Papon Was In the Resistance Too

Cafe Kleber - Trocadero
This is not a tricked-up photo: this was last Wednesday at Trocadéro.

Members of the Resistance Testify On Papon's Behalf

Paris:- Saturday, 21. February 1998:- The trial of Maurice Papon in Bordeaux for crimes against humanity has its periods of routine and calm, and it has its stormy passages.

Mr. Papon has long maintained that he aided the Resistance during the period of the occupation of France during the war. In 1958, he received a sort of official certificate as a 'combattant volontaire' as a result, I believe, of a third application for the recognition.

Last week, some members and the relatives of deceased members of the Resistance, told the court that Maurice Papon Cafe Flore - St Germain had, in fact, aided the Resistance.

There was a network with the name, Jade Amicol, but Mr. Papon was not on its list of members in Bordeaux. A search of records showed a 'Mr. Papon' as a member of the Lyon branch, and was the only one by that name to be registered with any branch of Jade Amicol.

Another surprise 'fake' spring day; this one yesterday.

The first member of the Resistance to testify, spoke for her husband, now dead. She said that Maurice Papon never attended gatherings of the Bordeaux branch of Jade Amicol after the war. "He wasn't there, and he wasn't listed as absent," she said.

The three following witnesses were positive about Maurice Papon's participation; although none knew him in 1943-44. At least from 1944, he "Furnished information and got clothes for Allied flyers," they said.

One recalled overhearing a telephone conversation between the head of the Bordeaux network and Mr. Papon on 4. January 1944. Stating that the time was eight in the evening, he heard his chief make a request, 'as usual,' for identity papers and clothes for an American flyer. This witness added that he heard that Maurice Papon was an 'information agent' [for the Resistance], beginning in March of 1943.

This witness also added a comment, which is apparently well-known in Resistance circles, to the effect that in addition to the 1,600 Jews 'deported' from the Bordeaux area, there were also "5,000 members of the Resistance, of whom 283 were boulangerie - Marais shot, and 1,300 were 'deported.' Some died under torture; and 900 never returned."

The head of the Lyon network of Jade Amicol told the court he put 'Mr. Papon' on the list of Resistants on 25. October 1944, "Without knowing it was him." He said the judge had visited him in 1995 and spent three hours trying to get him to say he gave out membership certificates as favors.

A well-painted and busy boulangerie in the Marais.

The fourth witness, speaking for his deceased father, stated that his father told him that he had made a speech in a factory, saying that Maurice Papon had supplied papers and clothes to Allied flyers. The witness said, "The photo exists, Maurice Papon of the Prefecture, representing Gaston Cusin."

The last witness to be heard, said that a few weeks before the Normandy landings, he had gone to the prefecture with Gaston Cusin, who had an appointment with Maurice Papon.

At this, Mr. Papon added that when this witness had brought Gaston Cusin to his office, he greeted the witness with the name 'Gervais,' which was his 'nom de guerre.'

The trial continues next week.

Web Sites With Contents About the Papon Trial:

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.'

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