This video is called Hotel Terminus: The Life And Times Of Klaus Barbie – Clip 1.
In the 1950-1960s, the spy service of the supposedly democratic Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was headed by Reinhard Gehlen, an ex-high ranking spy for Adolf Hitler.
Mr Gehlen’s intelligence service, the BND, helped infamous SS criminal Adolf Eichmann. Mr Gehlen employed various nazi criminals. They included Erich Deppner, who, as a member of the SS, had murdered anti-nazis in the occupied Netherlands and had sent Dutch Jews to Auschwitz.
And now, by Dietmar Henning from Germany:
Nazi “Butcher of Lyons” was a German intelligence agent
22 January 2011
Klaus Barbie, the Nazi war criminal infamously known as the “Butcher of Lyons”, was an agent of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in the 1960s. This was revealed recently by the news magazine Der Spiegel.
Adopting the name Klaus Altmann at the time, Barbie operated under the code name “Eagle” (agent number V-43118) and provided the BND with at least 35 political reports in 1966. His payment for this—up to DM 500 (deutschmarks)—was transferred to him via a branch of the Chartered Bank of London in San Francisco. BND files praised the “quintessentially German attitude” of this “decisive enemy of communists”. At the turn of 1966-67, the BND terminated contact with its source, Barbie alias Altmann, paying him a final cash settlement of DM 1,000.
This last point was discovered by a history student at the University of Mainz, Peter Hammerschmidt. He is currently working on a degree thesis entitled “‘The Butcher of Lyons’ in the pay of the United States: Concerning the relations between Klaus Barbie and the American secret service”. In September, Hammerschmidt was able to view Barbie’s BND file as part of his scientific work and released his findings about Barbie’s BND past earlier this year.
As a captain in the SS (Hitler’s elite force) from 1940 to 1942, Klaus Barbie tortured and murdered people in the German occupied Netherlands and Belgium. During this time, he was “head of Jewish affairs in the main office of the Reich (empire) Security Department” in The Hague.
From November 1942, he was chief of the Gestapo (Nazi secret police) in Lyons in the area of southern France administered by the pro-fascist Vichy regime of General Petain. His horrifically cruel crimes committed there earned him the title “Butcher of Lyons”. His victims were workers, peasants and members of the resistance—including Jean Moulin, whose arms, legs and ribs were broken in the course of daily interrogations. Women were beaten unconscious, raped and sodomised. Thousands of men and women were tortured, sent to extermination camps or killed by Barbie. These included 41 Jewish children from Izieu, France, aged 3 to 13, whose deportations were arranged by Barbie on April 6, 1944. They died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.
Towards the end of 1944, Barbie suddenly disappeared, going into hiding somewhere in Germany shortly before the end of war. Accused of numerous crimes, he was sentenced to death in absentia by the French authorities for the first time in 1947, and again in 1952 and 1954 following the discovery of further crimes.
However, the wanted war criminal was protected by both the intelligence service of the US army, its Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC), and the German authorities. Hammerschmidt claims that Barbie’s name appeared on the CIC’s payroll in April 1947, although it had been on the allies’ wanted list in the spring of 1946. This saved him from extradition to France and he was able to live in Germany undisturbed.
As an agent of the CIA from 1950, Barbie recruited members for the far-right League of German Youth (BDJ) that was later to be banned. The BDJ was the German vanguard organisation of the infamous Gladio NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) troops in Europe. This paramilitary organisation with close ties to extreme right-wing terrorists was set up to carry out sabotage and assassinations behind enemy lines in the event of an attack from the Soviet Union. Aided by the US in 1951, Barbie emigrated to Bolivia under the name of Klaus Altmann via the so-called “rat lines”.
Unlike many other war criminals in South America, Barbie did not simply disappear from the scene, but rose to the position of official adviser to Bolivia’s right-wing military dictatorships. Operating from the army’s headquarters, he passed on experience acquired in Lyons that was useful to members of the military secret service in their suppression of political opposition: “interrogation techniques”, “torture methods” and “anti-guerrilla tactics”. Under René Barrientos Ortuno’s military junta, Barbie rose to the post of military advisor for counterinsurgency in 1964-65, receiving a diplomatic passport in 1966.
At the same time, Barbie managed a sawmill under the name of Altmann. He became rich owing to the Vietnam War, when he sold vast quantities of cinchona plant—the raw material for the antimalarial analgesic quinine—to the German chemical company Böhringer in Mannheim.
He was simultaneously involved in the arms and drug trades. From the mid- to late 1960s, the Butcher of Lyons travelled to South American countries and to Spain and Portugal, supplying their respective dictatorships with weapons. After Colonel Hugo Banzer Suárez’s bloody CIA-backed coup in 1971, Barbie was promoted to a paid consultant to the interior ministry and counter-espionage division of the Bolivian army. In addition, he established his own paramilitary force, which he used to support the military coup by General Luis García Meza in 1980.
During the rule of President Hernán Siles Zuazo two-and-a-half years later, the Bolivian police arrested Barbie on January 19, 1983. In the same year, he was extradited to France and brought to court in Lyons. According to Hammerschmidt, who was also able to carry out research in the US National Archives (NARA) in Washington, a CIA document from December 1983 mentions that the prevailing French government of Francois Mitterrand—for domestic political reasons—had purchased Barbie’s sudden extradition from Bolivia with weapons: small arms, machine guns, antitank weapons and ammunition.
Barbie was accused of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment on July 4, 1987. He died in prison in 1991. …
The US was prepared to use “any bastard, as long as he was anti-communist”, as Harry Rositzke, head of CIA operations in the Soviet Union, put it. Entire leading divisions of the SS Security Service (SD) were sometimes incorporated into the BND.
Intelligence Agency’s Murky Past: The Nazi Criminals Who Became German Spooks: here.
Two days before Israel commemorates the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Adolf Eichmann’s trial, a leaked document reveals that West Germany attempted to influence one of the judges in the case: here.
It’s nearly fifty years since the death of one of France’s greatest 20th century novelists: Louis Ferdinand Auguste Destouches, more commonly known under his nom de plume, Louis-Ferdinand Céline. And yet there will be no officially sanctioned celebration for the author of Journey to the End of the Night and North. It has been decided by the Culture Minister, after strong protests from France’s Jewish community, that Céline will not be commemorated in the official French cultural celebrations for 2011: here.
After more than 50 years, the German government is ending compulsory military service. Like the armed forces in the United States and other imperialist countries, the German army is being transformed into a smaller, more efficient professional fighting force: here.