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Klaus Barbie

Barbie, Klaus, 1913–91, Nazi war criminal known as the "Butcher of Lyons." As Gestapo chief in Lyons, France (1942–44), he was responsible for the deaths of French Resistance members and thousands of Jews. After the war he secretly served as a U.S. army agent in Germany. In 1951 he fled Europe for Bolivia with U.S. help. Identified by Nazi-hunters in the early 1970s, he was expelled from Bolivia in 1983 after a civilian government came to power. He was tried in France, found guilty of crimes against humanity, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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