Abetz, Otto

18 November, 2007
Fontaine Thomas

As of June 13, 1940, Ribbentrop, the Foreign Affairs Minister of the German Reich, appointed Otto Abetz as his representative within the new Military Command in occupied France. Abetz knew the country well, as he had facilitated Franco-German youth movements throughout the 1930s. His mission was political, and he essentially sought to retain control of the collaboration with the Vichy government. His relationship with Laval and many collaborationist parties corroborate this. Alongside the military, and then the Sipo-SD policemen, this ambassador monitored scores of cases. However, this did not spare him a certain amount of disgrace – as his recall to Berlin in early 1943 bears out – after the escape of the French general Giraud from detention in Germany, amongst other issues. Abetz was sent back to France after a few months, and he escorted Laval to Belfort during the evacuation. He was arrested in October 1945 and sentenced to twenty years of hard labor in July 1949 by a French military court. He was freed in 1954, then died in a car accident on May 5, 1958 (B. Lambauer, 2001).

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Fontaine Thomas, Abetz, Otto, Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, [online], published on: 18 November, 2007, accessed 27/04/2020, http://bo-k2s.sciences-po.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/en/document/abetz-otto, ISSN 1961-9898
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