Overview

Télex du 6 avril 1944 (© CDJC / Mémorial de la Shoah)

Overview

The telex signed by Klaus Barbie, confirming that the persons present at the Izieu home had been arrested on 6th April 1944, was submitted at two major trials.

At the Nuremberg trials in 1946, French Government assistant delegate Edgar Faure represented the State prosecution.
When giving his statement providing proof of criminal actions committed by the Nazis and their Jewish deportation and extermination policy, he referred to the Izieu children’s arrest and deportation.
These events fall within the law of crime against humanity.

He read the telex of 6th April 1944, an annexure of the case file, and added:

« I think we can say that there is something even more striking and more horrible than the concrete fact of having abducted these children: its administrative character, its recording in compliance with hierarchical procedure, the conference in which different public employees calmly discuss such matters in the same manner as a normal departmental procedure; the entire machinery of state, I mean the Nazi state, is put into motion at such a time and to achieve such a goal.»

At the 1987 trial of Klaus Barbie in Lyon, this document, found in the Contemporary Jewish Documentation Centre archives, constituted one of the main pieces of evidence leading to conviction for crime against humanity.

« Above all, I want to say to Barbie’s defence that Barbie has always said that he was only concerned with Resistance workers and fighters. That means the enemies of the German army. I ask you, ’The children, the 44 children, were what? Resistance workers? Resistance fighters? What were they? They were innocents!’.»
Sabine Zlatin, founder of the Izieu home
Testimony at 13th session of the Barbie trial, 27th May 1987