Bonn. He had crossed the border in a sleeping car
without incident. We distributed invitations to all the press offices stating
that Serge, although under the threat of arrest, would speak. By 2 P.M. the
room was filled with journalists. No sooner had Serge entered than three police
officers and two warrant officers appeared and declared him under arrest. But
by now he had had ample time to declare to the assembled press that "German
justice is arresting me just as I am about to reveal what has become of the
head of the Gestapo in Paris, the deputy to Kurt Lischka" ... and amid the
general excitement he named the posts currently held by Illers.
Meanwhile I was distributing files of documents signed by Illers, and
very eloquent these documents were. For example, on October 11, 1942, Illers
mentions that he will suggest 132 persons (for the firing squad); and on
October 18, 1942, he notes cynically, referring to the next batch of hostages:
"Most are Spanish Reds, but that should be no obstacle to accepting them as
hostages. Spain doesn't want them back, and consequently no difficulties are
expected to arise from their execution."
Serge had to spend only one
hour in jail; he was released on bail and in an odd way: Since he refused to
hand over a single mark, the court at Cologne, embarrassed by the case, halved
my 30,000-mark bail of April 1971, thus reducing it to 15,000 marks and then
attributing the remaining 15,000 marks to Serge's.
The same day, Dr.
Illers was retired as of the previous day. The case received much publicity. In
an interview Dr. Illers said: "All this is very distasteful; it may result in
my losing half my pension." Not the least thought for his victims, who had lost
that with which his threatened loss can hardly be compared.
1972. Brandt has just won the legislative election by a clear majority. We
decide to demand ratification in front of the Bundestag on the day Brandt
presents his new government. The association of survivors of Auschwitz send ten
delegates, with their chairman, Georges Wellers, in charge. During this project
we become acquainted with Julien Aubart, the Jewish resister who had received
many awards for his bravery and was deported to Auschwitz at the age of twenty.
He brought along two of his friends, Henri Pudeleau and Henri Wolff, escapees
from Auschwitz, like himself twenty years old at that time, and after the war
militant activists in the Irgun, the clandestine military organization of Jews
in Palestine. Thanks to them and them alone, Serge