PARIS -- The CIA kidnapped the young son of Klaus Barbie in 1946 to make sure the Nazi war criminal carried out intelligence missions for the agency, Barbie's French daughter-in-law said in an interview published Sunday.
Francoise Croizier, widow of Barbie's son Klaus-Georg, told the Journal du Dimanche the CIA held Klaus-Georg while Barbie was working for U.S. intelligence.
'They wanted to be sure that Barbie would return from missions they entrusted to him,' she said. She did not specify Barbie's role with the CIA or how long the agency held Klaus-Georg, then a toddler.
Barbie was widely reported to have been a CIA agent after World War II before he fled to South America. He was extradited from Bolivia earlier this year and is now awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity arising from his post as Gestapo chief in Lyon, France, between 1942 and 1944.
Miss Croizier married Klaus-Georg in 1968 and settled in Bolivia four years ago. Her husband died in a hang-gliding accident in 1981.
She said that when she married she did not know who her father-in-law was, but that she could guess the reasons for a German to settle in South America after the war.
'But I'm not the first Frenchwoman who married the son of a Nazi, am I?' she said. 'Anyway I married the son, not the father'.
Miss Croizier met her husband while both were students in Paris. After their marriage, she lived in Europe and South America using the surname Altmann, Barbie's alias during more than 30 years as a fugitive in Bolivia.
The mother of three children, she said she tried to obtain French nationality for her husband, but was afraid to live in France, even under a false name.
'French authorities could have kidnapped one of my children to force my father-in-law to give himself up,' she said.