36.3 F
New York
Monday, January 17, 2022

Nazi Hunter Beate Klarsfeld Planning Run for President in Germany

Related Articles

Must read

Beate Klarsfeld, a famed Nazi-hunter and Israel advocate, is running for the presidency in Germany.Beate Klarsfeld, who together with her husband Serge has been famous for hunting down Nazi war criminals for decades, is preparing to run for the presidency of Germany.

The 73-year-old has been chosen to represent Die Linke – the smallest political party in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament – against Joachim Gauck, a Protestant pastor who is favored to win the race.

Klarsfeld came to the national attention in 1968, when she ran onto the stage at the Christian Democratic Union’s party conference and slapped the German chancellor, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, while shouting “Nazi! Nazi!” Klarsfeld was referring to the chancellor’s past as a staff member in Goebbels’s propaganda ministry. After she served four months in prison for the offense, Klarsfeld – a non-Jew married to a Jewish Frenchman who lost his father in Auschwitz – joined her husband in the full-time mission of searching for Nazis.

In 1987, the couple’s work succeeded in bringing about the capture and conviction of Klaus Barbie, a notorious Nazi war criminal known as the Butcher of Lyon, who was sentenced to life in prison for his direct participation in the torture and death of approximately 14,000 people while serving in the Gestapo during World War II.

Throughout her decades of pursuing justice, Beate Klarsfeld regularly stated her belief that, as a non-Jew and a German, she has a moral duty to effect the punishment of the perpetrators of the Holocaust. In her new campaign for the presidency, Klarsfeld says that the members of parliament who vote for the new president on March 18 were faced with a clear choice between “two very moral candidates.”

While Klarsfeld’s noble and often successful efforts have gone greatly unrecognized in Germany, they have won her acclaim in France. In 2007, French President Nicolas Sarkozy awarded her the Officer of the Legion of Honour, and last November, when he hosted a reception she attended at the Élysée palace, Sarkozy told her, “Beate, you embody the struggle for justice.” A vocal supporter of Israel, Klarsfeld is an unusual choice for Die Linke, a party with many members who back an independent Palestine. The head of the Green party, Cem Özdemir, has publicly expressed the hope that Klarsfeld’s candidacy would prompt Die Linke to “rethink their crude anti-Israeli policy and muddled position on the Middle East conflict.”

balance of natureDonate

Latest article