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Barbie Trial -- Day 9 -- A witness testifies and is questioned

Film | Accession Number: 2005.516.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1610 | Film ID: 3973

14:54 The witness, Michel Thomas, recounts his escape from the Milles deportation camp in September 1942, his subsequent arrival in Lyon in order to recruit Resistance members, and his presence at the UGIF on the day of the raid in February 1943, where he had gone to recruit young Jews into the Resistance

15:02 The witness comments on the Swiss authorities' lack of help or protection toward Jews fleeing France

15:03 The witness recounts his memory of the UGIF raid

15:09 The witness recalls his encounter with Barbie

15:20 The witness implores Cerdini to compel Barbie to appear before him in court

15:20 Cerdini questions the witness as to the circumstances of his liberation from the raid

15:22 Cerdini asks the witness to specify the clothing and organization of the executors of the raid; the witness recalls that they were clearly Gestapo members

15:25 The witness explains how he realized that the man he had encountered during the raid was actually Barbie; he saw his photograph in Time magazine in 1972; the witness' confrontation with the accused in 1983, and the means by which the witness was able to identify him in person

15:36 Defense attorney Vergès asks the witness to provide the names of people he knew who were arrested in the UGIF raid; he asks for the names of people with whom he established a system of surveillance after his release from the UGIF raid; he asks for the names of his contacts at the UGIF; the witness cannot provide names

15:45 Vergès asks the witness whether, during his hour-and-a-half with his interrogator (whom he claims was Barbie), his interrogator asked him about his accent when he speaks French; the witness replies that in that era, he did not have an accent, and that he has developed it since moving to the United States

15:49 Vergès asks the witness whether he has a relationship with prosecutor Ryan; the witness replies that they had one long conversation

15:51 Vergès questions the witness as to why he left the French Army and joined the U.S. Army during the war; Cerdini interjects that the question is irrelevant to the trial

15:53 President Cerdini suspends the hearing

Event:  1987 May 21
Lyon, France
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Institut National de L'Audiovisuel
Record last modified: 2020-08-04 09:20:14
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