22 February 2011
Ch 55: Haldeman Interview: "That's the classical Marxist theory, isn't it?"
Swent: Were there threats against your life?
Haldeman: Not against my life. This fellow Arancibia--we were having a
meeting out in Rancagua--he said, "Take me along with you."
I said, "Fine. Come along." Going out to the meeting, I
said to him, "You know, you fellows are destroying the
organization. The Chileans, your own people, are leaving the
key posts (I didn't have any foreigners in key posts). Your
labor force is not making any effort to keep the production up.
What are you after? This is going to destroy the economy."
He said, "No, you have to understand. Our system that
we're putting in is an entirely different system. It's not a
capitalistic system. The most effective way is that you have to
destroy everything that's in there and start to rebuild the way
we want. We understand what we're doing. We understand the
loss we're causing the country, but that's just the price of
going over to our type of government . "
That's fine; it's up to you.
Swent: That's the classical Marxist theory, isn't it?
Haldeman: Yes. I was now renting a home in Santiago. I had decided I
would send my furniture out in my boys' names; if it was in my
name, I'd probably have trouble at customs getting it through.
So I sent all the furniture that I wanted to keep through
German diplomatic pouch to Frankfurt, Germany. After wards it
was transshipped to New York and put in Bekins 1 warehouse. I
had three or four hundred paintings, and I sent them out to the
airport to be shipped.
Swent: These were paintings you had painted yourself, as your hobby?
Haldeman: Yes, my own. The fellow at the airport said, "You can't export
these; these are national treasures." [laughter] "The only way
you can export them is if you get a stamp of the National
Museum, from the curator, saying that these are such-and-such
and can be exported."
This young lady, Blanqui, who is now my wife, was a
secretary of the legal department at Braden. I had a secretary,
Amala Grassau (she has since passed away), and had the two girls
take care of all of these things. Blanqui was a friend of the
curator. She went over and had him stamp all of these paintings
and register them: "Landscape II, Still Life 14 and 17." She
was going to ship them to New York, and they got out to the
airport. They were going to go on air cargo. This guy opened
up the box, and the bill of lading said "Haldeman." He said,
"Half of these won't get out," and just threw them in a
Swent: Paintings you had painted yourself? How awful!
Haldeman: Yes. Even my name was on it!
Index to Haldeman Interview