Today In History Spotlights Jan. 19, 1777, Nazi War Criminal Klaus Barbie is Captured in Bolivia

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie is captured in Bolivia. Sometimes referred to as the “Butcher of Lyon,” Barbie was a chief in the Gestapo, and was responsible for the capture of 7,500 French Jews and Resistance partisans, as well as the deaths of over 4,000. In 1947, he surrendered to US Counter-Intelligence Corps, in which he offered intelligence service in exchange for protection.

He fled to South America in 1949, and in 1971, began assisting Hugo Banzer Suarez in establishing internment camps for political opponents. Barbie was indicted for war crimes in 1984 and died in prison on September 25, 1991.

What Happened On This Day – January 19

  • 2007 Turkish journalist Hrant Dink is assassinated. The murderer was a 17-year old Turkish nationalist who disagreed with Dink’s view on the Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
  • 1983 Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie is arrested in Bolivia. Barbie was known as the “Butcher of Lyon”.
  • 1966 Indira Gandhi becomes India’s first female prime minister. She was assassinated on October 31, 1984.
  • 1915 Georges Claude patents his neon discharge tube. Neon lighting soon became popular for outdoor advertising.
  • 1829 Goethe’s “Faust” (Part 1) is premiered. The work is considered one of the greatest works of German literature.

Births On This Day – January 19

  • 1946 Dolly Parton – American singer-songwriter, actress
  • 1943 Janis Joplin – American singer-songwriter
  • 1839 Paul Cézanne – French painter
  • 1809 Edgar Allan Poe – American author, poet
  • 1807 Robert E. Lee – American general

Deaths On This Day – January 19

  • 2015 Adam Yahiye Gadahn – American terrorist
  • 2007 Hrant Dink – Turkish/Armenian journalist
  • 1990 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh – Indian mystic, guru, educator
  • 1874 August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben – German poet
  • 1865 Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – French politician, philosopher, economist

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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