DEUTSCH / ENGLISH
The rituals resembled each other, and so did the faces and the scenes. A state visit in Bonn, and the respective Federal German Chancellor or President appears in front of the press with his guest. Here, we photographers stood waiting. Shake-hands, smiles, a few tense remarks. Thank you, that must be sufficient. But because even politicians are human beings, occasionally a little bit of individuality not foreseen by protocol flared up for a few seconds. The Russian foreign minister Andrej Gromyko, for example, spontaneously snatched my camera and took a picture of us. (The picture was no good. What do we learn from this? Taking pictures is not so easy.) His boss, Leonid Breschnew, once involved me in a discussion after I had just been expelled from the Soviet Union - and promptly organised a new visa for me after I had told him about it. And when I saw Tito on his Adriatic island Brioni, the Yugoslavian President proudly brought out pictures which he had taken himself on journeys through the country. With some of them, Tito told me, he had once participated incognito in a photo competition in Belgrade. They had been returned instantly. Reason: "We are sorry to state that the pictures do not correspond with our ideas."