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Did Napoleon show the way for Hitler's 'Final Solution'?
London | November 27, 2005 5:27:07 PM IST
A French historian has said that Napoleon Bonaparte had provided the model to Adolf Hitler for the latter's 'Final Solution' by slaughtering more than 100, 000 Caribbean slaves.
Claude Ribbe has "In The Crime of Napoleon", accused the French emperor of genocide and held him responsible for gassing rebellious blacks, a century before Hitler and Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler put the extermination of the Jews into practice at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka Dachau, and other concentration camps across occupied Europe.
Napoleon had apparently used extreme methods to put down a ferocious uprising in Haiti at the start of the 19th century. Then known as San Domingo, the colony was considered a jewel of the French Empire, and to save it, Fre
nch troops launched a campaign killing all blacks aged over 12.
The rebels were gassed in the ships' holds using sulphur dioxide and the killed rebels were replaced with new docile slaves from Africa, reports The Independent.
"In simple terms, Napoleon ordered the killing of as many blacks as possible in Haiti and Guadeloupe to be replaced by new, docile slaves from Africa. I want the French to know exactly what happened in that period," said Ribbe, adding that many officers had refused to take part in the massacres.
"As for the good things Napoleon did, that is irrelevant. Hitler developed the autobahns and inspired the Volkswagen; are we supposed to excuse him for his war crimes?" he added.
Ribbe, who was recently appointed a human rights commissioner by French Premier, Dominique de Villepin, further said: "I was taught to think of Napoleon as a superstar. To mention his crimes against humanity has been a taboo". (ANI)
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