Papon Is Confronted With Facts

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Paris Plans Tour Eiffel II for 2000

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 officers on the buses of lines especially hard hit.

I don't pretend to understand the motive for attacking buses. It is flat-out aggressive behavior - perhaps in response to the authorities glossing over social and economic problems by draping them in inoffensive names - the result of living in 'sensitive' neighborhoods.

France Plans Conquest of 2000

While many countries have been quietly beavering away with plans for turn of the millennium celebrations, France has apparently been doing nothing except getting ready for the World Cup championships next summer.

This is not exactly correct because TV Japanese at Fauchon personality Yves Mourousi appointed himself chief of Paris' 'Mission 2000' two years ago, and this appointment was made official at the beginning of this year.

They're in because I couldn't wait any longer. Sorry, ladies.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Mourousi and Paris mayor, Jean Tiberi, laid out their plans, to take place between 3. September 1999 and 14. July 2001.

Here is what they are thinking about: the world's biggest sundial, a giant clock, a huge book, 2000 giant fish in the Seine, promenades along the Seine, a giant egg-laying by the Tour Eiffel, and a virtual 21st 'Internet' arrondissement are some of the projects.

However the most astonishing idea is to build another giant tower, beside the Seine in the 13th arrondissement.

Projected to be built of silver pine, reinforced with steel, the 200 metre-high tower would be topped with, and I am not making this up, a sort of airy Maple Leaf. The whole thing is to be called 'Tour de la Terre' and the idea is supposed to be supported by UNESCO.

The city is supposed to donate the land necessary and sponsors are supposed to put up 60 percent of the estimated cost of 200 million francs, with the rest to be raised by public subscription.

The timetable is tight. The architect reckons the promoters must have the land available no later than 1. July 1998 in order for the construction of the tower to be completed by November 1999.

The Paris sundial plan dates to the 1913 idea of astronomer Camille Flammarion, who proposed it for the place de la Concorde. WWI shot it down and the idea resurfaced for the Universal Exposition of 1937, but went nowhere.

Merry Pranksters at Work in France

On Wednesday, the National Assembly's postman had an extra job of delivering 577 small packages to the deputies. Each one contained a book, outlining the benefits of 'soft drugs,' and a nice big fat joint.

Officially, and for the benefit of alert TV-news reporters, the deputies were outraged - and several claimed they were going to return them to the sender, the CIRC, which is a 'Collective d'Information et de Recherche Cannabique.'

The Republic is humiliated said one deputy as he tossed his into a trashcan while another said he was putting his 'pétard' in the glass cabinet where he keeps all gifts. Two conservatives said they were going to lay charges and were keeping theirs as evidence.

Welcome Gift from SNCF

My local agent for France's state railway told me that 'carnets' of ten tickets are now available for travel on SNCF lines in the Paris region. There are all sorts of reasons for not getting the otherwise good deal that the Orange Card represents, so a 20 percent discount for the SNCF's carnet is welcome - and will match the saving realized by buying RATP métro and bus tickets by the 'carnet' of ten tickets. Versailles should be clicking its heels with joy.

High Speed from Paris to Brussels

Gal Lafayette treeThe SNCF's 'Thalys' service of TGV trains running between Paris and Brussels have just clipped 30 minutes from the time it takes to make the journey. What used to take nearly two hours has been reduced to a running time of one hour, 25 minutes - just slightly more than it would take me to get from my door to Gare du Nord.

This is not Galeries Lafayette's Year 2000 Space Needle.

Actually, we can thank the Belgians too, because they built the high-speed track from the French frontier to Brussels, making speeds of 300 kph for the whole distance possible.

The next steps are planned high-speed links to Amsterdam and Köln.

Sports News: None Live, This Week

World Cup SportsBar Is Still Open Though

Real SportsFans should pay a visit to the SportsBar where the fans hang out at the Football Café to have relaxing beers and discuss the finer points of the life of football, without getting too 'psychorigide' about it. Cool.

More uptight are the 'official' Web sites as represenred by the FIFA, which stands for Federation International; and there is also the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO.

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