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Sat May 11, 2019, 06:41 AM

32 Years Ago Today; ex-Gestapo "Butcher of Lyon" Klaus Barbie goes on trial in France

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Barbie



Nikolaus "Klaus" Barbie (25 October 1913 – 25 September 1991) was an SS and Gestapo functionary during the Nazi era. He was known as the "Butcher of Lyon" for having personally tortured French prisoners of the Gestapo while stationed in Lyon, France. After the war, United States intelligence services employed him for his anti-Marxist efforts and also helped him escape to Bolivia, in South America.

The West German Intelligence Service later recruited him. Barbie is suspected of having had a hand in the Bolivian coup d'état orchestrated by Luis García Meza in 1980. After the fall of the dictatorship, Barbie no longer had the protection of the government in La Paz and in 1983 was extradited to France, where he was convicted of crimes against humanity. He died of cancer in prison on 25 September 1991.

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Second World War
After the German conquest and occupation of the Netherlands, Barbie was assigned to Amsterdam. In 1942 he was sent to Dijon, France, in the Occupied Zone. In November of the same year, at the age of 29, he was assigned to Lyon as the head of the local Gestapo. He established his headquarters at the Hôtel Terminus in Lyon, where he personally tortured adult and child prisoners. He became known as the "Butcher of Lyon". The daughter of a French Resistance leader based in Lyon said her father was beaten and skinned alive, and that his head was immersed in a bucket of ammonia; he died shortly afterwards.

Historians estimate that Barbie was directly responsible for the deaths of up to 14,000 people. He arrested Jean Moulin, one of the highest-ranking members of the French Resistance and his most prominent captive. In 1943, he was awarded the Iron Cross (First Class) by Adolf Hitler for his campaign against the French Resistance and the capture of Moulin.

In April 1944, Barbie ordered the deportation to Auschwitz of a group of 44 Jewish children from an orphanage at Izieu. He then rejoined the SiPo-SD of Lyon in its retreat to Bruyères, where he led an anti-partisan attack in Rehaupal in September 1944.

U.S. intelligence and Bolivia
In 1947, Barbie was recruited as an agent for the 66th Detachment of the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC). The U.S. used Barbie and other Nazi Party members to further anti-Communist efforts in Europe. Specifically, they were interested in British interrogation techniques which Barbie had experienced firsthand, and the identities of SS officers the British were using for their own ends.[citation needed] Later, the CIC housed him in a hotel in Memmingen, and he reported on French intelligence activities in the French zone of occupied Germany because they suspected that the French had been infiltrated by Communists.

The French discovered that Barbie was in U.S. hands and, having sentenced him to death in absentia for war crimes, made a plea to John J. McCloy, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, to hand him over for execution, but McCloy allegedly refused. Instead, the CIC helped him flee to Bolivia assisted by "ratlines" organized by U.S. intelligence services, and by Croatian Roman Catholic clergy, including Father Krunoslav Draganović. The CIC asserted that Barbie knew too much about the network of German spies the CIC had planted in various European Communist organizations, and were suspicious of Communist influence within the French government, but their protection of Barbie may have been as much to avoid the embarrassment of having recruited him in the first place.

In 1965, Barbie was recruited by the West German foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), under the codename "Adler" (Eagle) and the registration number V-43118. His initial monthly salary of 500 Deutsche Mark was transferred in May 1966 to an account of the Chartered Bank of London in San Francisco. During his time with the BND, Barbie made at least 35 reports to the BND headquarters in Pullach.

Barbie immigrated to Bolivia, where he lived well in Cochabamba, under the alias Klaus Altmann. It was easier and less embarrassing for him to find employment there than in Europe, and he enjoyed excellent relations with high-ranking Bolivian officials, including Bolivian dictators Hugo Banzer and Luis García Meza Tejada. "Altmann" was known for his German nationalist and anti-communist stances. While engaged in arms-trade operations in Bolivia, he was appointed to the rank of lieutenant colonel within the Bolivian Armed Forces.

Extradition, trial and death

Barbie's Bolivian secret police ID card

Barbie was identified as being in Peru in 1971 by the Klarsfelds (Nazi hunters from France) who came across a secret document that revealed his alias. On 19 January 1972, this information was published in the French newspaper L'Aurore, along with a photograph of Altmann which the Klarsfelds obtained from a German expatriate living in Lima. Despite global outcry, Barbie was able to return to Bolivia where the government refused to extradite him, stating that France and Bolivia did not have an extradition treaty and that the statute of limitations on his crimes had expired.

The testimony of Italian insurgent Stefano Delle Chiaie before the Italian Parliamentary Commission on Terrorism suggests that Barbie took part in the "cocaine coup" of Luis García Meza Tejada, when the regime forced its way to power in Bolivia in 1980. In 1983, the newly elected democratic government of Hernán Siles Zuazo arrested Barbie in La Paz, on the grounds of owing the government ten thousand dollars for goods he was supposed to have shipped but did not, and a few days later the government extradited him to France to stand trial.

In 1984, Barbie was indicted for crimes committed as Gestapo chief in Lyon between 1942 and 1944. The jury trial started on 11 May 1987 in Lyon before the Rhône Cour d'Assises. Unusually, the court allowed the trial to be filmed because of its historical value. A special courtroom was constructed with seating for an audience of about 700.[20] The head prosecutor was Pierre Truche.

At the trial, Barbie's defense was funded by Swiss financier François Genoud and undertaken by attorney Jacques Vergès. He was tried on 41 separate counts of crimes against humanity, based on the depositions of 730 Jews and French Resistance survivors who described how he tortured and murdered prisoners. The father of French Minister for Justice Robert Badinter had died in Sobibor after being deported from Lyon during Barbie's tenure.

Barbie gave his name as Klaus Altmann, the name that he used while in Bolivia. He claimed that his extradition was technically illegal and asked to be excused from the trial and returned to his cell at Prison Saint-Paul. This was granted. He was brought back to court on 26 May 1987 to face some of his accusers, about whose testimony he had "nothing to say".

Barbie's defense attorney, Vergès, had a reputation for attacking the French political system, particularly in the historic French colonial empire. His strategy was to use the trial to talk about war crimes committed by France since 1945. This had less to do with the trial than with Verges' desire to undermine the French Fifth Republic. He got the prosecution to drop some of the charges against Barbie due to French legislation that had protected French citizens accused of the same crimes under the Vichy regime and in French Algeria. Vergès tried to argue that Barbie's actions were no worse than the supposedly ordinary actions of colonialists worldwide, and that his trial was tantamount to selective prosecution. During his trial, Barbie said, "When I stand before the throne of God, I shall be judged innocent."

The court rejected the defense's argument. On 4 July 1987, Barbie was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison in Lyon four years later of leukemia and spine and prostate cancer at the age of 77.

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"He died in prison in Lyon four years later of leukemia and spine and prostate cancer at the age of 77." The only thing that makes me sad is that he didn't die sooner...

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Reply 32 Years Ago Today; ex-Gestapo "Butcher of Lyon" Klaus Barbie goes on trial in France (Original post)
Dennis Donovan May 11 OP
Kid Berwyn May 11 #1

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2019, 08:40 AM

1. Hitler's Shadow

Hitler’s Shadow Reaches toward Today

From the Archive: U.S. history took a dark turn in the aftermath of World War II as the Truman administration judged the Soviet Union and socialism bigger threats than the remnants of Nazism and other right-wing ideologies. So, Official Washington protected some of the world’s worst killers, Robert Parry reported in 2010.


By Robert Parry
ConsortiumNews, (Originally published on Dec. 17, 2010)

Excerpt...

With his skills as an intelligence operative and his expertise in state terror, Barbie helped shape the particularly vicious style of anti-communism that dominated South America for most of the Cold War. He also played a role in building a conduit for drug proceeds to fund right-wing paramilitary operations, including Ronald Reagan’s beloved Nicaraguan Contra rebels.

In 1980, Barbie used his perch in Bolivian intelligence to organize an alliance of military leaders and cocaine barons to overthrow Bolivia’s democratically elected leftist government in a bloody coup. Though fitting with Washington’s distrust of left-wing populist governments in South America, the so-called Cocaine Coup had other long-term consequences for the United States.

Bolivia’s coup regime ensured a reliable flow of coca to Colombia’s Medellin cartel, which quickly grew into a sophisticated conglomerate for smuggling cocaine into the United States. Some of those drug profits then went to finance right-wing paramilitary operations, including the CIA-backed Contras, according to other U.S. government investigations.

Barbie reportedly collaborated, too, with representatives of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church as they worked with Bolivia’s Cocaine Coup regime to organize anti-communist operations in South America. By then, the region had become a center for Moon’s global money-laundering operations. In 1982, Moon began pouring hundreds of millions of his mysterious dollars into the right-wing Washington Times newspaper to influence U.S. politics.

Source:

https://consortiumnews.com/2013/06/06/hitlers-shadow-reaches-toward-today/

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