Marcel Petiot - World War II Activities

World War II Activities

After the 1940 German defeat of France, French citizens were drafted for forced labor in Germany. Petiot provided false medical disability certificates to people who were drafted. He also treated the illnesses of workers who had returned. In July 1942, he was convicted of overprescribing narcotics, even though two addicts who would have testified against him had disappeared. He was fined 2,400 francs.

Petiot later claimed that, during the period of German occupation, he was engaged in Resistance activities. Supposedly, he developed secret weapons that killed Germans without leaving forensic evidence, planted booby traps all over Paris, had high-level meetings with Allied commanders, and worked with a (nonexistent) group of Spanish anti-fascists.

There was no evidence to support any of these tall tales. However, in 1980, he was cited by former U.S. spymaster Col. John F. Grombach as a World War II source. Grombach had been founder and head of a small independent espionage agency, later known as "The Pond", which operated from 1942 to 1955. Grombach asserted that Petiot had reported the Katyn Forest massacre, German missile development at Peenemünde, and the names of Abwehr agents sent to the U.S. These claims were not supported by any records of other intelligence services. However, in 2001, some "Pond" records were discovered, including a cable that mentioned Petiot.

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