WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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the Lyon military tribunal for participating in 4,342 murders, sending 7,91 Jews to Drancy and the Auschwitz gas chambers, and arresting 14,311 Resistance fighters, often torturing them abominably.

He was in charge of deportations of Jews from the Lyon region. They were arrested on his orders and shipped to Drancy, where they were herded into the death trains. According to Prosecutor Rabl, the Gestapo chiefs were completely in the dark about the "Final Solution." For them it was merely a matter of "evacuation to labor camps in the East." But a telegram dated April 6, 1944, has been found in which Barbie reports the arrest of forty-one children between the ages of three and thirteen from the Izieu camp, and their shipment to Drancy on April 7. In April 1944, even the public no longer believed the explanation about labor in the East; certainly the Gestapo chiefs in France could not have believed it. Moreover, children between the ages of three and thirteen obviously could not have gone to the East to lend a helping hand to the German economy. Even Prosecutor Rabl must concede that. But he surmounts the difficulty by reasoning that is so impertinent that Jews, Frenchmen, and Germans must all be outraged by its total lack of logic, of justice, and of any moral values. Rabl writes:

"The mere fact that on April 6, 1944, the defendant arrested forty-one children who were obviously not destined for the labor camps and had them shipped to the concentration camp at Drancy cannot be interpreted to mean that he knew the eventual destination of those children. At least not one sure proof of this subjective interpretation of his act can be produced."

Prosecutor Rabl has taken no thought of the sufferings of those children or of the abomination itself. It's not his job to have pity on their fate, or to help Germany sincerely rise above her Nazi past. Prosecutor Rabl is only interested in what may not have entered Klaus Barbie's mind: the so-called "subjective interpretation." In discharging the Barbie case, Rabl has condemned those children all over again. If the French people accept today that denial of justice, then each of the Nazi criminals whom France sentenced in absentia will be rehabilitated in his turn, and with them the Nazi police system.

Is there no one who will speak for those young Frenchmen against their executioner? A spokesman with a desire to be effective and not just to make one more of those official statements to the press that are less and less frequently published in France now, and never published on the other side of the Rhine? Are there so few Frenchmen who grasp how relevant to the future of Europe it is that Germany has taken this attitude toward her Nazi past? When can a public demonstration in Munich take place? Will the vacation season take precedence over a time for sorrow and pity even with those who call themselves victims of Nazi barbarism?
     
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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