Maurice Papon

Maurice Papon (; September 3, 1910 – February 17, 2007) was a French civil servant, leading the police in major prefectures and in Paris during the Nazi Occupation of France and into the 1960s. Forced to resign because of allegations of abuses, he became an industrial leader and Gaullist politician. In 1998 he was convicted of crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of more than 1600 Jews to concentration camps during World War II when he was secretary general for police in Bordeaux.

Papon was known to have tortured insurgent prisoners (1954–62) as prefect of the Constantinois department during the Algerian War. He was named chief of the Paris police in 1958. On October 17, 1961 he ordered the severe repression of a peaceful pro-National Liberation Front (FLN) demonstration against a curfew which he had imposed. What became known as the Paris massacre of 1961 left between one hundred and three hundred dead at the hands of the police, with many more wounded. That same year, Papon was personally awarded the Legion of Honour by French President Charles de Gaulle, whose government was struggling to retain the French colony.

Papon was in charge of the Paris police during the February 1962 massacre at the Charonne metro station, which took place during a peaceful anti-Organisation armée secrète (OAS) demonstration organized by the Communist Party (PCF).

After the 1965 disappearance of the Moroccan dissident Mehdi Ben Barka, leader of the Tricontinental Conference, in which the police were suspected of killing him, Papon was forced to resign. He was supported by Gaulle in being named as director of Sud Aviation company, which created the first Concorde plane.

After May 1968, Papon was elected as a representative (député) in the French legislature, and served several terms. From 1978 to 1981, he served as the appointed Minister of the Budget under prime minister Raymond Barre and president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

On May 6, 1981 details about his past under Vichy emerged, when Le Canard enchaîné newspaper published documents signed by Papon that showed his responsibility in the deportation of 1,690 Bordeaux Jews to Drancy internment camp from 1942 to 1944. After a long investigation by the government, Papon was tried (1995-1998); in 1998 he was convicted of crimes against humanity. That year he was stripped of all his decorations.

Read more about Maurice PaponEarly Years and Education, Career, World War II, Papon Under The Fourth Republic (1945–1958), Prefect of Police of Paris (1958–1967), CEO and Government Minister (1967–1981), Papon's Trial (1981–1998), Papon's Release in 2002, Papon's Funeral: The Last Controversy, Quotes

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Paris Massacre Of 1961
... Under orders from the head of the Parisian police, Maurice Papon, the French police attacked a demonstration of some 30,000 pro-FLN Algerians ... by historian Jean-Luc Einaudi, who won a trial against Maurice Papon in 1999 — the latter was convicted in 1998 on charges of crimes against humanity for his ... suggest that the massacre was directed by Maurice Papon ...
Paris Massacre Of 1961 - Background - The Appointment of Maurice Papon As The Head of The Prefecture of Police (March 1958)
... Further information Maurice Papon Before his appointment as chief of the Paris police, Papon had been, since 1956, prefect of the Constantine department in Algeria, where ... With the recommendation of Minister of Interior Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury, Maurice Papon was next day named prefect of the police ... and the installation of the new Fifth Republic under Charles de Gaulle's leadership, Maurice Papon was kept on by the Resistance hero ...
Paris Massacre Of 1961 - Events
... On 5 October 1961, the prefecture of police, whose chief was Maurice Papon, announced in a press statement the introduction of a curfew from 8.30 p.m ... and "French Muslims of Algeria" (all three terms used by Papon, although the approximately 150,000 Algerians living at the time in Paris were ... According to historian Jean-Luc Einaudi, the head of the police, Maurice Papon, had 7,000 policemen, 1,400 CRS and gendarmes mobiles (riot police) to block this demonstration, to which ...
Maurice Papon - Quotes
... From Papon's 36-minute final speech to the French war crimes jury "I say, be careful that France does not get hurt by this verdict outside our borders." "It would be a ...