Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I know this isn't the greatest photograph I ever took, but perhaps the story has some historical merit, despite the technical faults. It was a dark, gloomy, rainy day, and I was out walking in Lyon, France, in September, 1991. There is a newspaper in France called "Le Progres", or Progress... sometimes they advertised their headlines on placards like this. The headline that day was, "La Mort de Klaus Barbie", The Death of Klaus Barbie. He died the day before in prison of cancer, and I remember thinking, well, that is indeed Progress. Klaus Barbie was known as the Butcher of Lyon for his many atrocities there. Fitting that he should then die there, after all those years in South America. One less verminous varmint on the planet. Which is an insult to rats and other fur bearing creatures man calls varmints, but what else to call such a monster?
Hard to imagine that the best selling plastic doll in history bears his name. Hard to imagine all that happened around Lyon less than 50 years earlier. The things we do to each other...

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