A documentary about Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of Lyon, and his life after the war.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johannes Schneider-Merck ...
German Import-Exporter, Barbie's Neighbour in Lima
Raymond Lévy ...
Billiard Player in Lyon
Marcel Cruat ...
Billiard Player in Lyon
Henri Varlot ...
Billiard Player in Lyon
Pierre Mérindol ...
Journalist from Lyon
Johann Otten ...
Farmer, School Friend from Barbie's native village
Peter Minn ...
Wehrmacht Major, retired, Barbie's high school friend
Claude Bourdet ...
Resistance Leader
Eugene Kolb ...
Lt., C.I.C. Control Officer, retired, Barbie's former Superior
Lise Lesèvre ...
Member of the French Underground
Lucie Aubrac ...
Resistance Leader
Raymond Aubrac ...
Resistance Leader
Simone Lagrange ...
Auschwitz Survivor


This full-length documentary deals with the life, career and trial of Nazi SS officer Klaus Barbie, known as the Butcher of Lyons. Virtually all aspects of his life are covered. His childhood and schooling in Germany; his early military career; his role in the head of intelligence in Lyons; his post-war employment by the US military; his life in Bolivia; his return to Europe; his trial and conviction. Interviewed are friends, enemies, associates, heroes and traitors. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lyon | trial | bolivia | post war | gestapo | See All (32) »




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Release Date:

November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie  »

Box Office


$341,018 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Marcel Ophüls deliberately chose not to show any Holocaust footage as he felt that audiences had become too used to gruesome imagery of that nature. See more »

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User Reviews

"Unsettling, heartrending, revealing and disenchanting..."
30 January 2013 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

German-born American documentary filmmaker Marcel Ophüls' fourth documentary feature which he wrote and produced, was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 41st Cannes International Film Festival in 1988 and is a France-USA co-production. It tells the story about 44 children from a Jewish orphanage in Izieu, France and the collaborators, friends, enemies, supporters, accomplices and victims of a husband and father of two who began his long-lasting career as a Nazi during the early 1930s in Germany and the acts he committed by himself and was helped to commit against humanity.

This somewhat biographical, historic, political and comprehensive post-war Germany story which is narrated from multiple viewpoints, in an objective way and through the voices of survivors of torture, former leaders of the former French Resistance, former members of the former Counter Intelligence Corps in the United States, former activists, attorneys, journalists and people who experienced WWII and it's aftermath, is an informative and incisive examination of French and German history, war crimes, the displacement of guilt and an investigative journey through the places where the main character grew up, studied, took up residence and carried out clandestine operations.

This multilingual, conversational and important non-fictional feature is impelled and reinforced by it's interrelated stories, the absence of visual effects, of the subject himself, the director's presence, his way of conducting interviews and the presence of the interviewees who as much as the filmmakers are the creators of this documentary. An unsettling, heartrending, revealing and disenchanting documentary feature from the late 1980s which gained, among other awards, the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 61st Academy Awards in 1989 and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 41st Cannes Film Festival in 1988.

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