1. News & Issues

Klaus Barbie

By

Summary:

A Nazi war criminal known as the 'Butcher of Lyon' who was personally responsible for the torture and death of thousands of Jews. Barbie managed to evade execution for his war crimes by fleeing Europe to Bolivia with the assistance of U.S. intelligence agents.

Personal Information:

  • Born - October 25, 1913
  • Birthplace - Bad Godesberg, Germany
  • Died - September 25, 1991
  • Location of Death - Lyon, France
  • Cause of Death - Cancer
  • General Information:

  • Gender - Male
  • Religion - Unknown
  • Ethnicity - White
  • Chronology:

  • 1937 - National Socialist German Workers Party
  • 1937 - Gestapo
  • 1954 - Convicted of murder in absence
  • 1954 - Convicted of torture in absence
  • 1983 - Deported from Bolivia to France in 1983
  • 1987 - Sentenced to life in prison for Crimes Against Humanity
  • Profile - Raised To Be A Nazi:

    Klaus Barbie, a member of Hitler’s youth brigade, joined the Nazi party in 1937. He earned a reputation of being a sadistic killer while in Lyon where he was the head of the Fourth Section of the Gestapo.

    A Personal Award From Hitler:

    Hitler personally awarded Barbie the “First Class Iron Cross with Swords” because of the atrocities of torture and murder of over 26,000 people. Barbie was also known for his barbaric act of transporting over 44 Jewish children found hidden in the village of Izieu to the Auschwitz death camp. His arrest, torture, and murder of Jean Moulin, the highest ranking member of the French Resistance ever captured by a Nazi, secured his Nazi career.

    A Cowardly Killer:

    After the war, Barbie escaped his conviction and death sentence. American intelligence agents protected Barbie and created new identities for him and his family and assisted their relocation to Latin America because of Barbie's "police skills" and anti-Communist enthusiasm. There he lived a comfortable and prosperous life under the name of Klaus Alttman.

    Once A Torturer Always A Torturer:

    In 1957 Barbie became a citizen of Bolivia and worked as torturer and interrogator in Peru and Bolivia. In 1971 he was discovered by Nazi hunters, the Klarsfelds, but it was not until 1983 that he was deported to France to face charges for the murder of Moulin.

    I Would Be A Thousand Times What I Have Been:

    After his exportation to France where he was to face his past atrocities, he told an interviewer "What is there to regret? I am a convinced Nazi . . . and if I had to be born a thousand times, I would be a thousand times what I have been."

    Klaus Barbie was tried in Lyon and sentenced to life in prison in 1987. In 1991, Barbie died of leukemia in prison at the age of 78.

    1. About.com
    2. News & Issues
    3. Crime / Punishment
    4. Historical Crimes
    5. Infamous Murders
    6. Profile of Nazi War Criminal Klaus Barbie

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.