Klaus Barbie

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Klaus Barbie

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Angel C. Mrs. Hill 6th

Analyze the life of Klaus Barbie.Born on the 25th of October, 1913, in the small town of Bad Godesberg.The young twenty-one year old Klaus Barbie’s first experience to the Hitler and his Nazi party was working at a voluntary camp in Schwelwig-Holestein in 1934. “the Nazi precepts taught at the camp intrigued the twenty-one-year-old and changed him into a fully fledged supporter of Hitler and his Third Reich.” In 1940, Klaus “had been promoted to Oberstormfuher (lieutenant) of the SS in Holland” His blood lust for Jew and French resistors earned him the nickname “the Butcher of Lyons”. Klaus, also notorious for the “torture and murder” of a clandestine of a French resistance, Jean Moulin. “Hitler awarded Barbie the first class Iron Cross with Two Swords for murdering Moulin.”

Evaluate Klaus's Devotion to Hitler.In 1953, Klaus joined Hitler’s Shutzstaffel, better known as the SS. The SS is one of the Nazi Party’s key groups “that swore loyalty not to Germany, but Hitler.” When Barbie became “head of anti-resistance” in France, he is widely believed for the torturing and murdering of Jean Moulin. He has also been responsible for “ a number of ‘actions’ against innocent French Jews, including a raid on an orphanage in the town of Izieu which sent over 50 boys and girls to the gas chamber at the death camp of Aushwitz.” Klaus tortured many people while in Lyons, such as Simone Lagrange, who was a “soft –spoken Holocaust survivor whose family was exterminated, later recalled the arrest for her father, mother and herself on June 6th, 1944”, who was tortured for eight days, pulling her hair and “beating and punching at her open wounds in an effort to obtain information.” And another woman named Lise Lesevre, who “recalled how Klaus Barbie tortured her for nine days in 1944, beating her, nearly drowning her in a bathtub. She told how she was hung up by handcuffs with spikes inside them and beaten with a rubber bar. She was ordered to strip naked and get into a bathtub filled with freezing water. Her legs were tied to a bar across the tub and Barbie yanked a chain attached to the bar to pull her underwater.”

Justify the U.S.’s Reasoning for Not Arresting Klaus.When the war in Europe ended in 1945, Barbie hid from the allies until 1947 when he was recruited by the Counter Intelligence Corp. “Although the army had a warrant out Barbie’s arrest as a suspected subversive, the regional commander decided that his skills as an interrogator made him more valuable as a spy than a prisoner” with the help of Americans, he left to Bolivia as a businessman under the name Klaus Altmann with his wife and children until he was discovered in 1971 by Serge Klarsfield, a “Nazi Hunter”. In 1983 he was “extradited to France to stand trial.” On July 4th, 1987, “Barbie was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity” he died in 1991, of leukemia, he was 77.

Lise Lesevre

Simone Lagrange


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