survivors are not to the credit of Syria. Even if my
action appears futile, I must give you this warning, for I come from a people
that has deeply dishonored itself by waging a total war on the Jewish people
thirty years ago. This blot is difficult to erase even when maximum energy is
applied to the task. Let not the crimes of Hitler's Germany be used as a model
by the Arab people! I can say this all the more freely as, through the LICA, we
are vigorously opposing all signs of anti-Arab racism. |
Rather than plot
the destruction of a small peaceful state, the state of the descendants of
Abraham and of the survivors of Auschwitz, join with Israel in the sincere and
patient search for peace and justice for all belligerents.
"What if the
lion's mouth closes on you?"
That is a risk I know I am taking. In Warsaw,
Cologne, La Paz, Prague, and elsewhere, I have taken risks in engaging in
illegal public protests, but I have done this in the conviction that it is my
duty as a German to do such acts to rehabilitate my people. This does not at
all mean that I am seeking martyrdom. This time more than ever before I am
eager to get home safe and sound as Serge and I have a second child.
"How were you able to get a Syrian visa?"
The Syrian Embassy in
Paris issued it to me with no difficulty. As I had spoken several times on
behalf of the Syrian Jews, I was afraid I would be refused a visitor's visa.
But it is the French usage of putting the maiden name "Künzel" on the top
line, followed on the second line "épouse Klarsfeld," that made things
easier. The visa was issued to Beate Künzel; I made the airplane
reservation under that name, and also my reservation in one of Damascus's
leading hotels, the Omeyade.
"You got in without difficulties?"
Some technical difficulties en route. On Wednesday, January 16, I stopped
over in Geneva to meet with some journalists and give them the text of my
message to the Syrian authorities, stipulating an embargo on this news until
midnight; by that hour I firmly expected to have arrived in Damascus. I was to
take a BOAC at 6:35 P.M. from Zürich, the
London-Zürich-Damascus-Singapore plane scheduled to arrive at Damascus at
11:20 P.M. I took the train to Zürich. At the airport a substantial delay
is announced, then at 6:30 comes the announcement that passengers on my flight
there were five of us are to board the BEA plane for London,