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Author photo. Fils et Filles des Déportés Juifs de France (FFDJF)

Fils et Filles des Déportés Juifs de France (FFDJF)

Beate Klarsfeld

Author of Wherever They May Be!

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Beate Klarsfeld, née Künzel, was born and grew up in Berlin, Germany. She lived with relatives in Poland for several months during World War II after her family's apartment in Berlin was bombed. From about the age of 14, she began asking questions about the Nazi era and argued with her Protestant parents about it. In 1960, she spent a year as an au pair in Paris, where she learned more about the war and the Holocaust. In 1963, she married French lawyer and historian Serge Klarsfeld, with whom she had two children. She became increasingly interested in the rights of women and political activism, and began working as a journalist for the French newspaper Combat. In 1968, she became famous when she broke up a session of the West German Bundestag, shouting at the Chancellor, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, “Nazi! Step down!” and later interrupted a political rally by jumping on to the podium and slapping his face. She served four months in prison for her actions. Since then, the Klarsfelds have become internationally-recognized for documenting the Holocaust and crimes against humanity, and tracking down Nazis. Her awards include the French Legion of Honor and the German Order of Merit. Together with her husband and independently, she is the author of numerous books, including Wherever They May Be! (1972). The Klarsfeld story has been adapted as an American television film and as a French television movie.
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