The arrival of Carl-Albrecht Oberg (1897-1965) in May 1942 in France symbolised the takeover by the SS of executive police power from the German military administration. As Higher SS and Police Leader in France (Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer in Frankreich) until the end of German occupation in the fall of 1944, Oberg was responsible for repression against the Resistance and the application of the Final Solution. Eventually 150.000 people, among them 75.000 Jews, were deported to concentration and extermination camps. The investigation against Oberg (and his former right hand Helmut Knochen) then became one of the longest (1945-1954) lawsuits against war criminals in postwar France. It is probably during this period that the media coined the image of ?the Butcher of Paris? in reference to hostage-executions ordered by Oberg in 1942. Finally, a few weeks before the Élysée Treaty, also known as the "French-German Friendship Treaty", (January 22th, 1963) was signed, Oberg was secretely released from prison. He then returned to the Federal Republic of Germany, where lawsuits had been started against him. In the end, however, none of these investigations led to trial.
This PhD Project is using Oberg as a new key for a deeper understanding of the occupational regime (Besatzungsregime/régime d'occupation) in France. It defines this regime as a system of German and French structures and agents, whose interaction shaped rule in the French metropolis from 1940 to 1944. Oberg's case will also constitute the thread for a transnational analysis of the French-German dealing with the past (Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung/travail de mémoire) until the end of the de Gaulle-Adenauer Era, including justice and politics of memory as well as their reception in both societies.(The dissertation is written in German)
Prof. Dr. Stephan Merl (Universität Bielefeld)
Prof. Dr. Claudine Delphis (Université Paris VII-Diderot)