Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maximilian Kowler - April 26, 1984

Sharing Story II

Uh, another time I uh, there was an article in the paper by a former senator, I believe, of New York State uh, in the Springfield paper, and I wrote in to the Springfield paper, the Springfield Union, and uh, they uh, called me and said, "You must know much more about it." It was about the Klaus Barbie thing. "You must know much more about it than you let on." I said, "Yes, I do," but you know--I know that letters to the editor are always shortened, you know, always edited so I didn't write the whole thing. So they uh, they sent a reporter here, interviewed me. A local paper did the same thing. I almost got a big spread in the paper, pictures and all that about my life, and what I knew about Klaus Barbie, and then I was very proud of Springfield Union wanted really to put me part of, of William Shirer, who lives in our town here, but they couldn't reach William Shirer because he uh, has an unlisted phone number, and uh, he wasn't home. So, what they did then, instead of putting me side-by-side with him um, they uh, they had an article by William Shirer a couple days later, and many of the things he said about the same subject uh, were really in agreement with what I said, only what he said, he said it in nicer and better words because his English is a little better than mine. And he said it also in stronger words, because he really--he doesn't have to worry about it. He gave some opinion about the--our generals--our American generals, compared to the French generals, which were really surprising. He was talking about what our government really did to co-opt the Klaus Barbie case, you know, and how our Army really messed up the thing in putting him to work even though he was a war criminal, you know? And compared our generals to the French generals, for example, and said that our generals cannot even hold a candle to the French generals, you know? In education, etc., you know? Uh, I believe there--I'll say that Bill Shirer is Bill Shirer!

But do you think that um, you've begun to, to talk more about it in the recent past, but not...

Yeah um, I never, I never--I don't know why. Not that I, I try to avoid it or try to hide it or was afraid of--no. I just didn't--it never came to my mind.

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