France Fights On (English Translation) - Thread III - The lost files

Hello there,

In Line of Wing's work on FFO (may he be praised), which cannot of course pretend to translate everything, I have thought it would be interesting to add a few addentum, annexs and personnals files of all the authors. The thread will be alimented ... when I got time. Still, I hope you'll enjoy it. There is some deep beneath ours works, that would be a shame not to share.
The French underworld at the service of the Nazi occupier
Our best years ("nos plus belles années')
The French underworld at the service of the Nazi occupier
(Script of the program “Witnesses of the Age”, Patrick Pesnot, France Inter, 1998)
“Was there a “French Gestapo”? » (Claude Bourdet)

Patrick Pesnot – Hello everyone, dear listeners, and thank you for joining us for this new issue of “Witnesses of the Age”, devoted this evening to a very obscure, although fascinating subject – even if it brings us back to what has now become commonplace to call the saddest hours in our history. A somewhat special show tonight, too,
because I have around me not one, but three guests – and guests of choice. First there is Mr. Philippe Robert, director of research emeritus at the Center for Sociological Research on Law and penal institutions at the University of Versailles.
Philippe Robert – Good evening, Mr. Pesnot.
P. Pesnot – Good evening, dear sir. Let us specify for our auditors that your institution is specializing in the study of relations between society and delinquents of all stripes, whether you are yourself a recognized sociologist, doctor of the University of Bordeaux, and that you collaborate for a long time with – among other institutions – the Ministry of Justice. In in front of you, Mr. Robert Stan Pratsky, a well-known specialist in the Second World War and everything related to the underworld “milieu”. We owe him in particular works exciting, which I urge you to read, on the underside of the operations in Provence and general on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Robert Stan Pratsky – Good evening, dear sir.
PP- Good evening. Finally, we have a third guest, quite exceptional but of whom I do not can't give you the real identity. We will call him Monsieur Raymond. Mr. Raymond, good evening.
Mr. Raymond – Good evening, Mr. Pesnot.
PP – Mr. Raymond is an exceptional guest, because he knew well – and very closely – the topic of tonight's show: relations between French criminal circles and Germany
Nazi during the Occupation. Relationships which, we will see, were anything but anecdotal. But first, a brief summary of the situation, so that things be clear. On June 14, 1940, as we all know, alas, the Wehrmacht, Hitler's army enters Paris. What is the objective of the German invader, apart from the fact to force into enslavement the hated adversary: France?
R.S. Pratsky – Well, dear Monsieur Pesnot, you should know that the German invasion of Western Europe, just like the majority of the conflicts that Berlin will subsequently trigger, responds to both economic and ideological considerations. In 1940 (and it will be truer from 1942), Germany is surrounded, stuck in a position that cutting off world trade, despite its European allies and the temporary benevolence of the USSR, in particular because of the domination exercised over the seas by the Royal Navy
and the Navy. The courage of the English and French leaders forcing him to continue a war that it imagined to be short, the Reich must, in order to hope to win, excessively plunder the occupied territories, whose populations will have to be repressed with energy. France, like other invaded countries, is therefore plundered! Confiscation of means of production, hunting down Jews, spoliation of their property, seizure of works of art, arrests and torture of the Resistance fighters... But for all this, the means are lacking, especially since these misdeeds do not will only get bigger over time!
PP- Yes. Germany must therefore find aid. Native auxiliaries, if I dared.
RSP – Absolutely. And this is how it was set up, with the significant help of an individual in particular – but among others, alas – an alliance of fortune, an evil alliance between
the Underworld and the Occupation, because of their converging interests in this matter.
PP – A real thriller! Which will generate many fantasies, films and books. We can cite Louis Malle, Laurent Heynemann, Claude Sautet… While in reality, basically, we still know very little about this economic collaboration and about the men who led it!
Ph. Robert – As you can imagine, the Middle – that of organized crime, of course – keeps only a little archives useful to the historian. However, this is not the case with Justice, which has retained, for his part, a certain number of files compiled at the Liberation – very thick files, I must say, that it is possible to consult under certain conditions. The Army also has archives, thanks to the Central Bureau of Intelligence and Action, the Second Bureau and the DGSS – but cannot be accessed.
PP – Why so?
Ph. R. – You should ask them! But anyway, one thing is clear: the Occupiers offered criminals the possibility of organizing offices at their service, kinds of subsidiaries. Dispensaries if you will, most often organized around of a charismatic leader, and whose imprint was to leave a lasting mark on French crime until our days. This hooliganism made it possible to train a whole generation of criminals, who later had a rich and fruitful career.
RSP – It should also be noted that these collaborations went well beyond simple relationships interpersonal relations between criminals. Organized crime contributed massively to the looting of the countries during the Occupation, and just as much to repression – with formidable efficiency, which is not unlike that of the so-called professional German services. It was quite logical that this integration worked as well – the Nazi Party being itself already a kind of gang divided into coteries, its members had experience in the matter!
PP – Precisely, it is rare that the bandits are united towards an objective. We imagine them more happy to compete! Mr. Raymond, you who experienced these events,
How do you explain that ?
M. Raymond – Hem… Today like yesterday, we must not see the milieu as a unique and hierarchical organization. A cloud, a nebula would be better. little ones
thugs to serious white-collar criminals, including bank robbers or even the crooked police, all act according to their own goals. With the arrival of Germans, a certain number of them naturally wondered spontaneously if there had no way of getting anything out of the defeat. Only, isolated, they did not weigh much. Naturally – even instinctively, without realizing it – they thus federated around several personalities well in court, who could at the same time serve protectors and leaders, or at least coordinators. This was especially the case with Pierre Bonny, Rue Lauriston and what will become most of SONEF – the Service d'Ordre du Nouvel Etat Français.
PP – La Carlingue. The one whose notebooks by Jean Martin, recently reissued, have enlightened operation.
Mr. Raymond – Absolutely. With a nuance, however. Unlike Jean Martin – a poor young man tossed about by circumstances, at least at the beginning of his career – or the authentic fascist supporters of Jacques Doriot, the rallying of the Milieu à the Occupation responded above all to pure economic opportunism. The holy war against
Communism, capitalism, Anglo-Saxons, Africans… very little for us – I mean, for them. Simply, they found that the Nazis were setting up a policy of looting, then considered it possible to take part in it to live well.
RPP – Even if it means allying with the Gestapo for this. Besides, the Gestapo, Mr. Pratsky, what was it exactly?
RSP – Popular memory has preserved the Epinal image of an omniscient secret police and centralized, whose terrifying assassins in raincoats methodically crisscrossed the
territory aboard powerful cars. The truth is more complex. Already, in reality, he absolutely not a single organization, but rather different organizations with different
different goals, each with unclear and tangled responsibilities, but that we have all grouped under a single term to represent their terrible efficiency conjugated. As I told you, the parallel with the Milieu is obvious. To simplify, say that the Secret State Police or Geheime Staatspolizei is globally the armed wing of the Nazi Party and its Occupied Territories Control Service: the ReichsSicherheitsHauptamt (Reich Central Security Office). Unlike other intelligence agencies Germans, she alone has the power of arrest. All other organizations must go through it for that. This gives him considerable power, but requires a lot of means.
PP – Sorry to interrupt you, but before continuing, a simple question: if the Gestapo is Nazi in its very nature, how is it possible for French people to make it party while pretending to be foreign to Hitler's ideas? Is it, in the subject that we occupied, of French Nazis?
M. Raymond – With your permission, I must specify that in terms of nationality, there were of all Rue Lauriston. Poles, North Africans, Italians… Even if, indeed,
the majority of the chefs were French.
RSP – And in fact of political orientation, I will answer – they were not Nazis, at least not to begin with. There is no unique profile for Collaborators. between member
member of a party and the one who writes an anonymous letter from time to time, there is a world. The German services recruited widely, on the promise of a ringing reward and stumbling – even if it was only Francs Laval – or on guarantee of protection. I am not afraid to state that I understand – even if I obviously do not approve of it –
the explanation of Monsieur Raymond, when he speaks of “vivre bien” thanks to the Occupier. Of sporting environment in the medical environment, from garages to night Paris, there were everywhere people to collaborate. Every part of society has had its lame ducks for various reasons. A lot out of profit, but very little out of conviction.
Ph. R. – Any retreat of the state is favorable to crime. War naturally entails creation of a “grey” economy. This is unfortunately a reality. And as we have sketched, the
Midfield played the invader card early on to thrive – just look at the number considerable number of common law prisoners released between 40 and 44 on the instructions of Occupants or their friends! Among them, very few politicians, no idealists. Of the predators or parasites – depending on each person's judgment. They chose a way of life
margin, which obeys their own codes, which prevail over those of the Company. Having already turned his back on this same society, notorious members of a singular class, it is natural that they did not feel very concerned by the ongoing conflict… I am afraid that your political interpretation, Mr. Pesnot, therefore has no place here. Except perhaps in concerns the few refractory to this evolution, the best known of which are the brothers Garneri – strong personalities from the Corso-Provençal milieu rallied to the Resistance, although for much more… personal reasons than mere Republican idealism.
M. Raymond – Yes – out of revenge, it must be said! Because at that time, the Garneri – as the others – only really respected the laws of the Middle: the duty of Silence, the requirement of Solidarity, the right of Vengeance, submission to the decisions of the Chief. And most of their… colleagues, who considered it obvious that Germany had won the war, did not see no longer any interest in even pretending to follow the principles of a Republic exiled to the south of the Mediterranean. So if the Germans offered them, in the interests of the Reich, of course, to expand their activities beyond what was tolerated before the conflict, and to rise, in doing so, above their marginal condition… well, the occasion was too good to refuse to take our revenge and gain access to the honors that had been denied to us until then. All have not played this card thoroughly, but some have not been deprived of it.
PP – Until sometimes taking the place of the police. But how many were there, gentlemen, these auxiliaries of the Occupiers? And how many, directly or indirectly, have joined SONEF?
Ph. R. – The figures vary, but overall it is estimated that 40 or 50,000 people number of those who once worked, more or less actively, for the Germans. As for SONEF, it is impossible for me to commit to a precise count, due to the large number of members… casual and hidden relationships, not to mention the destruction of many documents at the end of the war. Half, i.e. 20 or 25,000 people, seems to me a good approximation – even if a good part of them do not never wore the SONEF uniform! The Rue Lauriston Street , led by Bonny, in absorbed the largest part, thus becoming undoubtedly the most powerful of the dispensary of Collaborative criminals. This is what makes it so representative - as well as the fact that its leader knew how to navigate perfectly between the different German and French coteries of the Occupation. Pierre Bonny, alas, was a clever man, who understood that services they could render were of such great value that he could afford certain privileges.
PP – Fifty thousand active collaborators! This number is huge! But I allow myself to come back to the sociological aspect of these men, these criminals. You really value
that there were hardly any convinced Nazis among them? Allow me to doubt it!
Ph. R. – And yet… The sociological profile of criminals is often remarkable in similarity. If their social origin or the circumstances of their entry into the environment can
differ, they all stay there by choice. They are habitual criminals...
M. Raymond – Enfants du malheur”, according to the formula.
Ph. R. – If you want. The criminal is therefore a professional recidivist, marginal and out of the national community. He and his companions form a universe apart, where the degrees implications range from the misguided awaiting redemption to a genuine public enemy. But all these people - who are not involved in politics - indeed go to the same places, go in the same bars, are incarcerated in the same prisons… fight over the same women and also the same sources of income. They therefore inevitably create links, and
spontaneously exclude all those who do not have the “codes” of the Middle. Of which of course the fascists. And it is this same unity of thought that has spontaneously led organized crime as a whole to understand that the Occupation gave him the opportunity to make the best deals of their careers… for a few favors to be rendered to the fascists in question.
M. Raymond – What we still call today “les plus belles années du Milieu”.
RSP - You didn't have to be a Reich supporter or an anti-Semite to join the Gestapo. Of even, it was not necessary to be from the Gestapo to mistreat the populations – and that also applied to the Germans.
PP – Mr. Pratsky, when did the Gestapo begin to crack down on the National territory ?
RSP – Well, surprisingly, relatively late, and after starting very small. Contrary to what happened during the Anschluss, then during the invasion of the Czechoslovakia or Poland, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht had obtained from Hitler that no civilian police force returns to France. The French metropolis was still a war zone – and would always be for the military command, despite the parody of the armistice signed by Laval. It was therefore entrusted to the Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich, or MBF, of General Alfred Streccius. The reign of the latter, which had to essentially managing the end of the 1940 fighting, the takeover of the southern metropolis and finally the disarmament of the demobilized masses lasted only a few weeks. From the 25 August, Streccius was replaced by General Otto von Stülpnagel, who settled in the hotel
Majestic in Paris. In February 1942, Otto was replaced by Eberhardt von Mackensen, who held the reins a year before leaving for the Russian Front. Then it was the turn of Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel (cousin of the previous one), who remained in place until the assassination attempt against Hitler in March 1944. Thanked and recalled to Germany, von Stülpnagel committed suicide shortly after to have been replaced by Karl Kitzinger – who had the mediocre privilege of being the last commander of the Occupation Forces in France… forces whose territory of competence was decreasing day by day!
The MBF was divided into two branches: the Kommandostab (military staff), headed by the General Speidel, and the Verwaltungsstab or Militärverwaltung (administrative staff), directed by Doctor Schmitt. By article n° 3 of the armistice agreement – and if we put side the role of the Security Forces of the Territory of Laval, which was always minor – the OKW, therefore the German army, enjoyed all the executive powers of the police. And like the MBF led by nature all German police forces – GFP and Feldgendarmerie – its main tasks were to maintain order. This was ensured in particular, under the authority of the Kommandostab, by the Leitender Feldpolizei Direktor or Directorate of field police, led by Doktor Sowa. The MBF fully supervised the remainder of the French administration – by the way theoretically by the government of the New French State. He therefore controlled the action of thepolice prefecture and the national police – through the Ministerialdirigent, Dr. Best, himself dependent on the Kommandostab. He also assumed custody of the various internment camps spread across France for the sorting of prisoners.
However, much of the MBF's work also focused on aspects economic – evidenced by the importance taken by specialized services in this field, under the authority of the Verwaltungsstab. Reporting directly to the military high command, and more particularly to the Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel, von Mackensen or von Stülpnagel (Otto or KarlHeinrich) therefore had, so to speak, absolute power in France!
PP – Even compared to other Reich services?
RSP – Yes – with the notable exception of Admiral Canaris’ Abwehr, who handled the flap “Intelligence and Security” of the MBF: a kind of secret service having essentially, but not just for military purposes. From the Hôtel Lutétia in Paris, Lieutenant-Colonel Rudolph and his deputy, Commander Oskar Reile, headed three sections respectively
responsible for sabotage and psychological warfare (the demoralization of the French, notably through the “abandonist” current), espionage and of course the counterintelligence, to unmask Allied agents in the territory. The collaboration with other services of the MBF was moreover… difficult: Rudolph only reported to Berlin and
his men formed a veritable army within the army. Besides, the Abwehr too, we will see, was very interested in the economic aspects of the Occupation. On the other hand, for the military, the SS should play no role in the administration of the war occupied France.
PP – It is hard to believe, when you see the role played – alas! – the SS in repression Resistance movements! You just have to see the memory she left behind!
RSP – That was precisely the reason for it. Believe it or not, the OKW seems to have been very shocked by the past abuses of the Black Order during previous invasions, and
feared that the executioners' zeal would be counterproductive.
PP – It is doubtful that the SS and its leader, the terrible Himmler, would allow such an affront to pass!
RSP – Of course! In 1940, the very day of the fall of Paris, unbeknownst even to the German high command, a team – a Sonderkommando – led by the Standartenführer Helmut Knochen, entered the city, on the personal order of Reinhard Heydrich. It was followed a few months later by two other groups, led by the officers Kieffer and Nosek. At 72 avenue Foch, the RSHA – the intelligence service of the SS – began to weave its web over France. He was of course quickly spotted by the military of the MBF, but Knochen, Kieffer and Nosek managed against all odds to coax them into promising to go through them for the slightest action. Only information, promise!
Among these SS, there was of course a representative of the Gestapo: Karl Boemelburg, protected of Heinrich Müller himself (boss of the secret police and number 2 of the RSHA). A long time, Boemelburg was the only true gestapo in France. A former police commissioner, who knew France very well, having traveled there many times and who had moreover was officially in charge of a security mission at the time of the family visit British Royal in Paris in 1938. He would also have worked with the French police, in
homicide investigations… Obviously, he was above all a spy, perfectly spotted by the Surêté of the rest! In the spring of 1939, even as the conflict rumbled, France had
obtained his deportation. So, just 13 months later, Boemelburg returned, representing officially the RSHA – even though it had no powers of arrest and had to
content with observer status.
Unfortunately, this observer would quickly become very active: tracking down German emigrants, hunt for Francs-maçons, flushing out Resistance fighters. But in the end he did very little damage, lack of means. His superior Helmut Knochen, bearing the pompous title of Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei (Commander of the Paris Security Police), was a talented young man – but a young man. He lacked confidence in the face of the generals of the MBF and the SS had to add a… adviser, Brigadeführer Thomas. Despite this last, the Gestapo structure stagnated. In December 1941, it represented less than 100 agents, against 5,000 for the Wehrmacht, and moreover had to face competition from the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, the group in charge of everything related to racial research Nazis and the spoliation of works of art. We are already beginning to understand the interest that the SS – and the MBF – were both going to find the Rue Lauriston mercenaries, as part of their internal war.
PP – A war? At this point ?
RSP – Yes, a war! With the stake, the booty, France itself. As as we have pointed out, since the armistice with the NEF, France was plundered. the army German requisitioned massively stocks having nothing to do with materials military: coal, civilian vehicles, horses, food. Later, she decided to formalize this bag, presenting trade agreements that the Laval government was asked to sign.
In reality, these were real taxes in the form of raw materials or products finished. The armistice had recorded the control of all the wealth of the country, while
imposing the payment of the famous daily occupation allowance. The Reich chose arbitrarily which sector to develop, where to allocate workers, which company
favor… when he was not directly requisitioning manpower, of course, to send him to work in Germany.
But all this looting posed a problem. Admittedly, the imposed exchange rate (1 Reichsmark for 20 Francs) was outrageously advantageous for Berlin. Of course, occupancy costs payable in Marks (400 million francs a day!) offered Germany the means unlimited funds to buy – wholesale – everything that was on the territory. But the
Franc Laval remained a monkey currency, thanks to the efforts of Algiers. The Reich was cashing in, well of course, extravagant sums - I did the total, it exceeds 30 billion
RM, or more than 600 billion Laval francs, counting the sums provided to the Italians and this even though the cost of maintaining the army of occupation was not to exceed 74 billions of francs for the duration of the war. But Berlin could do none of these astronomical amounts!
PP - One moment. Did you say 600 billion “invoiced” against 74 billion spent?
RSP- Yes! Germany made France pay for an occupation army of 18 million soldiers, compared to 400,000 in reality. But let's get to the crux of the problem. You are - nothing personal, is it, it's for the reasoning [Laughs in the studio] – the director of the Reichsbank. You accumulate in your book of colossal bills from the National Bank of the NEF. But
this currency is a monkey currency! From 1940, it was accepted almost nowhere in the world to acquire goods, and from the end of 1941, it is no longer accepted at all,
even by the Axis countries. In truth, it is hardly accepted in occupied France! Add to that the galloping inflation resulting from the financial maneuvers of the government of Algiers, and you wonder what you are going to do, as a state, with these billions of Laval francs converted into marks...
PP - I understand! I have to turn to the underground economy!
RSP- Exactly! The occupier decided, in order to make the money he stole from us profitable, to create and to rationalize a market, not black, but… “brown” for its own benefit. He grasped the useful and sold the superfluous at a very high price.
Mr. Raymond – This “brown market” was called the “Secteur officiel Clandestin”.
Ph. R. – We have the image of Bourvil, crossing Paris with his pig in a suitcase. The truth is more painful.
M. Raymond – In French cities, during the winter of 1942, it is impossible to eat without resorting to the black market. And when you can't pay either with money or in
bartering goods, what remains – apart from prostitution? Informations. The Germans practically formalized this trade, both that of goods and that of information, with their “purchasing offices”. The most famous is that of Herman Brandl, says Otto. He was an Abwehr agent, who crechait in Paris 21, square du Bois-de-Boulogne. Then at the Hôtel de la Princesse-de-Grèce, 6 rue Adolphe-Yvon – business worked, shall we say.
PP – Tell us, Mr. Raymond, please.
M. Raymond – The Otto office was, in a way, the purchasing center of the Abwehr – relocated from the Hotel Lutetia. He bought goods or information that he resold then he networked, created relationships – then with his profits he started again elsewhere, without forgetting of course to remunerate his touts. Of course, among
these, we found Pierre Bonny and his band.
PP – And, if I understood correctly, no one in the German army knew about it!
Mr. Raymond – Indeed. And yet… lots of goods have been sold, square du Bois-de-Boulogne! Transferred to the docks of Saint-Ouen, they then left for Germany.
In truth, Otto was making a profit by buying from the French and then reselling to others Germans.
RSP – One of the companies created by Otto was particularly active: Wifo (Wirtschaftliche Forschungsgesellschaft) or Economic Research Society. It centralized – before dispatch – the majority of the Occupant's purchases, in several sections: textiles, tools, metals…
Mr. Raymond – The merchant procedure was very simple: the seller presents himself in the desk. He submits a price offer and most often presents a sample. If the buyer is
interested, he invites the seller to come to Saint-Ouen or Nanterre for the reception. We weighs the parcel, he sees a ticket to exchange cash 6, rue Adolphe-Yvon – the case ends there.
PP – No ID required.
M. Raymond – And no accounts kept either. But to give you a estimate, I think we are approaching 30 billion francs in purchases over the entire duration of the conflict. The office was turning 15 to 100 million a day in the best months… Even 150 million in the months of November and December 1942. I understand that one day in December
1942, there was a unit payment of 322 million francs.
PP – And so, all these goods – paid for with Occupation costs, it must be remembered – were missing on French stalls, which drove up prices.
RSP – Between 1940 and 1943, what is now called the purchasing power of French dropped by 40%. And we see well, by observing the criminal organization that we
have just described, that this policy was carefully considered. It was about starving the France, to empty it of its lifeblood, to transform it into a kind of tourist province
for the benefit of German vacationers.
Mr. Raymond – Do not blame the sellers: the brown market prices were without compared to those on the official market. 72 Francs per kilo of green leather, against 8 Francs at Laval. The kilo of lead: 30 francs against 6. The kilo of nickel: 1,000 francs against 200!
PP - It remained for the Occupation to find "traders" capable of finding everything. And above all, they had to be trustworthy, efficient and loyal people – and if possible as many in the trade of goods than in that of information.
Ph. R. – And this is where Pierre Bonny comes into play, with his group of auxiliaries at the same time economic and repressive.
PP – Who exactly was Pierre Bonny, Monsieur Robert?
Ph. R. – Already, he was, unfortunately, a policeman – or rather, he had been a policeman, National Safety. A man who entered la Maison – as they say – in 1918. Very
well noted by his bosses, very meticulous, hardworking… He was among the best from the start. In 1923, when he was only a trainee inspector, he was assigned to the Seznec case – a case in which he would have, according to some, lacked impartiality. Not enough, however, to hamper his career.
PP – It should be noted in this regard that the family of Mr. Seznec is still fighting today to rehabilitate the latter, who was sentenced to prison after being found guilty of the
disappearance of General Counsel Pierre Quéméneur – who was steeped in ugly stories sale of cars abandoned in France by the American army. A complicated matter
even dark...
Ph. R. – In any case, it does not hinder Bonny's career. In 1927, the year Seznec left in prison, he received the Médaille d'Argent de la Sûreté. He was chief inspector in 1930. His
chefs consider him “daring and enterprising, with drive and initiative” – while specifying that its action must be closely monitored. When he takes care of the famous
Stavisky affair, he is called "the first cop in France" - the expression is from the mouth of the Minister Of Justice of the time. He then works wonders, gets his hands on coins to
apparently decisive convictions, arrests caïds like Carbone and Spirito or even the Baron de Lussatz… but he then had to release them for lack of evidence!
This semi-failure causes him a lot of damage. Now we talk behind his back, we think he's too safe of him, contemptuous of the customs of the House, addicted to celebrity – nowadays, one would say it “too much in the media". He appears ambitious, arrogant, with dubious methods with no other goal than to increase his fame. We imagine him manipulating evidence, or even fabricating, to better identify the culprits who arrange it, with the complicity of notorious bandits.
PP - And it was true?
Ph. R. – To a large extent, yes! His colleague, Commissioner Clot, would explain much later: "Bonny has always had a marginal activity, which put him in contact with the Milieu, the crooks and traffickers. He has always had an unreassuring, equivocal side, bordering on rotten policeman. “But that does not detract from the fact that there remained a size, able to organize a service and running it. Even if it lacked a bit of patter, relational – without doubt for lack of having been able to associate with a great accomplice who would have had these capacities – it is unquestionably an interlocutor of choice for the Germans.
PP - Why didn't he go to Algeria? Willingly or by force, I specify, because we would have could force him!
Ph. R. – In 1940, Bonny was nothing for the French Republic. He had been revoked for embezzlement in 1937. It was therefore a private, who had worked a little for the Ministry of the Interior on far-right militias and the fascist organization OSAR – la Cagoule. A ruined and bitter man, who had no reason to benefit from the attention of the government French in 1940. No more besides, at first, than the attention of the German authorities.
PP - Yes - moreover, how does he go about putting himself at the service of the Occupation? Because Idoubt that it was enough for him to send his CV by post!
Mr. Raymond – Pierre Bonny knew a certain Jean Guélin – a crook, crooked lawyer at the bar of Lyon, very involved in the political world. In October 1940, it was he who went introduce Otto and Radecke, from the Abwehr. The two Germans will very quickly understand the interest of associating with a former police professional, who has contacts in the middle of theft and racketeering. For the record, let us specify that Guélin was named later mayor of a town in Deux-Sèvres, before being dismissed by the services of Laval themselves following black market cases! He had nothing else to suffer: Radecke had the his file and the Laval firm ensured that no proceedings were brought against him. He then managed his own real estate office on boulevard Malesherbes, while living middle class in an apartment confiscated by the Germans and bought back by him at a derisory price. This is how he also acquired the Edouard VII theatre, then the Zardas cabaret in the winter of 1942, after denouncing the previous owner as resistant – several months prison later, the man was obviously less tough on negotiation! He gave also in the denunciation of Jews and sent a named Dreyfus to Doctor Petiot.
The unfortunate man disappeared of course, but it was for his murder that Petiot was arrested once. first time under the Occupation.
PP – Yes… So Guélin introduces Bonny to the Germans.
Mr. Raymond – Yes. And it's going very well. Because Bonny himself presents very well. It is a father, a zealous former civil servant, experienced, endowed with the Culture of Secrecy – and especially with a revenge to take on France. Oh, but he starts small, too. He begins by writing reports on the MSR of Eugène Deloncle, which intrigues many
the Germans. It still earns him 20,000 Francs. Bonny is still too formal, too bureaucratic – he lacks contact, patter, he doesn't know how to bluff. And above all, it lacks
more means.
PP – Alas, it won't last – the rest after this little musical interruption.

« Tu portais dans ta voix comme un chant de Nerval
Quand tu parlais du sang jeune homme singulier
Scandant la cruauté de tes vers réguliers
Le rire des bouchers t’escortait dans les Halles
Parmi les diables chargés de chair tu noyais
Je ne sais quels chagrins ou bien quels blue devils
Tu traînais au bal derrière l’Hôtel-de-Ville
Dans les ombres koscher d’un Quatorze-Juillet
Tu avais en ces jours ces accents de gageure
Que j’entends retentir à travers les années
Poète de vingt ans d’avance assassiné
Et que vengeaient déjà le blasphème et l’injure
Tu parcourais la vie avec des yeux royaux
Quand je t’ai rencontré revenant du Maroc
C’était un temps maudit peuplé de gens baroques
Qui jouaient dans la brume à des jeux déloyaux
Debout sous un porche avec un cornet de frites
Te voilà par mauvais temps près de Saint-Merry
Dévisageant le monde avec effronterie
De ton regard pareil à celui d’Amphitrite. »

La complainte de Robert le Diable
Louis Aragon (chanté par Jean Ferrat)

"You carried in your voice like a song by Nerval
When you spoke of the blood singular young man
Chanting the cruelty of your regular verses
The laughter of the butchers escorted you to the Halles
Among the flesh-laden devils you were drowning
I don't know what sorrows or what blue devils
You were hanging out at the ball behind the Hôtel-de-Ville
In the kosher shadows of a Quatorze-Juillet
You had in those days these accents of challenge
That I hear ringing through the years
Poet twenty years in advance assassinated
And already avenged by blasphemy and insult
You walked through life with royal eyes
When I met you coming back from Morocco
It was a cursed time populated by baroque people
Who played foul games in the mist
Standing on a porch with a cone of fries
Here you are in bad weather near Saint-Merry
Staring at the world with brazenness
From your gaze similar to that of Amphitrite. »

Lamente of Robert The devil - Louis Aragon (sung by Jean Ferrat)
Patrick Pesnot – Good evening and welcome back to Witnesses of the Age, devoted this evening to the collaboration between thugs and Nazis during the Occupation, illustrated more particularly by the case of Pierre Bonny's Sinister Carlingue. Pierre Bonny, whose we just mentioned beginnings. Which aren't spectacular, it seems, are they? Sir Raymond, our witness guest, was talking about the intervention of a certain Guélin, who was necessary for our man to attract the attention of the Germans – in this case, two Abwehr men: Radecke and Otto. Who were these people?
Mr. Raymond – I have very little information about Radecke – apart from the fact that he was a Wehrmacht officer, seconded to the Paris office of the Abwehr for liaison tasks. A most corruptible individual, it seems, exclusively attached to get rich through his duties, which will make Bonny's rise that much easier. For “Otto”, the landscape is more interesting. First, as I told you earlier, “Otto” was actually Hermann Brandl, a spy playing an extremely important role in the Nazi secret service. In 1940, Otto is still young: barely 44 years old, but he is already at the head of a very extensive network in all European countries and as far as AFN. He's an engineer, specialist in gasifiers – a useful invention at that time – who worked for a long time in a Belgian company called “Les gazogènes Belley”. As a commercial of this company, he could obviously justify many trips to his many clients.
Robert Stan Pratsky – Yes, especially – if I remember correctly – than among the other employees of this company, there was also Van De Castelle, the boss of the counterintelligence service German in Paris. Curious coincidence!
Mr. Raymond – Isn't it? He was probably the one who recruited him – alas, no one can ask him. Otto committed suicide in an American prison after the war. In acting in this way, he undoubtedly arranged a lot of people... But that is not the subject. In 1940, Otto-Brandl, German agent of the Cologne branch (6th military region, Munster) is among the first to land in Paris to install the antenna of Colonel Rudolph, at the Hotel Lutetia. However, as we mentioned before, it is by the subsequently handicapped by a glaring lack of means, under the heavy supervision of the soldiers of the MBF. This is why he will very quickly be tempted to play the local card, i.e. to use Bonny, to quietly accomplish certain missions. But for that, it was still necessary that Bonny finds men – he admitted that himself.
PP – And how will he get some?
Mr. Raymond – By going to the nerve, with the support of Otto. On October 6, 1940, "a man fluent in French and claiming to be mandated by the German authorities" introduces himself at the gate of prison de Fresnes, accompanied by two non-commissioned officers sent by the hotel Lutetia. Of course, it's Bonny - who has no right or title to give orders
in a penal institution. As for the duo that accompanies it, it is only sent by no official of the occupation authorities, apart from Radecke, who at the same moment felt a
comfortable wad of cash. But that does not prevent the so-called "officer10 474 R " from the German police to calmly go around the visiting rooms and then to release on their own initiative five extremely dangerous inmates in a scene where the grotesque vies with the sordid. And he leaves with them without leaving any receipt!
PP – Yes, because after all, what you are saying is truly mind-blowing! A fired policeman disguised as a German who releases convicts without a warrant, in broad daylight and under the nose of the French justice! And what's more, without even signing a paper – incredible!
M. Raymond – It was logical that it was a scam that signed the birth certificate of the Carlingue. Note, however, that this maneuver took a long time to organize – Pierre
Bonny does not have a go-getter temperament, Brandl and Radecke had to push him forward to give itself the means to achieve its ambitions. Anyway, the coup will very quickly be known to “Tout Paris souterrain” and will give Bonny a reputation enormous – greater even than its effective power.
PP – Who does he get out of prison? We are under the watchful eye of Mr. Philippe Robert, who has his hands on the legal files!
Mr. Raymond – Five men, as we said. And they're not chosen at all chance. First there is Adrien Estebetteguy, known as “Le Basque” or “La Main Froide” (the basque, the cold hand)– a big robber of Paris. Then Abel Danos, known as “Le Mammouth” or “Le Bel Abel” ('The Mammoth', 'the beautiful Abel'), a former contact with Colonel Paul Paillole, as you can see that everything is linked. Then Jean Sartore says “Le Chauve” ('Bald guy')– a great lord of the milieu, who will know how to be grateful, Auguste Jeunet says“Cajac” and finally Lucien Prévost, another well-known robber. Here we have the original team, the base of the Carlingue. The one from where everything will start...
Philippe Robert – Yes. It should be noted that among the honorable individuals just mentioned Mr. Raymond, some will also be talked about after 1945.
PP – We will obviously come back to this. So this base, as you say, will expand quickly ?
M. Raymond – Of course, because Bonny instantly becomes a kingpin. His name is on all lips. He has – apparently – the protection of the Germans and the power to close
files. All “Caves” (French olg-slang for middle class criminals) and other licensed killers now know who to contact to deal with the Occupation and pass over the constabulary. The legend is on, dare we say. A crowd of individuals come spontaneously to present themselves to him.
Ph. R. – A few names… among others! Robert Moura (four mentions in the files), Jean Monange known as “la Soubrette” ('the maid'), Charles Cazauba known as “le Fébrile” ('the nervous') or “Daix” (five convictions for fraud, concealment, forgery and use of forgery), Charles Fels known as “le Gros Charles” ('Big Charles') (two convictions, fraud and concealment), a man named Miclard (two convictions for theft and concealment), and so on.
Mr. Raymond – In the first two weeks, Bonny will renew the operation no less five times, going around the cells with always the same speech: "I'm taking you out, but you
don't kill anymore without my consent and you call me boss
'. He gains confidence, reassured byits successes as well as the wait-and-see attitude of the authorities. Thirty criminals thus pass under his thumb direct: traffickers, pimps, thieves... other former police officers too. By example Paul Maillebuau, a rotten cop well known for his taste for gold and blood, fired from administration. Applications are pouring in – everyone feels that with Bonny there is a a lot to do. This is where the name of the office comes from. The cave, or carre, from which the Carlingue, is the minimum bet in poker. Entering Bonny's was like sitting down at a high stakes table.
PP - And no one tries to intervene in the face of this stranger who claims to open the doors of dungeons?
Ph. R. – We will put the question to the director of Fresnes at the Liberation… The person concerned will raise with relevance that, in the context of state collapse that he was undergoing, he did not have the least means of opposing the German demands – or who pretended to be such. We will be able to speak of resignation, nevertheless he is not the only one to have faulted. Before going to the Cheers, Bonny had gone through the Registry – he had consulted the files, compiled the files. He has then carefully chosen his servants – among them, there were four elders police officers, dismissed for various reasons. Agenda, reputation, almost total control and instantaneous traffic and networks of indicators... Everything seems to be on the right track.
PP - And the Germans don't have the slightest doubt about their protege?
RSP – Why would they? They are winners on all counts! They already have noted the lack of real collaboration on the part of the police and the wait-and-see attitude of
the administration remained in place – a wait-and-see attitude that would gradually turn into Resistance passive, then active. And they still had their own goals of economic plunder! They therefore had every interest in domesticating this pack so that its members serve as guard, stalking and attack dogs. At worst, there would always be time to crack down afterwards…
M. Raymond – Especially since they ultimately cost them nothing in equity. Bonny helps herself largely in the seals to acquire its own equipment and build up funds. The 3
October 1940, the famous Monsieur Pierre comes out of the tribunal de grande instance of Paris with two million francs taken from the property confiscated in 39, handed over by the Director of the Registry himself! A robbery, in fact!
Ph. R. – It should also be noted that it was at this precise moment that many Courts Files are curiously disappearing from the archives…
M. Raymond – Not everything is due to the cabin. From Palmiéri, from the band of Corsicans, later recount having “bought back” his filesfor 800,000 francs from Captain Müller – then in post at the prefecture of Paris. This explains, among other things, the small gray areas that still exist today...
RSP – Paradoxically, when we look nowadays at who has been the most transparent, force est to find that it is Bonny. Faced with individuals who favored a “working” relationship over step by step, he organizes his service, draws up payslips, fines for abuses and even performance bonuses. La Carlingue then seems well on its way to becoming the new police in the service of the German secret service: helpful, efficient and ready for anything as long as we let her live her life. The dream of many Occupiers.
PP – Just as paradoxically, the first – and very temporary – halt to Bonny will be given by the Germans themselves.
Mr. Raymond – Sort of. Above Otto and Radecke there is Colonel Rudolph – as Mr. Pratsky mentioned earlier. However, the individual is a little less pragmatic than his subordinates. He is a Prussian of the old school, having fought during the First global conflict and retaining a semblance of military morality that does not sit well with
arrangements between Bonny and Otto. Fortuitously learning of Mr. Pierre's maneuvers at the Tribunal de Grande Instance as well as in Fresnes, the colonel throws a monumental anger against this questioning of his authority. He then ordered his direct deputy, Captain Scheffer, to put an end to the drift and arrest Pierre Bonny. Radecke, anxious to maintain his source of funding, warns the latter, who is going on vacation to Bordeaux throughout the month of November 1940, at acquaintances.
RSP – Over there, circumstances or Destiny will allow him to return to the good graces of the Germans. In Bordeaux, Bonny learns that a manager of the Second Office
Belgian hides in Andorra – a certain Lambrecht – it was obviously a pseudonym. Andorra, although militarily insignificant, is still deemed to be a neutral territory. In addition, Spain also has interests there – in short, the Abwehr is walking on eggshells and does not dare to intervene frankly in the principality. Bonny therefore has the somewhat crazy idea of take the lead.
M. Raymond – He goes down to Andorra with Robert Moura and Le Basque. Along the way, he meets and hires a new “size”, a man named André Girbes. With the help of
Bordeaux relations of Moura (who is originally from Bordeaux) and the Toulouse networks of Le Basque, the quartet manages to enter the principality incognito, then to find the hideout of Lambrecht. Neither one nor two: we knock on the door, we grab Lambrecht, we knock him out and we stuff it in the trunk of the car which is going back to Bordeaux. By the magic of one bold action taken outside of any legal framework, Bonny has just withdrawn in record time a big thorn in the side of the Germans. Rudolf is delighted – Lambrecht's confession will lead to the arrest of several hundred Allied agents! Monsieur Pierre returns to grace and returns to Paris, now with the confidence of the entire Hôtel Lutétia. The man is certainly not really academic – on the other hand, it is undeniably effective.
Ph. R. – We can easily imagine that it was this coup that made it possible to formalize his famous 1st Brigade within the SONEF of Darnand – for lack of other executives and despite the complicated relations that the two men will soon have.
Mr. Raymond – Yes. Moreover, it is undoubtedly to maintain a form of independence compared to Darnand, with far too military manners for the troubled waters in which
he sailed, that Bonny will request and obtain German naturalization in the summer of 1941 as well than the rank of captain in the Heer, then in the SS! Again, this was a
reward for service rendered: in June 1941, following an investigation by the Abwehr, the Captain Scheffer had become convinced that Jacques Kellner – the former director of the Béchereau factory in Boulogne, which became a mechanic on the Champs-Elysées – ran a resistance network.
RSP – The “Alibi” network.
Mr. Raymond – Correct. Again, Bonny's men do wonders - landing in civilian clothes in the factory (which was then working very sluggishly for the Germans), and with the help of a indicator infiltrated into the staff, Lucien Prévost and Paul Maillebuau manage to put hand on an American-made transmitter. Following the trail they arrive
finally in a dentist's office not far from there - the unfortunate was used as a hideout for the entire network. “Alibi” is dismantled – as for Kellner, he will be shot at Mont Valérien. For the Abwehr, the mad dogs of the Cabin are now indispensable auxiliaries.
Their leader carefully mentors his pack, perhaps becoming the only true local partner reliable from the Occupation authorities. As a result, Bonny continues to grow in importance, despite some spectacular failures – you don't improvise as a secret agent.
PP – That is to say?
Mr. Raymond – After the Andorra affair, Brandl had succeeded in convincing Colonel Rudolf to try to set up a spy network in AFN with the help of Bonny's men. What easier in appearance, at least at the time? Since the August evacuation, the Maghreb saw a daily crowd of refugees arriving from Europe through who knows what means, but which had certainly not all been identified by the legal authorities! The objective is to install a Morse code radio transmitter in Algiers, to allow spies to recruit on the spot to correspond then with the team of Brandl, remained square of Bois-deBoulogne. To this end, Brandl entrusted Bonny with a substantial envelope to cover the incidentals. Only…
PP – Only?
Mr. Raymond – Only here – Bonny chooses her local partners badly. He recruits for this Venturini expedition – a Corsican mobster, and a dubious individual named Max Stocklin who was also perhaps a double agent for the Swiss services. He then adds his own driver Louis “Eddy” Pagnon, as well as a German named Gaston Mochler, civilian telegrapher and doctor from the University of Stuttgart (which was true!) fleeing the Nazi regime (which was less so). Then this fine team crosses the Mediterranean, arriving at Algiers via Lisbon.
At that time, Bonny was not yet very well known in Algiers. But this curious group attracts nevertheless the attention of the police. They still bought a villa in Cape Doumia in cash … Feeling soon unmasked, Pagnon and Venturini return to their first love affairs and attempt to set up a gold buyback business which soon turns out to be a scam ! The police arrive, go down to their hotel room to clear up the matter… and falls on the issuer in question.
Ph. R. – Obviously, Venturini and Pagnon will be executed for espionage. Mochler and Stocklin, them, will escape the guillotine – I cannot say why – and will go to prison
for a while. Finally, this case explains why it was Jean Martin who became the number one driver of the Cabin, as he mentions in his notebooks...
M. Raymond – The Abwehr does not hold it against this failure at Bonny. His naturalization finally allows to escape completely from the authority of the NEF of Laval. In August 1941, Pierre Bonny unofficially became one of the most powerful men in the country. He ... not realizes that when he wishes it to Darnand, his theoretical superior, or to the Laval administration.
Ph. R. – Others will try to imitate him, with more or less success. At the Liberation, the Republican authorities will identify no less than ten officines similar to the 1st
Brigade – the organization, so to speak, of the New French State being what it was, no one ever tried to group them. All had their organizations and profiles own, according to the specialty and origin of its members. All had direct relations with the German secret services and contributed all the more to the fight against the interests national – moreover sometimes even before the fall of the Metropolis. I will retain here as example the case of Rudy von Mérode, alias Frédéric Martin de Montaigu – an agent
German of French nationality, drug trafficker on behalf of the Reich who succeeded in become an entrepreneur and contribute to the construction of the Maginot line – forgotten in his prison and freed by the Occupiers, he founded the Gestapo of Neuilly!
RSP – A confession extraction office, according to Colonel Rémy… And also, incidentally, a laundering office where 300 million francs were recovered.
PP – Thank God not all traitors have been forgotten!
RSP – Note that the Belgians managed to evacuate all those they had arrested. By example, Georges Delfanne, who had transmitted before May 10, 1940 the position of the divisions Belgians and fortified works. Detained by the Belgian Security, he was transferred to the Kasango towards the AFN then the Congo.
M. Raymond – But the only real competitor of Bonny was the too famous Friedrich Berger and his “Gestapo de la rue de la Pompe”. Which fortunately did not have many
time to crack down. Berger has indeed gone into business with the worst individuals, despite being clumsy enough to do so in July 1943 alone.
PP – The worst individuals? Worse than Bonny's men?
Ph. R. – Or not far! Paul Ferrand, alias “Marc Agostini”: nine convictions for theft, burglaries, pimping, armed attacks… not to mention several murders probable. He would have been sent to prison had it not been for the German invasion. And others of the same ilk, like Ange Santolini, known as “Paul le Marseillais”, or even Rachid Zulgadar.
Mr. Raymond – Those were special cases. Rue de la Pompe operated for the economic services of the SS, rue des Saussaies, and for the political section of the SS. Autonomous, reliable, delivering turnkey networks to its masters, after interrogations and torture, it was an agency in its own right called AG 46. It did a lot of harm: 300 arrests, dismantling of the Phidias and OJC networks… Not to mention the massacre of the Bois de Boulogne, which was worthy of those of the SS.
PP – So what happened in the Bois de Boulogne?
M. Raymond – It was in autumn 43, the night of November 16. It was cold and ugly, as usual in this season. Berger had managed to convince a group of young idiots that he represented the allied command. Forty-two young boys surrendered naively in this wood thinking to serve the fatherland – none came out. Rachid Zulgadar made sure none survived – after the shooting, he threw grenades outright in the mass grave.
PP - Obviously... Far be it from me to minimize the crimes of these sordid characters, but we're on the radio at prime time - like you said, it's about of a rather particular case and which distances us from organized crime.
RSP – Huuum…obviously. So, let's go back to the spring of 1941. The fate of the weapons appears then most unfavorable to the Allies. The USSR and the USA are still neutral, the defeats in Europe accumulate. And during this time, Pierre Bonny lives well!
Ph. R. – Very well indeed. Its relations with the German purchasing offices are flourishing. Brandl surrounded himself with the entire Carlingue– which obviously grew over time. At least as much as the hunt for Resistance fighters, the members of the latter have a mission from… if I dared, I would say from VRP (Commercials representatives). They must convince traders, industrialists and general the possessors of all stripes whom it is preferable, in their own interest, to deal with the invader through them. And if polite conviction is not enough, we move on to pressures, threats… even acts. As for incorrigible recalcitrants, they are good to go to the camps like the Jews.
M. Raymond – Among all the shorn of the Liberation, there were not only Renaults… Oh No ! Of course, many of those who had dealt with SONEF had been forced to sell off their stocks at a low price to continue to exist, or even simply to survive. But in the spring of '44, go explain that...
PP – I presume that these VRP missions willingly took on the appearance of confiscations, even outright armed robbery? Led hand in hand by crooks like Estebetteguy and crooks like Maillebuau?
Mr. Raymond – A dismissed policeman easily becomes a thug. The boundary is uncertain between cops and thugs: they speak the same slang, which facilitates dialogue… I pass on the fact that the first liberated, in addition to bringing back the obligated, soon came out themselves prison friends.
PP – The police and the republican order had well and truly disappeared, erased and replaced by the hooliganism.
Ph. R. – However, from 1942, or even from the end of 1941, the machine showed signs of overheated. The entire Parisian underworld plundered the capital pretending to work for the Germans – and the vein begins to dry up, bargains becoming rarer.
M. Raymond – In this regard, an anecdote comes to mind: in March 1941, Villaplana – the former football centre-forward – had gone into making fake gold bars. He sold them to a certain Gourari, himself in the service of Bonny… who in turn gave them up to the office Otto, who quickly discovered the deception. There were all the same for 6 million
frank! Obviously, Monsieur Pierre was hardly satisfied and let Villaplana know by raiding its premises… It was then that the Germans themselves intervened to demand that this ingenious forger be recruited! The footballer was saved – he had to simply repay his debt in real gold this time. In gold louis, taken from an unfortunate particular…
PP - We can easily imagine that it could have ended much worse for this Villaplana.
Ph. R. – La Carlingue also provided after-sales service for the brown market. So she had the responsible for tracking down counterfeiters, and those who tried to be even more dishonest than Bonny or his men. He will say so himself, during his post-war interrogations; I quote him: “I would add that my service had the opportunity to disgorge some traffickers who had not delivered to the German army goods conforming to the samples. »
Mr. Raymond – One case, in particular, marked the memories. As you imagine without difficulty, in 1942, Germany needed metals – and in particular the Kriegsmarine. A
certain Seelen, a stateless person of Dutch origin, had succeeded in transforming lead into tin – literally. He had sold 80 tons of lead to German sailors claiming that he
it was tin, for 27 million francs. The sailors did not collaborate much with Otto at that time, but between Kriegsmarine and Abwehr there is little more than the space between the ship and the dock. And the secret services obviously offered the services of their sicaires to find the indelicate, who had disappeared.
It was quickly done. Seelen was found, personally interrogated by Bonny and corrected at Cherche-Midi prison. He stayed there six months, the time for his friends to find the
way to repay its debt – which should have already been largely erased by the clippings found during the search – as well as to pay the fine. This was then shared between Radecke, Bonny and another German officer whose name I no longer have… Seelen then disappeared from circulation – to where, I cannot say. But he was not executed, I'm sure.
PP - In summary, beyond the plunder, Bonny is the handyman of the Germans and manages all their difficulties.
Ph. R. – In particular through the Otto office, which collaborated with all the departments looting of the capital. Even with the Auftrags Verlagerung der Waffen SS – the Service de l’emmagasinage des commandes de la Waffen SS” (“Service for storage of the orders of the Waffen SS”) (we will appreciate the euphemism), rue du General-Appert – that is to say! And Bonny, as a good citizen, touched each time a commission.
PP - Pierre Bonny is satisfied with this second role?
Ph. R. – Clearly not. In March 1942, Bonny aims to take the next step. Of a simple courier, he wants to become a merchant himself.
PP – And, against all odds, he succeeds?
Ph. R. – Still relying on the lack of means of the Abwehr, and skilfully playing paw grease with the right people, he manages to obtain for some of his men with accreditations that allow them to open their own buying offices. The Germans do not see great malice in this: the final recipients remain the same and their intelligence network expands accordingly.
M. Raymond – Informing is monetizing – not everyone has the luxury of being able to resist. With a family to feed, starving children, a young girl we would like to preserve
still a little innocence… Algiers seems far away and the patriotism not very nourishing.
Ph. R. – It is thanks to this mechanism that the Heer was able to hold the Metropolis for so long in the absence of a real legitimate government – much more than fear or troops of occupation. These, just sufficient to hold the entire occupied territory, were regularly punctured for the benefit of the Eastern Front, convalescent units, young recruits and old men replacing the formations sent to the USSR. But starvation, the belly – this is what governs, alas, consciences. Even the party communist could not totally eliminate this problem in its ranks. Here it is, in the background, the French Gestapo – a trade in souls.
PP – Hum, especially since Bonny chooses her associates – and they are not all highwaymens, far from it, right?
Mr. Raymond – Oh no. All crooks and easy money seekers, though. math and Engel are at rue Chaptal. Gros Louis and Gros Charles in the rue d’Amsterdam, for the mainly metals. Carrier and Tissier raise the curtain 116 bis avenue de Champs-Elysées, for a fabric trade. And Max Stocklin, miraculously returned from Algiers – or rather, let’s say it, in a very suspicious way – finally settles in Rue Lord Byron to found “its” BEMIC. If Bonny had any doubts, he didn't let it show.
Ph. R. – Discretion and opacity are the rule. We call each other by his pseudonym or his first name, only a phone number is given.
RSP – The diversion of the real economy amounts to billions of francs. The Carlingue provides everything necessary to develop these flourishing businesses: premises, vehicles, Ausweiss, German secret service cards to show in case of control by men de Darnand… Cash is easy to build up: the Otto office pays cash and the Carlingue rewards its suppliers when they are friendly. All this obviously contributes to inflation. Thus, we found the trace of the sale of a small stock of fabric in March 1943. Its price on the regulated market was 500,000 francs – it was finally sold for 4 million to the Germans. In devalued currency, but still!
Mr. Raymond – Fortune favors opportunists. Engel, for example: originally it was a simple fellow who came to pay his respects on rue Lauriston. But he succeeded, between relations and bribery, currying favor with Bonny – or at least someone close to her. of sale of shoes in lingerie traffic, he generated margins of 20% on batches of 500,000
francs on average. All at just-in-time, without even being part of the band, which left him basically only the less interesting cases. A pure feudal debtor, blessed with
Carlingue as the occupant.
Ph. R. – Money calling for money, Pierre Bonny finally reaches the goal: he is accepted in the collaborationist high society. Notably through the so-called Baron De Wiet – fake war hero but genuine drug addict swindler, former smuggler of coal on behalf of the Spanish Republic. He had himself succeeded in win the friendship of Jean Luchaire, chairman of the board of directors of Havas-OFI –the NEF news agency. The man went everywhere to bluff! To the France-Germany committee, he spoke with Otto Abetz, who entrusted him with a few minor tasks: management of the théâtre de l’Avenue, management of the Victorine studios… He also sold paint at the Kriegsmarine, with a margin of 25%!
PP – If he made such a good living, why associate with thugs like those of the Carlingue ?
M. Raymond – The need, dear Mr. Pesnot. The need. In the winter of 1941, De Wiet was arrested for a most obscure reason – he did not come out until March 1942, on direct intervention of Bonny, to relaunch a trade with the Otto office. It was he who provided wine at SS HQ, rue du Général-Appert. The business was doing so well that it helped to
much to keep the NEF press alive, and therefore Luchaire, with generous donations. Bonny acted as intermediary and arbitrated disputes. And this is only a small part of the story. In truth, I think it can be said that the Carlingue financed, to a large extent extent, a good part of the New French State between 1942 and 1943.
PP – It is possible, Mr Raymond. But wine and champagne, it seems all the same even a little light to finance a government.
Mr. Raymond – You are right. Metal trafficking was more profitable. Especially that of English planes shot down on French soil. And that's where the famous Mr. Joseph. Joseph Joinovici, “Joano”. But before, of course, there was the scheme of fakes policemen.
PP – The sequel, dear listeners, after a musical break

J’rentre à Paris mais mon notaire
M'annonce : « Votre père plein d’attention
Vous colle un conseil judiciaire
Et vingt-cinq louis par mois de pension
Et comme je ne vois plus personne
Dont vous puissiez être héritier
Faut travailler, prendre un métier
C'est le conseil que je vous donne. »
Je lui dis comment ?
Vous voudriez que j’vole
Le pain d’un ouvrier ?
Dans la vie faut pas s'en faire
Moi je ne m’en fais pas
Ces petites misères
Seront passagères
Tout ça s’arrangera
Je n’ai pas un caractère
A m’faire du tracas
Croyez-moi sur Terre
Faut jamais s’en faire
Moi je ne m’en fais pas !

(Chanson d’Albert Willemetz et Henri Christiné, interprétée par Maurice Chevalier)

I go back to Paris but my notary
Announces to me: "Your caring father
Give you legal advice
And twenty-five louis a month pension
And since I no longer see anyone
of which you may be heir
You have to work, get a job
This is my advice to you. »
How do I tell him?
You would like me to fly
A worker's bread?
In life, don't worry
I don't care
These little miseries
will be fleeting
It'll all be alright
I don't have a character
To bother me
trust me on earth
Never worry
I don't care!

(Song by Albert Willemetz and Henri Christine, interpreted by Maurice Chevalier)
Patrick Pesnot – Welcome back with us on the set of Witnesses of the age, dedicated this evening to the troubled relations between the underworld and Germany under the Occupation. Mr Raymond, our special guest, previously discussed with us the trafficking of precious metals – or less valuable, moreover – which took place on the territory on behalf of the Occupation. First, let’s resume if you don’t mind – who is in charge of metal recovery for the Berlin account?
Mr. Raymond – We must distinguish between two interlocutors. For materials “fallen from the sky” – you will forgive me the expression – it is undoubtedly the Otto-Brandl office of the Abwehr. For currencies and investments in gold or jewelry, it is an organization all it There is something more official: Councilor Hartmann's Devisenschutzkommando.
PP – The DSK [Laughs]. Sorry, that's nervous.
M. Raymond – It is true that today, it can evoke something else. In short, this office – which had settled at the Lazard bank, 5 rue Pillet-Will – had the mission of confiscating by
any means, legal or not, the assets of individuals, after others have looted the property that the State had not been able to evacuate.
Robert Stan Pratsky – Let us recall that, as soon as they arrived in Paris, the Germans returned illegal transactions in gold, and imposed the deposit in the bank of all assets. There hoarding had therefore theoretically become impossible – officially, due to inflation.
Mr. Raymond – And the DSK itself reading all the deposits from the open books carried out, it was easy for him to “convince” savers of the obvious interest they had in offload their gold, with or without compensation elsewhere. This very long activity, tedious even, employed a full-time manager. A certain Murdrah, who ends up exercise de facto authority over the Kommando.
PP- Yes. And I guess in case anyone balked, Murdrah knew who to talk to?
Mr. Raymond – To save time, he ended up having an office available on the first floor floor of Lauriston Street. All of this, of course, with the blessing of the Abwehr. Besides, for information, from the end of 1940, some members of the Carlingue were already working for the DSK on occasion. Prévost, Maillebuau, Jeunet called “Cajac”, Estebetteguy, Charles Cazauba, Moura, Miclar too… But the Germans ended up preferring to speak to Satan rather than to his devils. A Satan who still took between 10% and 30% of commissions.
Philippe Robert – During his trial, Bonny will recognize – he could not deny them – no less of forty spoliations for the single year 1941. The Notebooks of Jean Martin are more enlightening: by reading them carefully, we realize that some days, Bonny does not visit less than four people “for business”.
Mr. Raymond – And it is easy to imagine that he only traveled in person for large clients. I think that 100 million francs is not an exaggerated sum for this activity fake font.
PP – So this is where we discover the famous trick called “fake policemen” that you mentioned before the cut?
Mr. Raymond – Yes, because obviously the Carlingue had no interest in convincing the depositor to sell his goods on the official market. Only Laval would have benefited! The trick therefore consisted of landing in official but shady sales offices – or even creating outright a bogus transaction – to get the victim to expose their property. The following
you can easily guess it: most often a German police card is shown, the hoard then we leave without asking for the rest. A variation was to have the victims a ride in the car, before dropping them off in the middle of the fields – like that, we could be sure they would be too scared to speak. Commission deducted, loot was then sold back to the Germans – at a good price, of course.
RSP - And that's how so many collector coins and other bullion disappeared from the traffic. This type of good has the advantage of being easily transported and of selling just as easily.
Mr. Raymond – The Golden Louis? 2,500 Francs. 4,000 on the best days. The Napoleon was at 5,000. Gold dollars were trading at 1,500 Francs each. It should be noted that this traffic concerned also foreign currencies: the 20 Swiss franc coin turned at 2,500 francs. Of course, not everything went to the DSK – these seizures were very useful for Bonny to feed a slush fund, which he opened in case of dissatisfaction with the Germans or the NEF.
PP – In short, it was a strictly industrial activity.
Mr. Raymond – Mr. Robert was talking about overheating, I believe. He is right. Because the scam has quickly became known to everyone – even those who did not work with SONEF. Apart from the fact that that the vein has dried up, this has caused comic scenes. Here, one morning we appointment with a certain Ricord who was to sell us parts. And who do we see tumble? Maillebuau, in cahoots with Ricord, who came to confiscate the money for the purchase! It was a trap and we had fallen into it. Because finally, everyone, in the room, worked really well for the Carlingue ! A tour was necessary to forget that.
Ph. R. – Obviously, from the end of 1941, the archives show that this kind of trade became less and less frequent. Probably because less profitable – in its interrogations, Bonny indicates that she is not interested. But it persisted nonetheless, extended to any type of good likely to flow on the black market. With or without Carlingue Besides.
Mr. Raymond – Paradoxically, the only way for the security services still vaguely to identify the men of the 1st Brigade lay in the fact that they had German papers authorizing them to act.
PP – So there were real fake policemen and fake fake policemen?
M. Raymond – If you want… Anyway, the thefts committed in this way ended up cast like a shadow.
Ph. R. – In a note dated April 23, 1942, René Bousquet – then commander of the Guard French, the pseudo-Waffen SS of the NEF – is concerned about the resurgence of these scams, of which even his own men would have been victims. And he invites the Minister of the Interior and of National Reconstruction, Jacques Doriot, to put things in order – avoiding soliciting in the same way Joseph Darnand, yet himself Minister of the Interior and Security of State. Well, well, the premises of the Doriot-Bousquet alliance on the back of Darnand, of makes the Carlingue !
Doriot will be diligent – within his means of course. An inventory drawn up by its services between September 1941 and May 1943 lists no less than 925 cases for Paris and
its suburb. This may not seem like much, but let's not forget that "the vein was drying up" - as says it so well, Monsieur Raymond – and that I doubt that all the victims had the courage to file a complaint. Especially Jews or those who should not have had in their possession the seized goods.
PP - Were there many Jews among the victims of these thefts?
Ph. R. – Hugely: 40% of Jews or assimilated – a very high total. Curiously high. He seems possible that in reality some NEF authorities chose to simply sell information, files on undesirable persons to individuals wishing to squeeze these, rather than directly stealing the undesirables in question. Among the 925 cases that we mentioned, only 345 were handled, allowing us to see damage average of 500,000 francs – for a total of 170 million francs stolen, in miscellaneous goods ranging from ingots to precious furniture, including works of art or clothing. Nobody has seen fit to count the silverware! The unfortunate Jews sent for deportation were therefore often already well stripped at the time of their arrest – we will see here too a curious chance.
PP –
And the police – the Republicans, the real ones – never tried anything against the thieves? Because finally, there were still in the uniform of authentic peacekeepers, patriots caring for the common good.
Ph. R. – Without a doubt, there were brave policemen. But between purification, lack of means, impunity linked to German protection… they were quite disarmed in the face of such phenomenon. I have several testimonials here… Do you want a selection?
PP – With pleasure, although I can easily imagine them. And Monsieur Raymond will no doubt have his own stories to tell?
Mr. Raymond – Of course.
Ph. R. – On December 13, 1941, Inspector D., of the Police Judiciaire, undercover, is impersonate a buyer interested in gold coins. He actually falls into an ambush of the Carlingue : four individuals burst in showing German police cards. The inspector may take out his own police card, but nothing helps. The leader of the group responds: "I don't care, I'm from the German police and you have to follow me or I'll kill you!" » Sic… Handcuffed, the policeman is taken to rue Pierre 1er de Serbie, to an annex of the Carlingue. He protests to the… um, the person in charge of duty, who strikes him: “You are doing your job, we do ours, and then the chickens have already made me drool several times. » An hour later, it is Pierre Bonny, informed, who arrives and declares to the importunate: "I've had enough of the French police, so today that I have one... You will go to the Cherche-Midi (a prison of State), because my men bear the consequences of all your schemes. " He will have to wait the next day and an intervention of Murdrah, of the DSK, so that we release
the inspector.
Two days later, at dawn on December 15, two other inspectors, G. and C., proceed to the arrest of Marcel Carrier – another of the liberated in 1940, but also and especially a major reseller of the Otto desk. Ironically, this is for a violation of the black market, ascertained by the services of Joseph Darnand, that the fish is in the net. But it's a fish far too big for the two policemen! In the afternoon, an officer German in uniform arrives at the Auteuil police station, accompanied by two soldiers armed to the teeth. He asks to know the reasons for the arrest. We show him the arrest warrant bearing the seal of the New French State. The answer is as definitive as brittle: “It’s an old story, it’s a joke. Here are several times that you want to stop him and his friend, and we have to deal with it every time. You want so that I have you locked up as a hostage and that I have you shot with the others! »
With that, the German seized the mandate, announced to Carrier that he was free and then tore up the document in very small pieces that he will not forget to trample conscientiously before leaving. The man will later send two German inspectors to inquire about the identityof those who had the audacity to arrest Carrier – we will refuse to communicate it to them, despite the threats.
Mr. Raymond – There are hundreds of such stories. Like the time when Cazauba, Miclard, Moura, Sartore and Fels found themselves attacked by four PJ inspectors, called for a flagrante delicto of fake police, and that they undertook to arrest them themselves. It was in the middle of the street, in front of the Opéra metro. Cazauba was yelling “Gestapo! pass it to me caliber that I shoot them for you! The forensic police ended up waiting for the German patrol … who obviously did nothing.
The relationship only got tougher as time went by and the war was evolving. In August 1943, two simple police officers entered a bar Rue Vercingetorix to evacuate the occupants due to an air alert. Unfortunate had drawn a very bad number: in the bar, there was Abel Danos, who was celebrating something thing with his mistress of the moment, Hélène Maltat, and several friends. People like Peter Loutrel “La Valise” (the suitcase), René “La Canne” (The Cane), Gros Jo or Emile Buisson – an even more dangerous than the Bel Abel. You should know that Danos was also nicknamed the Mammoth, for an excellent reason. And he didn't like being bothered at all. He took the first to the throat and threw him on the pavement by, while striking the second with great blows of the butt of revolver. It took a whole van to arrive so we could belt it and then take him to the Parc Montsouris police station.
They shouldn't have… A phone call from the Kommandantur – I never knew precisely by whom, or on whose intervention – ordered the police officers concerned to release
Mammoth immediately and then to go as a group to rue Lauriston. They spent a night there very unpleasant, to which Bonny was no stranger. When they finally came out – and again, thanks to a call from the Prefecture – four had to go to the hospital for treatment.
PP – The message eventually got through: we weren’t bothering the Gestapo people… Even the “French Gestapo”!
RSP – But these courageous patriots did not let go of the matter: failing to arrest, they organized hideouts and investigations to gather evidence which was hoped although they will be used one day...
PP – Nevertheless, a deplorable impression emerges from all these cases: that of the reign of henchmen.
Mr. Raymond – Not all have completely betrayed France – Danos himself, although subsequently described as a "Gestapo hitman", rendered eminent services to the French secret services in 1943-44….
Ph. R. – According to the most dubious testimonies!
Mr. Raymond – I absolutely do not deny that he and his men were the most… surly.
PP – We will talk about the Marseille sector later, if you don't mind. let's finish first in Paris.
M. Raymond – Yes… So I too will conclude with a feeling of disgust, moral collapse and disappearance of the French economic and societal fabric. That of preamble to the investigation report on the Carlingue, written at the Liberation.
“The anecdotes on this subject are innumerable. Almost all police stations in Paris suffered the direct interventions of Bonny or his men, intended to thwart the work of justice. He sent his men against the police. In May or June 1943, Inspector Grando, of the public highway, was arrested in his service by Abel Danos, convict […] dressed in the German uniform. Chief Inspector Savary had to release a murderer against whom the evidence was acquired. This was Roger Dupuy […]. Police commissioner Georges Chain, from Neuilly, was arrested and taken to rue Lauriston after a normal child return operation. He was thus detained until the children were returned to the father […] who opposed the act of justice subject to an enforcement order. It was Bonny in person who led the operation against Mr. Chain. Senior Inspector Metra was arrested at his home and forced to follow Sizeron Etienne. Brought to Quai des Orfèvres (main office of french judiciary police), where Bonny was waiting for him, he was forced to release a team of criminals […]. These individuals, carrying firearms, were the authors of a armed robbery […].
Sometimes, however, using stratagems, these police officers called in the police Germans, such as the Feldgendarmerie and the German criminal police, but it was found
subsequently that the individuals arrested were released, incontestably by orders superiors given following an approach by their leader Pierre Bonny. […] It also happened that Police-Secours (911 - emergency services), alerted by victims or neighbors, intervened. The case then ended at 93, rue Lauriston, where the guards were molested and
threat. For these French police officers, it became clear that nothing could be attempted against all habitual criminals who, covered by a German police card and authorization weapons, paraded publicly, thus demonstrating their temporary power. »
RSP – By their simple villainous actions, the men of the Cabin participated in the destruction of the country, as well as the realization of the Nazi project in France.
PP – So we mentioned the case of fake police and the DSK. Remains the traffic put in place by Otto-Brandl and this…Joinovici, right? A most amazing profile. What can we say about this gentleman?
Ph. R. – That it is one of the most fruitful contacts that Brandl has ever had – as well as Bonny, but through her of course. He was a Jew of Romanian origin, apparently arrived in Paris in 1925, penniless and not even speaking French. At first of the war, he is however already at the head of a major metals company, La Société Joinovici et Compagnie. Not the biggest company in the sector, far from it. But still a society, let's say… respectable. He is a self-made-man – in the purest sense of the word, which has good and bad sides. Illiterate for a long time, he learned to read and write in prison after 1945.
PP – It is hard to imagine a Jew doing traffic with the Germans, on the back of his co-religionists in misfortune!
Mr. Raymond – And yet… Mr. Joano managed the feat of going through the whole war without a scratch, while getting considerably richer along the way. And it would have passed completely between the cracks, if he hadn't made a few enemies at the DST.
RSP – Note in passing that he is not the only Jew to have actively collaborated with the Nazis. Mandel Szkolnikoff – to name but one – made a fortune selling textiles,
notably to the Kriegsmarine or the SS. But of course, these are only special cases. although unfortunately remarkable. The majority of Jewish traders never collaborated either near or far with the Germans. No need to explain why!
Ph. R. – Monsieur Joinovici was anything but unknown to the secret services in 1940. His success spectacular feeds many rumours… Georges Delfanne, the famous spy-collaborator Belgian, affirmed during his interrogations that he was used as a slush fund for the agents of the Abwehr on the loose.
M. Raymond – An allegation denied by Radecke himself… Anyway, the man was accustomed to shenanigans and of a morality flexible enough to advance his pawns even under the Occupation.
Ph. R. – A 1938 report already presented him as a notorious fourgue, that is to say a receiver. During the summer of 1940, Joinovici was in La Rochelle – he moved away from the fighting while claiming to protect his property therein. Then, letting the front line pass, he returns in September 1940 in Paris to find its warehouse located rue Morice, in Clichy, under receivership. The first anti-Jewish measures were already at work… The scrap dealer then had the intelligence to aryanize his company urgently, by bringing in bogus associates and changing his corporate name in Société Joinovici et Compagnie. In December 1940, he came into contact with the Wifo – which we mentioned earlier – and uses its innate business acumen and resourcefulness to supply it with precious metals. Its first delivery takes place on the 17 February 1941: 60 tons of mixed copper, 40 tons of yellow copper and 45 tons of turnings brass. This simple order proves that, for the Occupation authorities, the company is already considered, in fact, as Aryan and presentable!
PP – Is it a big order?
Ph. R. – A very small order! Joinovici and Company survives, but it lives on. All changed in April 1942, thanks to the intervention of Louis Nivelle, a scrap dealer friend who presented Joinovici to Doktor Fuchs, Otto-Brandl's deputy in charge specifically of the "Leather and Metals” section . At that time, Nivelle was in the hot seat: he was Fuchs' main partnerfor scrap, but his latest deliveries have been… disappointing. We are talking about non-compliance, insufficient if not fraudulent inspections... In short, a three-way pact accommodating everyone is signed in a discreet office in Nanterre: Nivelle will continue to supply the Germans using Joinovici as a nominee, for a commission of around 1 franc per kilo delivered. This commission will reach up to 5 francs per kilo for tin.
Mr. Raymond – And half of this commission will immediately be donated to Fuchs…
Ph. R. – There is no small profit! This arrangement is blessed bread for our junkyard Romanian: all of a sudden, he becomes untouchable despite his origins, because at the center of a game of retro-commissions which makes it essential to all. Moreover, it will soon be supply the Abwehr itself, as a wholesaler-centralizer or with its own, products, while dabbling in other Fuchs tricks. In fact, his company is became a purchasing office by delegation.
Joinovici therefore quickly became one of the biggest suppliers of the “Otto” office. He sends approximately 1,500 tons of non-ferrous metals per month throughout 1942.
M. Raymond – An extraordinarily profitable business! Brandl's mistress, Mary Jacobsen, will estimate after the war the profit of Joinovici between 300 and 600 million francs. And dear Gorges, one of the cashiers in the office, told me one day that of the 100 million days that he paid, 5 were devoted to scrap, including 3 to 4 just for our friend!
Add to that the commissions, and his fortune could only grow… On January 4, 1943, Joinovici came in person to the premises of the Abwehr to collect the money for a delivery on credit – he left with, under his arm, a bag stamped “Banque de France” containing 50 million francs! It was running, at that time, Quai de Saint-Ouen! Five to ten wagons of 15 tons a day, loaded by Mordhar himself! Although not all metals were sorted, let us remember all the same the price ranges in force during the year 1942: 10 to 12 francs per kilo of brass, 20 to 60 for copper, 30 francs on average for lead, 1,000 francs for nickel and 5,000 for tungsten. Everyone can therefore estimate here the sums
considerable at stake...
PP – Uh, you quoted a person named Mordhar…?
Mr. Raymond – Mordhar Joinovici, brother of the boss of the case.
Ph. R. – With this working capital, Joinovici does not stop there. Leather, tarpaulins, skins… in general, anything that can be bought.
Mr. Raymond – And you are only talking here about the official – well, the official according to the Nazis. Joano also set up a gold, jewelry and currency trafficking business, linking Paris, Bern and Brussels. And he also invests in three purchasing offices-subsidiaries, rue Albert-Samain, rue du Colisée and avenue Georges V. Thus, it becomes extraordinarily rich – we have spoken of 4 billions of francs. In my humble opinion, it's a lot... You only have to see his fall in 1945…
PP – We are not going to complain about it!
Mr. Raymond – No one is asking. But know all the same that no one, either, does not had asked to finance the Resistance within the Prefecture of Police – in this case the
movement “Honneur de la Police” of commissioner Edmond Dubent.
RSP – Indeed – a movement created in July 1943 with the approval of Marcel Renet, already founder of the “Action Resistance” network. It's still curious, don't you think?
Joinovici was financing the patriotic struggle at the precise moment when the Allied forces were preparing to land in Provence?
M. Raymond – At least as curious as the mockery and rumors of which the members of the network of the Prefecture were victims at the Liberation… We talked about corruption, assassination of witness...
RSP – The Scapa affair! A young Resistance fighter who would have been got rid of after he had seen too much things !
Mr. Raymond – Nothing has ever been proven. However, the support given to the Resistance by Joinovici is unquestionable. We can always find him interested, of course –
but he was not the only one in this case. And in any case, the officials were very happy to have weapons and trucks to face the German during the insurrection of the spring of 1944. The Jews and Resistance fighters whose salvation he bought from Bonny were surely just as much. Here, a philosophical question that I propose to the reflection of
listeners: does the calculated nature of an action necessarily make it harmful? Nobody has never knew precisely what happened between the Abwehr, Bonny and Joinovici between 1943 and 1944. Not even me – and since those concerned are dead… On the other hand, I can assure you that they were unquestionably friends: and that it tapped each other on the shoulder, that it was going to drink together, that it was on familiar terms.
Ph. R. – This famous friendship did not prevent Joinovici from giving Bonny’s hideout to 1944.
M. Raymond – And the same friendly relations maintained by Chamberlin-Lafont and Joinovici did not prevent the first from being decorated with the Resistance medal either. and to make a fortune after the conflict thanks to the advice of the second. Come to think of it, they would have gotten along well during the war, well… So goes the business world…
PP – And in particular those at 93 rue Lauriston. Between salaries, flights and commissions. But for a while now, we have been talking about metals, gold, jewellery, currencies... but we have not further discussed in detail the information. However, I have no doubt that this activity occupied a lot the Carlingue !
Ph. R. – It was obviously the case – and not only in the service of the Germans, by the way. As early as 1940, Bonny and his men provided discreet but attentive political surveillance on behalf of the NEF. I would remind you that Mr. Pierre had previously conducted investigations for the Ministry of the Interior. He was perfectly aware of what was going on in hard right circles. Search for arms caches belonging to the PSF, infiltration of movements – including the MSR of Deloncle's minions, including the government
Laval was very suspicious.
For this political surveillance, Bonny did not hesitate to bring family connections into play. Jean Lascaux, for example, his own godson, who by a curious coincidence also happened to be the nephew of Colonel de La Rocque, the former boss of Deloncle. Unmasked, he did not owe his salvation only to a corrupt guardian who warns the godfather – who then storms into his jail with a cohort of heavyweights. After this burlesque episode, recruitment widens: Labussière, Cabanne (Deloncle’s driver!)…
M. Raymond – Huguet too, the hooded boxer assassin of the Rosseli brothers. But that was more to watch Darnand. And I remind you that Maillebuau himself had once been the right-hand man of Maurice Levillain, director of Marcel Déat's RNP Research Office , who was to be dismissed in November 1942 for embezzlement!
PP – Pierre Bonny was therefore the man-orchestra of the NEF!
Mr. Raymond – He centralized the arrests and almost always decided alone to send the people arrested in Fresnes or Cherche-Midi – with the approval of non-commissioned officers Germans – or to release them. He then forwarded the files to the services competent authorities on rue des Saussaies or avenue Foch. He managed the department's cash register, paid suppliers, managed domestic staff, had reports written and recorded often personally the depositions of witnesses or accused. It's just if it wasn't not he who sorted the files.
In the great hell of the New French State between 1940 and 1943, far from the antics of Laval, illusions of Darnand or vociferations of Doriot, it was perhaps him, the Demon
trade in souls, deciding the fate of each. Even Adrien Estebetteguy or Jo Attia, of the gang to Danos, would find out the hard way. But it was starting to get a lot – and as the saying goes, the higher the step, the harder the fall...
PP – The continuation after another small interruption, dear listeners.

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine
I walk the line
You've got a way to keep me on your side
You give me 'cause for love that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide
Because you're mine
I walk the line
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine
I walk the line
I walk the line
(Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar! – Johnny Cash, 1956)
Patrick Pesnot - Again on the widen of witnesses of the time, devoted this evening to the collaboration under the occupation and what was the "French Gestapo" - even if this term makes Debate, it seems. But nevertheless, once the evocation of robberies, flights and other scams of which the French were victims during this period, it is clear that
Pierre Bonny and his men did not stop there. What can we say about it, Gentlemen? How the cabin - which, to hear you, was actually a simple association criminals resulting from circumstances-she changed in the fierce repression of which the All of France was a victim?
Robert Stan Pratsky - A first date: July 16, 1942. In 1940-1941, the forces of the French Communist Party-according to the instructions of the USSR, let us remember-observed the greater reserve in front of the occupier. The neutrality instructions enacted by Stalin were respected by most comrades. As for resistance organizations not
Communists, they have been satisfied for the moment of sabotage and espionage. There was however, exceptions ... This is how we had, for example, the drama of tulle to
Christmas 1941 - 99 hostages, including thirty hanged as an example, after a fairly minor action of the Comité Patriotique des Travailleurs et Paysans of Georges Guingouin, a communist disobedient…
But from May 17, 1942, the entry into the struggle of "Francs-Tireurs et Partisans" changed the Give: attacks, executions and other convoy attacks follow one another. They hurt, very badly even. Oh - Not to the point of really worrying the MBF on the military level! But seen from Berlin, when the struggle intensifies on the eastern front, it is disorder ... the soldiers in charge of the militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich therefore react as we taught them: with violence. Arrests, roundups and other hostage executions as reprisals are increasing. On July 16, 1942, General von Mackensen signed a decree formalizing this policy previously discretionary. It is the so -called "hostage" prescription, which basically specified that anyone owned by German services is now likely to have passed through weapons in retaliation of possible attacks against the occupation forces. A terrible accounting set up, placarded on the posters of the French cities - 50 dead for each German killed (we thus tenfold the rule established in Tulle: five executions for a German dead). The whole was later formalized later in the corpus of a "code of the hostages ", itself in accordance with the“ Night and fog ”directive, which in particular extended the responsibility for the acts of resistance fighters to their families.
We understand it, overwhelmed by the activities to repress, locked in a policy of increasingly blind repression, the MBF was starting to run out of means, and he had fully aware. Also, in its directive of June 19, 1942, only one month after the Beginning of Barbarossa-and while the Franco-English had returned to Greece and the Americans had entered war - von Mackensen had undertaken to revise his relations with the RSHA. While retaining the maintenance of order in France, the soldiers now granted Kommandos SS the right to do independently "in urgent cases ”. The urgent nature or not of the cases in question being left to the appreciation of SIPO-SD members ...
Gestapo - the real one, that of Himmler so - thus had frank cubits to act: she could put into detention and question for his investigations. She lost the habit quickly
to inform the MBF of its procedures ...
Philippe Robert - By signing the prescription of July 16, von Mackensen recognized implicitly having lost the game: he could no longer claim to protect the interests alone
Germans in France. And eight months later, on March 12, 1943, Himmler officially obtained from the führer the exclusivity of police powers in France - which were therefore removed from soldiers and entrusted to the SS Karl Oberg police general. The interested party had also signed from On August 2, 1942 a cooperation agreement with the Bousquet police. Oberg will hurry to reproduce in France the classic Germanic organization: ORPO (Orpo (ordnungspolizei - the police in uniform) and SIPO (Sicherheitspolizei - The Police Police). The SIPO was itself divided In two sections: Kriminalpolizei and Gestapo. I insist: the fact that the SS obtained from Berlin the withdrawal of the police competence of the army in an occupied territory was unprecedented, and even symptomatic of the SS gradual power in the Reich.
Mr. Raymond - I must add that, at least as much as the action of the Communists, The influence of the maquis of Provence and the Alps played its role in the handover Heer-SS on March 12, 1943. Indeed, in the great chaos of the Christmas Christmas, the Germans had had a hard time taking over from the Italians, at the police organs notoriously less effective than their own, in their area of occupation. Resistance movements had in effect was invigorated by the change of camp of Italy, then reinforced by the arrival of a big shadow of recruits - for some, soldiers from the Regio Essercito - very often came with equipment straight out of the arsenals of Grenoble or Annecy!
The HEER soldiers faced, with brutality. They never had to occupy Corsica itself - it was happy for everyone, the Vivario affair, on December 25, show. The destruction of the old port of Marseille in January - or rather what was left after the Bombing of 40 - is part of this context. The Germans are losing the hand, Italy has irreparably tilted, Corsica is released ... and now the occupier notes that there is still in the middle of Marseille a fairly close architecture district from Algiers, and where the patrols we send do not come out so to speak never! We Understand that it upset the men of Von Mackesen!
RSP - It was the last shine of the MBF - and the only one in the nave. Laval, enraged by The humiliation suffered during the famous parade of January 1, had scraped everything he had in background of his drawers: 150 inspectors of his Police Polished on the aspect for their loyalty to the NEF, 10 Companies of the reinforced FST of men from Sonef ... all framed by five German companies.
I have an article here published in the little Marseillais on January 30, 1943: "Let's be clear: the Old Port evacuation operations were exclusively carried out by French and did not gave rise to any particular incident. At the same time, Walther Kiaulehn wrote In Signal, the Wehrmacht magazine: "In the future, when others will write the story of Marseille, everyone can emphasize the remarkable step forward which was accomplished by evacuating this old patrician district, which was the twentieth century dishonor, In a remarkable example of cooperation between French and German policies. » Because, displeased this lavalist propaganda, it was indeed the Germans who led the Explus then boosting the area, house by house. Two thousand people were deported and 1,500 buildings destroyed under the control of General Felber soldiers.
Mr. Raymond - This action also influenced the perception that some had, in the old area of Italian occupation, the action of the new German occupant …
Ph. R. - However, for police repression, the change of direction did not mean not at all we were changing staff. GFP members (country's Secret Police) were simply demobilized from the Wehrmacht, then simply remobilized Under the SIPO label. Among them, of course, the contacts of the Carlingue and Pierre Bonny. And their workforce or organization problems remained whole.
The two sections of the SS were obviously entrusted to two managers of confidence: the SIPO-SD became the territory of the Befehlshaber der Sipo-SD (commander of the
Paris security police), Helmut Knochen - who was already Oberg's assistant. The ORPO-SD was entrusted to the Befehlshaber Bolko von Schweinichen - who was quickly replaced by Paul Scheer in April 1943. In fact, the ORPO lent the competition of its uniforms to SIPO for the roundups or other large operations against resistance.
RSP - By the very nature of his post, Helmut Knochen therefore reigned on Service Central de Répression , located on avenue Foch, and by extension on the Paris-Banlieue service, rue des Saussies. For this task of importance, Knochen also chooses a trusted man: The Obersturmbannführer Kurt Paul Werner Lischka-a counterintelligence specialist. He will be replaced by the Obersturmbannführer Hans Henschke in June 1943. These men were Knochen's personal representatives with sections IV and V of SIPO, respectively the Gestapo and the Kripipo, in the Paris region. And obviously, Lischka hastened to contact the carlingue
PP - Mr. Raymond, an observation?
Mr. Raymond - In a way - however, I must point out that I did not have staff no contact followed with SS ...
PP - This does not detract from the value of your testimony!
Mr. Raymond - Thank you! So - it would be wrong to imagine that the hug brutally, mid-1942, from the heer to the SS. Pierre Bonny, although ostensibly neutral in
all German chapel quarrels or other internal healing of the nave, did not less followed relationships with all the occupier's services. And he Certainly didnot limited to Otto or the Lutétia hotel! For operations that were Daily bread from Bonny, administrative partitioning therefore did not mean anything! The carlingue really worked for everyone - and not just for the Gestapo. Consequently logical, We can't really describe it as French Gestapo ...
However, in February 1942, I must agree that Bonny was working less and less with the Abwehr. Radecke being in disgrace, it was logical that he is looking for new
protectors. Logically, his gaze turned to the SD, more powerful and moreover representative of a political power with much superior guarantees that those offered
Military administration. He therefore multiplied the foot calls to Karl Boemelburg, living to a real seduction operation, from former police officer to a former police officer. With many attentions and gifts, he quickly made SS his friend and forced - personally as on a professional level. And finally, on May 16, 1942, while war in the east
was going to trigger, the German and the French were found for a big ceremonial dinner rue Lauriston, which formalized the entrance to the cabin in the SIPO. Karl Boemelburg came to obtain the agreement of his chief Müller and central RSHA services for this.
Bonny officially became agent Boe 43. Passing under the supervision - very theoretical of the Remain - from the Kriminalrat of Boemelburg, Bonny was content to follow the wind he had felt turn. While also winning, with SIPO, extended powers in the new order in creation: wearing of arms permit, official police cards ...
Ph. R. - This transfer even had a promotion. The carlingue no longer reported only to one person: Boemelburg - and, through him, in Knochen, to the exclusion of any other power. Whether it is the NEF or even the HEER! The SIPO soon detached rue Lauriston two non-commissioned officers as liaison agents: Émile Hess and Willy Khalloff.
Mr. Raymond - A good hideout! They were so well flooded with gifts and cash that their relationships were complimentary until the end of the war. But we would be wrong of
Believe that Hess or Khalloff was very important. As I've already said, Boemelburg and Bonny became personal friends. At the home of the SS - 40 boulevard Victor-Hugo, not far from the Arc-de-Triomphe-a coach of the Carlingue delivered every day Hot meals, with alcohol, wines and fine fabrics. It had to occupy Jean Martin a lot, According to his notebooks ...
RSP - and still according to his famous notebooks, when the general's son came from Prague for holidays in Paris, it was Jean Martin who walked the visitor of Cabarets in museums, while stopping regularly in various clothing, shoes and jewelry stores, where he was able to use largely without ever paying anything.
Mr. Raymond - Don't worry about his father ... Boemelburg had also received a many of the US Ambassy's goldsmithery, which had been hidden by the Sonef in cigarette funds when it closed in December 1941. Others Babioles left for Radecke, Joinovici and a Berlin antique dealer friends of fuchs. According to witnesses, his funds were "filled with old silverware parts of a invaluable value, collectors, solid silver dishes, gold objects and in platinum as well as mail, photos and various papers ”. And even once the gifts deducted, the sale of the surplus at the antiques store Au vieux Paris (property of Bonnefoy brothers…) reported another 25 million francs to the chief.
As for Knocken, he had recovered for his wedding a new Bentley and not even confiscked - 300,000 francs paid in cash! Bonny knew how to wet her superiors to
Better cover your own irregularities.
PP - In fact, the SS therefore let the Carlingue do as it liked.
RSP - Yes - and as much out of necessity as by bait of gain. Let's not be ourselves: the forces of the enlarged SS police system will never exceed 5,000 men until the end of the conflict. Throughout France, it was little. Radecke's reasoning, and Colonel Rudolf one, remained so valid. During his trial, Knochen will exhibit his need for personnel recruitment auxiliary by the fact that "the reduced staff of the German police allowed [even] not to ensure custody of his cantonments. »Being too Indispensable, Bonny was all the more free to move.
Mr. Raymond - It is not for nothing I said earlier that Mr. Pierre completely controlled the situation-even German non-commissioned officers were not informed
that when he considered it useful!
PP - But the Germans had nevertheless given themselves the means of a repression which no longer obeyed any rules.
Mr. Raymond - Everything went there. Only General Oberg remained indifferent - it was not his level.
Ph. R. - Which did not prevent him from deserving his nickname "Boucher de Paris" later. But during his trial, he actually confined himself to indicating having "vaguely
Talking about a "Pierre" as a police indicator
. "In fact, he seems to have never soaked in any combination.
PP-And this is how the Basses-oeuvres (french expressions for low rank dirty tasks) were executed.
Ph. R. - Absolutely. Arrests, interrogations, tortures ...
Mr. Raymond - Removal and assassinations ...
PP - Assassinations? Without even arrest before?
Ph. R. - Yes! For that, there was a trusted team: Cazauba, Satore, Cajac, Prevost and Maillebuau. It was the group in charge of special missions - the "disappearances" ordered
by the Germans or Doriot. And I reveal it to you here, gentlemen: it is one of those five that has shot Deloncle during his alleged attempted escape on June 21, 1943.
PP-Do you have details?
Mr. Raymond - Oh, there are plenty! But do not indicate previously that we were at a prime time? I will therefore remember only one example - and because it finish relatively well: Jean de Noailles, Duke of Ayen.
Ph. R. - A very ugly story - even today, we do not explain the reasons for his removal and its virtual elimination. Man has never taken sides in the conflict, that this
either on the side of collaboration or resistance. He was of course a character very inseen, a representative of the highest French aristocracy ... but even the German police
Nia her arrest, as she seemed to be without object.
RSP - It is however acquired that the Duke had very high friendships placed in the Nazi system, to the entourage of Himmler.
Mr. Raymond - In any case, Noailles was arrested by Schmidt and Placke on January 28 1942. Already, in itself, it was very unusual. Why an ABWEHR agent and the future
Captain Knochen's order would have moved in person to ensure a character without any political responsibility? The news quickly went around the whole of all.
However, it turns out that the Duke of Ayen had a very in love wife and just as energetic: Mme d'Ayen therefore stirred heaven and earth to obtain the release of her husband,
Despite the denials of the Germans. The case went back to Berlin, landing on the Himmler office.
We understand it, Knochen was disconcerted - he was probably aware of arrest and now found himself cluttered with a prisoner whom he knew what to do, but who clearly put him in danger.
PP - So he decided to get rid of it?
Mr. Raymond - Absolutely. But to calmly deny any involvement, it was still necessary whether others who pay the task. Knochen therefore summoned Bonny in his
office to tell him that he had an individual on hand that he would be better to drive ... far from German facilities, if possible even in Italian zone, before execute it. However, the SS had its order for a curious addition: a few days Before execution, a member of the duck carrier of the Duke's papers had to walk around In the south of France, being seen, spending money, sending telegrams ...
Ph. R. - The idea is undoubtedly to make believe in a bad meeting on the path of the école Buissonnière (french expression for a sloppy and joyfull escape far from work), absolutely not involving a removal and a sequestration by the Occupants.
Mr. Raymond - That's it. Bonny did not emit private objections. He therefore brings together four members of the “Definitive” team: Michel Chaves, Charles Cazauba, Lucien Prévost and Abel DANOS. In November 1942 - all the same ten months after his arrest - we put the Duke to the men of Mr. Pierre, who took him on rue Lauriston. History could have Stop there ... except that ...
PP - Except that?
Mr. Raymond - Bonny was anything but a fool. He wanted to question personally Mr. de Noailles, to know the end of the story. To soften the interested party, he did not
did not fail to cover it with civilities and attentions - a guest more than a captive. The captive in Question therefore let themselves go to confidences. One in particular drew Bonny's attention: Throughout his period of detention, Noailles had been able to correspond with his wife by The intermediary of a corrupt goalkeeper. Suddenly, the devoted wife had a Complete filler abundantly wetting the BDS in this dark removal story. Bonny immediately understood that there was a matter to mine - for his benefit of course. Knochen had always denied arrest: an embarrassing revelation could well put
End of SS's career, if in adventure, the latter ceased to be conciliatory.
PP - So he changed his rifle?
Mr. Raymond - At all. The Duke was installed in a Parisian hideout, with Porte Danos “Mammoth” as a guardian as much as as a cerbère. Knochen was put informed, of course. He then entered a terrible rage and sent a whole section of his men recover the prisoner willingly or by force.
Ph. R.-Mr. Pierre himself told the epilogue of history himself: "I have told Danos not to open and shoot if they were trying to break the door. I went quickly on the scene. There was an officer and five men. The officer told me that he was coming for the Duke of Ayen, on the orders of Colonel Knochen. I refused to give it to him and I followed him by the colonel. He received me very badly and reproached me for not having executed his orders, that is to say not to have killed the Duke. I demonstrated that I had saved him in acting in this way and I proved to him that the Duke corresponded to the duchess for several months through one of his supervisors. Knochen then understood that I was more clever that he - he told me afterwards. He then facilitated me the releases that I asked. This is how I took precedence over Colonel Knochen. "The case ends on A humiliating recognition of sequestration, Knochen becoming the Bonny debtor.
But it unfortunately made une belle jambe (french expression which mean he does not help him in any way) to the Duke. Now officially kept in detention, it went from the Romainville camp to that of Buchenwald then from Flossenbürg. Allied forces released him there. From this dark and ultra-confidential affair, we can deduct two things: the
CARLINGUE was involved in the occupier's most sensitive intrigue, and his leader knew how take advantage of this involvement for its own interest in the event that the particular interest of Germans took precedence over that of his service. He was well placed to know that it was often the case. It was not for nothing that at the Bonny trial, the prosecutor spoke of "power of the rue Lauriston ”. Thus, Bonny protected Joseph Joinovici by obtaining certificates attesting that he was an orthodox arryn ...
Mr. Raymond - Joinovici, "son of Isaac", had become Joinovici, "son of Ivan"! Beautiful retouching! And in September 1941, when the General Commission for Jewish Questions began to be too closely interested in Joano and had him imprisoned, it was Bonny who did it release him after three months, while preventing the confiscation of his company.
RSP - Let us recall, however, that Joinovici was used later in this episode to put in value his supposed resistance actions - he claimed to have sabotaged his deliveries,
Which would have been the cause of his arrest. However, logically, his simple release proves his usefulness for the occupier, therefore his full collaboration with the Nazis. Besides, he was one of the few to be personally received by Brandl in his office, Square du Bois-de-Boulogne ... His thesis therefore did not convince me more than the magistrates who had to judge him.
Ph. R. - The fact remains that the particular case of Mr. Joano unleashed many Passions, until you trigger a war of services within the occupation authorities. For
Protect him, "otto", Fuchs and Radecke went so far as to make him issue a certificate belonging to their service! I read it to you: "We certify by the present that Mr. Joseph
Joinovici, domiciled 5, rue Albert-Samain, is attached to the service designated above. He is authorized to circulate night and day, Sundays and holidays, for the needs of
service. All French and German services must give it help and assistance in the execution of its missions
. »»
Obersturmführer Röthke, anti-Jewish service, which was looking for him, even received a Circular from the Reichsführer enjoining him to give up his investigations.
PP - The Joinovici brothers were not Jewish ... for the moment, as long as their protectors were powerful enough.
Mr. Raymond-which of course put them at the mercy of all the singers. MauritiusLevillain, a Deat collaborator, received 180,000 francs over six months for a price from Joano 180,000 francs for his silence.
PP-But don't we say a few moments that the MBF-so the Abwehr-had had ended up giving way to the SS in 1942?
Mr. Raymond - Precisely. In September 1943, Schmoll - a subordinate from Röthke - resumed the offensive and emitted an arrest order against Joinovici, while having poses
Sealing on all its apartments. Bonny came salvation. He was asked for that by René Launau, said Manuel, as well as by his friendsof the Lutétia hotel - from the Germans who
came to ask for the help of a Frenchman (naturalized German, but French even…) ! This is to say the importance, for all these people, of the business in play! Joano therefore received in hurry a card of the Carlingue, which also establishes on its activity a report dightness concluding to its "generosity"-necessarily characteristic of a non-Jewish! Ca ne manque pas de sel (french expression meaning that is pretty ironic) : the scrap dealer will indeed pay 5 million francs the protection of the Carlingue.
Ph. R. - Schmoll was forced to backtrack. His September 18 report mask Barely his frustration. In the fall of 1943, although already on a relative decline, the cabin was
still powerful enough to defeat the SS itself. In 1944, Schmoll Still wanted demanding a medical examination intended to prove that Joano was circumcised! But the advance
Allied armies ended this last attempt.
PP-But tell me, Mr. Raymond, would you have concrete elements to bring us back On the activity against the resistance of the Carlingue? To hear you, we sometimes have the impression that she spent more time in maneuvers and struggles of influence than to fight against Patriots!
Mr. Raymond - Even more than in intelligence, rue Lauriston had specialized in the counter-tacking. A relatively easy task until 1942, although made dangerous by the presence in the networks of many soldiers left in mainland France during the great move. I can tell you about it ...
PP - willingly. But before, could anyone be, please specify for our auditors what were the counter-tacking missions?
RSP - roughly, it was, by radio listening then the spinning, to take advantage of air links with London or Algiers to identify and capture the maximum number of members
from a network to one of those rare moments when they were united-that is to say in the following days the arrival of an allied representative on France's soil. They were generally leaded in collaboration with section I of the Doktor Kuhn BDS…
Mr. Raymond - That's. The SS - In this case the HauptSturmführer Kieffer - Kommando - had in its ranks a captain of English origin, who spent the day capturing the
Morsese shows from London, to decipher them and then return to false messages, thus hacking the bond and stretching traps to the agents.
RSP - Funkspiel technique.
Mr. Raymond - The places of certain parachutages were thus known in advance. I will add that this English was all the more dangerous as it was an outstanding physiognomist,
Capable of drawing an error without a face seen in the middle of the night. Kuhn also had of a French agent Renégat nicknamed "Christian", who welcomed agents allied at the feet of their plane to take them to Paris. Bonny's men then assured their spinning, to see where they would go. Arrest or surveillance? It depended. But this activity did not benefit the Carlingue- the prisoners were very quickly recovered to the SS, Although most often after being relieved of the sums in their possession. A French colonel was captured in 1943 had 4 million liquid on him ...
Ph. R. - Bonny's interrogations mention at least fifteen of these operations, in sectors ranging from Amboise to Limoges via Montbard and Tulle. They mobilized many people - my good lady, you have to work well! - but did a lot of trouble to the Resistance. Thus, in Montargis, in June 1943, a cache with 4 tonnes of weapons was seized, Hidden on a farm, after a vigorous interrogation of the owners.
Mr. Raymond - led by the German Hess.
Ph. R. - The whole family was sent to Fresnes: a couple and four children. The carlingue knew how to be talked about when it was necessary!
PP - I remind you once again that we are not in a small committee, but on the radio in the presence of many listeners ...
Ph. R. - Obviously. However, it is necessary to recall obviously. Torture was commited rue Lauriston. A lot. The testimony of maids proves it, no offense to Bonny. Which claimed without laughing during his trial: "I want to say that there was never Torture rooms on rue Lauriston or elsewhere to my knowledge. I did not attend any severe areas neither special brutalities nor to any crime; Neither from afar nor closely I have was the author or the accomplice, in service or outside, of any crimes or crimes. […] My role was mainly limited to that of secretary. »»
However, he did not deprive himself to take revenge on the people who testified against him during previous cases. He struck to break a ring - dixit Joinovici, who declared that Bonny sometimes had bandaged hands by having stroke. And even if he would not have participated in torture - which would have been very improbable - he could not ignore them. Many witnesses mention his presence in the interrogation room.
PP - Mr. Raymond?
Mr. Raymond - What else can you say? The chief executioner was usually Ouali, an Algerian who called himself "military leader". And from time to time, Danos, of course. The methods varied - As with the Germans of the rest.
RSP - Jean Martin's notebooks are once again sufficiently eloquent: Gégène (torture by electricity) (a little), bathtub (many), electric bench ... The majority of prisoners did not have to undergo classic bullying: blows, undernutrition and sleep deprivation. And for those who fainted, there was the "going up": a mixture of water, soap and oil that
Forced between the victim's teeth to revive her. Torture was also used for The extortion, not only for the interrogation of the resistance fighters.
Mr. Raymond - All you say is true. But let me remind you of a pointthat we must not forget. The carlingue nourished by dilutings and other treachery. That she No doubt partially provoked, it's true. But the thugs of rue Lauriston would not have been far away if he hadn't found individuals to come and sell their compatriots against a bundle of tickets or protection. Justice condemned Bonny's men, It's true. What about others?
RSP - Mr. Raymond scores a point. A family anecdote. My grandmother, honest Norman working in Paris, phoned his family every day in leaving work. So at fixed times. The standardist, intrigued by this merry -go -round, judged good to Prevent your… thugs of his presence. My grandmother was therefore challenged by the characters
in question in the presence of two gendarmes all contrities, who responded to his Outraged protests by murmuring him "Shut up ill-fated, they speak French!" " A
searched later, they had found nothing - but still shed good for an interrogation on appointement the next day.
Mr. Raymond - And she went there?
RSP - She spun at night without asking her rest!
Mr. Raymond - She did well! But it was - fortunately for your grandmother - only a small mishap. I can tell you about the Marongin and "Defense of France" affair.
PP - In an exceeded way, please.
Mr. Raymond - Good ... You easily understand, gentlemen, that a single indicator can do considerable damage in a clandestine network, despite the partitioning made by the DGSS services from Algiers. One of the worst among these Indics was Émile Marongin - a French naturalized Italian, small demobilized strike skimming the bars of
Latin district looking for a bad blow. He put himself in business with the doctor Lukaszek, a practitioner at Saint-Louis hospital in charge of prostitutes, who was also
An SS agent responsible for infiltrating the student environment. It was he who recruited him. In Marseille, in the summer of 1940, Marongin had met Jean J. - a Lyonnais who
belonged to the “Combat” network. In early 1943, the head of this network, Jacques Renouvin, was arrested by the Gestapo. A terrible blow: Renouvin knew all the
world !
However, the network managed to contact him to set up a rescue operation. Everyone agreed a plan: Renouvin had to pretend to speak and go out for a walk on the avenue du Maréchal-Lyautey in search of an imaginary place. An ambush would then occur ... in theory. Unfortunately, to go up to Paris, Jean J. called on his old friend Marongin.
The continuation, you imagine: four meeting between Marongin, Lukaszek, Boemelburg and Bonny, Arrest of the ten reckless and dismantling of the antenna.
Ph. R. - Jacques Renouvin was to die of exhaustion in Mauthausen.
Mr. Raymond - Marongin did not stop there. From December 1940, the underground Student newspaper “Defense of France” began to appear.
RSP-It would be the ancestor of France-Soir, whom we still know today. Note that, at first, the magazine was tolerated by the authorities of the NEF. Guidance substantially conservative, gladly evoking the memory of Marshal Pétain, he was without doubt considered a necessary evil: a symptom needed for monitoring the progression of a possible tumor. Which explains why he took so much magnitude: Imprimerie, distribution… He drew 75,000 copies in 1942!
Mr. Raymond - It was at the same time that his members embarked on manufacturing False papers, then in intelligence, sabotage and escape. In this, they obeyed
to the instructions of Algiers, whose own networks stopped expanding. Obviously, Marongin knew a member of this organization: Georges M., who presented to all its superiors. In truth, he would have made him meet his manager, Jacques Lusseyran, would not have been the supervision of DGSS agents! Alerted, the SS ordered
Its indicator to infiltrate the house, to obtain as much information as possible.
Émile Marongin therefore became a recruitment agent in the North - his region of origin. Then in June 1943, he was admitted to the editorial committee of the newspaper, by dint of ardor to the task - all without forgetting to regularly refer to Bonny or Hess. Finally, on July 21, 1943, he had almost all balanced: names, addresses, contacts, mailboxes, hideouts, deposits ... Bonny sent all his teams, taking the head of the mouse out of Bonaparte himself, where the Bookstore Au vœu de Louis XIII served as a mailbox. At 4 am, they gave the assault - And Mr. Pierre personally shota young man who was trying to flee. Twenty four prisoners, not to mention the province.
RSP - out of these 24, eight should never return from the camps. But thank God, the information delivered by Marongin was not complete enough to dismantle Completely the newspaper.
Mr. Raymond - For prices for his betrayal, Marongin touched 80,000 francs - by successives payments of 5,000 francs, to better keep it on hand. But he did not prevail in
Paradise: the Germans believed that this half-succrcess demonstrated that it was probably A double agent. He was arrested, deported to Buchenwald and no one on rue Lauriston raised the a little finger to help him ... I am not afraid to say that this kind of individual was worse than us.
Ph. R. - Émile Marongin was incarcerated by the French forces as soon as identified during the release of the camp in 1944. He was then tried and sentenced to death by a court of the Republic. He was executed on October 26, 1946.
PP - Justice had passed - Unfortunately a little late. And on these good words, a new interruption to recover from our emotions. Or not elsewhere ...

Qui a couru sur cette plage ?
Elle a dû être très belle
Est-ce que son sable était blanc ?
Est-ce qu’il y avait des fleurs jaunes
Dans le creux de chaque dune ?
J'aurais bien aimé toucher du sable
Une seule fois entre mes doigts
Qui a nagé dans cette rivière ?
Vous prétendez qu’elle était fraîche
Et descendait de la montagne
Est-ce qu’il y avait des galets
Dans le creux de chaque cascade ?
J’aurais bien aimé plonger mon corps
Une seule fois dans une rivière
Dites, ne me racontez pas d'histoires
Montrez-moi des photos pour voir
Si tout cela a vraiment existé
Vous m’affirmez qu’il y avait du sable
Et de l’herbe, et des fleurs
Et de l'eau, et des pierres
Et des arbres, et des oiseaux ?
Allons, ne vous moquez pas de moi !
Qui a marché dans ce chemin ?
Vous dites qu’il menait à une maison
Et qu’il y avait des enfants qui jouaient autour.
Vous êtes sûrs que la photo n'est pas truquée ?
Vous pouvez m'assurer que cela a vraiment existé ?
Dites-moi, allons, ne me racontez plus d’histoires
J’ai besoin de toucher et de voir pour y croire
Vraiment, c’est vrai, le sable était blanc ?
Vraiment, c’est vrai, il y avait des enfants
Des rivières, des chemins
Des cailloux, des maisons ?
C’est vrai ?
Ça a vraiment existé ?
Ça a vraiment existé, vraiment ?

Poème sur la 7ème
(Texte de Philippe Labro, dit par Johnny Hallyday sur la musique de la 7e Symphonie de Ludwig van Beethoven, 1970)

Who ran on this beach?
She had to be very beautiful
Was his sand white?
Were there yellow flowers
In the hollow of each dune?
I would have liked to touch sand
Only once between my fingers
Who swam in this river?
You claim that she was cool
And descended from the mountain
Was there any pebbles
In the hollow of each stunt?
I would have liked to dive my body
Only once in a river
Say, don't tell me stories
Show me photos to see
If all this really existed
You affirm me that there was sand
And grass, and flowers
And water, and stones
And trees, and birds?
Come on, don't make fun of me!
Who worked in this path?
You say he was leading to a house
And that there were children who were playing around.
Are you sure the photo is not faked?
Can you make sure it really existed?
Tell me, let's go, don't tell me stories anymore
I need to touch and see to believe it
Really, it is true, the sand was white?
Really, it's true, there were children
Rivers, paths
Pebbles, houses?
It's true ?
Did it really exist?
It really existed, really?

Poem on the 7th
(Text by Philippe Labro, said by Johnny Hallyday on the music of the 7th Symphony by Ludwig Van Beethoven, 1970)
Patrick Pesnot – Again on the set of Witnesses of the Ages, on this anguished question – did it really exist? And it seems that the answer is unfortunately yes, at least if we are talking about the cabin. Terrible days and a dark time, which our guests, historians Philippe Robert and Robert Stan Pratsky, as well as our witness Mr. Raymond, still told us about before the cut. Let’s go back – we were therefore at the end of 1942, beginning of 1943 when, with the support of the SS and while negotiating almost as equals with his German masters, Pierre Bonny practically reigned over Paris. Is there anything more to be said of this period, gentlemen?
Monsieur Raymond – I'm not going to go back over all the trafficking already mentioned: Cazauba and his fake ration tickets, Sartore the counterfeiter, Maillebuau, Gourari and Villaplana the gold sellers, Moura and his daughters… It would take hours of nothing only to talk about lieutenants, without even descending to the level of the demi-sels or, even lower, the caves.
Philippe Robert – On the other hand, we can easily broaden the subject to collusion – I was going to say corruption! – that the Carlingue maintained with Tout-Paris during the Occupation. An Occupation which, I must say, did not bother everyone: “Let the party go on!' seemed to have become the motto of some. Although not a socialite himself, Bonny obviously enjoyed honors and good company. And asmoney and power constantly brought him people, both happy to be alive and to still be able to enjoy it...
M. Raymond – This is how he was able to help the singer of the Bel-Ami cabaret, Corman Palma known as Esméralda, who had committed the imprudence of marrying an American – who had been equally imprudent in remaining to live in Paris end of 1941! Bonny only had one phone call to get him out of his internment camp.
On this subject… You can imagine it, but the services rendered to the ladies implied services rendered… by the ladies. Of course, I couldn't talk about Bonny – and besides, that's not the point. But hey, there were the “countesses of the Gestapo”: the marquise d'Abrantès, who would run after the chef for a long time, the "half-madwoman" of Cazauba - Anny JeanClaude, a dramatic artist who for a time tried to traffic in gold to stage her plays - or even the Countess of Tchernitcheff. It must be admitted that this one was out of the ordinary: daughter of Princess Scherbatoff, she was an exiled white Russian, charming model for Chanel, actress (mediocre, however), and never a penny. She was once a friend of Max Stocklin then the mistress of an SS lieutenant – thanks to them she established very fruitful commercial relations with the Otto office and then with the Carlingue, which made sure that she was never harmed despite the multiple scams to which she surrendered guilty. Among her, a significant traffic in socks, yes, socks, from Biarritz, with the help of Spanish smuggling…
PP – Not too many gossip on the air, dear friend! [Laughs.]
Mr. Raymond – Good. Just know that the Luchaire girl was often rue Lauriston with all her friends. Bonny gladly associated with actresses. But not necessarily to slum – I remember that he hung out for a long time with Dita Parlo, Elsa from La Grande Illusion de Jean Renoir. As for Pierrot le Fou, he regularly went out to cabarets with Milly Mathis and Ginette Leclerc – cabarets that were often financed by La Carlingue. In this regard, Ricord and Roger Duchesnes joined forces precisely in this way to operate L'Heure Bleue, an establishment which made the good days of many German leavers. You were talking about collusion, you're right – nightlife and criminal life have always gone hand in hand. And we smile at each other, and we touch each other with the tips of our fingers. And we think we would go to the cinema...
Ph. R. – This proximity was also useful to other well-known names in the Milieu. And those dodgy friendships were for more than just running restaurants.
M. Raymond – You put your finger on one of the most serious problems of the Carlingue, which only became acute from 1943. Drunk with power, having taken the gangster fold, but remaining despite everything a former cop with administrative manners, Pierre Bonny began to dangerously lose control of his troops: whether they were by nature uncontrollable, or whether the scale of the task simply exceeded his means. He did not have the build, the shoulders to pretend to rule alone the mass of thugs he had gathered. The latter, accustoming themselves to an unusual freedom, therefore began to consider carving out their own domains and their own patrimonies, in the purest feudal logics. I come back to the Abel Danos case. The Dane, the Mammoth, the Bel Abel… Buffalo Bill… As you know – or as you have understood – he was a celebrity, Herculean in strength and always carrying a gun or two with him…
Ph. R. – His research file, written in 1945, said: “Always armed. Extremely dangerous person. »
Mr. Raymond – He was associated with people as dangerous as him…
Ph. R. – Ultraviolent even.
Mr. Raymond – In certain circumstances, yes. From 1942, he began to take his ease, embarking on armed attacks. In particular that of the Crédit Industriel et Commercial on rue de la Victoire, on February 24 of this year.
Ph. R. – He was surely used to it, having already taken part in the attack on the Marseille gold train in 1936… But for a professional, Danos let himself go: faced with three collectors who claimed to be resisting, the thug and his accomplices panicked before shooting into the crowd. The team flees with 4 million francs in cash, forgetting in the panic 21 million francs in treasury bonds! One dead and one seriously injured were found.
Mr. Raymond – The Judicial Police quickly identified those responsible. Danos will spend a few months in the cool – under pressure from Laval and Darnand, until Bonny manages to plead his case with the Germans. But that, again, wasn't too bad. Except for the victims of course. The Sartore affair was something else.
PP – Let’s meet there… Jean Sartore, is it really him we are talking about?
Ph. R. – Yes. Jean Sartore, known as Le Chauve. One of the first freed in 1940. An uncontrollable individual, having experienced countless run-ins with the law since his adolescence. Pimp known for his violence...
Mr. Raymond – “Bidochard”!
Ph. R. – If you want. Receiver, thief and trafficker of gold. He was called the Saigneur de la Carlingue. In the sense of bleeding those who upset him, of course.
M. Raymond – And also in the sense that he intended to carve out an empire with the remains of others. The Bald quickly opened its own activities: brothels, workshops of false supply tickets, armed robberies. He became rich: at the beginning of 1943, he invited everyone to a big party to celebrate “his” hundredth million, obtained after looting “his” thousandth apartment.
But just like his leader, he was affected by delusions of grandeur. With the approval of part of the SS, and perhaps of Bonny, he undertook to liquidate all his competitors in his sector of activity, and to take under his “protection” all the places of pleasure in the capital. He then clashed directly with the Marseillais Carbone and Spirito, who had their own contacts with the SS.
PP – How did the Germans react? And Bonny ?
Mr. Raymond – Mr. Pierre supported his troops – perhaps a little reluctantly, but on principle. As for the Germans, they arbitrated by considering that the Carlingue was more useful to them in Paris than the camp opposite. Carbone and Spirito therefore had to leave the capital: the result was a lasting weakening of their prestige, which is not for nothing in the ascent of the groups currently in business on the Coast. That and the little events to come in September 1943. But we are not there yet – and you know what they say about the Southerners: they have long memories and tenacious grudges.
One day in February 1943, Sartore and Jeunet came out of a bar in Montmartre together. They are then attacked with a knife by a young man, unknown to our services as to those of the Police. It is clearly Le Chauve who is targeted: a blow from bottom to top the gut. As for Cajac, who tries to intervene, he takes a blow from a chisel which pierces his lung.
RSP – These are things that happen in the business. I take it the investigation turned up nothing?
Ph. R. – In any case, not that of the Police Judiciaire.
Mr. Raymond – Of course. As a matter of principle, you don't throw names at the constabulary – not even those of your enemies. Mr. Pierre went to see them at the hospital, they were not more talkative. However, for Bonny, beyond the security considerations it implied, this affair had serious consequences on its prestige. Two of his lieutenants had been attacked, and he had to avenge them so as not to appear weak.
The word circulated in the Milieu– the Carlingue had issued a death warrant on the aggressor. At that time, given his reputation and his means, the poor man had no chance of escaping the hunt. It quickly turned out that it was a certain Tanguy, known as “Phono”, owner of a… a house in Etampes, and known to play the knife willingly. Oh, he managed to lay low for a week or two… But as soon as he reappeared in Paris, Michel Chaves and his guys spotted him. Without even going through the Germans, Bonny decided to go down to the den where he was drinking, rue d'Aboukir, with the whole D team. He wanted to play it civil: a very simple arrest. Except that “Phono”, well – he didn't let it go. He knew only too well what awaited him on rue Lauriston. The tone rises, the guns go out… Tanguy tries a stab at Bonny, who wounds him with his revolver. He then fled towards the mouth of the Strasbourg-Saint-Denis metro, pursued by the group. Another shooting in the middle of onlookers – Tanguy collapses, dead. The police arrive and everyone takes out their gestapo card, claiming that the body is that of a dangerous terrorist. After a report sent to the services of Avenue Foch, the case was closed... but not forgotten.
Ph. R. – It is easy to understand. Even if the culprit had been punished, the Carlingue was no longer untouchable. And the image that Bonny wanted to give herself – that of the head of a simple official service – had taken a hit. Because after all – it was a heinous crime, a vendetta, which had just taken place in the middle of the street! He seems to have been immediately aware of this, and immediately began to reorganize his department to give it a vaguely more virtuous air, while repressing the most conspicuous operations. At the risk, no doubt, of dissatisfying his own troops.
RSP – It is also from this date that competing “French Gestapos” began to flourish. A windfall effect, a haemorrhage of troops?
M. Raymond – Rather the awareness of a weakness greater than estimated. Monsieur Pierre spent a lot of energy trying to have his competitors expelled from the SD, or at least chased out of Paris. He often succeeds, but not always… As for “transfers” – needless to say that after the Sartore-Carbone fight, most of the Corsicans in the service had left for other horizons. But for the moment, the building still stood, between devoted servants, debtors and the power of money.
PP – So, dear Monsieur Raymond, when did this edifice patiently built by Pierre Bonny begin to really rock?
M. Raymond – From June 1943 and the takeover by Doriot, in my opinion. At that time, La Carlingue was already firing on all cylinders to create even more obligated people. She works for the Einsatzstab Reichleiters Rosenberg of Oberfeldführer von Behr…
RSP – For our listeners: this is the so-called “cultural” organization of the Nazis, responsible, among other things, for the looting of libraries and other places frequented by intellectuals displeasing to the regime. Part of the seizures were transferred to rue de Richelieu, to the premises of the Bibliothèque Nationale of Bernard Faÿ, who had apparently planned to turn it into a museum. We lost track of the rest.
M. Raymond – Needless to say that the Nazis were not only interested in manuscripts: precious furniture, paintings by masters and other works of art too! Even the musical instruments which had their specific recovery unit: the Sonderstab Musik, directed by Herbert Gerigk. Von Behr was another great friend of Bonny, who did not hesitate to come and help himself from the Oberfeldführer's reserves, ideally located in a warehouse at 40 rue Lauriston, belonging to the pseudo-Baron de Wiet. Reserves so precious that Bonny preferred to pay Deat's men to watch them! At that time, apartment looting and other fake police scams were practically extinct – it was Liberation blackmail that paid the most.
Ph. R. – A lucrative activity, which those who were guilty of it dared to qualify as “acts of Resistance” during their trials! This was, for example, the activity of Dr. Eugène Lapiné, himself a former metal trafficker, who had once tried to defraud the DSK and who was in this capacity Bonny's debtor.
Mr. Raymond – While serving as a medic on duty from time to time. But you know, it was not uncommon for Bousquet, Bussière or even Laval to come through us to help a somewhat cumbersome friend who had found himself in the shade. Which brings us back to the subject!
PP – Could you first shed some light on the “coup d’état” that occurred at the head of the New French State? I know that's not the right term, but hey – if I can't find another!
RSP – Without going into the pathetic details of the internal convulsions of the New French State, let's say that following a succession of appalling failures – foremost among which is the famous raid on the prison of Eysses carried out jointly by commandos and French resistance fighters – the Occupation authorities finally decide that they prefer an unpopular and inefficient, even sometimes embarrassing man – Pierre Laval, to a unpopular and perhaps effective, but in any case very considerate man – Jacques Doriot. At least he had the advantage of a dedicated if not solid base, as well as a past as a soldier in the LVF. Brief ! Berlin imposes Doriot as head of government in replacement of Laval, who finds himself in a post of president-potiche which is reminiscent of the worst hours of the pre-war Third Republic. This maneuver was perfectly transparent.
PP – We remember in particular the famous “We wouldn’t want to interfere in an exclusively French affair! launched by General Oberg, whom we introduced earlier.
RSP – Here it is! Laval's pseudo-France – a vaguely corporatist anarchic society trying to please its German masters, was followed by Doriot's anti-France – openly Nazi-inspired and committed to fighting with all its might against its own citizens for the benefit of of Germany, by mobilizing all the means at its disposal.
Ph. R. – The worst period of the Occupation begins. The Occupiers already knew few limits – but now they have with them a small group of rebels ready for all crimes. I cannot say if the Carlingue was very involved in this upheaval. On the other hand, it seems to me certain – the discussions we had today demonstrate this – that Bonny financed the PPF, and undoubtedly its newspaper Le Petit Parisien, much more effectively than any other. Not exactly out of conviction – our special guest was clear, Mr. Pierre watered all his interlocutors abundantly – but nevertheless, the result was there.
RSP – Pierre Bonny will be poorly rewarded for his subsidies and his understanding. He who already saw himself as Secretary General of the Police, or even Minister of the Interior, must leave these two places to Bousquet and Barthélemy. After much effort and protest, he will end up inheriting, as a consolation prize, an obscure post as boss of the Rail Police – a mediocre organization without its own funding, whose field of competence was shrinking from one day to the next. under the blows of Allied planes.
PP – Mr. Raymond, I imagine that this got the Carlingue talking, you might say?
Mr. Raymond – Of course. Bonny had invested heavily in Doriot as soon as – thanks to his innate talent – he had felt the tide turn. Unfortunately for him, his taste for eating at all the racks as well as his lack of real political commitment turned against him. He was very upset. For whole days, we heard him thundering on the telephone, calling a German general here, Matignon there… It did not escape his lieutenants, nor the men in the ranks.
The boss so powerful, once able to whisper in the ear of the Germans, suddenly seemed unable to impose his views. Worse, he even seemed to be losing influence – Jean Martin himself proves this because he had to free his brother himself. Bonny was now trapped: to regain prestige and achieve his ends, he had to please the new masters. However, they demanded much more than money or prisoners. They wanted fresh meat, soldiers! And that, the cabin was not able to provide.
Ph. R. – He therefore tried to found a Brigade or a Légion Nord-africaine, made up of a group of North African volunteers – mercenaries in fact, closer to medieval routiers warriors than militiamen. The experiment didn't go very far. The so-called brigade was not even sent to the Vercors.
RSP – But mercenaries have to be paid. However, during this period, the finances of the Carlingue suffered, like those of the NEF and of occupied France in general. Occupier fees are increasing and there is not much left to loot. The Abwehr purchasing offices closed in August 1943 – for lack of customers and the fact that, by their very structure, they were factors of corruption, embezzlement, mismanagement and inflation. With the arrival of Doriot, they were no more than costly and superfluous intermediaries, which also prevented the NEF from honoring its bills. Only the SS will continue to operate in Paris until the end.
Mr. Raymond – Rue Lauriston therefore sees a crowd of well-known personalities arriving on its premises, in search of a new remunerative job: intelligence and information, without any commercial storefronts.
PP – La Carlingue must therefore follow the movement, if I may say so: switch to the all-repressive in order not to disappear. But you don't make soldiers out of highwaymen overnight...
RSP – Mr. Raymond, could you shed some light on this North African fiasco?
Mr. Raymond – A double fiasco! You don't think that the big Violette Morris and her team of broken arms arrived by swimming in Algeria?
PP - Uh... I must admit I never had a real opinion on the matter!
Mr. Raymond – Good. Bonny really hoped a lot from the North African sector – an exotic tropism no doubt. With Jean Luchaire and others – all debtors to whom the Carlingue had given money, but who had the good taste to have the ear of Otto Abetz… – he tried to set up a vague project intended to mobilize 50,000 men, no less, among the prisoners of war held in Germany. Of course, that did nothing. Like Doriot before him, Bonny once again financed the actors of his downfall.
RSP – I recall passing by that Suzanne de Bruyker, Luchaire's secretary, had herself married Abetz!
Mr. Raymond – For lack of results, Bonny finally went to see Marcel Déat – now Minister of Economy and Labour. They already knew each other through Levillain and liked each other, despite the first strained relations. Déat ends up lending him 40 men to help hunt down resistance fighters.
Ph. R. – Excuse me, but at that time, why did the RNP have the slightest need to ally itself with the Carlingue?
Mr. Raymond – The needy stick together. In the summer of 1943, the members of Déat's party felt they were losing momentum compared to the other Collaboration movements. They are demoralized by the evolution of the conflict, and moreover targeted by violent attacks on the part of the Resistance fighters as well as their supposed allies – who reproach them in particular for their communist origins and their past links with the PSF of La Rocque.
As for Bonny, the turn her business is taking isn't very pleasing - I've already said that. The good days seem to have passed, the allied noose is tightening. We say the distant leader, back to his bad habits as a policeman ready to do anything to shine, including spilling the blood of others. It is rumored that he is getting closer to Darnand, a fanatical soldier who is hardly appreciated and who finds himself very lonely. Rumor has it, moreover, that we will soon recover former members of the GMR – didn't Mr. Pierre once free the bankers from the old grigou?
RSP – All without a doubt under the auspices of a Laval who, as usual, promised a lot without being able to keep anything.
M. Raymond – You take the words out of my mouth. In short, under the pressure of events, the cabin seems to be falling apart little by little. In the end, only the hungriest wolves or the most compromised caves will remain. In the meantime, everyone now acts much more like mercenaries than entrepreneurs. And among them, a small number still hope to return their jackets, fearing to disappear leaving a too bad image of their person...
PP – In short, management and staff trust each other less and less!
Mr. Raymond – Yes. The situation gets even worse when Bonny gets in touch – again for his project of a North African Legion of my… Excuse me… He gets in touch with a certain Mohamed El-Maadi, son of caïd Mahfou El-Maadi and president of the Comité franco-musulman (Franco-Muslim Committee).
PP - Let's introduce the man, please.
Ph. R. – So… [Sounds of crumpled leaves.] Mohamed El-Maadi. Uncertain date of birth: January 2 or July 7, 1902 in Sfahli, commune of Séfia, Constantine. Or in 1903 in Tlemcen. A non-commissioned officer, he left the army in 1936 and the following year founded the political association L’Algérie française in the Paris region. It devotes most of its energy to denouncing Jews and Freemasons as responsible for the misfortunes of Muslims in AFN – a speech that could please. He then collaborated with the weekly Revolution Nationale, took on some responsibilities in connection with the AFN and then became a member of the CSAR de la Cagoule, before being arrested for this reason. Judged in July 1939 for "plotting aimed at changing the form of government and inciting civil war", he was nevertheless mobilized in 1939 as a reserve non-commissioned officer! He was then a retired chief warrant officer. Demobilized at the end of the summer of 1940, like so many others, he returned to Paris and joined the MSR while getting closer to the leaders of the Paris Mosque. He later moved to the RNP of Déat, and led there a North African Committee (CNA) supposed to excite the population originating from this area against, I quote, "the colonialist government of Algiers, prodigal of the blood of believers and slave of the Jews ".
PP – In view of the policy extremely favorable to Muslim Indigenous peoples adopted in June 1940 by a desperate Republic, I doubt that this speech succeeded in carrying.
Ph. R. – Not to mention the subtle inconsistency of denouncing Algiers when Déat daily demanded “the defense of the French colonial empire against Anglo-Saxon intrigues. In short, its CNA never exceeded half a thousand members. It was led by four people, apart from El-Maadi: Saïd Adjou, general delegate for propaganda, and three rogue separatist speakers, Radjef, Graïeb and Laroubi.
From June 1943 and the assassination of Deloncle, the movement dispersed almost completely. In the end, it seems that the whole thing was mostly a way to get funds from the NEF, while eyeing the Cercle Européen – the capital’s “closed black market” restaurant. Although a member of the LVF – he had to – El-Maadi is now bored. He publishes a cabbage sheet, Er Rachid, with very irregular publication, and claims to be much more important than he is.
Mr. Raymond-Bonny therefore entered into contact with him through the intermediary of the RNP and the Mosque of Paris. And he gets bamboozled! I do not believe it ! One hundred thousand francs and the sponsorship of Paris-Soir to print its duck in 50,000 copies, against the vague promise of finding volunteers!
And with that, Mr. Pierre went to see Standartenführer Helmut Knochen to submit this project to him, which after all benefited from the support of a crowd of people. The SS hesitates a little, we understand that. But necessity being law, he finally authorized the enrollment of 500 men, no more. One shot to see. El-Maadi promises to provide them. Eventually there were 300, then 200… no, 150. Mainly Algerians and a few Moroccans attracted by the pay: 5,000 francs for each soldier. There were also a few assassins in the lot, among those who came for the soup...
Ph. R. – According to the fifty files found, 15% of the workforce was on file at the Sommiers Judiciaires for assault or theft!
M. Raymond – Sir, myself as, let’s say, as a professional, I was disgusted by it, that is to say! All this mediocre stuff was paid for directly by the Sipo – Schmidt gave Bonny 1,200,000 francs a month for it. Each recruit had the right to an SS green card, a gun license and a uniform.
RSP – I don’t know if Monsieur Pierre had hoped one day to imitate the Handschar, but it was off to a bad start…
Mr. Raymond – The unit was housed at 74 rue Lauriston, in a building belonging to a friend – Mr. Allard, a former swindler against the Otto office for an affair of papers worth 8 million francs. He owed a few services… In short – as soon as they were installed, things rocked hard between Bonny and El-Maadi. I think the chief only realized the situation once his so-called brigade gathered in the courtyard. He immediately fired the recruiter!
Ph. R. – Mohamed El-Maadi managed to escape to Tunisia in 1944, then to Egypt via Libya. He would have died in Cairo in the 1950s…
Mr. Raymond – So there remained the 150 brigadiers – who became 140 along the way. Bonny decided to transfer them to 21 avenue de Madrid, in Neuilly. In a castle requisitioned by the Kommandantur, then placed at the disposal of Masuy, the head of the “Gestapo de l'avenue Henri-Martin” – which had especially emptied him of everything that had value.
Bonny decided to divide the North African Brigade, or BNA, into four sections of 35 men including four non-commissioned officers, plus one officer. As long as it was, he took trusted men as section leaders: Cazauba, Maillebuau, Villaplana and Lucien Prévost. Not that the position fascinated them very much! But it allowed to become Untersturmführer under the direction of the Hauptsturmführer Bonny, head of the brigade. That was about all - apart from the support in place on rue Lauriston: a doctor, a German non-commissioned officer and Edmond Delehaye, who served as secretary.
RSP – For my information – what was the equipment of these… corporals?
Mr. Raymond – A Canadian jacket, a navy blue uniform, a Basque beret, a German belt and a knife. They were only given guns and grenades once they left Paris. And then – it still makes me laugh when I think about it – it was Joseph Joinovici who had obtained the contract to supply the canteen essentials. A million francs!
The BNA only made two real expeditions: one in Limousin and the other in Franche-Comté. For the first region, it was the sections of Cazauba and Maillebuau. To the east, Villaplana and Prévost.
RSP – [Clearing of the throat.] Corrèze, a rural and isolated region, moreover relatively spared from the fighting of 1940 if not from German repression, was a particularly active center of Resistance, under the unified command of Captain Raymond Faro, of the network Fight. Maquis of several hundred men had thus been formed, as on the plateau des Millevaches, well supplied by the air force and supervised by the French special forces as well as by veterans of the pre-war army.
Ph. R. – This is no doubt why the BNA behaved, not like a brigade, but like a “grande compagnie” of the fourteenth century.
M. Raymond – There is a lot to say about Tulle and Maillebuau… On the other hand, I have very little… information about Montbéliard or Sochaux. Well, I can nevertheless point out a couple of things: the initial mission of the two sections was to guard the Peugeot factories – notoriously infiltrated by the Resistance and constantly sabotaged when by chance they were not bombed. The group settles in the Hôtel La Balance (it can't be invented!) – at least the officers, because the troop lives in the factory, among the workers.
The cohabitation goes very badly: impromptu searches, more or less arbitrary detentions, attempted rape of the prisoners held in the premises – interrupted by the Germans themselves! The North Africans will leave very quickly, replaced by the men loaned by Déat at the beginning of September 1943. On the road to Limoges, the group will be literally ravaged by desertions – only fifteen men will arrive at their destination, out of seventy! Very mediocre story, and I don't have more details.
PP - I see. Limousin, now – no excess of bloody details, please.
M. Raymond – Spent a short stay in Limoges, Prévost and Villaplana separated to go respectively to Périgueux and Tulle. Bonny will pass several times in Tulle, at the Hôtel Saint-Martin – I don’t know what he intended to do there, but he never moved without his bodyguard Miloudi Ben Salah, “Le Boxeur (the boxer). The command posts established, the two sections began to criss-cross the surrounding villages. Their action, however, was limited to a long series of looting and abuse of power.
PP - Perhaps Pierre Bonny was simply descending to try to restore order in the ranks.
Mr. Raymond – He did not succeed – even having fired a quarter of the workforce. On the other hand, he always cut himself a little more from the Parisian team.
Ph. R. – Some elements on the events of Tulle – finally, those of 1943. The city became a kind of hostage, victim of multiple raids in search of gold, food or anything that could have value . The preamble to the investigation of the special section tells us that "in Tulle and the surrounding area, the brigadiers and their leaders reigned supreme: they policed the streets and the railways, called out to passers-by to ask them for their papers and bullied them. We must hear the confidences of the inhabitants to better understand the terror in which they lived. We must also add the arrests and searches, always arbitrary, during which they pillaged and stole. »
Obviously, those concerned knew that it would not last – all the more reason to seize as many resources as possible before disappearing.
RSP – Processes not far removed from those of the Carlingue.
M. Raymond – With much more violence, moreover blind and on an already suffering population.
Ph. R. – And it was not just the thirty-five North Africans in Tulle. Paul Victor, in particular, left a lasting impression on his victims – an individual with gold-covered upper incisors and lower teeth armored in white metal, that is not to be forgotten. And I also have the file of Armand B. – showman in Tulle, savagely beaten to force him to reveal the hiding place of his savings even though he was already 100% disabled.
M. Raymond – I remember Paul Victor like everyone else. But you know like me that the majority of the BNA was not from the Carlingue in the sense that I understand it.
Ph. R. – The bank archives did in fact keep track of the looting – the money was going back to the capital. Thus, on July 14, Abdelkader Ben H. sent 4,000 francs by money order to a friend in Paris; on July 17, he sent her 6,000 francs. Mohamed K.: 10,000 francs on July 20; 10,000 francs on July 30. And what about Saïd A. who, in the space of a month, sent various people more than 70,000 francs!
Mr. Raymond-Bonny had created a pack, whose fury he directed more than he directed.
Ph. R. – One case remains in my memory: Georges B., a young man of 24 with no history arrested for a routine check in front of the station. Here is his father's statement - you'll understand why he couldn't give it in person. “My son was ordered to show his papers. As he was about to present them, he was grabbed by the throat by one of the Gestapists while another wanted to handcuff him. My son then tried to protect himself. He was immediately hit violently on the head by one of these men, using the handcuffs as brass knuckles. Another, who was armed with a submachine gun, shot him in the legs. My son collapsed. Although wounded and on the ground, he received a new discharge. Then, despite his injuries, they wanted to force him to get up. But my son had been hit by five bullets, including two in one leg and three in the other. He had broken shins. He obviously couldn't get up. The Gestapists then pounded him with kicks, punches, butts. »
PP - I apologize once again for reminding you that...
Ph. R. – Excuse me… Just to tell you that the father was introduced to Bonny, who recognized that there had been a “mistake” – according to his terms and nothing more. The young Georges was taken to the hospital, where he arrived half-naked and without shoes. And if his father finally had to testify for him, it was because of irreversible neurological damage. It was later established that those responsible for this lamentable story were the so-called Monange and Moura – who had committed their crimes in a state of visible intoxication.
M. Raymond – You know very well that they did not take him to heaven, nor to hell for that matter. After a few initial successes – a transmitter seized in Tulle, an attack on camps or two, the arrest of a lieutenant from Faro… Prévost’s brigadiers fell into a very well-prepared ambush by maquisards. They left three dead and six seriously injured there – drunk with rage, they attacked the village of Cornil. A village that the Resistance had taken the precaution of evacuating – they found only ten people there, whom they took hostage and freed six days later… after looting Cornil from top to bottom. The misadventure calmed them down – thereafter, the corporals became more discreet. In Eymet, Villaplana ostensibly negotiated with the SS that no hostage be shot, despite the presence of Resistance fighters in the area. Eymet, however, did not escape the looting either.
Ph. R. – On August 18, Pierre Bonny was in Paris, hoping to negotiate the support of other NEF organizations – he then ran into Paul Touvier, who was eyeing his network and his contacts. Disgusted, it seems, by his failures as by those of his troupe, he lets go of the matter. The BNA moved back to Paris at the end of the month – only the Villaplana section remained in Limoges for a while, possibly under new SS Lieutenant Raymond Monange. She participated in the executions of hostages in Mussidan – in all, 350 randomly designated dead.
Mr. Raymond – I may shock you – but at this time, Bonny no longer had a hold on the BNA. He lets things happen, and sends men when the Germans ask him to. But no more "old" of the band takes care of them or orders them. Eventually, the direction of the last expeditions was assumed by an SS lieutenant – Monange or another.
Ph. R. – This group does not seem to have had an official end. We see it appear again a little in the German archives until the beginning of September 1943, before quite simply disappearing - undoubtedly like its own members, whose fates will only interest Justice.
RSP – Yes, because as everyone knows, on September 6, 1943, Dragon – the Landing in Provence took place!
PP – Which deserves a final break, dear guests!

Y tombe
Des bombes,
Ça boume,
Sublime !
Des plombes
Qu’ça tombe,
Un monde

S'abîme !

Rock around the bunker !
Rock around rock around !

C’est l’hé-
Ça r’tombe
En trombe,
Ça fume !
Tout flambe,
Les tombes,
Les temples,

Sublime !

Rock around the bunker !
Rock around rock around !

Les flammes
Goddam !
Tout crame,
Tout tremble,
Et tombe
En ruine.

Rock around the bunker !
Rock around rock around !


Rock Around the Bunker

(Serge Gainsbourg, 1975)
It's booming,
Gorgeous !
let it fall,
A world
Get damaged!

Rock around the bunker!
Rock around rock around!

It's the he-
It falls
in a whirlwind,
It smokes!
everything is on fire,
The graves,
Gorgeous !

Rock around the bunker!
Rock around rock around!

The abyss.
Everything burns,
Everything is shaking,
And fall
In ruins.

Rock around the bunker!
Rock around rock around!
Rock Around the Bunker
(Serge Gainsbourg, 1975)
Patrick Pesnot – Back on the set of Witnesses of Ages for the last part of our issue devoted to Pierre Bonny's Carlingue, but this time more specifically with regard to the period following the landing in Provence. The existence of this... institution will then be rather brief - what do you think, dear gentlemen?
Philippe Robert – The end of the affair was indeed remarkably quick – as quick as it had started in fact. As of September 6, the house on rue Lauriston seemed to be seized with panic. However, it is not yet as depopulated as has been said. And so she takes out suitcases of cash – on Bonny's instruction – to hastily buy up farms and country houses that can serve as refuges for the chiefs if necessary. Pierre Bonny thus becomes, through nominees, the owner of two farms in Brannay and Bazoches in Yonne.
Robert Stan Pratsky – German promises to quickly drive invaders back to sea fizzle out. Marseille is released on the evening of September 7, with Toulon. Avignon was cleared on the 8th, Montpellier reached on the 27th. It quickly became clear that the Allies would not leave!
Ph. R. – Logically, the service is gradually emptying. When Paris is liberated, there is no one left – the Carlingue is empty. But Bonny made it a point of honor to provide anyone who asked for it with the means to flee – even to the North Africans of the BNA present in Paris, who received a “pay advance” (sic!).
Mr. Raymond – Mr. Pierre also gave everyone a personalized bonus, depending on the services rendered and the time spent with him – as well as a blank identity card. We had only one condition to respect: to return our “service” weapon and especially our gestapo card. This done, he hastened to destroy Ausweiss, service cards, files, indicator reports, accounts, traces of payments...! Then Bonny disappears in turn, without warning anyone, in a van loaded with furniture, with his wife and son Jacques.
Ph. R. – Which explains, among other things, the darkness that still surrounds La Carlingue today. Nothing was to remain, no clue, no proof was to fall into the hands of the Republic. Only a remainder – a file concerning matters of close interest to the Germans – will be given to non-commissioned officer Emil Hess, who will take it to Avenue Foch and then to Stuttgart. The Allied forces arriving in the capital in May 1944 therefore found absolutely nothing!
PP - Mr Raymond, before we go any further, can you confirm that, during the winter of 1943-44, the "service" was affected by a kind of wait-and-see attitude, as we sketched out previously? I sometimes have the impression that during this period, parasitized as it was by the misadventures of the North African Brigade, the Cabin was, so to speak, technically unemployed!
Mr. Raymond – I will not go that far: the cases of blackmailing the release of prisoners and smuggling continued, although at a noticeably slower pace. And then, there were all the same tasks of repression and police…
PP – I beg your pardon?
Ph. R. – I understand that this may surprise – and yet! Due to the quasi-disappearance of the Police Judiciaire and the Gendarmerie, the Carlingue did indeed deal with some common law cases... in its own way, of course, and certainly not for free!
M. Raymond – We are talking in particular about the affair of the Marquis de Sigoyer.
PP - What is it?
M. Raymond – Of the murder of Jeanine Kergot by her husband, the so-called Marquis Alain de Bernardy de Sigoyer – a little mythomaniac man who boasted that he was descended from the younger branch of the Sigoyers. A crook with a thousand lives and ten thousand women, who had even pretended to be mad in order to avoid prison, before later converting to black magic! He had probably already killed several people before the war for unclear reasons – the conflict was in any case profitable for him, since he made his fortune selling alcohol to the Germans. But everything got complicated in July 1943…
Ph. R. – Let’s stay in… the audible, for the rest of our listeners. And let's just say that one fine morning, Madame de Sigoyer, née Kergot, finds her husband in bed with his maid. She asks for a divorce, of course… and disappears the next day. Fortunately for her husband, to whom she still paid 10,000 francs a month. The mobile is there.
Mme Kergot mother – although she herself had an affair with the alleged marquis…
PP- Oh! I…
Ph. R. – Sorry… Finally, Mrs. Kergot has a hard time believing in a runaway. She opens up to the “normal” police, who decide not to get too involved in a settling of scores between collaborators. For lack of anything better, she therefore changed providers…
M. Raymond – And she goes to rue Lauriston so that our services arrest and question the presumed widower, to make him confess his crime. It is Maillebuau “Le Basque” who receives the lady and is convinced to accept the file. The marquis is therefore picked up, embarked, and brought back to the office to try to get him to sit down to talk.
He said nothing – despite the… classic protocol duly followed. And after some time, we are forced to release it. As Le Basque later explained to Madame Kergot: “Finally, Madame! He's been on the tub for three days and he still hasn't spilled the beans. This is proof that he is innocent! »
RSP – As has been rightly said, torture is an excellent way to convict a fragile innocent and exonerate a robust culprit.
Ph. R. – I am not denying a form of medieval logic here. But it's just a shame that Maillebuau was wrong - after the war, the maid will denounce the Marquis and point out the location of the body. Although he was defended by Maître Jacques Isorni in person and he persisted in denying it with energy, Sigoyer was condemned to death and then guillotined in 1946. Ultimate farce in bad taste: the condemned man paid a post-mortem actor to disguises himself as a ghost and goes to “haunt” the lawyer who had – according to him – defended him so badly.
PP – Fascinating story, as romantic as it is sinister! But I must unfortunately return to the subject, dear guests! So Bonny is deserting, like all her accomplices?
M. Raymond – How you go! To desert ? Come on, the only official position he now holds – superintendent of trains – is largely fictitious. The few convoys still circulating in occupied France in the spring of 1944 were those of the German army! What would he have done in Paris?
I am afraid, dear Monsieur Pesnot, that you are also underestimating the… shall we say, sentimental aspect of the affair – an aspect which occupies a place at least equal to that of the financial aspect in Bonny’s decision. From September 1943, Mr. Pierre no longer believed either in the victory of his protectors or in his own lucky star. He is disgusted with a system that has taken him to the top and is abandoning him, once again. He now hopes simply to survive and be forgotten.
PP – Like all his subordinates?
Mr. Raymond – Not exactly. As I told you, if some members disappeared forever in the swamp of banditry even before the 'official' dissolution of the group, others remained active until the end - whether they hoped to return from right side of the fence, or for purely pecuniary reasons.
PP – By working as freelancers? And for whom? Who would recruit former Gestapists?
Mr. Raymond – Obviously nobody. At least officially! But before going into detail, let us observe, please, the context of the South of France in the autumn of 1943. What do we see, my dear gentlemen?
RSP – Provinces… culturally turbulent, relatively poor and largely rural, still bearing the scars of the 1940s fighting and once again becoming a battleground for an even more violent struggle. Stayed away from the Parisian shenanigans of Laval, for lack of means at its disposal, they spent three years under the German boot and are completely ruined.
Ph. R. – And so they are also – because I suppose this is what Monsieur Raymond is coming from – a battleground for the local underworld, whose most ambitious young members can finally hope to carve out a domain and take the place of the lords of recent years.
Mr. Raymond – That's it! The little Sartore-Carbon/Spirito war and then the fall of the Bonny house at least had the merit of clarifying the situation for many “sizes” of the South – they now knew precisely what to expect. It is therefore logical that from June 1943, a good part of them began to contact the services of Algiers.
PP – In all logic… and in all honor, of course!
M. Raymond - Not having rendered too great a service to the enemy, but still able to render eminent service to the friend, it seems natural, I repeat, that they were well received... and that they were able to negotiate the price of their rallying. The summer of 1943 therefore saw the occurrence, not of a succession of stupid attacks as the Communists did, but of intense preparation with the pooling of equipment, hideouts and weapons between different groups.
Ph. R. – I suppose that, as in the past for the Carlingue, this vast movement of opportunism had nothing really organized about it, even if it was spontaneous?
M. Raymond – Indeed, and moreover not all of them follow the movement. But nevertheless, a good part of the people of the Milieu are now seen on the right side of the fence. The Guérini brothers, among others. But however patriotic they had become [Violent cough…], they still lacked a bit of means. Thank God, there remained to remedy this certain former men of Bonny, including in particular Auguste Ricord, a friend of Carbone. As well as, through him, his comrades Joseph Piéreschi, Marius Manuelli or Joseph Orsini. The Corsicans have memory, it's true - but they also know how to be pragmatic when necessary.
PP - If we follow you well, and to paraphrase Brassens, as soon as the Boches have to be beaten, everyone reconciles?
Mr. Raymond – Everyone agrees to row in the same direction! The rest we will see later. Cazauba, on the other hand, chooses to partner with Danos and ... can I say it or will it trigger loud cries?
PP – Mr. Raymond, if I invited you, it is to testify. And I suppose that if you accepted this invitation – which I thank you for, of course – it is also because you want to… speak freely.
Mr. Raymond – Perfect! Well, on the advice of Joinovici, Cazauba therefore enters into business with a certain commissioner Blémant – of whom you may have heard, gentlemen, for his actions of Resistance, even for his secret missions, just like for his brutal end in 1965 .
RSP - For our listeners, let's say that Robert Blémant was a famous French counterintelligence policeman, who contributed a lot to the establishment of an effective Resistance in the South-East of France - in agreement with the local sponsors you have quoted. In doing so, he ends up crossing the yellow line, becoming a pure thug himself and will end up riddled with bullets on a road in Provence...
Mr. Raymond – It is really striking to see how much the careers of Mr. Pierre and Mr. Robert have similarities. Same departure house, same conception of work… In short – Blémant, like everyone else, is preparing for the D-Day landings. But there are not enough men to... let's say, to clear the ground. Indeed, not all of them want to expose themselves to the light of day as long as we are not really sure of seeing the Allies land. However, there are men that everyone would really like to be rid of – and if possible, before they are arrested and interrogated.
PP – Any name in particular?
RSP – Simon Sabiani!
Mr. Raymond – This very one! You will easily understand that, like many collaborators in other latitudes, the “dog from Marseille” had quite a few files under his belt. So we had to take it out of the equation. Cazauba doesn't want to go it alone – he brings Abel Danos into the mix.
Ph. R. – Before we go any further – and sorry to interrupt you – I must however point out here that no tangible proof of what Mr. Raymond is going to mention has ever been produced. Apart from this testimony of course, as well as that of Danos' mistress, Hélène Maltat.
M. Raymond – Should I continue, or…?
PP – Continue, please.
Mr. Raymond – Good. The Mammoth agrees – and through the Marco Polo Network, they hatch a plan. It was initially a question of laying a simple ambush, on the road between Aix and Marseille – the trap was put in place… But the driver chickened out at the last moment. Sabiani then spent his last day in the Vieux Port, surrounded so well that no one dared to try anything... However, something had to be done - at the rate the case was dragging on, he was going to succeed in escaping, getting capture or even turn around, the damn snake! And now the Allies landed, for good! SO…
PP - So?
Mr. Raymond – Stone throwing is a good activity to relax between two patrols. And you'd be surprised how quickly a crowd follows the motion of the waltz, once you set the tempo. Tous des veaux (All are sheeps !) – as the General said!
Ph. R. – I confess that this would easily explain why we no longer heard of Danos and Cazauba in Paris between August 25 and September 12.
RSP – But how were they able to return to the capital, in the midst of the fighting?
Mr. Raymond – Thanks to the right people, and with disconcerting ease. You know, at that time, the German lines were thinner, in places, than the lace of the Crazy Horse dancers' outfits.
PP – Bon bon bon… So they go back to Paris, there everyone returns their card and everyone disperses. It's as simple as that ?
Mr. Raymond – Yes – except that during the winter of 1943-1944 and as I have already said, some will still try to combine the pecuniary and the patriotic. Indeed, the pace of the Liberation is slowing down…
RSP – The fault of vigorous German counter-offensives and the logistical constraints of the Allies…
Mr. Raymond – Certainly! However, this break creates a problem: the German is hardly happy. He feels that he will soon have to leave. The majority of the NEF, notwithstanding the excited Doriot – same! So they loot everything they can, triggering unplanned violent actions from naïve youths excited by the approach of the allies.
RSP – Thereby turning the wheel of the attack-retaliation cycle at very high speed. However, at this moment, it is already no longer a question of arrangements but of settling scores. There would be a lot to say about the common actions carried out at this time by the forces of crime, the Resistance and the Allies...
PP – Without a doubt, and this will certainly be the occasion to invite you all back, dear friends. I obviously apologize, but the clock is ticking and I have to - alas, it's the radio! – to refocus the subject once again.
Ph. R. – So the French Republic, constrained by the fate of arms which is not yet completely favorable to it, sees its still prisoner population starving before its eyes. A bit like Henri IV besieging Paris, she therefore decided to let a lot of traffic take place, in particular channels to reach the liberated zone and to bring products from AFN or the USA to the north to supply the black market... and the occupied French. Everything - it seems - tolerated by the De Gaulle government itself!
M. Raymond – An unusual collaboration has thus been set up, between certain veterans of the Carlingue, new innkeepers in business in Marseille and Resistance networks. I must admit that I am very, very surprised – even today – that it went so well. I am missing a big piece of the puzzle: it is rumored that Blémant would have gone directly to negotiate something at the Longchamp Palace with an important person...
RSP – It does not really fit with the image of a legal government! Although… who knows?
Mr. Raymond – In any case, the activity was not without risk – and on the side of the two belligerents moreover. The MBF troops were now shooting on sight, like their colleagues in the “classic” army and all the more so as they were once again on the front lines. Maillebuau was also shot at the bend of a wood in the Morvan, by the FFI – was he there on business or simply on a hideout? I would not know how to say it. But in the end… a sort of balance was restored, however, until the spring 1944 offensives.
RSP – Cobra then Overlord, who would definitely liberate France. It was undoubtedly the last upheaval for the veterans of the Carlingue.
Ph. R. – Yes. From there, all remaining networks disappear, or almost, giving way to the individual destiny of each.
PP - Let's go to the end of the story of Pierre Bonny.
Ph. R. – To all lords, all honor. In the spring of 1944, he holed up on his farm in Bazoches, incognito.
Mr. Raymond – He even had his vehicle mowed down by the FFI, as a requisition. The story is deliberately ironic – he has to send his own son to Paris by bicycle to try to negotiate another truck from Joano, which would have allowed him to go to Switzerland.
Ph. R. – But Joseph Joinovici sees here the opportunity to regain his virginity on the cheap – and he doesn’t take long to sway his former friend. Through the intermediary of Inspector Morin, at the Quai de Gesvres, he indicates the hideout to the Republican authorities who have just been restored. It will be no less than 200 soldiers, gendarmes and FFI who will storm the farm on June 31 at noon sharp. The event will also inspire Bonny to say a famously bitter phrase: “For once Joano gives something! However, he does not put up any resistance. Three million francs will be found in his home, as well as a host of military archives.
M. Raymond – I would like to point out that there were four million in his trunks when he left Paris. I won't say where the missing million went, but I have my own idea!
PP - In the pockets of those who arrested him?
Mr. Raymond – Not only. And besides, since we are talking about it - the treasure of Rue Lauriston has never been found... Oh certainly! It was no longer at its former level, but there was still 14 million in the vault the last time I had access to it. It is true, Mr. Pierre paid abundantly all those who had worked for him. But there is obviously a lack of it – and I observe that certain mafia families have revived their businesses very well after the war. A blessing is never lost.
Ph. R. – Be that as it may, Pierre Bonny completely broke down and threw everything off, himself typing the statements he made to the inspectors. He was probably thinking of softening his pain in this way…
M. Raymond – He will thus definitively prove that he was not… one of us. Passing in front of his cell, his fellow prisoners systematically spat on him!
RSP – And yet he did not collapse when he was sentenced to death on October 31, 1944. Nor did he have to be dragged in front of the platoon. Morality and a sense of honor - that's pretty, no doubt. But that doesn't mean redemption in our civilized society. He was therefore shot at Fort Montrouge, alongside Villaplana and Engel…among others.
Ph. R. – However, this death in no way put an end to the trials of the Carlingue, whose members were now both known and wanted. The DGSS had also extensively infiltrated the office during the occupation, with Tissier, for example. Or Suzzoni.
Mr. Raymond – Tissier had been unmasked at the beginning of 1943 – the D team took care of it. As for Suzzoni, he had been introduced to Bonny by Jean Sartore, who was no doubt already preparing for the future. A condemned man in absentia! When I tell you that Resistants and guys from the cabin, it was the same!
It was obviously him – a respected Corsican – who encouraged the entry of Mediterraneans into the band. Guys who then trafficked with the Guérinis and allowed the setting up of the networks for the winter of 43-44. Bérangier, Guglieri, Dischépolo, Delschiappo, Joseph Orsini, Scotti… All of them did not necessarily stay long – but enough, in any case, to help themselves during searches and implant spies like Chausse, Meunier and Caselli. And besides, if you want to know, Suzzoni ends up fired by Bonny, following a theft of jewels rue Saint-Georges, carried out out of all context. He summoned him to his office, forced him to return his card, weapons and jewelry, then expelled him manu militari from the building!
Ph. R. – I am not going to defend the indefensible – even if Captain Maréchal, of the Military Security Service, later affirmed that Suzzoni had been “of very great importance” and that his information had precisely made it possible to counter certain shares of Rue Lauriston. The French services - those of Algiers, of course - had to do well with the individuals who blended into the background! And besides, if the person concerned was cleared of the charge of intelligence with the enemy, he was also convicted for his thefts.
Better a real agent – even a crooked one – than a 25th hour spy. Speaking of which…Villaplana tried to pretend that he too was an Allied agent – without success, of course. And his testimony does not lack charm. You allow ?
“Question – During a previous hearing, you claimed to have entered the Rue de Lauriston service on the advice of a certain Mr. André, belonging to the 2nd Bureau. You were responsible, according to you, for providing this organization with all information on the activity of the service in question. You must therefore know the organization perfectly.
Answer – […] I was absolutely nothing in this organization. I just know that Pierre
“was affiliated with Avenue Foch”. I don't know what goals he was pursuing. I considered as part of the staff of the service: Cazauba, Sartore, Cajac, Prévost […].
We would like to point out that you provide very little information about the organization that you believe you were responsible for overseeing. »
Mr. Raymond – Villaplana had been silly. Sartore and Gourari did better – having also joined Marco Polo during the winter of 1943, they took the time to carefully reconcile their statements and did not hesitate to assert themselves as Resistance fighters since 1942, under the authority of Pallatier, says “Gaspard”.
RSP - In fact, it was since October 1943 - and Commander Michel, of 'Marco Polo' (to whom it was nevertheless decided, at one point, to give the floor), affirmed that the information of two accomplices did not never had any use, always arriving too late. As for Pallatier, it was “Riquet le Rouge”. A friend of Sartore, a mercenary without responsibility – a hitman, a cleaner, as you say. He represented no authority. The information of these individuals was therefore burst pipes, their thefts of plans of thefts at all and their eliminations of villainous assassinations.
Ph. R. – The preamble to the investigation report concerning them states: “They waited until May 1944, that is to say the German rout, to truly enroll in the Resistance. They covered themselves as well as possible, like criminals accustomed to this kind of maneuver to ensure impunity. And they finally received ten years of forced labor as well as ten years of banishment.
PP – Which doesn't seem like much in the end, given what they were accused of.
Mr. Raymond – The Diversity of Fates – I told you at the start of the show. You could find everything, rue Lauriston.
PP – Precisely, why not try to conclude with an overview of the most significant destinies of the former members of the Carlingue, if one can say so?
Mr. Raymond – Pierrot Loutrel, “Le Fou”(madguy) is a good case, even if he never really integrated into the service. In May 1943, he had already transferred to the SS in a counter-parachute team under the authority of Kieffer, via Placke. He meets George Boucheseiche there, and they become friends. Independent in character...
Ph. R. – Otherwise uncontrollable…
M. Raymond – Except by his mistress, Marinette Chadefaux… In short, Loutrel tries to get away from the cars by running a bar called “Le Cocker” where many personalities from Rue Lauriston come, on tour and in hiding.
In January 1944, he lost his mind once again, when he kidnapped, beat up and left for dead Inspector Ricordeau, of the Police Judiciaire – who had made the great mistake of closing down the den of one of his friends. Then he flees south, crosses the lines and begins a… reconversion, if I dare say. He becomes “Lieutenant FFI Déricourt” – a lieutenant charged by the French military secret services and the ‘Morhange’ network to eliminate enemy agents and collaborators.
Ph. R. – It is estimated that on this date, 93 Abwehr “traitors”, Gestapists and spies had already been killed by the group – which in turn lost 34 of its members between shootings and arrest. We were before the liberation of the national territory… we understand that we needed Loutrel.
Mr. Raymond – Pierrot accomplishes several eliminations, including that of an important German officer who was having a drink at the Place du Capitole. At this time, he met two colleagues: Henri Fefeu and Raymond Naudy – and resumed, while continuing the eliminations, certain bad habits in terms of looting and extortion that no longer passed. In early August, he was arrested, then transferred to Marseille. There, for some reason that escapes me, he was released in October 1944. I won't say anything… but it seems to me that it was more or less on this date that Michel Szkolnikoff “Mandel”, the biggest textile trafficker under the Occupation, was found half-burnt dead near Madrid. According to some, his heart would have given out... Too bad, Commissioner Blémant had promised to bring him back to France to be tried...
PP – Good, good, good … let’s say that Justice will have taken the lead.
Mr. Raymond – Now free but undesirable, he continues to the Côte d'Azur with his accomplices Ruel, Ruard, Laguerre and (still) Naudy, to make people talk about him again in winter. All together, between 1944 and 1945, they committed numerous armed attacks and other bloody attacks. In three months, Pierrot le Fou's team carried out no less than five robberies, collecting several tens of millions of francs, forcing roadblocks, exchanging numerous shots with the police, killing a postman who claimed to be resisting... before the police leads on indication a real assault against their hideout at the hotel Maxim's in Cannes – an assault which narrowly misses Loutrel but nevertheless allows the arrest of Laguerre and Ruard, wounded.
Ph. R. – Like three policemen! Loutrel was also arrested later in Marseille, but for a simple peccadillo. Unidentified by the police, he managed to escape from the l’Evêché (Marseille's main police station) taking an agent hostage!
M. Raymond – As usual, Loutrel Le Louf is out of control. It even seems that it was the Guérinis who gave his hideout to the police. Brief ! Loutrel goes back to Paris, where he meets Brahim “Jo” Attia.
Ph. R. – Jo Attia, former personal enemy of Bonny, accomplice of Cazauba and deported to the Mauthausen camp.
Mr. Raymond – He is, like Loutrel, a veteran of the Bataillons d'Afrique (battalions of Africa - french disciplinary units). They were already comrades and friends, they become colleagues. And so they founded the Tractions Avant (french type of car) gang, named after the car they used. Later, previous accomplices from the South would join them, as well as other former avenue Foch and La Carlingue veterans: Georges Boucheseiche, Henri Fefeu (again), Abel Danos and Julien Le Ny.
Six attacks follow one another during the summer of 1945: July 16 – Société Générale on rue de Rivoli. The 29 – the SNCF of the avenue de Suffren. On August 1, they failed at the comptoir des métaux précieux (precious metals counter) on rue Dareau, but then made up for it with three attacks on vans and cashiers.
Ph. R. – Pierrot le Fou caused terror to reign in Ile-de-France, through this rapid succession of attacks of absolutely incredible violence – and audacity, it must be said. He is everywhere in the capital, and acts as he sees fit with apparent impunity. Thus, in a nightclub, he meets Martine Carol, a young actress in the making whom he undertakes to kidnap in his car! The Lady will resist his advances, and he will finally abandon her in the suburbs, annoyed and perhaps after some violence. Later, he will send his dressing room a big basket of flowers as a sign of apology...
That was obviously anecdotal – but one reality remains. We are now worried about Loutrel in public opinion as well as in the Milieu – which feels that the agitation that is seizing the police is bad for its own business. Searches and dragnets follow one another... The Minister of the Interior himself orders all his services to agree to "finally obtain results".
Mr. Raymond – Information obviously travels very quickly. Pierrot obeys nothing and is therefore protected by no one. On September 12, a new tip arrived on the office of the boss of 36 quai des Orfèvres. The “Tractions avant” would be in the inn “Les Marronniers”, in Champigny-sur-Marne. Three hundred and fifty police officers invade the hotel... and find no one there. Lack of luck – Boucheseiche, Fefeu, Attia and two accomplices are right next door, in an establishment called “L’auberge”, and are spotted there. A siege begins – the five men defend themselves with heavy fire. Reinforcements were brought up from Paris, including two Greyhound armored cars, which machine-gunned the facade.
Informed of what is happening, Loutrel then performs an act that will make him a legend – he grabs a Delahaye Coach, forces the roadblocks with it, recovers Fefeu and Attia under armored fire and flees! We will find the car reduced to the state of wreckage in the woods. As for Boucheseiche, he managed to hide at the bottom of a well, breathing through a straw.
Ph. R. – The police record is disastrous for such a deployment of forces – only two second knives, moreover killed in the shooting. An inspector with a strong mustache – whose name I no longer remember – will end up being transferred to Seine-Saint-Denis, as a good lightman of this fiasco. As for the criminals, they are already far away: they steal a convertible in Saint-Maur, then a truck in Armainvilliers. And finally hide in their hideout in Auvers-sur-Oise.
Political pressure has not worked, so we return to the basic work of the police: investigation while waiting for an error. She comes. On September 30, Henri Fefeu was arrested in Montmartre – he telephoned from a garage in La Ferté, which was tapped.
Mr. Raymond – Fefeu will die in prison of tuberculosis, much later. The rest of the group resumed their attacks, after a period of calm: in October, it was the Bercy wine merchants. As they leave, they pass through a police ambush... which does not stop them, because another group was expected! Finally, after another failed robbery at Versailles, comes the mishap. On November 5, Loutrel walked drunk into a jewelry store on rue Boissière, whose owner, Mr. Sarafian, defended himself and touched Pierre in the abdomen.
Ph. R. – Hum! Some gossips claim that he injured himself with his weapon while getting back in the car! And in the shooting, the jeweler is killed...
Mr. Raymond – More precisely, he leaves his business injured to be run over by a car. No luck, unfortunate! In short – picked up by his accomplices, Loutrel is taken to an “understanding” doctor, who quickly declares that the case is beyond his means. Attia and Boucheseiche therefore have him hospitalized under a false name at the Diderot clinic. Three days later, they come back to pick him up disguised as paramedics – but pay the bill when they leave! Loutrel is then dying. He stayed several days with a friend from Porcheville, Edmond Courtois, where he died. They bury him on an island in the Seine...
Ph. R. – His death will not be known until three years later. In the meantime, the band disbands – even though it will still be talked about from time to time in the offices, and most often wrongly. All its members will be caught in the years to come: Jo Attia and Georges Boucheseiche in 1946, Abel Danos and Raymond Naudy in 1947. For Boucheseiche, seven years of forced labor, for Attia only three – moreover purged during his preventive.
PP - Attia will not have paid very much, tell me!
Ph. R. – Do not forget that as a former deportee, he had retained a capital of sympathy with some. In particular with Mr. Edmond Michelet, minister and himself a former resistance fighter and fellow member of block...
Mr. Raymond – The Danos case is a bit special. As soon as Loutrel died, he and Naudy had crossed the border with women and children, to settle in Milan. There, they resumed their activities: violent hold-ups that claimed three victims. But, I've said it before – Southerners don't like competition. Denounced in July 1947, they boarded a boat for Menton… and were awaited at the landing stage by the gendarmerie. A very violent shooting escapes – Naudy and his wife fall, as well as a gendarme. Incredible: Danos makes it through alone! He arrives in Paris let down by everyone… he does burglary to survive. This is how he gets caught – he will be recognized and then sentenced to death twice for his past activities, without anyone intervening as had been the case with Attia.
RSP – The cinema will later take over the character and his end – the film Classe tous risques (All Risks included), with Lino Ventura in the role of Danos and Belmondo as an accomplice.
Ph. R. – Danos was shot in Montrouge on March 13, 1951. It should be noted that Boucheseiche and Attia resumed their careers after their release, taking advantage of the suspicious passivity of the police services… but that takes us far too far from our story.
M. Raymond – A word on the band of Corsicans, on the other hand? They also had a brilliant career. Especially Auguste Ricord!
PP – Without going too far, why not?
Ph. R. – I guess everyone here will have winced when they heard about Orsini – it makes sense, he and Ricord founded what was called the “French Connection”.
Mr. Raymond – And you see where I'm coming from when I say that the Rue de Lauriston treasure was not lost to everyone… The war had done well for Ricord – a war he spent most of gone to an apartment on the avenue de Wagram with six servants. This ended, he joined forces with Orsini “the Bloodthirsty” and De la Palmira – a hero of the two world wars reconverted in the alcohol traffic (Note : De la Palmira had his own gambling den at the Hotel Montana, two floors below the rooms occupied by the Nazis. He had also teamed up with Robert Moura to hold the cabaret "Le petit chapiteau", very popular with Bonny's men. All for spy purposes for the Allies... but not only !). The three of them set up a network that truly flooded the North American cocaine market via South America through an old friend: François Spirito! Which always knew how to make itself indispensable.
PP - And the police made no attempt to stop this magnificent undertaking, which moreover was carried out by perfectly identified individuals?
Mr. Raymond – Why? It was going to the Yankees!
Ph. R. – If you want to know everything, Orsini had even obtained a certificate of Resistance from the Republic, with the support of De Palmira. The latter also held the Aix-les-Bains casino until 1955, while continuing his traffic.
And during this time, 'the bloodthirsty' had settled in Paraguay under the protection of the North American Italian mafia and the Corsican Union... There, Auguste Ricord became "El Viejo", as powerful as General- President Alfredo Stroessner! He was finally extradited under pressure from Nixon in 1972… It would take hours to exhaust the subject!
PP – And the clock is ticking, unfortunately. Let's finish quickly with one last character. Here, Joseph Joinovici!
Mr. Raymond – Oh, old Joano always gets away with it! At least at the start. At the Liberation, he was arrested several times, for various reasons. Once, at a barrage of FFIs, he gets tangled up in the crowd of documents that clutter his wallet and pulls out his gestapo card!
PP - It's nerd.
Mr. Raymond – As you say. But he is still released on the orders of the Prefecture of Police! Tired, the DGSS ended up coming to question him directly on the premises of this institution, so that things could finally be clarified – they then made him leave by the fire escape! He fled abroad in 1946.
Ph. R. – It should be noted, however, that the prefect at the time, Charles Luizet, would then be replaced “due to illness”… And that Joinovici would eventually return to be arrested six months later.
Mr. Raymond – Yes, again, he goes straight to the PP – he really didn't like the DGSS, the Joano. His 1948 trial was flamboyant, he had had time to prepare his defense.
Ph. R. – A few excerpts: “I was not sold to the Germans since I was the one who paid them! or "What did you want to do against the Germans?" Me, I made a fortune”. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but was released after four. No one knows what to do with him anymore – the man is ruined, does not really have French nationality… but no country wants him. Romania, which had become a communist, no longer knew him, and neither did the USSR... Finally, he was placed under house arrest in Mende.
M. Raymond – The first reception is rather cold. The gendarme who welcomes Joinovici when he arrives balances him: “I would say to you: welcome to Mende, but the heart would not be there. However, after some time, he went into business with the local scrap dealers, a well-to-do businessman named Laffont-Chamberlain and… the machine started up again. At least, until the tax authorities had the curious idea of asking him for his unpaid tax arrears during the Occupation! He fled to Geneva, Casablanca and eventually Haifa – where he tried to obtain Israeli citizenship.
RSP – Mr. Joinovici is to this day – along with Mr. Lansky, the American mobster, and Robert Sloblen, the Soviet spy – one of only three Jews who have been denied the right of return. Tel-Aviv expelled him after confiscating his assets in Switzerland – assets which he intended to transfer to Israel in exchange for a residence permit – pointing out to him that "When it comes to confiscating money from Jews, you know very well that the Swiss have a long experience. »
M. Raymond – The end is all the same sad. He returned to Marseilles, found himself at Les Baumettes and embarked on a hunger strike. It is then completely ruined and eaten away by arteriosclerosis. He was let out in 1962, for health reasons. He died in 1965 in Clichy in a one-bedroom apartment on avenue Anatole France, which he shared with his wife and former secretary Lucie ‘Lucie-fer’ (lucifer) Schmidt.
PP – Beyond the Carlingue, we can see how the Bonny watchdogs have shaped the French criminal world – even today.
RSP - The archives of the Service d'Action Civique (De Gaulle's private secret service, knowed for out-of-the-law politicals violence) also mention very familiar names... But we can still congratulate ourselves today that the Republic has not failed or given up. If France had given up the fight, who can say what additional criminal adventure would have led the Carlingue, thanks to a war that would undoubtedly have been longer. I shudder to imagine the consequences in terms of looting, repression… and deportation.
Ph. R. – And the recent speech by the President of the Republic during the commemoration of the roundup – fortunately failed – of the Vel' d'Hiv reminds us, if need be, of the responsibility in the Shoah of certain French people who have not fortunately only ever represented themselves.
RSP – I am not afraid, however, to affirm here that the policy of economic drying up pursued by Germany, of course, but with the active complicity of the Carlingue, had a lot to do with the difficulties that the country encountered from the end of the war and during the post-war period. It prevented the formation of a larger army than expected for the German campaign, then during the reconstruction, the rapid construction of housing or infrastructure yet so necessary. With funding still seriously lacking, the government then made some mistakes that we still deplore today. Some large districts in particular!
Mr. Raymond – [Laughs.] Ah! And what do you know who paid to build the northern districts of Marseille!
RSP – A belated and self-serving generosity! One thing, however, remains certain. In 1939, the GDP of France was 395 billion Francs. In 1945, it had fallen to less than 200 billion, while inflation had quadrupled. Let's count how much the Carlingue and the Reich robbed the French. I have been keeping notes for a while now... on the only elements that we have mentioned, we are at 35 billion between WIFO, Joinovici and company, simple thefts and confiscations. If we add the 600 billion occupancy costs and other little things, we arrive at… 675 billion. Two years of national wealth confiscated in just three years. And we are surprised that France ended up in debt…
M. Raymond – La Carlingue was… particularly effective, or rather harmful, it’s true. Why ? Because it still constitutes a unique historical case today. The quasi-federation of the Parisian criminal world, if not national, on the rubble of a beaten state. This federation is nowadays destroyed – it is obviously… happy. However, the connections that were made at that time remain, and have explained quite a bit until recently. But now the old people are dead – and the new generation…
Ph. R. – What Monsieur Raymond is saying is interesting – especially if we compare the case thus described with that of the Italian Mafia. The latter, vigorously fought by Mussolini under the Fascist regime, was paradoxically saved by the Allied secret services, then by AMGOT. The capi have been as useful to the Americans as our mobsters to the Germans – especially in a country even poorer and weaker than France. It is not for nothing that one of the first actions of the allies was the restoration of the Cosche chiefs in Palermo.
It was also a clearly assumed policy – I found a copy of the British Sicily Zone Handbook. He specifies the list of members of the Honorable Society, accompanied by comments revealing the very pragmatic attitude of the Allies towards the Cosa Nostra. At random, in front of a name: “Head of a mafia cosca […] – anti-fascist who […] can provide useful information. Uneducated but very influential […]. »
Mr. Raymond – Yes, but they were on the right side. And you now understand the reason, among the Italians – a bit like among the Corsicans… – for the persistence of old “families” and old customs that have disappeared elsewhere. I even think that without certain interventions in the winter of 1943-44 – of which I don't have the key, as I told you – it would have been very possible that France – well, the French environment – would definitely have passed under the cut of a foreign organized crime.
PP – This is all very exciting, dear guests. But time is running out – hey, news awaits! Quickly, Monsieur Raymond, a final word – an opinion on the attitude of members of the Milieu during the Occupation? What could they tell us if we could ask them today?
Mr. Raymond – [Coughs.] Hum! I will probably shock you, but probably they would tell you that they regret nothing, except for some excesses and some deaths. Honor is a notion not worth redemption, you said earlier. This is true for you, but not for them.
They sat down, it's true, and they helped themselves – they knew easy money, the good life, power and they loved sublime women. But if they helped themselves, it is also because they were invited to do so and that others would have taken their place if by chance they had disdained it. Later, still others came to present the bill to them. Some balked, some tried to free ride – but overall, they all got it sorted, and I think I made it clear – that wasn’t the case for everyone in France! And among these bad payers, many then put on a costume that was not theirs, to better teach lessons that they were careful not to apply. In the end, for those in the Carlingue, Justice is over – they no longer owe anyone anything.
RSP – I will quote Jean-Paul Sartre, in the third volume of his Situations: “Someone who was asked what he had done under the Terror replied: 'I lived...' This is an answer that we could all do today. For four years we lived and the Germans also lived, among us. »
Ph. R. – The historical figure mentioned by Sartre was Abbé Sieyès. And as Paul Morand said in Fermé la Nuit: “History, like an idiot, mechanically repeats itself. »
PP – This will be the quote at the end – the production manager is waving at me to go back on air. But since we are here, we will leave in song. You will see, I chose it myself and I am quite happy with it. Thank you, dear guests [Answers from the guests…], and to you too, dear listeners. See you next week for a next issue of Witnesses of the Age, which this time will be devoted to a much more artistic subject: Joan Miro. See you soon !
Mr. Raymond – Where is my cane, good God?

À la Société Générale,
Une auto démarra et dans la terreur,
La bande à Bonnot mit les voiles,
Emportant la sacoche du garçon payeur,
Dans la De Dion-Bouton qui cachait les voleurs,
Octave comptait les gros billets et les valeurs,
Avec Raymond-la-Science les bandits en auto,
C’était la bande à Bonnot !

Les banques criaient « Misérables ! »
Quand s’éloignait le bruit du puissant moteur,
Comment rattraper les coupables
Qui fuyaient à toute allure à trente-cinq à l’heure,
Sur les routes de France, hirondelles et gendarmes
Étaient à leurs trousses, étaient nuit et jour en alarme,
En casquette à visière, les bandits en auto
C’était la bande à Bonnot !

Mais Bonnot rêvait des palaces

Et du ciel d’azur de Monte-Carlo,
En fait il voulait vite se ranger des voitures…

Mais un beau matin la police
Encercla la maison de Jules Bonnot,
À Choisy, avec ses complices,
Qui prenaient dans sa chambre un peu de repos,
Tout Paris arriva à pied, qui en tram qui en train,
Avec des fusils, des pistolets et des gourdins,
Hurlant des balcons : « Les bandits en auto ! »
C’était la bande à Bonnot

Et menottes aux mains,
Tragique destin,
Alors pour la dernière course,
On mit dans le fourgon la bande à Bonnot !

La bande à Bonnot

(Joe Dassin, 1968)
At Societe Generale,
A car started and in terror,
Bonnot's gang set sail,
Carrying the paymaster's satchel,
In the De Dion-Bouton that hid the thieves,
Octave counted the big bills and the securities,
With Raymond-la-Science the bandits in the car,
It was Bonnot's gang!

The banks were shouting “Miserables! »
When the noise of the mighty motor went away,
How to catch the culprits
Who were fleeing at full speed at thirty-five an hour,
On the roads of France, swallows and gendarmes
Were after them, were night and day in alarm,
In peaked caps, the bandits in the car
It was Bonnot's gang!

But Bonnot dreamed of palaces
And from the azure sky of Monte Carlo,
In fact, he wanted to quickly get rid of the cars…

But one fine morning the police
Surrounded the house of Jules Bonnot,
In Choisy, with his accomplices,
Who took a little rest in his room,
All of Paris arrived on foot, who by tram who by train,
With rifles, pistols and clubs,
Yelling from the balconies: “The bandits in the car! »
It was the Bonnot gang

And handcuffs,
tragic destiny,
So for the last race,
They put Bonnot's band in the van!

The Bonnot band
(Joe Dassin, 1968)

THAT'S ALL FOLKS. I will add a fews pics then we will move on.
A fews pics, as promised. Apologies, a lots of them are from Police's File. Well, that unexpected indeed ? Who could have guessed !

Piere Bonny.jpg

Pierre Bonny, the rotten cop.


Abel Danos, the mammoth.

classe tout risque.jpg

The same, played by Lino Ventura.

Pierre Loutrel, le Louf (madguy),
Pierre Loutrel.jpg

Low rank thugs for Le Louf : Feufeu and bouseiche.


Joe Attia, the man on the right side of the fence.

Joe attia.jpg

A few views of Paris by night in the 40'. Nice, isn't it ? Well german soldiers sure loved in, As long as there was no grenade in the restaurant...
And now for some major différence between both universes.

The defense of Corregidor! What an epic feat of arms, what a triumphal monument in the annals of American military history! A few years later, colored by the patriotic propaganda of wartime, the event remained, without shame, of an unbridled romanticism. Many a young boy growing up in the fifties was captivated by the brilliance of his legend.
The faithful Filipino Scouts, devoted to MacArthur like Tonto to the Lone Ranger (a television reference that could perhaps be rendered literally as "like Sancho Panza to Don Quixote" or, without the derision of this model, "like Planchet to d' Artagnan,") fighting to the last around the American God of War. MacArthur's quiet meditation in his final days, his firm resolve not to surrender.
How, in his last hours, starving while still fighting the Japanese, he is said to have invited his surviving officers around a table without food, chewing for a meal the leather bridle of a cap. How, at the last hour of the last day, he suddenly appeared before the eyes of the Japanese about to overwhelm the last defensive position of the Philippine Pathfinders, dressed in a bathrobe thrown over his uniform and wearing his familiar dented cap ; how he cast his sword into the waters of Manila Bay, where it is said to still rest, before facing the enemy, in full view, and standing there watching the action of his Pathfinders, for at least fifteen minutes—unscathed! – until he was finally brought down by a burst of fire from a Japanese machine gun, or perhaps a stray bullet.
There followed, it is said, a fierce struggle which saw the desperate efforts of the Pathfinders to prevent the enemy from desecrating his body, like those of the valiant Poles at Varna to protect the corpse of Wladyslas III from the Turks. Not one of the Pathfinders, it is said, survived; they all perished around the body of their leader, as in the ancient tales of battle. Little is remembered of the fate of the Americans who had surrendered before, their memory is erased.
But what is the truth?
There was, we know for sure, no epic struggle over MacArthur's lifeless body; although it seems that he did rise up at the last moment, in his usual eccentric garb, bare-chested against the Japanese fire, his survival was not due to a supernatural cause, but to the fact that the Japanese had received the ordered to capture him and so they did their best not to touch him, as he spent the last minutes of his life encouraging his men to postpone the inexorable. The instant he was struck – an inevitable moment, given his exposed position, despite all the efforts of the Japanese – the Filipino Scouts surrendered. They had agreed to fight for MacArthur to the death, but the historical truth did not match the fable: when he died, in his bizarre garb, atop Crag Hill, even those faithful of the faithful surrendered. Finally, as far as we know, the general's sword rests with him in his tomb.
The siege diary kept by MacArthur became legendary after the war, although it broke off two days before the end. This diary was sent to the general's widow in 1946 by the Japanese officer who had discovered it not far from his body. It represents one of the great literary works written by a general on one of his own campaigns. However, in its Caesarean style (going so far as to use "MacArthur" to refer to him), the work is not a serious historical document. This is by no means a reliable source: it is MacArthur's panegyric, written by MacArthur to guarantee MacArthur's immortality.
Douglas MacArthur would not even have needed this Journal for that. His last radio message, the day before, would have sufficed: “MacArthur continues to resist the enemy. And his “testament” by which he got rid of his title of Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in the Philippines, the day before. Or the dramatic report from Fort Drum, which was only to surrender its depleted food supplies: “All night Fort Hughes could hear the sound of heavy fighting on Corregidor. This morning, the American flag was still visible on the far west of the island. This area soon came under heavy fire. At 12:00 p.m., the flag was no longer visible. At 12:45 p.m., the smoke cleared and the shooting died down. At 1:10 p.m., the Japanese emblem was floating on the island. There are no longer any signs of resistance on Corregidor. »
It is generally accepted that General Douglas MacArthur, awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism and his victory at the Battle of Mount Samat three months earlier, awarded the Silver Star seven times during the First World War, awarded of the Distinguished Service Cross with two bouquets of Oak Leaves for gallantry under fire, decorated twice with the Purple Heart, each time for being gassed, died at half past twelve on July 8, 1942. He was sixty -two years.
Only two men of the force that was its last bulwark survived the fighting and the Japanese prison camps. Thanks to their testimony and that of the Japanese survivors of the last assault (also very rare, because of the bloody combats of the second part of the war: there are only three of them), supplemented by what can be deduced from the declarations From other witnesses present in the area, from Japanese reports, and from what was observed from the other forts covering the entrance to the Bay, we can reconstruct General MacArthur's last moments with reasonable accuracy.
However, the legend will always be bigger than this reconstruction. MacArthur took his place in a very particular pantheon bringing together certain military leaders, from Leonidas at Thermopylae to Charles Gordon at Khartoum, passing by Colonel Travis at Fort Alamo and Captain Danjou at Camerone. At the moment of their death, of the fall of the fortifications they defended, of what should have been their failure, they were immortalized by the bravery of their last combat. They were unable to overcome, but they all knew how to die when their best efforts proved insufficient against the enemy.
This evocation leaves a bitter taste to many men: the American survivors of Bataan and Corregidor. They remember their comrades who fell during the siege, victims of malaria or dysentery, died of starvation or Japanese bullets, or even, they say, executed on the orders of the tyrannical MacArthur, seeking to maintain discipline. during the desperate battles on Bataan and during the Japanese landings at Corregidor. These men remember their leader as a stone-hearted monster.
Filipinos have another opinion. They see their first Marshal almost as a god and certainly as the founder of their nation. The Japanese gave him a military funeral on Corregidor. His grave there is today a true monument for the Filipino people and the island has practically become a sanctuary of the independence of the Philippines, symbolized by MacArthur. Filipinos consider that in his last moments he was no longer an American military leader, but a Hidalgo, a knight of the Spanish Reconquista, despising surrender and disdaining life, resisting to death all forces of the enemy with indefatigable courage.
In recent years, iconoclastic historians have suggested that MacArthur was in fact responsible for the fall of Bataan and Corregidor - which is excessive: although he made serious errors which reduced the possibilities of resistance of the garrison by several months, Bataan and Corregidor would have fallen sooner or later. They also claimed – and this cannot be denied – that his only reaction to his early mistakes was not surrender after the garrison's resources were exhausted, but rather the tyrannical demand to continue the fight beyond the limits. of human endurance, until three hundred men were starving every day on Bataan, and then his answer was to try and even somehow manage to organize one last great offensive.
Nor can it be denied that he had the commander of the I Philippine Corps, General Albert Jones, thrown into a pit on Corregidor when the latter dared to maintain that his men were incapable of counter-attacking during the attempt. of Japanese breakthrough around Mount Samat (the unfortunate probably died of starvation in his chains, when the defenses of Corregidor collapsed). But his decision to dismiss Jones and personally lead the counter-attack at Mount Samat probably extended Bataan's resistance to Japanese arms by a month, and even more so that of the fortress islands. It somehow resuscitated General MacArthur, who had hitherto sulked in a tunnel in Corregidor, and in his final months restored him to the terrifying physical and mental energy that had made him America's finest brigadier general of the First World War.
The story of the Siege of Corregidor is therefore largely that of General Douglas MacArthur. With epic heroism alternating with barbaric and almost demented insensitivity, periods of seeming cowardice giving way to times when he fearlessly paced the battlefield, untouched by bullets as if protected by the gods, the he riddle of this man's true nature cannot be easily solved. But we do not wish here to deify or demonize MacArthur. Our wish is only to tell the story of an emblematic event of the dark days which marked the beginning of the Second World War for Americans, at a time when the Axis seemed ready to engulf the whole world.
Lord Gort, defending Singapore for his King and his honor, certainly saved Burma, perhaps India, and remains the very example of the perfect chivalrous spirit, for the Japanese as for his own men. Jean Sainteny, refusing to leave invaded Indochina, pacing the jungle in a city suit, symbolizes fidelity to the ideals of the French Republic, of which he wanted to be a simple servant - his courage and his tenacity, as he would no doubt have wanted, remain today much less celebrated than those of the noble Lord (moreover, Sainteny survived, which is rarely good for the Legend).
General MacArthur, defending Corregidor, offers a more complex picture. The man belongs to a particular category of original personalities endowed with great courage and wide capacities, who have forged their own lives in a way too complex to be easily judged. In front of him, as in front of Oliver Cromwell or Hernan Cortez, we can only raise our arms to heaven and ask the Almighty the question of their deep nature, Good or Evil, if we have nothing better to do. But if this question remains, the actions of these men can be told. Thus these pages will endeavor to narrate the actions of MacArthur in his last days, and the most intrepid will be free to pass judgment on what they have read.
The man: Douglas MacArthur

General Douglas MacArthur, born in 1880, was the son of Arthur MacArthur, a Civil War hero in the Wisconsin regiments of the Army of the West. The key moment in Arthur MacArthur's military career came as a first lieutenant at the Battle of Chattanooga. Union troops there launched a virtually spontaneous, unplanned assault on the strong defenses of Missionary Ridge in what was supposed to be a diversion. This terrible battle faithfully prefigured the kind of massacres that would be witnessed in Europe some fifty years later. In some Union regiments, more than 70% of the men engaged that day were killed or wounded! They had charged up the ridge facing the muzzles of Confederate guns, and in the front row was Arthur MacArthur.
He picked up the flag of his regiment, the 24th Wisconsin, when his second bearer of the day (who had picked it up when the first had been pierced by a bayonet) was knocked out by a cannonball. He charged, yelling "We, Wisconsin!" – and from that day that cry became the motto of this State of the Union. Wounded, his uniform in tatters, he rushed to the top of the ridge, still held by the enemy, and there, standing out against the sky, in full view of all his comrades, he planted the standard of the regiment. The assault waves of the 24th Wisconsin followed it, and all around the other regiments of the Army of the West crowned the ridge almost at the same time – one of these regiments must have had seven standard bearers by the day, six of them You are ! MacArthur – Arthur MacArthur – had planted his flag just twenty yards from the headquarters of the Confederate commander, General Bragg. The battle was won, and the road to Atlanta and Sherman's Sea March had been opened by force, blood and courage. For his heroism in Chattanooga, Arthur MacArthur was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Douglas MacArthur grew up in the shadow of his father's heroism. The fierce desire to equal the exploits of his father animated him from his childhood years, spent in the Indian Forts at the time of the last skirmishes on the "Frontier", and obviously led him to West Point, from which he came out first of all. his promotion and one of the highest rated students in the entire history of this military school. From that time, the man obviously had a great career ahead of him in the Army. He was not only intelligent, he was physically powerful: six-foot-five (1.93 m) in stature supported by extraordinarily developed musculature (and which he would train daily until his dying day), he seemed gigantic, larger than life – but you have to admit that he had an ego commensurate with his size.
MacArthur Jr. soon had a chance to show what he was capable of in the occupation of the Philippines, inaugurating his association with the archipelago. His first brilliant actions were exactly on schedule. We know that in 1914, in Vera Cruz, he carried out a reconnaissance up to 55 km ahead of the American lines, with three Filipinos for any escort; his little group was attacked successively by five men, of whom he shot two personally, then by a band of fifteen horsemen, whom he put to flight after having wounded four, and by three men, of whom he shot one. Finally, when the canoe on which they were crossing the Jamapa River sank, it swam to shore supporting one of the natives, who had been injured. After an investigation confirmed the story's accuracy, he was nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor, but it was not awarded.
Douglas MacArthur was to find other opportunities in France to be decorated for conspicuous acts of bravery, but also to endear himself to his men. For, as hard as it was for the American survivors of Bataan and Corregidor to believe, in 1918 his soldiers idolized him, and he treated them with extraordinary kindness, during the war as well as after. The men who returned from the Japanese prison camps cursed him and called him mad; at the same time, the men who had seen him rise at their head to attack the Côte de Châtillon still mourned him as they would have mourned their own father. He notably commanded the 168th Infantry Regiment on the French front, which his father had commanded in the Philippines under the name of 51st Infantry.
During a review, he was complimented by a French officer for the fine dress of his men. Within earshot of these, MacArthur simply replied, "No wonder my father was proud of this regiment!" Needless to say the effect of these words. When he died, the elders of the Rainbow Division ensured that his memory was set in stone. They held him in such high esteem that they even saw omens about him in the sky; in a way, his deification had begun long before his death on the rock of Corregidor.
But let's finish with the anecdotes, and come to the deeds of MacArthur's military career during the First World War. They cannot be denied, and form a very strange contrast to his conduct of the early months of the Philippine campaign and the siege of Bataan and Corregidor, when his bravery, skill and love for his men, demonstrated twenty-four years later early on, seemed to have been entirely replaced by cowardice, unfitness for leadership, and insensitivity. Yet it seems that when he realized his destiny was to perish on Corregidor, remnants of his former glory came to the surface. They could not erase the alteration in the personality of this sixty-two-year-old man, but they must have combined to form a bizarre mixture that alternated in MacArthur between moments of warm flamboyance and moments of mediocre, almost pathological coldness, until the very moment of his death.
His first action on the French front took place on February 26, 1918, when he accompanied a night raid against the German trenches, after having obtained the authorization of General de Bazelaire - he was indeed at that time chief of staff of the Rainbow Division. For this raid, he wore a dented cap instead of a helmet (he was never to wear a helmet during his entire stay in France), a four-foot muffler knitted by his mother, a turtleneck sweater, riding breeches and cavalry boots. He was shooting a cigarette holder and his only weapon, until a French lieutenant lent him a pair of shears and a trench knife, was a riding crop. As usual, he hadn't bothered himself with a gas mask.
At the signal given by the throwing of a grenade, the men sprang from their camouflaged shelters in no-man's land. To quote MacArthur himself: “The cannon of a German outpost flashed into the night. The alarm was sounded in the trenches, all along the front. Flares shot skyward and machine guns hiccupped. The enemy artillery unleashed a barrage, surrounding our group. But the raid continued… The fight was savage and merciless. At daybreak the party returned with prisoners, including a German colonel captured by MacArthur himself at the point of his trench knife. General de Bazelaire pinned the Croix de Guerre to his chest and kissed him on both cheeks; the United States Army awarded him the Silver Star.
On March 9, the Rainbow Division, the first American division to see fire, placed under French command, carried out three small attacks. One of them was led by a battalion from Iowa against a stretch of German trench on the Feys salient. Shortly before zero hour the Germans, anticipating the attack, opened fire with forty artillery batteries, and the Americans suffered casualties even before attacking. To bolster the men's morale, MacArthur, who should have been at the division's command post, began to move back and forth among them, in the same garb as for the trench raid, with one exception: his sweater was replaced by a sweater with a big black “A” that he had won at West Point.
Five minutes before zero hour, sixty French batteries were unleashed. At zero hour, MacArthur scaled a trench ladder and was the first to emerge to the surface. He began to run in a rain of fire, unaware if the troopers behind him, attacking for the first time in their lives, were really following him, or if he was charging the German lines alone. But they were following him and soon, some joined him or passed him.
The attack captured the German position. According to the commander of his division, General Menoher: “He accompanied the assault wave of American companies in order to show himself where his presence could reassure the troops, who were hardly accustomed to this kind of operation. On this occasion, in the face of fierce and energetic resistance from a very vigilant enemy, he rendered great service to the unit commanders on the spot. Not only did he ensure its success by supervising the operation, but he also transmitted to the men of the whole division the conviction that their leaders were paying constant attention to their difficulties and the impression of security that his wise and courageous authority had given. to the companies involved. »
For his action on the Feys salient, MacArthur received the Distinguished Service Cross, the second most important American military decoration.
It was soon said of him that he had what the Germans call Anschauungsvermögen – a sixth sense on the battlefield, which protected his life like a magic spell. Two days later, returned to combat, he was gassed for the first time and, having refused to wear a mask, he spent eight days in hospital, suffering from gas blindness. But learning that the Secretary of War was making an inspection tour of the front, he left his bed, took off the blindfold that protected his eyes and joined his division. Some time later, Operation "Michael" appeared on the verge of winning the war for Germany, and the Rainbow Division was sent to the Baccarat sector, where it relieved three French divisions sent urgently. oppose the German offensive. For eighty-two days the division fought almost continuously. The commander of the French corps on which it depended complimented it for “its offensive ardor, but also the methodical spirit and the discipline of all its officers and troops”; he quoted in particular the general staff, “so brilliantly led by Colonel MacArthur. »
Soon after, MacArthur was promoted to brigadier general and given command of the Rainbow Division's 84th Brigade. During the last German offensive, on July 16, 1918, MacArthur led his men from the front line trenches in the defense of the Espérance and Souain sectors, forty km east of Reims. For three days, under his command, his brigade held out against massive German attacks. Having done his administrative work and taken all the necessary measures in advance, he went, as always, to fight in the front line. He won his second Silver Star there.
He won a third during the Allied offensives that followed, in the village of Sergy, by teaching his men in person and by example the use of infiltration tactics in groups of two or three, to take the strong points. enemies with bayonets and grenades.
Personally conducting a reconnaissance, MacArthur discovered that the Germans were in full retreat on the Ourcq-Vesle road and immediately joined headquarters to report it. For personally gathering this information while crawling among the dead of no man's land, and for letting his division know in time that the road was open to him, he was awarded his fourth Silver Star.
His fifth Silver Star for courageous leadership was earned at Essey, where he chatted under fire with Major Patton during the attack that destroyed the "hernia" of Saint-Mihiel. The night following the capture of this city, he slipped into no man's land with an adjutant, furtively crossed the enemy lines, on the former battlefield of Mars-la-Tour, and found that the road to Metz was open. . Nevertheless, his superiors did not pay attention to his report and a great opportunity was lost, which he always regretted bitterly thereafter.
He was able to quickly get over his disappointment. At the end of September, he took part in the preparation of operations for Foch's general offensive. Although his division was not part of it, he took the initiative to capture a fortified point with his brigade, personally leading the assault troops, and taking the position with less than twenty dead and wounded. This earned him his sixth Silver Star.
On the night of October 10-11, he again paid the price for his refusal to wear a gas mask and was seriously intoxicated. But the next day, October 12, having refused evacuation, he was on his feet again to meet General Summerall, who gave him this frightening order: “Give me Châtillon, or a list of five thousand casualties. MacArthur replied – and this answer perhaps gives us a better understanding of his personality than anything else he could ever say or do: “If this brigade does not take Châtillon, you can write down the names of all its men. on your casualty list, starting with the general commanding the unit. Too moved to speak, Summerall left him without another word. On the 14th, the 84th Brigade attacked the fortified complex formed by the Côte de Châtillon and hill 288, just next door. Hill 288 was quickly taken. Châtillon was for three days the scene of savage combat. Thus the battalion of Major Lloyd Ross counted 1,100 dead and wounded, including 21 officers, out of 1,450 men, including 25 officers. But the Côte de Châtillon was taken. MacArthur received his second Distinguished Service Cross for this action.
The war was drawing to a close. MacArthur nevertheless managed to afford a new Silver Star for bravery in combat, during the capture of the Heights of the Meuse.
Much has already been said about his life after the First World War, about his close ties with the Filipinos, about his brutal suppression of the “Bonus March” on July 28, 1932, about the failure of his first marriage and the success of his second, on his efforts to reform West Point and their failure. There is no need to return to it here; we'll just point out that he always treated Rainbow Division alumni very well. When people needed help – especially during the Great Depression – he came to their aid, even giving them money, and the affection these men had for him only grew, because MacArthur was always there, during the twenty-three years of the interwar period, to help the men of the Rainbow Division. Simply put, he was the exact opposite of the man Bataan survivors remember. This is how the story is told of an unlucky Rainbow Division veteran forced to steal for a living, who tried to rob him by stopping his car pistol in hand, before finding out who it was. When he realized this, the man dropped his weapon and cried for forgiveness from his General. MacArthur went away without reporting the incident to the police. Only his driver testified that he was ready to forgive even threatening him to the men of the Rainbow Division.
A final point should be noted. The man who drew up the plans for the Bataan Peninsula for the US Army was General Douglas MacArthur himself. To do this, he personally walked more than 600 km of treacherous tracks through a jungle infested with malaria. Considering his truly eidetic memory, his knowledge of the terrain was certainly instrumental in the success of the counter-attack he personally led during the battle of Mount Samat. This victory delayed the surrender of the Peninsula by several months – but it forced his men to slowly starve until the unfortunate, exhausted and given the impossible task of attacking without food, had become skeletons. emaciated charging bayonets, simply crumble without even the fierce praetorian discipline of General MacArthur being able to hold them upright.
The place: Bataan – Corregidor
MacArthur was well acquainted with the difficult terrain of Bataan, although he did not bother to put this knowledge to good use until he had to respond to General Jones's infamous refusal to carry out his attack orders. , which forced him to go from Corregidor to the Peninsula. MacArthur was not jolted awake by the suffering of his men or the failure of his plans, but by a personal affront. This affront drove him to incredible extremes of rage, but also of genius, and thus did much to preserve the army from defeat for two long months.
The Bataan Peninsula is 24 km wide and 48 km long. Lying from north to south, it closes Manila Bay to the west. It is almost completely occupied by the remains of two large extinct volcanoes, one to the north (Mount Natib), the other to the south (Mount Samat).
Between the two is an extremely dense jungle. In 1942, the peninsula was traveled by only two roads. An asphalt road, following the flat and marshy east coast, bypassing the tip of the peninsula, to the south, then extending over two thirds of the west coast. And a paved road, crossing the peninsula between the two volcanoes.
The fortifications of the harbor were quite another matter. Spaced perfectly from east to west across the entrance to Manila Bay, the four fortified, almost inaccessible islands were a defender's dream.
On Carabao, the easternmost island, a few hundred yards off the shore of the Cavite Peninsula, was Fort Frank, with six batteries: two 14-inch/45 on a collapsible mount, eight 12-inch mortars, four 6.1 inches and nine 3 inches for DCA and range defense. There was indeed only one beach, facing Cavite, where a landing was possible; the rest of the hills were steep.
On El Fraile was the famous Concrete Battleship, Fort Drum, which held out longer than Corregidor itself. The island had no beach: its shores had been cut down to the sea and entirely covered by a fortification of concrete so thick that it could withstand the shells of any cannon, except perhaps to those of the largest European siege guns. Her own guns included four 14-inch/45s in heavy battleship-type turrets, four 6-inch casemates, and three 3-inch flak and close defense. The Japanese did not even attempt to storm it; Fort Drum simply surrendered when its food supplies ran out.
On Caballo – a block of rough rock rising from the ocean on the eastern approaches to Corregidor – was Fort Hughes, with its eight batteries: two 14-inch/45 on retractable mount, two 6-inch naval guns, four 12-inch mortars , three 6.1-inch and six 3-inch howitzers for flak and beach defense. Corregidor, finally, was a rugged tadpole-shaped island, about 5 km long and 2.5 km wide at most, with an elongated, narrow and very mountainous eastern end, plunging into the bay. It was the most heavily armed, with an extensive network of tunnels and impressive artillery divided into numerous batteries: eight 12-inch naval guns, two 10-inch naval guns, two 8-inch rail-mounted guns (which were not however not yet operational at the beginning of 1942), twelve 12-inch mortars, five 6-inch naval guns, 27 6.1-inch howitzers, 59 3-inch guns for flak and beach defense and an assortment of a forty 37 mm guns, many of them old models.
On Corregidor there was also a small airfield, but at the start of the battle it had only four operational P-40s left. The island was also equipped with four mobile anti-aircraft batteries totaling 48 .50 machine guns, in addition to the .30 machine guns of the garrison.
This garrison had 4,000 combatants, but 6,000 non-combatants of all kinds were also on the island. This large number of inhabitants apparently made it impossible to resist beyond July 1st, but it was still possible to consume half-rations until then instead of the quarter-rations of famine imposed on Bataan. Nevertheless, MacArthur quickly decided to reduce the feed to three-eighths of a ration a day, which, combined with the arrival of a few submarines bringing some food, enabled the fortress of Corregidor to hold out as long as it the fit.
The other island fortresses were all a bit better off in this regard, as they were not crowded with refugees. They were defended in principle by a total of 4,250 men, but a certain number of these soldiers, coming from Fort Wint, had finally been to fight on Bataan (Fort Wint, covering the approaches to Subic Bay, had been stripped of its garrison, its armament and its supplies, which had been distributed among the four forts guarding the approaches to Manila Bay. Two of the 6-inch guns had been dismantled and sent to Bataan while the 3-inch guns were sent at Corregidor).
The main weak point for the islands was that none had enough food to last beyond early August, by the most optimistic accounts. In addition, drinking water was scarce. The plus point was the ammunition reserves. So, although nearly a third of the small arms ammunition was unusable, having been stored in damp tunnels, Corregidor had plenty of the remaining two-thirds. As of April 7, the defenders still had over five million .30 caliber rounds (5,200,000, it seems) and 1,650,000 .50 rounds, this after firing a huge number against the Japanese bombers. There was no need to save them. If the Japanese came, they would face a hail of bullets, as many as the defenders could fire. Finally, in proportion to the number of guns, the reserves of artillery ammunition were even greater.
It was against this backdrop that the siege of Bataan and Corregidor would unfold, dominated by the quixotic and fateful figure of General Douglas MacArthur. January-February – From Mount Natib to Mount Samat When the battle began on January 9, 1942, 80,000 fighters were defending the Bataan peninsula. Fifteen thousand were Americans and 65,000 Filipinos, including 10,000 professional soldiers and a conglomeration of 55,000 ill-equipped and poorly trained conscripts. There was enough to feed a hundred thousand men… but for only one month. These troops were supposed to hold out for six months before help arrived. General MacArthur almost succeeded – but help did not come anyway.
The first line of defence, the most northerly, fifteen km from the entrance to the peninsula, cut it at the level of Mount Natib. To the east, between the sea and the volcano, were fish ponds and rice fields for three km, then cane fields and bamboo groves. Mount Natib was considered impassable, which the Japanese would soon contradict. By mid-January, the Mount Natib line was forced, and the American-Filipinos were in full retreat.
At the end of January, a new line, called the Bagac-Orion line, was organized along the paved road, in the middle of the peninsula, and anchored to the slopes of Mount Samat. Savage fighting soon took place in this area. The Japanese attempting to infiltrate it were cut off and massacred by the thousands, during the Battle of the “Spikes and Pockets”. The line, however, was not stabilized until February 8. It was a great victory for Wainwright (MacArthur had hardly taken part in the battle). By this time, the Japanese had lost 7,000 men in combat and another 10,000 were suffering from malaria, beriberi or dysentery. The Japanese commander, General Homma, had to call for reinforcements three times, until he had a nervous breakdown under the weight of shame, before these reinforcements finally reached him.
Meanwhile, on the Allied side, the surviving Filipino recruits had been hardened by experience. On the other hand, half of the Allied soldiers were suffering from malaria or dysentery (malaria could kill five hundred men in a single week) and their numbers were dwindling rapidly. Horses and mules were slaughtered to eat them, but only half the soldiers were fit to fight, and their numbers continued to dwindle. Americans and Filipinos strove to improve their diets by hunting anything that moved on the peninsula or eating anything that looked edible but most often made them sick.
March 12, 1942 – MacArthur will stay until the end
What to do in the Philippines?
In the face of stubborn resistance from Singapore, backed by Lord Gort's declarations that he would not abandon his men and never surrender, and even as the French continued to fight in the jungles of Indochina, many men American politicians, in the corridors of the White House and the Capitol, affirmed that Bataan and Corregidor had to hold out at all costs, as long as possible. Initially, the main motivation for this discourse was the desire to defend national prestige. Subsequently, however, it appeared that the longer large Japanese forces were held up around Bataan, the slower the enemy advance throughout the Pacific theater would be. But should MacArthur be left in charge?
The fate of General MacArthur was at the center of heated debate in Washington. Some thought he should be left at his post. Others preferred to evacuate it, due to its popularity. Still others scolded that he was scandalously incompetent and should be fired – but, if he was fired or fired, who should be appointed in his place?
Since 1942, many theories have been devised to explain the final decision. Douglas MacArthur was not well liked by the Roosevelt administration. His repression of the “Bonus March” and his links with far-right politicians had cost him the confidence of many of the President’s aides. Everyone knew he had political ambitions.
According to some conspiracy theorists, the reason he was not ordered out of Corregidor was to remove the political danger he posed to a future re-election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. When a few speedboats were assembled to evacuate part of the personnel of the American General Staff, no explicit order was given to MacArthur: some claimed that they had thus wanted to trap him, by making his eventual fall on him alone. flight from the Philippines.
But it is easy to dismiss such speculation.
Ultimately, in our view, the main reason for not ordering MacArthur to flee Corregidor was that the very idea of an American general abandoning his post was unthinkable. Since 1776, no general in the United States Army had ever abandoned his men! But the way General MacArthur would command the last stand of his troops would be unlike any other.
It has been claimed that the age of lace warfare and chivalrous resistance is over. The Second World War opposed whole peoples, not small groups of plumed heroes. But the peoples also have their heroes, their plumes and their chivalrous resistance. Shortly after the end of Bataan, just as Corregidor expired, Soviet soldiers surrounded in the fortress of Brest-Litovsk had resisted for weeks the fiercest assaults of the German army, even though they had no more hope of being rescued. Already, during the First War, many desperate battles had shown how heroes from the peoples could die. Why wouldn't Americans do the same?
But perhaps, in the last days of MacArthur, we should see something else. Douglas MacArthur was simply not a man of his time. He lived and died fifty years too late, doomed to see his reputation swept away forever in a storm of controversy. He was a general from the Romantic Age, from the Victorian century, caught in the torrent of modern times. And like any man raised in this tradition, he planted himself in the middle of the current and faced it. It is quite possible that he was clinically insane: this eventuality is found in many historical figures, who drew great dynamism from their own neuroses and, in order to find the balance allowing them to live in this world, ended up leave their mark in history.
Thus, on March 12, 1942, when Lieutenant Bulkeley's four speedboats carried MacArthur's wife and son, a large part of his staff (including General Wainwright and Admiral Rockwell) and a group of nurses drawn by lot to the northern coast of Mindanao, General Douglas MacArthur remained on Corregidor.
At Wainwright, he contented himself with ordering contact with the Moros tribes, generally hostile to all foreigners, who inhabited Mindanao. It was to get their support to turn the Mindanao troops into a guerrilla force.
Admiral Rockwell will recount after the war that he would have said to him: “I cannot leave. Gort, he swore to stay in Singapore (Notably in his speech the day before, part of which had been broadcast), and even this French civilian (The High Commissioner Jean Sainteny) remained in Indochina, what would I look like ! According to Ms. MacArthur, he allegedly said, “I can't leave. My men are counting on me, I will not fail them! As for Lt Bulkeley, he will say that he asked him if he was accompanying them, and MacArthur would have simply replied: “My father would have stayed. But this last story is too rarely quoted.
The only certainty is that he gave his wife a short letter intended (simply) for President Roosevelt and which concluded as follows: “MacArthur will not flee. »
Either way, the government in Washington would soon regret this decision, while finding itself forced to exploit it with a certain cynicism. But there could be no turning back, and nothing would stop MacArthur anymore. By losing his last chance to escape, he severed any ties that might have allowed Washington to hope to control him. But he did not lose all influence over the course of events in the Philippine archipelago.
March 28 – An appearance on the front
After a most arduous journey, but without serious incident, the four speedboats carrying MacArthur's family and his staff arrived safely in Mindanao, where a small airstrip was still controlled by the Americans. There Wainwright and the general staff were to coordinate, under MacArthur's orders, "an effective and sustained resistance" with the 25,000 men from Mindanao and the 20,000 from the Visayas. Meanwhile, on Bataan, General Albert Jones was appointed by MacArthur as commander of the I Philippine Corps, a decision that would lead to one of the most unpleasant episodes in the history of the defense of Bataan.
MacArthur then fell back into a kind of torpor. It was clear that he was focusing his attention on Bataan and Mindanao. But he made no special effort to strengthen Bataan's defenses. The survivors of the early battles were now seasoned soldiers, though weakened by deprivation, but MacArthur remained on Corregidor, looking wistfully at the departure of his family.
It was not until March 19 when he learned that his wife and son were safe in Australia (Mrs MacArthur was going to the United States, where she would campaign for more than two years for the subscription of war loans ), that he regained some activity. He ordered that day the evacuation of the forces of the Visayas (about 20,000 men) towards Mindanao, but only 3,000 men were to manage to carry out this order, a thousand others being killed or taken by the Japanese. On March 27, MacArthur finally ordered the 16,000 survivors to disperse to carry out guerrilla operations in the Visayas archipelago.
At the end of March, there were still 72,000 Allied soldiers (and around 3,000 non-combatants) on the Bataan peninsula. But only 27,000 fighters were in good health; the others were wounded or overwhelmed by malaria or dysentery.
However, a very accurate assessment of the quantities of food still available had been undertaken on MacArthur's orders, and the gravity of the situation could no longer be ignored.
The general then decided to reduce the rations on Corregidor to a level only slightly higher than the rations of the men who held Bataan. The men, who had at first contented themselves with three-eighths of a ration a day, were only entitled to a quarter of a ration, i.e. a thousand calories a day, in order to be able in theory to last until July 1, until at the end of the six fateful months that the general staff had assigned to them as an objective.
Opposite, the Japanese were gathering 50,000 men and hundreds of large caliber guns, howitzers and mortars for the next attack. Many of these troops came from afar, from Hong Kong sometimes, even from Japan itself, because in truth, the conquest of Bataan had proved more difficult than expected.
And then General MacArthur did what he had not done since the battle began. On March 28, he visited Bataan.
No one had announced his visit, and he was already at the front, inspecting the Bagac-Orion line, before anyone was notified of his presence. As usual, he wore no uniform, but he was decked out in a set of tired military and civilian clothes and wearing a distorted cap. This outfit made him look almost comical as he paced the lines. The men who saw him could hardly believe their eyes; many refused at this time to admit that it was indeed MacArthur and there was even a rumor that he had a lookalike. Areas held by Filipinos were not affected by this disbelief. There, all the way, the men surrounded him in crowds and applauded him, to the point of triggering Japanese fire at times which he simply ignored, never bothering to take cover.
Throughout the inspection, he gave only one order, that of clearing the brush that encumbered the defensive lines, to clear the fields of fire. This order would be far from useless.
After five hours of inspection, he stopped at General Jones' HQ and had a conversation with him lasting only twenty minutes, the exact content of which we do not know. We only know that as he left, MacArthur said unceremoniously to Jones, himself renowned for his outspokenness: "Well, Al, you'd better hold on for me.". This conversation may explain why, some time later, in the midst of battle, MacArthur would feel personally betrayed by Albert Jones.
This inspection was one of MacArthur's inexplicable crises of activity, which saw him repeatedly during this campaign go from a kind of senescence to a real burst of efficiency. Then MacArthur returned to Corregidor, and was not heard of again in Bataan until the eve of Good Friday, when the Japanese attacked the Bagac-Orion line for the second time.
April 3–15 – The Japanese attack (First Battle of Mount Samat)
At 10 a.m. on April 3, 190 guns, howitzers and heavy mortars from as far away as Hong Kong up to 240 mm caliber opened fire against the eastern part of the Bagac-Orion line, while Another 110 guns were unleashed in the center. The thunder of this concentration of artillery reminded veterans of the Other War of the worst German barrages. While 50,000 Japanese, 15,000 of whom had just landed from the Japanese archipelago, were preparing for the attack, a hundred bombers from several air units approached. Without the slightest opposition, lined up as if on parade, they dropped tons of explosives on four thousand meters of trenches in front of Mount Samat. The bamboo groves caught fire; if the brush surrounding the front lines had not been cleared the previous days, the heat would have made them untenable.
All day the bush fires raged. At 3:00 p.m., the Japanese, under cover of smoke and flames, launched an assault. However, the defenders began to hold their ground and, after two hours of hard fighting without having been able to break through the Bagac-Orion line, the attack seemed to hesitate. However, the fires had spread behind the Allied lines (unless artillery fire had ignited new fires), and the situation of the men who defended the entrenchments surrounded by flames became impossible.
At 6 p.m., to avoid being charred, the men defending the Mount Samat area fell back.
At dusk, General George Parker, commander of the Philippine II Corps, learned of the retreat of his forces around Mount Samat. He ordered his reserve, just six hundred men, to close the breach, as the Japanese were already beginning to exploit their breakthrough. Somehow the six hundred Americans in the reserve managed to block their way, aided by several hundred men who had narrowly escaped the flames and rallied their courage in their desperate struggle.
Throughout the day of April 4, this improvised agglomeration of small units valiantly bore the shock of continual Japanese attacks. It seemed again that the "Bloody Bastards of Bataan", as they had dubbed themselves, had not yet been beaten.
On April 5, this impression seemed to be confirmed. Incredibly, the Japanese attacks ceased. MacArthur, still quietly installed at Corregidor, then ordered Parker to counterattack to re-establish the original Bagac-Orion line. On April 6, Parker, disciplined if not well inspired, obeyed and pushed his men forward. But the Japanese were far from retreating. Their artillery was commanded by the remarkable General Kineo Kitajima, a recognized authority within the Imperial Army in the use of artillery. Kitajima managed to concentrate the fire of most of his 300 guns, howitzers and heavy mortars on the counterattack, as the Allied columns crawled along the eastern flank of Mount Samat, clearly visible from the Japanese positions.
What followed was grim butchery, as sick, starving and weakened Allied soldiers struggled to advance amidst Japanese shells. It was one of the rare occasions in the so-called War of the Pacific when the Japanese, holding the material superiority, could call upon the heads of their enemies the power of their artillery – many times, thereafter, the roles would be reversed. That day, however, in several places, driven by courage and despair, Americans and Filipinos succeeded in penetrating the Japanese lines and pushing the enemy back towards the old Bagac-Orion line. But once their adversaries were repulsed, instead of pursuing them, the soldiers generally collapsed on the spot, exhausted, without strength and forgetting even to entrench themselves a minimum, or searching frantically in the middle of the equipment abandoned by the Japanese surprised all what could be eaten.
On April 7, General Homma convened his staff. He was appalled that his attack might still fail and that a new Allied effort might drive his men back to their starting positions. However, Colonel Hatori, who had devised the original plan, managed to comfort him. Troops who had arrived from Shanghai and had fallen back were ordered to immediately launch a new assault, after a brief artillery preparation, to retake the positions reoccupied by the Allied counterattack.
At 8:00 a.m. on April 8, the new Japanese attack began when the Allies had barely begun to entrench themselves in earnest. Without having received significant reinforcements and despite the brevity of the artillery preparation (or perhaps thanks to this brevity, which had not left the Allies time to entrench themselves), the Japanese, reorganized, drove out the Americans. Filipinos from their improvised positions. The Allies fell back in disorder, on the verge of general collapse.
Informed of the enemy attack, MacArthur ordered Parker to attack the 31st Division, on the right of II Corps, to create a diversion to cover the retreat of the rest of the Corps.
The leader of the 31st, the fiery Brigadier General Clifford Bluemel, managed to mount a surprisingly strong counter-attack, which enabled the whole of II Corps to fall back and reorganize overnight.
By April 9, the Allied lines on the peninsula had retreated, but were still holding. On April 10, the Japanese attacked from either side of Mount Samat, bypassing the defenders holding the summit. In places, the Allied lines were pushed back, but seemed to hold despite everything. Mount Samat itself was in bad shape, as the position, surrounded on almost all sides by Japanese troops, was in great danger of being cut off. The exhausted Allied forces, already diminished before the battle and having suffered heavy casualties, were utterly unable to counterattack to clear Mt.
April 11 was a day of rest for both sides. In fact, the Japanese were concentrating their energies to prepare a new and even more powerful attack. On April 12, the shells of the barrage preceding the Japanese attack tore the sky at dawn. As soon as the firing was interrupted, the Japanese infantry rushed to the summit of Samat, while the Allies hastened to send what reinforcements they could there.
MacArthur finally seemed to realize the gravity of the situation. In the evening he traveled in person to Mariaveles to confer with General King, who nominally commanded all of Bataan's forces, though MacArthur was in the habit of going over his head to issue orders to Corregidor to Jones or Parker.
At the beginning of the meeting, it was learned that the reinforcements had reached the summit of Mount Samat. But in the night, while the generals were discussing, a series of Japanese attacks narrowly missed dislodging the defenders of the top.
By April 13, the fact that the defenders were holding on only by the energy of desperation became apparent early in the morning. Exhausted, the last soldiers who clung to the top of the slopes did not crack, but were simply forced back under the Japanese thrust. The assailants seized the summit, planted the struck flag of the Rising Sun there, then rushed to remove the military crest before strafing at leisure the remnants of the defenders, who tried to retreat under the mortar shells and the fire of machine guns that took them in a row. The cornerstone of the peninsula's defense system had fallen.
The following night, MacArthur asked Parker to launch a new counterattack. This one failed barely started - in fact, it did not even break the momentum of the Japanese.
By noon on April 14, the entire left of II Corps had simply collapsed. The situation was catastrophic. On the right, Bluemel's 31st Division, although not caught in the rout of the rest of the Corps, was forced to fall back, as its left flank was exposed. Without receiving any orders, Bluemel began to form a line of defense along the small San Vicente river, going personally to the front to revive the courage of his men, by dint of encouragement if possible, insults or threats if needed.
On April 15, reports arriving from east Bataan caused MacArthur to travel again to see for himself. He discovered a stream of men in full retreat, only Bluemel's division holding their positions. Once again, a kind of decrepitude turned into energy. Throughout the day, MacArthur personally worked to rally the routed soldiers, electrifying the Filipinos in particular. In the evening, it seemed that the II Corps, clinging on to its right to the anchorage point formed by Bluemel's men, could hold out again - at least for another day...
April 16 to 20 – MacArthur counterattacks (Second Battle of Mount Samat)
On April 16, MacArthur returned to King's HQ, somewhat satisfied with the progress of the situation.
All testify that he asked King if it would be possible to launch a counter-attack with the forces holding the western peninsula (those of the I Corps), which were still almost intact. He thought they might advance north and then east, attacking towards Manila Bay to cut Homma's forces in two. King replied that such an attack was impossible, which did not discourage MacArthur.
On April 17, MacArthur embarked on an inspection in preparation for an attack, without explicitly ordering it. However, it does appear that on this occasion he ordered full rations to be issued to the men all along the front line of I Corps, although food supplies were virtually exhausted.
It was while returning to King's HQ that he learned that the line improvised by Bluemel on the San Vicente had broken at the end of the afternoon under the weight of relentless Japanese attacks. But MacArthur had decided to attack in the west, whatever the situation in the east. However, the circumstances were now much worse than the day before. The offensive had become a desperate maneuver to save the defenders of the peninsula from total destruction.
At 11:30 p.m., MacArthur asked King to order Albert Jones to attack north with the entire Philippine I Corps. King and his chief of staff, General Arnold Funk, tried to convince MacArthur to abandon his project, without success. He demanded that King contact Jones and order an assault the following dawn. King complied around midnight. With his usual outspokenness, Jones, already extremely irritated by the orders given by MacArthur during his inspection that day, immediately replied: “No way! Any attempt to attack would be ridiculous! »
At around 12:20 a.m. on April 18, MacArthur ordered King to do his utmost to hold II Corps a little longer and departed for Jones' HQ. Many survivors of the Bataan battles still remember, or have remembered all their lives, the dramatic discussion which saw MacArthur, in a black rage, furiously pacing the premises which served as Jones' headquarters, and ordering him three times to go on the offensive. And three times, Jones refused, convinced that his men no longer had the means to attack. The confrontation escalated into a screaming contest between the two generals, with MacArthur demanding obedience, Jones desperately trying to protect the lives of his men. After an unsuccessful fourth injunction, MacArthur ordered Jones' arrest for insubordination. The unfortunate man was taken to Corregidor by the men of the Military Police attached to the HQ of the Commander-in-Chief.
Douglas MacArthur, in his characteristic brash way, then straightened his clothes, wrapped a white scarf around his neck and, watching Jones's staff, flabbergasted, cleansed, stuffed and calmly lit his pipe, then drew on it two or three time. He then began to discourse, gesturing broadly and brandishing his pipe. Speaking of himself in the third person in a perfectly conscious evocation of Julius Caesar, he said in summary (but in his usual flowery language): "All units of the First Corps will attack this morning, thirty minutes before dawn, on all front line points. MacArthur will personally take command of the Corps Reserve. MacArthur will lead her in person, in the front row, to make such attack as he thinks proper. »
General MacArthur spent the next five hours walking the entire I Corps front, urging his men fiercely. Survivors still remember his short speeches, delivered in a powerful stentorian voice: “MacArthur is here for you! I came when you were in danger! This morning you will see MacArthur in the front row to lead you into battle! From one end of the line to the other, the men, who had enjoyed their first real meal in months the day before (sometimes painfully, because their stomachs were no longer used to it), were preparing for the attack with disbelief and fatalism.
Thirty minutes before dawn, as ordered by MacArthur, the attack began.
Silently, without firing a bullet or shell, GI and Filipinos infiltrated the Japanese lines. It was only when they were detected that they launched their assault, while the artillery opened fire on the enemy rear lines. The attack came as a complete surprise to the Japanese, who flinched and retreated under the blow. The Filipinos, in particular, fought fiercely, and MacArthur was reported in at least a dozen places along the front where he was not.
His battle plan, however, was more refined than a blind offensive. As the whole of I Corps rushed forward on a broad front, MacArthur - who hadn't slept a wink all night, without appearing to be so slight - led the Reserve, in person as promised, by the winding tracks he himself had recognized in Bataan so many years before. His objective was the western flank of Mount Samat, on which, by 10:40 a.m., after hours of marching as rapidly as the men's decrepit physical condition permitted, his troops were in position. Always at the forefront, and always armed with a simple whip, he himself led the assault on Mount Samat, until the charge of the Allied infantry exceeded the lively rhythm of his long strides. In six hours of fighting, the mountain was recaptured!
When reports of the success of the Allied counterattack reached General Homma's headquarters that evening, he panicked. Suddenly it looked like the counterattack was about to swing like a door on its hinges and fall back on his best troops, to trap and annihilate them like thousands of men had been slaughtered in the Battle of the Points and the Pockets. Haunted by this grim lesson, Homma hastily ordered his men on the eastern side of the peninsula to retreat to the captured trenches of the Bagac-Orion line to resist what suddenly appeared to be the crowning of a ingenious trap set up by MacArthur.
On the Allied right, the exhausted and routed troops of II Corps suddenly found that their opponents were faltering. That night, they collapsed on the spot, starving to death. They had stopped fleeing, but were no more than groups of men huddled together, eagerly searching for any food. To the west, the counter-attack ceased of its own accord as soon as it was learned that the Japanese were falling back, despite the efforts of some officers trying to organize a pursuit – but their exhausted men refused, some refused. simply collapsing where they were.
During the night, Colonel Hatori, studying the situation in place of General Homma, who was on the verge of another nervous breakdown, understood that there was no Allied pursuit.
In the name of his superior, he immediately ordered the Japanese units to hold their ground, whatever positions they occupied, and to cling to them "to the last man". But there was no attack, just as there had been no pursuit. On the morning of April 19, MacArthur ordered his men forward, rejoicing in this stunning turnaround. But they were exhausted, and incapable of the slightest attack. In truth, only the indefatigable General Bluemel could push his men forward, and only as far as the San Vicente. On the other side of the small river, the Japanese had set up in defense. On the south shore, the Allies did the same. Neither side sought to fight.
On April 20, MacArthur returned without further ado to Corregidor. There he issued a grandiloquent and well-mannered dispatch, suggesting that he was personally responsible for the lesser successes achieved on the island. He was totally unaware of the troop efforts that had made these successes possible and overlooked the desperate operations by Bluemel, Parker, and King that had enabled II Corps to hold out long enough for the counterattack to succeed.
April 21 to May 7 – The Fall of Bataan (Third Battle of Mount Samat)
Bataan's troops did not enjoy their victory for long. The Japanese withdrawal had been made in good order and the enemy had left only a few days' worth of food behind them, just the equivalent of what the Allied soldiers had consumed the day before the counter-offensive, when MacArthur had relaxed the severity of the rationing to give them the strength to attack. They had faced the Japanese attacks, but another enemy lurked among them. Famine ravaged the ranks of the Allied troops!
By April 28, a few days after the front had stabilized, all of Bataan's rations had been consumed.
Men were reduced to devouring everything they could find in the jungle, plant or animal, to eating grass, even to chewing leather. But, paralyzed by the example of Jones, MacArthur's generals could not bring themselves to try to make their enigmatic tyrant understand the state of their troops.
From the depletion of normal rations, each day saw 300 men die of starvation on Bataan. Small groups of men began to desert, heading towards the Japanese to surrender, hoping to be fed. Gradually, General Homma began to shake off his despondency as he realized that the I Corps counterattack was not a sudden resurrection of Allied forces, but the last gasp of a dying enemy. On the Allied side, it was evident that it was only a matter of time - days, indeed - for the Japanese to exploit the dismal condition of their adversaries, or for all discipline to fade away and the men to surrender. to a desperate struggle for food.
In six days of these appalling conditions, more than 2,500 Allied soldiers were to die, 1,800 from starvation and 700 from mild illnesses that the weakening of the organisms made fatal. A few dozen even committed suicide, a sign of the collapse of morale. More than ten times during those few days, MacArthur's subordinates pleaded with him to allow the Bataan forces to surrender, but he refused.
On the morning of May 4, the Japanese deprived him of the possibility of choosing. At 08:10, they attacked Mount Samat in force. Within an hour, meeting almost no organized resistance, the attackers recaptured the summit, while Allied soldiers, exhausted and desperate, threw down their weapons and fled or surrendered, finally escaping the strict discipline that had held them down. in the ranks despite the famine. The Japanese columns advanced rapidly into a six km wide gap opened around the mount in the middle of the Allied lines. In the afternoon, the line of the San Vicente also disintegrated before a powerful attack, copiously supported by artillery.
On May 5, when the sun rose, the Allied forces were routed along the entire front. It was no more than a mob of men, retreating as fast as their emaciated legs could carry them or surrendering in hungry masses of several thousand men. The Japanese officers could hardly believe their eyes as these men were transformed into miserable living skeletons, most of whom could do nothing but beg for any food.
Late that evening, MacArthur called by telephone from Corregidor and ordered King to launch a general counterattack, as a last effort to push back the Japanese.
It was obviously impossible. There was no longer any organized force anywhere on Bataan except for the guards at King's personal HQ. After a futile discussion with MacArthur to try to explain it to him, King politely agreed to carry out this absurd order, then ordered to cut the telephone line which connected him to Corregidor. At this time, a nearby ammunition depot exploded under Japanese artillery fire, severely damaging the HQ. King then informed his subordinates that Bataan's troops would surrender at 06:00 the following morning.
On May 6, King therefore informed the Japanese of his surrender under his own authority, without giving MacArthur the slightest opportunity to protest or influence the situation. At first, only lower-ranking Japanese officers dealt with King, and first demanded that he bring MacArthur to them for a general surrender. However, Homma, learning what was happening, personally ordered an immediate acceptance of an unconditional surrender of all Allied forces on Bataan – he was indeed desperate to finally present a victory, any kind of victory, to Imperial Headquarters, and did not realize that the Allied collapse was total. King approved these terms, and all fighting ceased on the peninsula.
On May 7, MacArthur, well installed on Corregidor, had the terms of surrender confirmed.
He then prepared a press release which was broadcast by radio just after the sending of his official report: "The Force of Bataan left as it would have wished, fighting like lost children until the extinction of a hope wavering. No Army ever accomplishes such great deeds with so few means, and nothing demonstrates it better than its last hours of trials and agony. To mothers mourning the dead of this Host, MacArthur can only say that the sacrifice and halo of Jesus of Nazareth have descended upon their sons, and the Lord will take them into His holy keeping." Nothing else changed in the routine of life on Corregidor. On Bataan, however, to the survivors of the men whom MacArthur's charisma had driven to the very limit of their strength and endurance, it soon became apparent that the sufferings that unyielding soul had inflicted on them before their fall and inevitable surrenders were only the beginning of a grim Hell on Earth.
May 7 to 13 – Bataan Death March
Unfortunately, we must give here some details on the too famous “Bataan Death March”. When he surrendered, General King had only 45,000 men under his command. About a thousand had already surrendered in the previous two days and were being ferried north, in good order or thereabouts. Others had managed to escape through the confusing tangle of jungles and scrub. They were to be captured bit by bit in the months that followed, but a few managed to remain free until the Japanese surrender.
Unfortunately for most of the soldiers trapped on May 6, the Japanese had believed that there would be no more than thirty thousand, and their means of transport were overwhelmed. Enraged by their previous failures and by the long weeks of resistance by this army of starving people, they did not hesitate to force the prisoners to head north by forced march. But it had been a month since these men had eaten much and it was foreseeable that this forced march was simply going to kill thousands of them. And it wasn't just walking.
Under a scorching sun that beat on their heads, the prisoners stumbled forward. Japanese soldiers roamed the columns, beating fiercely those who seemed to them to be too slow or whose heads did not return to them. Those who died of starvation or stunned by the heat were slain with bayonets or savagely clubbed with rifle butts. Many times the Japanese forced the comrades of an American or a Filipino who had fallen down from exhaustion and was too weak to get up to bury him alive, and those who were reluctant to perform this horrible act were disembowelled at the bayonet.
The unfortunates suffered thus for six days, walking painfully or piled into freight cars without food and almost without water. More than fifteen hundred fell each day, more than six times the number who had died of starvation and disease during the last days of the campaign. Moreover, if the defenders of Bataan, continuing to fight beyond their limits, had expected to suffer losses, the prisoners of war that they had become had never imagined to suffer such tortures. In total, ten thousand men lost their lives in this terrible ordeal.
Some have since wanted to blame MacArthur for some of the massacre. They claimed that he had unreasonably prolonged the defense of Bataan when all hope of rescue was lost, and that he had imposed upon his men such hardships that the losses suffered by the prisoners would have been similar even though the Japanese had treated them well. In short, he would have more than half killed them, and the Japanese would have only finished them off by forcing them to do what, under normal circumstances, would have been just a normal march.
But this argument is insulting to the veterans who, until their last day, were haunted by the savagery of the Japanese during this ordeal. Perhaps an earlier surrender of Bataan could have saved a number of lives, but it is likely that MacArthur was simply unaware of the state of health of his men. We know that his staff was a bunch of useless courtiers and it is likely that negative information hardly reached the ears of the General. Either way, he extended the defense of the peninsula as long as humanly possible, and it cannot be denied that his choices were justified in the context of his efforts to hold on with what he had left. .
First intermission: May 7 to 27 – Vigil of arms on Corregidor
The main danger to the survival of the Corregidor garrison, with its thousands of soldiers and civilians, was the lack of water. The islet's drinking water supply relied entirely on very limited and primitive seawater desalination equipment. would force the fortress of Corregidor to surrender within days. MacArthur had constantly underlined the fact in the pleas for relief with which he overwhelmed Washington. He made it clear that he was doing everything in his power to improve the island's water supply. He had thus ordered the garrison to provide improved surfaces and drainage channels and to use all possible containers to store rainwater. However, this water was very often stagnant or even dirty (which would not prevent it from being drunk in the last days of the siege, with deleterious effects on the state of health of the garrison).
The exact nature of the garrison's efforts to supply its water needs was described by some of the survivors. In addition to the development of classic drainage canals, the ditches where the tropical rains flowed were closed at their mouths by small dams to prevent the water from reaching the sea. The bottom of the canals was lined with tarpaulins to prevent water from seeping into the ground. From cooking utensils to empty ammunition boxes, all sorts of containers were filled with water in these drainage channels and gutters or simply laid out on the ground, yawning skyward, to await a providential rain. Some simple equipment for boiling seawater and collecting desalinated water by condensation had been improvised by ingenious GIs. But all these efforts counted for little compared to the needs of the garrison in drinking water.
It was clear that, without desalination equipment, Corregidor would not have a drop of water to drink before the end of May. At the beginning of May, MacArthur's tone became more strident, calling for the dispatch of supplies and in particular desalination equipment, "if reinforcements could not be sent at short notice. »
Eventually, it was the dramatic end to the struggle on Bataan that forced the War Department to do something to improve the situation on Corregidor, so that the fortress could hold out as long as possible. The main problem was that this effort had to rely mainly on the Navy, and that the Navy considered that any major resupply operation of the island of Corregidor was impossible. However, there had to be an exception to this rule.
Until the beginning of May, ocean-going submarines had been able to call at Corregidor at the end of their combat patrols to bring some supplies (one to five tons in general). On MacArthur's orders, they had also evacuated six civilians each time, the maximum they could carry. Those few tons and those few people or nothing, it didn't make much difference (except for the few evacuees), but there was another possibility. The US Navy had three large submarine cruisers of an old type – the Nautilus, the Narwhal, the Argonaut. Couldn't they be used to deliver a large quantity of supplies to Corregidor, including modern desalination equipment?
The garrison was lucky. The USS Nautilus, which arrived in Pearl Harbor on April 28, was beginning to prepare for planned special missions with other large submarines, including the French Surcouf. The USS Narwhal had returned from its first war patrol a month earlier and was also at Pearl. Between May 8 and 10, a real race against time enabled the two submarines to be prepared for this exceptionally dangerous mission. All ammunition was put ashore except the torpedoes in their tubes, and the gunners were also left at Pearl (they wouldn't have had any shells to fire anyway). Each of the two submarines could thus be loaded with some 105 tons of supplies. Corregidor being well supplied with ammunition, it was only food and desalination equipment.
On May 10, after sixty hours of relentless effort, the submarines were ready, a feat in itself. They sailed immediately, shortly after 7:30 p.m.
By 27 May they were within sight of Corregidor, having been briefly engaged by a Japanese force on the approaches to the Philippines and escaping it without difficulty. The island was then subjected every day to violent and almost continuous bombardments by waves of Japanese planes. The submarines had to remain submerged and did not land until nightfall, shortly after sunset. As soon as they touched down, the unloading began, carried out with the energy of desperation, although it was necessary to work in the dark and making as little noise as possible, to avoid attracting the attention of the gunners. Japanese. Corregidor was indeed the target of sporadic fire every night. No shell hit either ship, but nine men taking part in the operations were injured by the explosion of a shell.
For the return trip to friendly land, which was to end in Darwin (a shorter trip than the outward journey), 40 passengers were crammed into each of the two submarines. They were civilians (mostly women) and military nurses. These eighty people were the last to escape from Corregidor. The rest of the island's population, civilians or soldiers, were only to leave the fortress for the Japanese camps or the afterlife.
As the U-boats headed for "his" island, MacArthur had finally concerned himself with tactical preparations, ordering entrenchments to be dug along the most likely landing beaches to lay out a defense in depth. On this rocky ground, the possibility of developing a fortified network was limited, however, and the officers of his staff convinced MacArthur that the main effect of these heavy works would be to consume the island's meager food reserves more quickly. The rationing was not far from reaching the level of starvation experienced by the defenders of Bataan. However, they were now certain that they had enough water to last until the food supply was exhausted.
According to some claims, these preparations would have included an additional chapter.
Some survivors of the garrison have indeed claimed that MacArthur had secretly ordered that no Japanese prisoners be taken on the island if an enemy landing gave the opportunity, observing that prisoners would only eat what little food they possessed. the defenders. Those who brought these accusations even claimed that the execution of this order explained the despicable brutalities suffered by the survivors who had surrendered at the time of the fall of the island.
The idea of giving a man as devious and ruthless as MacArthur a secret order forbidding the taking of prisoners (and requiring the shooting of enemies who surrender) deserves some consideration. He was fighting thousands of miles from his sources of supply and his superiors, every bite of food and every drop of water was precious, and the visceral Japanese aversion to the very idea of surrender was little known at this time. era. The prospect of having to take care of hundreds of Japanese prisoners in the event of a failed landing attempt could well and truly give rise to fears that these prisoners would consume the last rations remaining on the island and make the idea of so that no surrender is accepted. For a man who had grown up fighting the American Indians and the Moros of Mindanao, that is, in the spirit of the "Frontier", when naked brutality was common and no law of war was was respected, for a man such as MacArthur, it must be recognized that it was unfortunately possible to give in to such a temptation.
Nevertheless, there is no physical evidence that this possibility has ever translated into reality. To back it up we have only the nightmares of a few men who suffered terribly, first under MacArthur's fanatical command, then in captivity. The majority of survivors dispute that such an order was ever given. Most likely there was some such suggestion at the General Staff, because of the possible prospect of taking large numbers of Japanese prisoners. The question was no doubt discussed, but there is no trace of any order and the proposal was probably discarded. In any case, no instructions were issued or followed. The absence of any Japanese prisoners during the fighting is therefore certainly the result of their own refusal of any surrender, rather than of a hypothetical and demonic desire of MacArthur to imitate the brutality which Henry V showed at Agincourt against his French prisoners. .It must be admitted, however, that none of the potential main actors in the design or implementation of such a decision survived the siege and therefore it will be impossible to achieve absolute certainty.