Tuesday, June 1, 2010
This is Serge Klarsfeld's desk in his office contained in his family apartment on rue de la Boetie in Paris. The apartment is less than two blocks away from the Ministry of Interior's infamous back entrance on rue des Saussais infamous for the torture cells used by the Gestapo and visible today the graffiti of tortured victims.
Here's Monsieur Klarsfeld who as an eight year old hiding with his family in Nice saw his father taken away. His father who hid the family behind a false panel to make sure only he was taken, never returned from Auschwitz. Serge's mother and sister survived.
I think he'd prefer to be known for his work finding and documenting the children and all who were taken during the Occupation.
Monsieur Klarsfeld's files. Graciously he met with me and fitting me in his busy schedule - he's a practicing attorney, husband and doting grandfather - provided me with historical documentation from his many files and his upcoming book further documenting those rounded up in Paris and deported. His information, sadly, comes from the Police Archives who inked in the Jews who were required to register with the Police.
His wife Beate Klarsfeld, born in Germany, who I spoke with on the phone is more well known perhaps as bringing Klaus Barbie, the butcher of Lyon - after ten years of extradition battles - back to France for trial.
"You have an amazing wife, Monsieur Klarsfeld," I said.
He nodded. "I know." Paused. "Today's the anniversary of when we met, years ago on the platform at Gare du Nord. Also..." He shook his head..."the day Eichmann was caught in South America."
Serge and Beate Klarsfeld are an amazing couple...more next Tuesday.
Cara - Tuesday
at 6:28 PM