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Barbie Trial -- Day 10 -- Two former members of the Resistance testify

Film | Accession Number: 2005.516.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1614 | Film ID: 3977

13:37 President Cerdini calls the session to order; asks that the accused present himself; Barbie refuses to appear; Cerdini calls on the bailiff to compel the accused to appear

13:38 The bailiff reads the names of the witnesses scheduled to give testimony in the session; one witness who was scheduled to appear will not be able to appear in Lyon before June 5, 1987

13:40 Cerdini suspends the session while the bailiff goes to Barbie to compel him to appear

14:04 Cerdini calls the session to order; the bailiff reads Barbie's statement that he refuses to appear

14:07 Cerdini calls witness Irène Clair, née Fremion; the witness presents herself to the court

14:09 The witness entered the French Resistance as the secretary of a Department Chief, Lucien Bonnet, and transmitted orders from London which she decoded; she was arrested in a raid along with her colleagues on March 9, 1944, held at gunpoint, and taken to Barbie's office; Bonnet was already being held by Barbie; the witness spent a night at the Gestapo headquarters in which she could hear wolfhounds attacking screaming detainees, before being transferred to Montluc; a week later, she was brought back to Barbie's office where she saw Bonnet again, and he told her her that he had been extensively tortured by Barbie; for two months, Barbie called her from Montluc to his office, where he would beat her and ask her to identify Resistants, which she refused to do; she was eventually sent on a transport to the Romainville camp near Paris, and then, two weeks later, to Ravensbrück

14:19 It took two weeks for the train to arrive at Ravensbrück from Romainville, during which time many in her transport fell ill; she describes the arrival at Ravensbrück and elements of daily life there; the witness fell ill and was taken to a bloc for the ill, where many had been sterilized

14:25 President Cerdini asks the witness how she was able to identify her interrogator as Barbie; she replies that his colleagues called him by name; Cerdini asks her whether she knows who ordered her deportation, and she replies that it was Barbie himself, for he told her personally that she was, "going on a trip"

14:28 The attorney general comments on the witness' bravery, and gives statistics regarding how many women survived Ravensbrueck

14:32 The bailiff is called to aid the next witness, Mrs. Lesevre, in walking to the witness stand; though quite elderly, the witness refuses to sit down while testifying

14:33 The witness, Lise Lesèvre, 86 years old, presents herself to the court; Mrs. Lesèvre is a civil party in the suit against Barbie; she was a member of the Resistance who was arrested by the Lyon Gestapo in March 1944; she was carrying classified Resistance documents including a letter for the regional leader of the Resistance leader, whose codename was Didier; the Gestapo found the letter and Lesèvre was taken to the Montluc prison, where she was interrogated and tortured by Barbie; Barbie had Lesèvre's husband and teenaged son brought into Montluc, and continued to have her tortured by several different methods; the witness refused to give Barbie any information; the witness comments on Barbie's pleasure at seeing the bodies of inmates who had been tortured

14:47 Mrs. Lesèvre was sent a lawyer, but the lawyer did no more than read her death sentence to her in German; she appeared before a military tribunal, where she was read the death sentence again and told she was a terrorist; a German officer (who was not SS) congratulated her on her bravery

14:51 The witness describes her last interrogations by Barbie and his men, in which they were drunk; she describes her deportation to Romainville and then to Ravensbrueck

14:56 End of tape

Event:  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 09:20:14
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