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Commemorative plaque at rue Lauriston in tribute to the victims of the French Gestapo

The French Gestapo or Carlingue was the name given to French auxiliaries of the Gestapo, based at 93, rue Lauriston in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, and active between 1941 and 1944. It was headed by Henri Lafont and Pierre Loutrel. The group was formally named Active Group Hesse, after the German SS officer "who'd looked after its foundation".[1]

This group drew its members from the same milieu as that of its leaders, the gangsters Henri Lafont and Pierre Loutrel, alias Pierrot le fou (Peter the Mad), or from those with a criminal background, for example Pierre Bonny, who was wanted by the police for misappropriation of funds and selling influence,[citation needed] and who was a central figure in the Seznec and Stavisky affairs. Their links with the occupiers granted them many contacts with disreputable figures like Joseph Joanovici. They originated from the North African Brigade, made up of Muslims devoted to the Nazi cause, which was involved in suppressing the Maquis in Tulle.

According to the retired policeman Henri Longuechaud, "one might be scandalised by the numbers of 30,000 to 32,000 sometimes quoted [as Carlingue's members]. In Paris, when the occupier launched a recruitment drive for 2,000 auxiliary policeman in their service, they received no fewer than 6,000 candidates."[2]

Its principal members were tried and condemned on the Liberation.

In 2004, a television film was produced on the Carlingue, entitled 93, rue Lauriston. Although fictional, it was inspired by real events and featured Lafont and Bonny.

Louis Malle's 1974 film Lacombe Lucien features characters based on the Bonny-Lafont gang.[3]

References[]

  1. King, David (2011). The City of Death. Crown. p. 142. 
  2. Henri Longuechaud, Conformément à l’ordre de nos chefs, page 58, cited by Maurice Rajsfus in La Police de Vichy. Les forces de l'ordre françaises au service de la Gestapo. 1940/1944, Le Cherche Midi éditeur, 1995 (page 51).
  3. Interview of historian Pierre Laborie in the french DVD's extras, Arte Video.

Sources[]

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