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Barbie Trial -- Day 10 -- Victims testify

Film | Accession Number: 2005.516.1 | RG Number: RG-60.4541 | Film ID: 2810

Lise Lesevre: Resistance member. She was arrested by the Gestapo on March 13, 1943 while she carried a letter addressed to Didier, the false name of a Resistance leader. She was then interrogated and tortured by Barbie: hung by hand cuffs with spikes, forced under freezing water in a bathtub, and beaten with a spiked ball against her back which broke a vertebrae. She was condemned to death by a German military tribunal for "terrorism" but was placed in the wrong cell and deported to Ravensbruck instead. Her husband died at Dachau and her son was killed in a detention center in Neuengamme at the age of 16. [not discussed on this tape]

At 15:07 Asked by Cerdini how she recognizes Mr. Barbie as the man who tortured her, Lesevre says: "Oh, I recognized Barbie all right. He had astonishing eyes, very blue, very clear, full of movement. I recognized him without effort, first on television when he was discovered in Bolivia, and then, when I was confronted with him, I recognized him in person." 15:19 She turns to the empty defendant's box and says: "Why is Barbie not here? Should he be here to protest against what is being said against him?"

Ennat Leger, who lost her sight at Ravensbruck, was hoisted to the witness stand in her wheelchair by four policemen. She was a Resistance fighter and nearly 50 years old when she was arrested in 1944. She says Barbie and his men "were savages, brutal savages, who struck, struck and struck again." "Have you heard of the Gestapo kitchens?," she quoted him as saying, in an allusion to the torture chambers. She says Barbie "had the eyes of a monster. He was savage. My God, he was savage! It was unimaginable. He broke my teeth, he pulled my hair back. He put a bottle in my mouth and pushed it until the lips split from the pressure."

Event:  1987 May 22
Production:  1987 May 22
Lyon, France
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Institut National de L'Audiovisuel
Record last modified: 2020-08-04 09:21:40
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