Papon Is Confronted With Facts

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Paris:- Saturday, 13. December 1997:- Léon Librach is the name of one of the 1600 Jews sent from Bordeaux towards death while Maurice Papon was general secretary at the Prefecture of the Gironde between 1942 and 1944.

On Tuesday, Léon Librach was the first named victim in this two-month-old trial. Léon Librach was born on 31. May 1916 in Warsaw and he became a French citizen in 1939. Léon Librach was sent to Auschwitz on 18. September 1942 and he died there. These facts were stated to a silent courtroom by the President of the court, Mr. Castagnède.

Along the way from his home in the rue de Tlemcen in Bordeaux, Léon Librach passed through the Mérignac camp and through Drancy. Arrested by Nazi soldiers for trying to cross into occupied France, Léon Librach was held at Mérignac on 26. June 1942.

Maurice Papon ordered the transfer of Léon Librach to Drancy, in a letter to the commander of the Gendarmerie of Bordeaux.

A second letter was dated the 6. July 1942, which had both the official stamp and signature of Maurice Papon; and it ordered the transfer to be made on 8. July 1942. Papon also ordered that three places - there were two other Jews - to be reserved on the nine o'clock train for Paris.

A cousin of Léon Librach, Hersz Librach, 73, was Fauchon facade in court on Wednesday. He said he had recently learned that he is the only one with the family name of Librach left in Europe. Hersz Librach evaded the big roundup of the Vel' d'Hiv in Paris in July and was taken in by the Resistance.

The father of Léon Librach, his brother, his mother; the father of Hersz Librach and his two brothers; they all were sent east.

Fauchon's traditional seasonal facade.

And so the trial of Maurice Papon now continues; with names, dates, stamps, signatures, orders, documents - and Papon says he was a civil servant, doing his job; with the Nazis looking over his shoulders.

Web sites devoted to the History and Trial of Maurice Papon

The Matisson family were the first to launch a civil case against Maurice Papon, in 1981. Jean-Marie Matisson runs the website, and reports from the courtroom. At the website, click on 'Affaire Papon.'

Another website of interest contains daily coverage of the trial by the Bordeaux paper, the Sud Ouest.

Carlos Goes On Trial for Murder

Parisien's 'Carlos' title Once the world's most sought terrorist, Carlos, was let out of the Fresnes jail on Friday to go on trial in Paris on charges of murdering two counter-intelligence agents and their V-man who had lead them to Carlos.

Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos, was tricked into capture in the Sudan in 1994 and brought to France. This is apparently his first trial, but there will be others to follow as he has been charged with several Paris bombings and the bombings to two TGV trains as well as the Saint Charles station in Marseille. In all, he is believed to have caused the deaths of about 20 persons worldwide.

Bomb Disposal

Last Monday the residents of Dugny, a town in Seine-Saint-Denis just north of Paris - beside the airport at Le Bourget - were told to get out of town while bomb disposal experts defused a 1000 pounder left over from WWII.

As a Luftwaffe base, Le Bourget was often a target of Allied bombers during 1943 and 1944. The town of Dugny was nearly totally destroyed in one raid on 16. August 1943.

After 8,000 local residents had been moved to safety, the bomb squad defused the bomb in 35 minutes. Apparently there was little risk involved - but if the bomb had gone off, its damage would have extended for at least a kilometre - all nearby windows would have been blown to bits.

Bus Attacks Increase

Some time ago, a wild kid somewhere had the idea of venting frustration and rage by throwing a rock through the windshield of a passing bus.

For some unknown reason, this activity seems to have become a popular sport recently. Bus drivers are so unhappy with it, that there have been many strikes called lately, with some entire depots shut down. This has been happening all around France; not particularly in the Paris region.

Last year bus drivers throughout France suffered about two attacks a day and passengers, four. As the drivers have started to react, the attacks seemed to have increased. Now authorities are acting by placing police fficers on the buses of lines especially hard hit.

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