Henry Plitt

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We also got a tip that there was a a high-ranking Nazi living in the town of Waidring in Austria and his name we didn't know. I thought it was [SS chief] Heinrich Himmler from the description, but I didn't have a jeep of my own and I didn't have an interpreter of my own at the time, so I borrowed another guy's jeep and his driver and the three of us went up the hill to this house, chalet, chateau, whatever you want to call it, and I entered, with my .45 [pistol] in hand, and I went upstairs. There was a man sitting on a chair with an easel to his right painting the opposite Alp. And I asked him his name and he told me "Joseph Sailer." And I said "where's your identification papers," and he reached right in back and he pulled out an identification paper made out to the name of Joseph Sailer. Now it didn't hit me quite that fast that this was Julius Streicher, and I began asking him things about Himmler, because I thought I had the wrong guy, and he said he knew nothing about politics. He was a painter. He knew nothing about anything that had to do with what I was interested in and then I don't know why I said, "and what about Julius Streicher?" and he said "Ja, der bin ich." Now I got that only from the J.S. on his work papers. Joseph Sailer was Julius Streicher. "Ja, der bin ich," which when translated into English reads "yeah, that's who I am." Now we had no further interrogation. In the car, in the jeep on the way he and I were in the back. I had my gun riding his ribs so nothing was going to happen there. He wasn't going to jump out or commit suicide or anything, and I said to him...this is the only interrogation he got from me...I said to him, "Sind sie der Streicher, der gegen die Juden war?" which when translated means, "are you the Streicher who was against the Jews?" And he very calmly said, "Ja, der bin ich," which meant "yeah, that's who I am," but he might just as well have said "so what." I mean he was arrogant to the very end, so much so that when we got to Berchtesgaden...oh, I'm sorry....I stopped at my regimental headquarters to notify them I was bringing him in and Berchtesgaden was about forty miles away from us. When I got to Berchtesgaden, as he was getting out of the jeep, I booted him a little bit so that accelerated his departure, and the place was loaded with reporters and this, that, and the other, and one reporter came up to me and he said, "you know, you just killed the greatest story of the war." I said "how?" He said "can you imagine if a guy named Cohen or Goldberg or Levy had captured this arch-antisemite, what a great story it would be?" I said "why?" He said "because a Jew would be doing this." And I told him "I'm Jewish," and that's when the microphones came into my face and the cameras started clicking away and things started to happen that changed the rest of my life.
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