|About the Book|
The Devil’s Agent: The Life and Crimes ofNazi Klaus Barbie is a captivating and uniquebook that reveals the dark secrets and mindsetof the Butcher of Lyon, his work as a U.S.and West German spy, his network of escapedNazis in South America, andMoreThe Devil’s Agent: The Life and Crimes ofNazi Klaus Barbie is a captivating and uniquebook that reveals the dark secrets and mindsetof the Butcher of Lyon, his work as a U.S.and West German spy, his network of escapedNazis in South America, and his nefariousconnections with mercenaries, cocainetraffickers and military dictators.During 1942-1944, Klaus Barbie was amid-level Nazi officer in charge of the GestapoHQ in Lyon, France. His treatment of prisonersranged from banal indifference to pleasureas he sadistically tortured and murdered hisvictims. After the war, what set him apart wasthe public role he played as an unscrupulousbusinessman and adviser to military rulers, andWestern intelligence agencies, in close alliancewith other escaped Nazis, while living inBolivia. The unrepentant war criminal was themost important Nazi to continue operating as apublic figure after World War II.The Devil’s Agent describes co-authorPeter McFarren’s personal encounters withKlaus Barbie in 1981, when McFarren and hiscolleague Maribel Schumacher were arrested infront of the Nazi’s Bolivian home after tryingto interview him for a story for The New YorkTimes. McFarren obtained hundreds of Barbie’spersonal photographs and letters from prisonthat have never been made public before.Beyond their historical significance, theseshine a light into Barbie’s compartmentalizedinner life: devoted husband, torturer, lovingfather, spy, adaptive businessman, anti-Semite,opportunist. Combined with extensive use ofthe wealth of historical materials released inthe decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall, theauthors connect the inner Barbie with his timesto provide insight into how collective evil occurs.From crimes against humanity to Holocausts, ithappens step by banal step.McFarren also worked on the documentariesHotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbieand My Enemy’s Enemy and wrote numerous articlesabout Barbie and the military regimes he supported.After an extensive, decades-long search byNazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, Barbie wasidentified, captured and extradited to France. Hewas one of the few escaped Nazis tried and sentencedfor crimes against humanity in occupied France.His expulsion from Bolivia to France in 1983 andhis unprecedented trial and conviction generatedtremendous publicity and deep soul-searching for acountry that had still not faced up to its mixed recordof supporting the Nazi regime while also resisting itsoccupation.The book also details Barbie’s family history,the role he played as a Gestapo officer in GermanoccupiedFrance, his responsibility for the murdersof more than 14,000 Jews and French Resistancefi ghters during the Nazi Holocaust, his fl ight fromEurope after the war with the backing of the U.S.Government, the Vatican and the InternationalRed Cross, and his settlement in Bolivia with hiswife Regine and two children. In Bolivia, Barbietraffi cked in tanks and weapons and supported thehunt for the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla leader “Che”Guevara.