Klaus Barbie Essay

829 words - 4 pages

Nikolaus “Klaus” Barbie was born in Bad Godesberg, a district of Bonn, on October 25, 1913 (JVL). Both of his parents were teachers at the school he had attended for most of his life. His father was a very abusive alcoholic who had served in the First World War. Shot in the neck at Verdun, the elder Nikolaus Barbie had come home a broken man. He was very harsh and demanding of his children and wife. After the death of his father in 1933, Klaus was drafted into the Reichsarbeitsdienst, or Nazi Labor Service, because he had no money to continue his studies. Klaus volunteered for a six month stint in Schleswig-Holstein at a work camp.
Barbie joined the Nazi Party on September 26, 1935. He ...view middle of the document...

Barbie informed his superiors of the event and was ordered to execute the owners and patrons of the tavern personally. As punishment for the resistance the owners offered, 425 young Jewish men from the Jewish Quarter in Amersterdam were sent to Mauthausen Concentration camp where most of them died within the year (HRP). Later that year on May 14, a bomb was tossed into an Officer’s Club with similar results. Barbie personally convinced officers of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam to give him a list of 300 Jewish men. He led them to believe they would get to go back home to finish apprenticeships. Instead these men were also deported to Mauthausen. Days after the deportation, he got word that his first daughter had been born, Ute Regine.
After the German Army passed the demarcation line on November 11, 1942, Barbie was installed as the head of the Gestapo in Lyons. He was very organized and shrewd in the way he handled his power. He split his department into six sections: The Resistance and Communist Groups, Sabotage, The Jews, False Identity Cards, Counter-Intelligence, and Intelligence Archives (HCR). Barbie was assigned 25 underlings, which he divided amongst the six sections based on priority.
Torture and deportation were a daily occurrence under Barbie’s watch. His underlings brought persons of interest directly to Barbie to be tortured for...

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