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Hôtel Terminus (1988)

Unrated | | Documentary, Biography | November 1988 (USA)
A documentary about Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of Lyon, and his life after the war.



Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Himself
... Himself
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  »


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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 »


Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #6.2 (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Lengthy But Highly Intriguing
28 July 2013 | by See all my reviews

I found this on Hulu, and I am obsessed with movies about WWII (the Holocaust in particular). Armed with my smartphone, I dove in. Initially, I was confused because the director/interviewer jumps into the French Revolution shortly after having some associates of Klaus Barbie describe his childhood. Then these leaders of the Revolution start talking about the betrayal of Jean Moulin. I had to hit pause and check it out on the web. After getting a bit more background, I moved on. I was disgusted when I heard back pedaling from Rene Hardy and Francoise Hemmerle. Ultimately learning that Hardy was framed, and seeing an interview with him towards the end of his life, I did start to pity him. However this Hemmerle woman would chuckle when talking about atrocities of torture then say "oh, I helped I the resistance, then proceeds to refer to the film 'Night & Fog' as "propaganda". This is where the running theme of "oh it was so long ago." This seems to be a running theme with the people who helped this butcher later on. The narrator really doesn't talk much about the Holocaust too much during the film, but focuses on the CIC (American intelligence) utilized Barbie as an informant. Woah, stop the bus! Then what really foxed me was if you Google any of these Americans, not a whisper. The person who drove me insane with his non-answers was a certain Eugene Kolb, who was Barbie's handler. He states that based on his relationship with Barbie, he doesn't believe he needed to use torture to get information out of people. I think that is similar to saying the Holocaust didn't happen. Every word out of his mouth is a contradiction or a back pedal. I knew that the US wanted nothing to do with the Jews until the very end of the war. This disgusts me as a human being. The film moves along with more people who "were just doing their jobs" (much like those who dropped Zyklon B into gas chambers) in the hunt and capture of Klaus Barbie. Turns out, that Barbie was involved in the capture of Che Guevara. The film alludes to this, but that was another topic of my own research. One person who is actually more candid than you would think is Barbie's former bodyguard. He was apprehensive at first, but through his story he tells of how he has to get people to go shopping for him as he was persona non grata in Bolivia. I think he realizes as he is speaking with Maurice that if he tells the truth, it may benefit him. It's a bit of a buildup, but watching him break is rather interesting. Well, as most know, there comes a point Barbie needs a lawyer at his trial. This lawyer is Jaques Verges, a well known defender of terrorists from Palestine and Algeria, and also a cohort of the leaders of the Khmer Rouge (this I learned more about from another film, Terror's Advocate). He did what he did more because he wanted France to acknowledge what they did to the French in Lyon and in Algeria. This is touched on, but never fully explained. The jury to me is still out on him, only because there is logic behind his intentions, even though I don't agree with him politically, or on a level of humanity. I won't ruin the end, but this four hour documentary is well worth the watch. I will say that it would be wise to get caught up on the French Resistance a little beforehand. Because I was so interested, I purchased The Sorrow and the Pity, so stay tuned for that review!

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