HUMA 1825 Note 22
- This was a biographical investigation of Klaus Barbie who was in charge of
the Gestapo in Lyons, France
o His interrogations took place at Hotel Terminus, a hotel that the
Gestapo had requisitioned
- After the end of WWII, Barbie managed to elude capture, fleeing first to
Germany, and then to South America, where he helped the right-wing
governments of Bolivia and Peru.
- Barbie was born in Germany in 1914 and was a Nazi from the age of 19.
- He was posted in Lyons, France in 1942 with a mission of ridding the city of
its Jews and dismantling the Resistance
- He was a war criminal: found the resistance leader of the French Revolution
- Killed many Jewish children
- He was narrow-minded and worshipped Hitler.
- Barbie was a brutal man – a man who got results through ruthless means
o He was sure that he was the greatest intelligence officer
o He was never guilty of the acts he committed – in his mind all of his
atrocities were justified.
- Barbie was an educated man – he was greatly interested in his education
even in the childhood.
- In Udler, Klaus was seen as a decent farm-boy
o He was considered to be a leader in all of the subjects – and he was
good at all subjects.
- Barbie was not the type that needed to engage in torture, he was a skillful
and professional, and didn’t need to be cruel (or so people thought)
o There are cases where it shows how he simply liked to inflict pain
onto people – he got pleasure from their beatings.
- Some people speculated that he became cruel after he achieved position in
the Nazi Regime.
o The risk of turning criminal was high while working in the Gestapo
- Barbie and the German police arrested the revolutionary leaders in 1943 –
the French feared Barbie as a ruthless man.
o Barbie would beat men during questioning
- The French also engaged in terrorist-like activity: they threatened
prosecutors with death threats if they didn’t release those revolutionaries
charged with participating in the revolution or grant them bail.
- Jean Moulin was ambushed at a meeting house (Caluire meeting) with a
bunch of other revolutionaries – when they arrived at the house there was a
squad of Gestapo police who arrested them on the spot with machine guns
- René Hardy (a revolutionary) was interrogated by Barbie
o Hardy was jailed for 6 years for not providing Barbie with
information. - Thomas Aubrey regardless of his position in the revolution would sell
information to the Germans in exchange for food rations – Barbie used this
information to identify Moulin
- General Benevouille was a royalist – he sold out Rene Hardy to the Germans
and it took him43 years to admit that he had done that
- The Gestapo had psychological torture – they would beat the resistance
members, and once they talked they would offer them rewards and use
psychological warfare to make it seem as if the revolutionaries were at fault
for the Gestapo’s beating them
- Some Revolutionaries would try to make up stories or tell the Gestapo what
the Germans already knew – that way preventing both betraying the
Germans and having the Gestapo torture you.
- Barbie did what thousands of Nazis did or would have had to do.
- Barbie would torture young girls if that meant getting out information, even
when they said nothing and cried out in pain.
- Barbie was anti-Semitic – however he never had a direct hatred or reason for
hating Jews. If he noticed that some