Member Profile | FocusFeatures.com
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.
Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon"
Klaus Barbie was known as the Butcher of Lyon, for his work as head of the Gestapo in Lyon, France. He is known to have tortured his prisoners — men, women, and children — by breaking their bones, subjecting them to electroshock, and having Wolf, his dog, bite their genitals. He sent hundreds of people, including many Jews, off to the concentration camps. Most famously, he captured 44 Jewish children and their seven teachers who were being hidden in the village of Izieu. On April 6, 1944, he sent a telegram to Gestapo headquarters in Paris that read: “Forty four children ages 3 to 13 have been captured in Izieu. In addition, the entire Jewish personnel there were arrested. The transport to Drancy [the transit camp outside Paris from which Jews were sent to Auschwitz] will take place the 7th of April on my orders.” Following the war, he worked from 1946 to 1951 for the U.S. Army’s Counterintelligence Corps, which valued both his police skills and anticommunist zeal. In 1951, the U.S. helped Barbie and his family escape to Bolivia, where under the name Klaus Altmann, he remained protected by one dictator after another. In 1965, Barbie was recruited to work for West German intelligence, for whom he filed at least 35 reports.