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.'

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

Jean-Marie Le Pen On Trial in Versailles

On 30. May 1997, between the first round of the last national elections and the second, Jean-Marie Le Pen St Germain gas station went to Mantes-la-Jolie with the intention of giving some campaigning aid to his daughter, who was running for office there.

Instead of doing this, he and his bodyguards got involved in a scuffle with the mayor, Annette Peulvast, and some Socialist Party supporters.

Not exactly a corner gas station, but right on the boulevard St. Germain.

This resulted in charges being laid against Mr. Le Pen and three of his bodyguards, as well as against 13 Socialist Party supporters. The mayor, Annette Peulvast, won the election and is now a deputy in the National Assembly.

The prosecution is being tough, partly because it has 'luxurious proof' in the form of TV-news video tape of the scuffle. The prosecution is therefore asking for a sentence of three months in jail, possibly suspended, plus two years of ineligibility of voting rights. Fines are asked for the bodyguards.

This peeved the leader of the National Front party and during a recess he is reported to has said, "To eliminate a political competitor who's bothering them, the Socialists have found a way: suppression of the right to vote. With similar procedures, dictators would have no need of gulags or concentration camps."

(I am not certain, but I think the suppression of the right to vote, is an effective prohibition to being a candidate for public office.)

Outside the courthouse, nearly a thousand demonstrated against the National Front Party; and the group included several deputies, some of whom are gearing up for coming regional elections.

Two youths had a banner with the slogan of 'F for Fascist, N for Nazi' - which the public prosecutor would probably like to punish with a fine, for slander.

The decision about Mr. Le Pen's penalty will be made known on Thursday, 2. April.

France Welcomes Year 2000, Modestly

Two-thirds has been whacked off an initial budget for France's celebration of the arrival of... the year 2000. This means Cafe Deux Magots there will be no monumental projects realized; no new pyramids, no new Tour Eiffels.

Of course, Paris may be richer than France, and go ahead with its own plans, but I think this is doubtful. On the whole, the lack of taxpayers money for this sort of extravaganza, may turn out to be a good thing.

Even in afternoon shadows, no sweaters, no coats.

People in France know how to party and are perfectly capable of doing it without the government or the administration putting on a 'package' show for them. With these bodies out of the picture, anything now becomes possible.

What it will really come down to: we will be able to choose our own music - for a change.

SportsNews: Winter Olympics Are Over

The World Cup SportsBar Now Open 8 Days a Week

Real SportsFans do hang out the SportsBar where the other fans have all the 0% beer they can make take, at the Football Café, and have relaxing bowls of hot won-tun soup while discussing the finer points of the world of football, without getting too 'psychopsycho' about it. Too ultra cool.

Less uplifting are the 'official' Web sites: represented by the FIFA - which stands for Federation International - and the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO. I don't what the initials stand for, just like RATP does not sound like métro to me.

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