Archives mensuelles : août 2014

who was Eugen WEIDMANN ?

His lawyers

Even if Eugen Wedmann had been broke his entire life, he has been defended in the court of Versailles by several lawyers, that were all court appointed attorneys and who expected no gain, except some publicity from the medias, because the case occupied many newspaper of the time.
The first was Master Roger PLANTY, then President of the Bar.
He appointed himself and two of his young colleagues, Master Jean RAOULT and Master Renée JARDIN which was never the last to highlight herself. She willingly said that she had been chosen by WEIDMANN. She was certainly much appreciated by the one who called her « dear Master » in some of his letters but the only request WEIDMANN had during his incarceration was to be defended by a woman. But at that time, when a very few people of the female gender were occupying official positions in France, she was the only woman officiating at the bar of Versailles.

On the advice of Mr. Lange, a lawyer in Francfort-sur-le-Main and family friend, the mother of Eugen WEIDMANN wanted to appoint Master Floriot, but his son absolutely refused, despite the insistence of the latter.

Master RAOULT in his personal notes qualify his client as an « enigmatic individual », « confusing », both « weak and proud » that makes « the worst mistakes » and having « feelings that honors him. » He would be speaking shortly before the trial, asking the new prison chaplain to come to comfort and help his client.

Master Renee JARDIN described him thus: « I was young, he was beautiful, with a natural elegance, full of allure. It’s true that he made a strong impression on me ». Her colleagues think at the time that « he cached her eye » She would spend all of her free time, if not for him to avoid the guillotine, but at least to save his soul. They would speak « honestly » of love with the blessing of the Bishop of Versailles who advised Master JARDIN to « prepare the soul » of his client and « bring him the consolation of faith. »

In May 1938, Mr. Vincent de MORO Giafferri, would join the team of WEIDMANN’s defenders. Aged 61, veteran of the courtroom, he was famous for having defended, among others: Dieudonné from the band of BONNOT in 1913, followed by the famous Henri Désiré LANDRU guillotined in 1922, and the Bulgarian communist militant Georgi Dimitrov Mikhailov, the one of the alleged perpetrators of the burning of the Reichstag in Berlin on the night of February 27 to 28, 1933.

  The publicity around WEIDMANN’ case would be huge, covered in unison by various French newspapers at the time , daily or weekly, which then acted as the news does today, and by various foreign newspapers.

Later, in 1944, Master Renee GARDEN would be forced to leave France, where she was condemned in absentia for acts of collaboration with the occupier and she was removed from the Bar. Refugee in the United States after a long stay in a monastery, where she told us she was did suffer from « melancholy depression, » she would marry Hans BIRNIE, professor at Stanford in California, with whom she lived for twenty years. Pardoned by decree of the President of the Republic she would explain these facts in her book « Footsteps of the outlaw » published in 1964. Hans Bernie would die soon after their return in Europe she herself would end her days in Clarens, Switzerland.
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