"BUTCHERS ON THE HOOK"
Respectful dedication to all the wise people in the world
|Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes|
|After the trauma of France's defeat in 1940, the country was split into two. The wast majority of Frenchmen made their own piece with their new overlords. It was probably the only rational thing to do. From 1940 to 1944, France stood on its head! It was the French workers who went off to feed the German war economy. So difficult was this period that later, at one time, president Mitterrand himself summed up with an advice against stirring up "Memories and ranchour" which could only undermine "national unity."
However, on June 28, 1944, Phillipe Herriot, the propaganda minister was assasinated by the resistence - Paul Touvier was at the time the Intelligence Chief. Reprisal began with ferocity till, a few months later, Lyons was liberated but Touvier escaped and remained beyond law, till 1968, when Pompeidou granted him a pardon. But this act of presidential benevolence did not go well.
The Klarsfeld organised demonstration and almost 5 years later, on March 17, 1994, Tauvier was led into a court room in Versailles. So when the torch passed from Serge and Beate to Arno the symbolic manifestation was the Tauvier trial. It was always expected that it would be Serge who joined the two dozen lawyers representing the 'victims' of Tauvier, and his feared, ruthless, secret gestapo, the Milice as France's most dedicated Nazi hunter, as the successful prosecutor of Barbie Serge should have led but he stepped aside to let Arno do the battle - "La Releve Des Generation" - The changing of the guard.
|Arno, thus became the youngest member of the prosecution team. He was also perhaps its least cooperative. There are 2 details of the French law that have a bearing hair ; the first is that 'war crimes' are covered by the 20 year statue of limitations while 'crimes against humanity' are not. Hence, Tauvier could only be prosecuted on the letter charged. Secondly, the French High Court had interpretted "crimes against humanity" as a crime committed while acting on behalf of axis power.
In this narrow interpretation the conviction of Tauvier would be most easily secure if it could be proved that there were German orders for a reprisal - which is what the prosecutors attempted to show. All except Arno "people are trying to deceive you," said Arno to the startled judge. And Arno meant the prosecutors !!!
"At Rullieux, PaulTauvier acted with no orders at all from the Germans ; he acted on his own initiative!!!" This was, without doubt, a high-risk strategy : one misstep and Tauvier's actions could be redefined as "war crimes" and he would walk away free!
Well dear readers nothing can be more respectful than to end this part of the headline post with a great maxim from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes:
"The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience."
Good night and God bless!