. He told me that he had been instructed to prepare a report on
Barbie for his division, and would send it to the Supreme Court, which would
make the final decision. Greminger took Altmann's confiscated passport out of a
drawer and showed it to me. I got a glimpse of his birth date October
25, 1913, like Barbie's, and not October 15, as he had pretended in Lima.
Greminger asked me to go back to Munich and get answers to some
questions he had about Barbie's vital statistics and police career. I promised
I would do what was necessary. The press also indicated that I was risking
expulsion from Bolivia because of my campaigns, about which they had got
complete and exact information. In a regime as authoritarian as Bolivia's no
one, especially a woman, is supposed to go around saying what she thinks.
When I left Greminger, a policeman approached to take me to the chief
of the Bolivian secret service, Major Dito Vargas. Our conversation proceeded
through an English-speaking policeman. Smiling sarcastically and speaking
dictatorially, he let me know that as a foreign tourist I had no right to make
use of the Bolivian press for my crusade. "You will be expelled," he said, "if
you continue talking to reporters."
"I don't need to," I replied
impertinently, "because I have already seen all of them, and they have let
Bolivians know the essence of what I had to tell them."
He must not
have been accustomed to talk as an equal with a