Paul Touvier

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Paul Touvier (April 3, 1915 - July 17, 1996) was a French Nazi collaborator. In 1994, he was convicted of crimes against humanity for his actions in Vichy France.


Early life

He was born in Saint-Vincent-sur-Jabron, Alpes de Haute-Provence, in south-eastern France. As a teenager, Touvier was known for chasing girls, which caused his father, a devout Catholic who was sympathetic to the ideas of Marshall Pétain, to push his son into joining the "Milice", the militia of the Vichy regime. Touvier's father reportedly hoped that a little military discipline would "make a man" out of his son.


Touvier was eventually appointed head of the intelligence department in the Chambéry Milice under the direction of Klaus Barbie and in January 1944 became second regional head.


After the liberation of France by the Allied forces, Touvier went into hiding and escaped being executed without trial, like many other suspected collaborators. On September 10, 1946, he was sentenced to death in absentia by the French courts for treason and collusion with the Nazis. He was arrested in 1947, but escaped.


By 1966, implementation of his death sentence was barred based on a 20-year statute of limitations. Following this, attorneys for Touvier filed an application for a pardon, requesting for the lifting of the life-time ban on leaving the country and the confiscation of goods linked to his death penalty. In 1971, French President Georges Pompidou granted him the pardon. Pompidou's pardon caused a public outcry that escalated when it was revealed that most of the property Touvier claimed as his own had allegedly been property seized from deported Jews.

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