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The Hunt for Nazis: The Real-Life Captures That Inspired The Debt

Posted August 22, 2011 to photo album "The Hunt for Nazis: The Real-Life Captures That Inspired The Debt"

John Madden’s THE DEBT tells the tale of a trio of Mossad agents who hunted down a wanted Nazi war criminal. We explore the stories of the many real-life Nazi war criminals who went into hiding after the war, and the people who tracked them down to bring them to justice.

The Debt's Hunt for Nazi Criminals
Nazi War Criminals After the War
Adolf Eichmann, the Transportation Administrator
Capturing Eichmann
Josef Mengele, the
Mengele's Escape
Martin Bormann, Hitler's Private Secretary
The Hunt for Martin Bormann
Martin Bormann's Death
Barbie's Hunters
The Trial of Klaus Barbie
Aribert Ferdinand Heim,
Erich Rajakowitsch
Franz Paul Stangl,
Hermine Braunsteiner Ryan
Herberts Cukurs
Dinko Šakić
Barbie's Hunters

Barbie's Hunters

Serge and Beate Klarsfeld; Beate Klarsfeld after slapping the Chancellor

In 1971, Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld exposed Barbie’s whereabouts in Bolivia. Serge, a Romanian Jew whose father died in Auschwitz, and Beate, a German Christian, met in Paris and married in 1963. Their story, particularly the hunt for Barbie, is told in the 1986 made-for-TV movie Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story. (Beate was played by Farah Fawcett.) Beate gained international notoriety in 1968 when she slapped West German Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger at a Christian Democratic Union convention. After she slapped him, she said,  “Kiesinger! Nazi! Step down!” Kiesinger had worked for Hitler’s foreign ministry as the liaison to the propaganda ministry. Following the slap, Beate was arrested for libel and “premeditated infliction of bodily harm”  and sentenced to one year in jail. When asked by the judge if she understood her crime was an act of violence, Beate replied, “Forcing us to live under a Nazi Chancellor is an act of violence, but a woman slapping a man in the face is not.” The sentence was reduced to four-months probation  — a revision the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described as a “merciful judgement.”