As the Trump administration and its perverse minions ramp up deportations of immigrants, I think–inevitably and inevitably with horror and rage–of Maurice Papon.
Although Papon was brought to trial and did serve a short sentence for the crime of…well, what do the French call it? What I call it is war crimes, crimes against humanity…he wasn’t brought to a bitterly laughable minimal justice until more than 50 years after his crimes.
Papon, in his role as second highest functionary in the Vichy regime, collaborated with the Nazis and personally signed deportation orders sending Jews to concentration camps, to their deaths.
Didn’t even make a blip on his CV. After the war, Papon rose to great prominence, power and success in Paris in the de Gaulle regime. (Among his other jobs was torturing Algerians.)
He lived until he was 96. Then he died.
In the interests of sharing a beautiful sunny Saturday with you, do read the Times’ obituary, linked above. Maybe instead of brunch?
After our hiatus from sanity is over–and it will eventually be over–what will we do about our own Papons? Will we let them retire with honors and wealth? Or not.
I’m going with not.