25th October 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Godesberg (then  in Prussia, now Bad Godesburg, part of Bonn in Germany) – Nikolaus ‘Klaus’ Barbie, “The Butcher of Lyons”, son of a bitter, angry World War 1 veteran wounded at Verdun and taken prisoner by the French. After World War 2 Barbie junior worked first for the British until 1947 and then joined the 66th Detachment of the US Army counter intelligence corps, who refused to hand him to the French for war crimes. In 1965 he joined the West German foreign intelligence agency, later emigrating to Bolivia, from where he was extradited to France in 1983. Convicted to life imprisonment in 1987, aged 74, he died 4 years later, at 77, of natural causes.


Accidents: Three die and 20 are injured in a train collision at Waterloo junction in London.


Society and culture: In Britain the “Spectator” magazine, announces the creation (before today’s accident) of a Royal Commission “to inquire into the relation between the railway companies and the State in respect of matters other than safety of working and conditions of employment, and to report what changes, if any, are desirable”. [Spectator, 25th October 2013].


Crime of Passion: In California, Mrs. Elizabeth Amelia Drown, after failing twice to shoot herself in her jealous grief for her husband’s affair with another woman, finds that the shots have woken her husband. His last words may well have been “What if I do love her? Go away. I’m going to bed.”


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