Klarsfeld Charges the U.S. Protected Barbie and French Authorities Knew His Hiding Place but Did Not
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Klarsfeld Charges the U.S. Protected Barbie and French Authorities Knew His Hiding Place but Did Not

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Serge Klarsfeld, the Nazi-hunter, charged yesterday that not only did the United States use and protect Klaus Barbie, the gestapo chief in Lyon during 1942-44, but that the French authorities knew since 1963 where he was but did nothing to obtain his extradition.

Klarsfeld, who revealed in 1972 that Barbie was living in La Paz, Bolivia, released copies of official French documents proving, according to him, that the French authorities had for some unexplained reason simply failed to act to try to obtain the extradition of the man who was twice sentenced in absentia by French courts for his war crimes.

The document released by Klarsfeld is dated November 7, 1963 and was issued by the French military security. It reports that Barbie is living in La Paz and says he is employed by the CIA and West German’s intelligence service, BND.

The French security report was issued at the request of the West German prosecutor dealing with wartime Nazi crimes and the federal office for the prosecution of war criminals in Ludwigsburg.


In an article in Le Monde, Klarsfeld also said that not only did the CIA employ Barbie as a special agent but that it enabled him to flee to Latin America by granting him a “temporary travel document” registered under the name Klaus Altmann and bearing serial number 0121454, the travel document was issued on February 21, 1951 in Munich and enabled Barbie to obtain an International Red Cross pass in Genoa a few weeks later.

While serving as a CIA informer, Barbie was protected by the American military authorities, Klarsfeld said, which gave him identity papers under the names: Spehr, Behrends, Mertens and Holzer but all giving his first name as Klaus and carrying his real birth date, October 25, 1913 and his birthplace, Bad Godesberg.

Barbie was expelled from Bolivia two weeks ago and returned to France where he faces trial on charges of crimes against humanity. He is being held in a prison in Lyon.

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