Maurice Papon (Gretz-Armainvilliers, September 3rd 1910 - Pontault-Combault, February 17th 2007) was Politician and French high-civil servant, condemned in 1998 for complicity of crimes against humanity for made acts whereas he was civil servant of the Régime of Vichy.
Prefect of police of Paris between 1958 and 1967, it is also known for its role in the bloody repression of the manifestations of the October 17th, 1961 and the February 8th, 1962 and to have directed the French company of the Champagne glassmakings, in 1977, when Pierre Maître, trade unionist, were assassinated by a commando of the Confédération of the free trade unions.
Youth and first assignmentsWire of notable, it passes part of its youth to Gretz-Armainvilliers in the family home where it was born. His/her father, Arthur Papon, first clerk being studied of Me Aulagnier, founds the French company of the Champagne glassmakings and his/her mother devotes herself to her education. Maurice Papon is 9 years old when his/her father, of center-left, becomes mayor of Gretz, station which it preserves until 1937 and which it supplements by that of general adviser of the Canton of Tournan-in-Brie and of president of this same council in 1937.
After secondary studies in Paris, with the College Montaigne and the Louis-the-Large College, Maurice Papon made of the studies of right and letters, militate with the Ligue of republican and socialist university action at the sides of Pierre Mendès-France and enter the public administration at the 21 years age, with the ministry for the air. It passes then from other diplomas of right and political economy. It is named in 1935 writer with the ministry for the interior. It then will follow François de Tessan, his mentor, in 3 ministries. In 1939, it is affected as second lieutenant with the 2nd regiment of infantry colonial and sent to Tripoli in Grande Syria (today, with the Lebanon). It is repatriated in France for health reasons. After the Armistice, it joined new the Régime of Vichy as a sub-prefect of first class.
With the prefecture of the GirondeWhereas it had adhered to the Ligue of republican and socialist university action, organization supporting the Popular front, Maurice Papon adopts in 1940 the ideas of the national Révolution of the Maréchal Pétain and its government.
It is named in 1942 general secretary of the prefecture of the the Gironde, with Bordeaux, in occupied zone. Right-hand man of the prefect of the Aquitaine region Maurice Sabatier, it directs the Service of the Jewish questions. Until May 1944, its services will count the Jews in the hospitals, the Sanatorium S and the old people's homes and will organize the arrest and the deportation of the Jews of the Bordeaux region towards the Camp of Drancy created in 1941.
To the Release, Maurice Papon provides a certificate of resistance, dated October 25th, 1944 and signed of “colonel Ollivier”, who indicates that it would have belonged to the Réseau Jade-Amicol starting from January 1st, 1943. Its authenticity strongly was called in question these last years, it had already been rejected in 1952 by the commission of the war veterans of the department of the Seine.
Maurice Papon had as the chance as the Resistance of the Gironde left bloodless and divided dark “Grandclément business” (of the name of a resistant chief having accepted an agreement with the Gestapo of Bordeaux in the name of the Anticommunisme). Contrary to the majority of the other French departments, the Resistance of the Gironde left too weakened war to be able to provide the substitutes to the executives of Vichy. This is why, in spite of the negative opinion of the Departmental committee of Release (which had classified Maurice Papon among the personalities to be drawn aside or stop), the police chief of the Republic Gaston Cusin chooses to maintain this last in functions.
Maurice Papon was confirmed post-war period in his functions by the Général de Gaulle and was not worried by the commission of purification. Initially appointed prefect of the Moors, it reinstates the ministry for the interior in October 1945. According to Olivier Guichard, the de Gaulle general “knew perfectly the past” of this civil servant who personally received it after the release of Bordeaux. Eric Roussel writes that “with eyes of general, authority of State is if crowned, danger constituted by Communists so intolerable, that it is laid out to accept without too many problems of conscience of the men who could, one rather long moment, to work for the account of Vichy.”
It then continues a career of senior official. It is named Corsica prefect of in 1947, then prefect of Constantine (Algérie) in 1949. It is made knight of the Légion of honor in 1948. In 1951 he becomes general secretary of the police headquarter of Paris. In 1954 it leaves for the Morocco as general secretary protectorate, where it helps to repress the Moroccan nationalists. It is named officer of the Légion of honor. In 1956 it turns over to Constantine during the Guerre of Algeria.
Prefect of police of Paris
In April 1958, Maurice Papon is named Prefect of police of Paris by the IVe République finishing. It at that time obtains the chart of “voluntary Combattant of the Résistance” which recognizes its participation in Resistance.
This strategic station, Maurice Papon played a big role in the crisis which followed the Rising of Algiers on May 13rd, 1958. He took part in the meetings confidential gaullists which ensured the exploitation of the crisis and prepared in Paris the return to the capacity of the de Gaulle general. This action occults was worth to him its maintenance in function by the Ve République. In July 1961 it receives hands of Charles de Gaulle the cross of commander of the Légion of honor. In the Massacre of October 17th, 1961, with Paris, the police force placed under the authority of Papon very brutally represses a “walk of peace” organized by Algerian FLN: a great number of Algerian civilians find death. This walk probably intervened after the murder of a police officer by militants of the FLN. At the time of funerals, Maurice Papon had declared “for a given blow, we will carry ten from there”. He then receives freehand of the government to bring back the calm one in the streets of Paris. The historian Jean-Luc Einaudi wrote that the massacres and tabassages Algerian demonstrators had been made “under the orders” of the prefect of police Maurice Papon. Pierre Messmer confirmed with the lawsuit of Maurice Papon that these exactions did not concern only the responsibility for the police officers and the Papon prefect: “I assume with the government by [[Michel Debré]] and the de Gaulle general, president of the Republic, the totality of the responsibility for the events. One cannot charge responsibility to a prefect, subordinated of the , Minister of Interior Department” in fact Roger Frey.
The number of victims of the massacres of October 1961 is difficult to establish with certainty. The extent of repression was the subject of sharp controversies in the years 1990. Certain authors, in particular Jean-Luc Einaudi advance the figure of 200, even 300 dead. On his side, Jean-Paul Brunet estimates that there were forty victims. Linda Amiri, which stripped the files of the police headquarter of Paris, counts hundred deaths certain, and thirty and one missings. Alain-Gerard Slama, in his book of popularization on the war of Algeria, and Le Monde , in 1985, also speaks about a hundred deaths. 357 Algerians were looked after by the hospitals of Paris for the received blows.
The February 8th 1962, a demonstration against OAS, prohibited by the ministry for the Interior, is brutally repressed. Eight demonstrators are killed following the received blows or perish choked by fleeing the extreme brutality of the police force, in the mouth of subway Charonne: it is the Affaire of the subway station Charonne. A ninth dies shortly after of the continuations of its wounds. Brownish Jean-Paul and Alain Dewerpe estimate that a collective responsibility, police force to the Head of the State, the de Gaulle general, while passing through the Papon prefect, is established. It would concern the “authoritarianism” of the mode gaullist, which they analyze (especially Alain Dewerpe) on this occasion.
Mayor, appointed, then Minister for the Republic
In 1968 it is elected appointed UDR of the Cher. With the autumn of the same year, he becomes treasurer of the UDR, supported by the Head of the State, the de Gaulle general. Jacques Foccart brings back this dialog of October 11th, 1968 in its Journal of the Elysium (ED. Beech/Jeune Afrique, volume 2, p. 383):
“Jacques Foccart: treasurer of the UDR Robert Poujade for proposing Papon to replace it, but he wants to know your front opinion.
- Charles de Gaulle: Yes, Papon, it is completely suitable, they are serious. Indeed, it is an good idea. ”
He occupies this station during nearly three years.
In 1972 he becomes president of the committee of supply of the National Assembly. He is re-elected appointed in 1973 and 1978. This year, it obtains 51,47 % of the votes cast with the second turn, vis-a-vis the Communist Laurent Bilbeau.
Of 1978 with 1981, it is Minister for the Budget in the second and third government S of Raymond Barre. In a maintenance granted to France Culture in February 2007, Mr. Barre declared that the nomination of Maurice Papon had been done on its initiative.
The Papon business
Papon, then Minister for the Budget, decides to start a fiscal control against the satiric weekly, the Duck connected .
May 6th, 1981, the newspaper “counteracts”, on the mode of the sprinkled sprinkler, by publishing an article of Nicolas Brimo revealing the role of Maurice Papon in the deportation of the Jews of Bordeaux. One finds there two documents gone back one to February 1943, the other of March 1944 and signed hand of Maurice Papon, then general secretary of the prefecture of the Gironde. These parts, communicated by Michel Slitinsky, showed the participation of the secretary of prefecture in the deportation of the Jews towards Germany. Another note gone back to November 1942 signed by Maurice Papon and produced during the lawsuit, will prove that this one had required of the Commander Management police force of German Safety in Bordeaux release of Alice Slitinsky stopped on October 19th, 1942 and slackened on December 5th, 1942. The business started four days before the presidential ballot was denounced like a political operation. It touched a former prefect, appointed RPR of the Cher, Minister for the Budget of the government of Raymond Barre. But the recognized independence of the Duck connected , just like the reserve expressed by the president François Mitterrand with the behavior of the Papon lawsuit, were to make litter of this charge.
The December 15th 1981, a jury of honor made up of old resistant “gives notice to Mr. Papon of what it was well affiliated with the fighting French Forces starting from January 1st, 1943 and assignee of the chart of the voluntary combatant of Resistance”. He adds however that while remaining in functions with the prefecture of the Gironde, Maurice Papon was interfered this fact “with contrary acts with the honor”, and estimates that this last would have to resign in 1942. Jean Pierre-Bloch, the last survivor of the jury, retracted in 1998 by indicating that: “Never I did not find the name of Papon on these papers. We had a list of the prefects and general secretaries who had rendered services to resistance and could help us with the Release. There was the name of Gabriel Delaunay but I never saw that of Papon. Ca would have struck me, because I knew Papon before war, it was member of the group of the socialist students. For me, Papon was not resistant, for me, Papon forever be resistant. If it were it, it is in a quite clandestine way” It then indicated that the decision of the jury had been mainly justified by the moral guarantee of two of its members: Jacques Soustelle and Maurice Bourges-Maunoury: “The discussion was very sharp. The debates had lasted very a long time. The decisions, officially made unanimously, were made in fact with three against two, Marie Madeleine Fourcade, the Riquet Father and Charles Verny who changed opinion, on a side; Daniel Mayer and me, other”.
Complaint for crime against humanity
December 8th, 1981: Maurice-David Matisson, Jean-Marie Matisson, Jacqueline Matisson and Esther Fogiel deposit felt sorry for " crimes against the humanité" .
Accomplice of crimes against humanity
He is accused in 1983 of crimes against humanity but it is only in 1997 that its lawsuit begins, after 17 years of legal battles. He is returned, on September 18th, 1996, before the Court of Assizes of the Gironde by the court of criminal appeal of the Court of Appeal of Bordeaux. He is condemned in 1998 to a 10 years sorrow of imprisonment, prohibition of the civic rights, civil and of family for complicity of crimes against humanity by the Court of Assizes. Papon was shown to have made off-set between July 1942 and May 1944, nearly 1600 Jews of Bordeaux towards Drancy. Maurice Papon, however, was not returned in front of bases that for 72 victims between 1942 and 1944. The Court of Assizes estimated that Maurice Papon was not informed of the extermination of the Jews. Only were retained in four convoys out of eight of complicities of arrest and sequestration. Its lawsuit is carrying different significances for the French; for some, it represented a last chance of confrontation of French people with his past collaborationnist, for others it symbolized the useless reviving of old wounds and factors of divisions. Maurice Papon profited from the brilliant and offensive defense of the lawyer Jean-Marc Varaut.
One of the principal questions of the lawsuit was to determine an individual up to what point must be held responsible when it belongs to a chain of responsibilities. In addition the public and private indicters did not cease presenting a free Prefecture of its actions, by despizing pressure of the Nazis. The public prosecutor requires a 20 years sorrow of imprisonment, whereas the life imprisonment was incurred. The finally marked sorrow was denounced by lawyers of condemned like a sorrow of “compromise”.
Left in bail at the beginning of his lawsuit by a decision of the Court of Assizes of the Gironde chaired by Jean-Louis Castagnède, Maurice Papon flees in Switzerland in October 1999 the day before the examination of his appeal. Stopped at the end of 48 hours in a Swiss hotel, and at once extradited, Maurice Papon is finally imprisoned with the Prison of Fresnes, which it leaves on September 18th, 2002, after 3 years of detention, on the basis of conclusive medical opinion with " the incompatibility of its health condition with detention because of its state of santé" and of the “law Kouchner”, lately voted. It is then assigned with residence in its family home of Gretz-Armainvilliers in Seine-et-Marne.
This handing-over in freedom was very criticized. The medical report/ratio describing Papon as “impotent and grabataire” appeared contradicted spectacularly when the former prisoner left with foot the Prison of Health. The release of Papon was made possible by the law “Kouchner” of March 4th, 2002 which provides that the prisoners can be released if they suffer from a terminal illness or if their imprisonment endangers their health. Papon is the second French to be profited from this law, whereas 27 French octogenarians entered in prison in 2001. The release of Maurice Papon was approved by old the Minister of Justice and former president of the Constitutional council, Robert Badinter. She had been also asked by personalities as not very suspect of kindness as old resistant the Germaine Tillion, cofondatrice of the network of the Museum of the Man.
In a stop of April 12th, 2002, the Council of State, considering that the facts for which Maurice Papon was condemned result at the same time from a personal fault and a service-connected fault, i.e. of the administration, condemned the State to pay half of the damage that the Court of Assizes of the the Gironde had allotted to the civil parts. But, on its side, Papon organized its “insolvency”.
July 25th, 2002, on request of Mr. Papon, the European Cour of the human rights considered to be contrary with the principles of the fair trial the obligation to be constituted captive before the examination of an appeal, which formed part of the criminal procedure code then. Contrary however so that partisans of the former prefect affirmed, this decision did not carry of anything on the bottom judgment and its judgment.
Maurice Papon had again business with justice in 2004-2005, to have illegally raised the Légion of honor in public, whereas its decorations had been withdrawn to him following its judgment.
EndAfter his release for health reason in September 2002, Maurice Papon sells the family home which it has in Gretz-Armainvilliers and settles in a small modern house with the 44 rue Arthur Papon (of the name of his/her father) where it is assigned with residence.
Hospitalized on February 8th, 2007 with Francilienne, private clinic of Pontault-Combault in Seine-et-Marne following cardiac problems and for an intervention on its pacemaker, it dies there on February 17th, 2007 at the 96 years age. Its death caused few spontaneous reactions of the political circles and associative.
The lawyer of Maurice Papon, Francis Vuillemin, declared that its customer would be buried with the Légion of honor, affirming in an official statement: “I will personally take care that in its tomb the cross accompanies it by Commander by the Legion by honor that Charles de Gaulle gave to him of its own hands, for eternity. ” “The offense of illegal port of decoration is conceived only in one public place. The coffin is the most private place which can be and a corpse is not any more one subject of right, it thus does not have there an infringement. ” the lawyer at Reuters declared
Michele Alliot-Marie declared as for it: “The Republic did what it was to do, there was lawsuit, there was legal decision, following the legal decision, the Republic decided to withdraw the cross of commander of the legion of honor in Maurice Papon, it is not more commander of the legion of honor, it is all. Then to open the coffins, it is something which for me is displeased”. ,
Maurice Papon was buried on February 21st, 2007 in the cemetery of Gretz-Armainvilliers at the sides of his parents and his wife, Paulette, died in March 1998, two days before the end of the lawsuit.
Its burial was celebrated in the catholic rite by the father Michel Lelong, a priest known for his dialog with the Islam and its hostility with the Zionism and the State of Israel. Forty people, as many journalists and police officers, attended the funeral Oraison. Maurice Papon “found light and comfort in the example of Christ condemned wrongfully”, in particular declared the Lelong father.
It was buried with the legion of honor which had however been withdrawn to him after its judgment, which caused the indignation of the political community and the families of its victims.
See also: Amorce=Sujets related:, Michel Slitinsky, Klaus Barbie, Paul Touvier, Serge Klarsfeld, Pierre Garat (service of the Jewish questions), Pierre Garat, Massacre of October 17th, 1961, October 61, Business of the subway station Charonne, Subway Charonne