Nazis and the Cold War
The "Butcher" and interviews from his victims
Klaus Barbie (The Butcher of Lyon), was a Nazi SS officer during World War II. Barbie was assigned to Lyon, France where heavy resistance to Nazi occupation was taking place. His job was to crush any resistance and he did so by brutality. Barbie promoted the torture and execution of French partisans. Often Barbie himself would torture any person suspected of opposing the Nazis. Barbie earned the nickname "The Butcher of Lyon", and is responsible for numerous attrocities including sending 44 Jewish children (ages 3-13) to Auschwits extermination camp.
Following the war, Barbie along with other Nazis, were recruited as spies for the US Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC). They were used to support Anti-Communist efforts in West Germany. Richard Breitman and Norman J.W. Goda published "HITLER’S SHADOW, Nazi
War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War", which chronicles USintelligence and the use of Nazi war criminals to help the United States combat the Soviet Union and Communist groups in Europe. From 1947 to 1951 the CIC used Barbie and also helped him escape to Bolivia following an Investigation by the French government into Nazi war criminals and his former involvement in the atrocities committed in Lyon, France.
Klaus Barbie, now living in Bolivia, was recruited by the government of Bolivia to help counter Communist guerrilla activity. The Cuban government had just been ousted by Communist Revolutionaries lead by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Barbie was recruited for his ability to interrogate prisoners and weed out revolutionaries lead by Che Guevara. Barbie helped the Bolivian government and the CIA track down Guevara and kill him.
The document entitled "Klaus Barbie and the United States Government" A
Report to the Attorney General of the United States is a 241-page dissertation of Klaus Barbie. Produced by the U.S Department of Justice August 1983 chronicles Klaus Barbie before WWII and after. His involvement with the Nazis, as well as, with the United States government and his activities in Bolivia.
Below is an exert from pages 170-171 reguarding a U.S. citizen and Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI).
In 1966, however, a letter to a Senator appears to have brought the Barbie matter to the fore. In mid-June 1966 (the letter is undated), Sandra S. Zanik of Rockville Center, New York, wrote to Senator Jacob Javits as follows:
Dear Senator Javits,
As my husband and I were watching television last Sunday nite, on the Frank McGee report of N.B.C. Television News a shocking fact was brought to our attention. It concerned two brothers, Alfred & Henry [sic] Newton, who now live in Kent, England. These two men were members of the British Secret Service during World War II. They told of their tortures by the Gestapo after being captured in France. According to these two brothers, their cheif [sic] torturer is now a prosperous business-man in Munich Germany. They state that this man is now working as an agent for the U.S.A., and France. It seems that he has political protection and cannot be touched. For serving their country, the Newtons were left sick and crippled, while their torturer is now on our payroll. It would seem to me that Justice is not being served. I would like to know why a man can go free after killing & torturing. This is a very odd situation. I'm wondering how many more people such as this are on the United states payroll or getting rich from us.
I would appreciate a reply or some sort of
action on this matter.
* * *Senator Javits referred the letter to the Department of State on June 21, 1966, requesting that it provide information to him so that he could prepare a response.
The State Department contacted NBC and learned that the name of the Gestapo official referred to by the referral from Senator Javits' office could not be located.
Mrs. Zanik was Klaus Barbie. State apparently queried the Army, through the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI), to see if it knew anything about Klaus Barbie. The Army did. On July 19, 1966, it sent a memo to the Department of State:
BARBIE, Klaus was at one time a top level counterespionage source of the 66th CIC Gp. Klaus BARBIE was born in TRIER, Germany in 1913. He was a high official in the Gestapo, and in charge of the entire LYONS, France District, during the German occupation. He was instrumental in some of the top German intelliqence operations, 1938-45. From 1945-47, he was on top of the wanted list, but was not apprehended. He was in charge of an underground organization composed of former Gestapo and SS officers who were hiding from the victors after the war. Following the war, he was a witness in several different trials involving war criminals. He was arrested by the Americans and his wartime activities were investigated. However, he was later released because the investigation was inconclusive. He was recruited to work for US Army Intelligence in 1948 [sic]. BARBIE'S performance for US Army Intelligence was outstanding and he was considered to be one of the most valuable assets targetted against Soviet Intelligence operations and the subversive Communist elements in southern Germany. The French wanted to arrest BARBIE in 1951 [sic] to prosecute him for activities within France during World War II. To have exposed BARBIE to interrogation and public trial would not have been in consonance with accepted clandestine intelligence operational doctrine. Throughout his efforts for US Army Intelligence, he was knowledgeable of high level operations and operational procedures which would have been compromised. Through procedures in effect at the time, BARBIE was therefor [sic] assisted in 1951 in leaving Europe for resettlement. US Army Intelligence has had no further contact with BARBIE subsequent to his departure from Europe.
In the early 1980s, a liberal Bolivian regime came to power and agreed to extradite Barbie in exchange for French aid. On January 19, 1983, Barbie was arrested, and on February 7 he arrived in France. For his crimes, the 73-year-old Barbie was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison, France’s highest punishment. He died of cancer in a prison hospital in 1991.