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April 01, 1983 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-04-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Barbie Evokes Memories of Past

By ARNO HERZBERG

destroy thousands of people
— resistance fighters and
Jews — for which Barbie
now faces trial.
His reign as gestapo chief
in Lyon was during a con-
troversial period in France's
history, not exactly glorious
days for the French.
Barbie conducted his
butchery with the help of
the Vichy government
which collaborated with
the Nazis after the fall of
France. That government
sent 110,000 Jews to
death camps; only 3,000
adults returned; not one
child came back.
In all the years of the Nazi
occupation of France, Bar-
bie reserved his special
"treatment" for Jews. One
survivor has testified that
he hung them by their feet
and sent them to agonizing
deaths. But he was just as
relentless and remorseless
about his treatment of resis-
tance fighters, which in-
cluded many Jews.
The rank and file of
French Jews joined the gen-
eral resistance movement
but in addition they had
their own underground unit
345-7139
541-7651
which fought the Germans
in a shadow war.
There were more than
IMO IN IMP In NE UM MN 111111 IIM
EOM
6,000 persons in this unit,
with this ad thru Apr. 22
recruited from all walks of
I life. They were sworn in on a
New Students only
bmall Bible and a small
blue and white flag with a
gold cord in the form of a
I Star of David stitched
across it. More than 200
men and women died fight-
I
1 ing under this flag.
WE HAVE
France never forgot the
AEROBICS
heroes of the resistance
movement. Their deeds
& MORE!
and accomplishments
have been immortalized
on postage stamps that
were issued from 1947
until 1961. Jews who
served in the Republic
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northwestern
nr.
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1 and refused to submit to
the Nazi occupation have
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also been honored.
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O 111111111111111•1111•111111•MMIIIII
A stamp issued in March
1960 paid homage to Pierre
Masse, a member of the Se-
nate. He served in World
War I, attained_the rank of
Discounts to
captain and became an of-
Free Measuring
ficial in the government
where he dealt with pen-
sions and military justice.
In 1940, Marshal Petain,
head of the Vichy- govern-
ment, issued an order bar-
ring Jews from serving in
the French army.
An aroused Masse wrote a
letter to Petain asking him
whether he should remove
his brother's officer's insig-
nia, a lieutenant killed in
1916, or the officer's insig-
nia of his son-in-law, a
lieutenant killed in 1940, or
Free Installation With Act
that of his nephew killed in
• Horizontal 1 - Blinds
the same year. Masse also
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asked whether his son,
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wounded in June 1940,
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By
could keep his rank as a
• Window Shades
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lieutenant.
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Petain did not answer
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the letter, but Masse was
arrested and finally de-
ported in September
1942. He could have con-
Showroom in Congress Bldg. (by appointment)
tinued as a free man as a
30555 Southfield Rd.
member of the Senate.
Southfield, Mich
But he refused. He did
not want any special
540-2244
treatment when other

still in the closet, some
NEW YORK (JTA) — people feel, and it would
Memories and feelings were be better if these skele-
jarred anew with the return tons were not exposed to
to France of Klaus Barbie, the glare of publicity.
For other people, the past
alia's Klaus Altmann, the
infamous "butcher of Lyon." holds too many horrible,
His return, after being traumatic memories of bit-
expelled from Bolivia, has ter days and nights, of de-
given rise to mixed reac- spair and defenselessness.
tions. Some people are not These memories, these
exactly enthused that he nightmares return to the
was brought back to France fore, the psychic wounds are
to stand trial for "crimes reopened and an outcry
emerges that justice be
against humanity."
As far as they are con- done.
Still others who went
cerned, he might as well
have remained in Bolivia through the same days of
where rightwing govern- torment and torture want to
ments protected him since forget. Too many years have
his arrival there some 30 gone by. There is no use in
reliving a period in which a
years ago.
Too many skeletons are "butcher" had free reign to

the

GI

ORCHESTRA

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C
II
I

-

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Regency

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Jews had to suffer.
Another prominent Jew
urged France to fight on
against the Nazis. He was
George Mandel, minister of
the interior in the Cabinet
of Paul Reynaud, the last
government of the Republic
before the fall of France. He
wanted to organize resis-
tance against the Nazis
from North Africa.
The Vichy police trailed
Mandel and he was arrested
in Rabat, Morocco. He was
put on trial and found guilty
of desertion. He was impris-
oned and finally deported to
Germany.
He was an inmate at
Buchenwald and Oranien-
burg and was returned by
the Germans to the Vichy
secret police who shot him
in the forest in Foun-
tainbleau.
There were many
others like Masse and
Mandel. The full measure
of sacrifice, heroism and
endurance they dis-
played will be told when
Barbie goes to trial.
Undoubtedly, people will
compare the upcoming trial
of Barbie with the trial of
Adolf Eichmann in
Jerusalem some 20 years
ago. In Eichmann's case
there was the legal problem
of how to connect a "desk
murderer" with the actual
performance of crimes
against humanity. In Bar-
bie's case, however, the ac-
tual murderer will be on
trial.
Barbie will probably, as
did Eichmann, plead that he
was only doing his duty,
that he followed the orders
of his superiors. But this
rationale has long been put
to rest. Barbie cannot use it.

yea

The Great Cover Up

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Friday, April 1, 1983 25

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