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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
The Trial of Klaus Barbie

The Trial of Klaus Barbie

Klaus Barbie on trial in Lyon. Insert: Barbie’s Bolivian passport

Following the Klarsfelds’ discovery of Barbie in 1971, the Bolivian government refused to extradite him until January 1983, when he was arrested and sent to France. Barbie’s arrest revived questions about the United States’ postwar collaboration with the Butcher of Lyon. In 1983, Allan A. Ryan, Jr., a Reagan Justice Department official investigated and found nothing wrong with the relationship. He concluded: “The job of understanding and countering Communist influence was there, it was legitimate and important, and it had to be done. If a Klaus Barbie was available and effective and loyal and reliable  — and those who worked with him found him to be all of those  — his employment was in the best interests of the United States at the time.” In 1987, Barbie was convicted of crimes against humanity, sentenced to jail for life, and died in jail in Lyon of leukemia four years later, at the age of 77.