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WHEREVER THEY MAY BE! by Beate Klarsfeld



Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1975
Publisher: Vanguard

This is the story of young German Lutheran Beate Kunzel who, in 1960, at age twenty-one, leaves her typewriter at the German drug firm Schering, and travels, to Paris to begin a new life. There the au pair girl meets Serge Klarsfeld, the Jewish student of political science whose father died at Auschwitz. He writes her: ""You must make your life a poem, Beate. You must recreate it and participate in it, not unconsciously by merely existing, but by consciously living it and asserting yourself."" Beate marries Serge, and shortly thereafter, when Kurt-Georg Kiesinger begins his campaign for the Chancellorship of the German Federal Republic, the enraged Beate realizes that the way to make a poem of her life is to expose and frustrate ex-Nazi officials who seek high positions in European governments and bureaucracies. Armed with pamphlets, a great deal of nerve, and the moral support of Serge, Beate, the frail young French-German girl, sets out to foil the political aspirations of a number of prominent ex-Nazis. She is best remembered as the woman who slapped Kiesinger. Her narrative, in the form of a journal, takes her to dozens of European cities, to Latin America, to the Middle East; there are many arrests, trials, and imprisonments--they can't stop her mission. Beate's story is told with considerable charm--she takes pains to impress on her audience that she is not some wild-eyed fanatic, but rather a nice, respectable, middle-class hausfrau, who just happens to jet around the world in pursuit of ex-Nazis. (When Beate meets the French press, she notes in her journal: ""For the occasion I had bought myself a wool dress with a red bodice and steel grey cuffs. It had cost me plenty, but it had the desired effect, especially since I was wearing Dior patent-leather pumps."") An improbable story-but it certainly got her away from the steno pool.