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From Barbie to Papon

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Chapter Summary

After the Liberation of France and the surrender of Germany, the Nuremberg trial gave retribution to the senior, surviving and detained, Nazi leaders who were found guilty of crimes against peace, war crimes and crime against humanity. The Gaullist myth of a resistant France covered up the warts, vices and crimes of Vichy. Reconciliation between the two Frances, that of Vichy and De Gaulle, was attempted through amnesties of those punished by the purges. Klaus Barbie became a member of the Nazi Party in 1937 and joined the SD (Security Service), a branch of the SS in 1935. Maurice Papon, a former senior civil servant during Vichy, former prefect of police in Paris and former Budget Minister, was sentenced in 1998 to ten-year imprisonment for complicity with crimes against humanity for his anti-Jewish action between 1942 and 1944.

Keywords: crime against humanity; France; Gaullist myth; Germany; Klaus Barbie; Maurice Papon; Nazi leaders; Nuremberg trial; Vichy; war crimes



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