David Pryce-Jones has a post on the Contentions blog attacking the memory of Lucie Aubrac, the French Résistance member whose courage and dedication to her country is not only legendary, but unquestioned and unquestionable. He accused her of tipping off Klaus Barbie who deported thousand of French Jews as to the whereabouts of many French members of the Résistance:
The Lyons Gestapo was headed at the time by Klaus Barbie, a hardline Nazi and a sadist who personally tortured his victims. He and a Gestapo detachment burst into the house at Caluire, arresting Jean Moulin and eight others, among them Raymond Aubrac. According to Lucie’s story, she then visited Barbie in his headquarters and persuaded him to let her see her husband. During a visit, she and Raymond planned his escape, which took place that October when Lucie led an ambush on the prison van escorting her husband and others to a different prison. Moulin died under Barbie’s torture without giving away any secrets.
How did the Gestapo know that Jean Moulin and the others were in that house in Caluire? That someone tipped them off has always been evident. Suspicion fell on the Aubracs, but in preliminary investigations they were cleared. They were also unpopular because of the zeal and frequency with which they had accused people, after the war, of collaboration with the Nazis.
And then Klaus Barbie was captured in Bolivia, and brought to trial in France. He declared that Lucie Aubrac had, in fact, tipped him off. Prisoners did not escape the Gestapo, he emphasized with authority, unless the Gestapo wanted them to escape.
I know that for Pryce-Jones French heroism is an oxymoron and that he sees evil and cowardice everywhere when he sees someone French, but to repeat allegations made by members of the French far right who are the same one who argue that the German occupation of France was wonderful and that the Shoah is a minor detail of history is disgusting. By repeating Klaus Barbie’s allegation, Pryce-Jones is in fact saying that a person whose participation in the killing of thousand of French Jews has more credibility in his eyes than Lucie Aubrac, a French woman who fought for her country. In order words, to slander the memory of Lucie Aubrac, Pryce-Jones is choosing to believe the man who was called le boucher de Lyon, the Butcher of Lyon for his taste for blood over everything and everyone one. What to think of a man who would rather believe a member of the Gestapo because he is German than to believe a woman of the Résistance because she is French? Pryce-Jones should be ashamed of himself for going in the sewer to find slanderous and unproven allegations to defecate on the memory of a French legend who died as she lived her life, gracefully. If I believed in violence, I would seek David Pryce-Jones and challenging to a duel just to show how cowardly and vile it is to do what he just did in his post just to get some cheap thrill as spitting of the corpse of legend just because she is French.