Justice in Lyon: Klaus Barbie and France’s First Trial for Crimes against Humanity
Published: July 2022© 2022
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 330 Pages
Illustrations: 10 b&w illustrations
Dimensions: 6.25 x 9.25
330 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.00 in, 10 b&w illustrations
The trial of former SS lieutenant and Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie was France’s first trial for crimes against humanity. Known as the "Butcher of Lyon" during the Nazi occupation of that city from 1942 to 1944, Barbie tortured, deported, and murdered thousands of Jews and Resistance fighters. Following a lengthy investigation and the overcoming of numerous legal and other obstacles, the trial began in 1987 and attracted global attention.
Justice in Lyon is the first comprehensive history of the Barbie trial, including the investigation leading up to it, the legal background to the case, and the hurdles the prosecution had to clear in order to bring Barbie to justice. Richard J. Golsan examines the strategies used by the defence, the prosecution, and the lawyers who represented Barbie’s many victims at the trial. The book draws from press coverage, articles, and books about Barbie and the trial published at the time, as well as recently released archival sources and the personal archives of lawyers at the trial.
Making the case that, despite the views of its many critics, the Barbie trial was a success in legal, historical, and pedagogical terms, Justice in Lyon details how the trial has had a positive impact on French and international law governing crimes against humanity.
1. Klaus Barbie: Nazi “Idealist”
2. The Historical Judicial Backdrop: From Nuremberg to the 1980 Cologne Trial of Kurt Lischka, Herbert Hagen, and Ernst Heinrichson
3. The Investigation: War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and the Long Road to Compromise
4. The Barbie Trial Begins: Opening Rituals and the Departure of the Accused
5. The Witnesses
6. The Civil Parties and Prosecution Make Their Case
7. Barbie’s Defence Takes Centre Stage
"Richard J. Golsan provides a rich and informative context for the Klaus Barbie trial and has expanded the theoretical field for discussing Barbie’s motives for his crimes. This truly interesting book will make a significant contribution to the field of Holocaust Studies."Michael S. Bryant, Professor of History and Legal Studies, Bryant University
"Richard J. Golsan is an expert on memory and the war in France and this book is an important continuation of his work. Justice in Lyon shows the importance of the Barbie trial, tracking its events throughout the procedures of the French court system. The book is written in a clear and elegant style, comprehensible and engaging to both graduate and undergraduate students as well as readers interested in the Barbie trial, memory of the Second World War in France, and historic trials related to crimes against humanity more generally."Julia Elsky, Assistant Professor of French, Loyola University Chicago
"Historians often use the evidence gathered for trials to reconstruct historical events, but Richard J. Golsan makes the trial itself the event that he analyses. Justice in Lyon presents a revealing account of the trial of Klaus Barbie and its significance in terms of the French reckoning with German occupation during the Second World War. Golsan offers an insightful reading of the legal complexities and the drama of what went on in court. His examination of the Barbie trial in light of earlier trials for crimes against humanity enables readers to understand in new ways the conflicts in the trial and their significance within a changing historical context."Donald M. Reid, Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill