Discussion with Serge and Beate Klarsfeld: Memoirs

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Serge and Beate Klarsfeld met as young students at Sciences Po – she the daughter of a German Wehrmacht soldier, and he the son of a Romanian Jew who died in Auschwitz. They have devoted their lives to hunting down Nazis and bringing them to justice, and to restoring and maintaining the memory of victims of the Shoah. As private citizens, they wield neither political nor police power, depending instead on dramatic acts of moral symbolism to get results. The first and purest example was Beate's public slapping of West German Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger in 1968. That slap was a reproach to the presumption that a man who had been an ambitious Nazi propagandist should lead a new, democratic Germany. Kiesinger lost the 1969 general election to Willy Brandt, who had been an opponent of and a refugee from Nazism. In their autobiography, they reflect on their shared lives and on 45 years of activism on behalf of victims of the Holocaust. Their Memoirs will be published in English translation this year by Farrar Straus and Giroux.

Funding for this event is provided by the Knapp Family Foundation.