Haguenau: Prison pour cobayes de laboratoire

Publié le par Jacqueline de Croÿ

  

Haguenau: Prison pour cobayes de laboratoire

Par Jacqueline de Croÿ

Haguenau: Prison for laboratory guinea-pigs'

Bruxelles, le 14 avril 2007

          Cela s'est passé en France en 1970. Il était jeune et inconscient. Un belge l'avait embarqué dans des cambriolages, ce qu'il voyait comme un jeu et le mena à une condamnation à trois ans de prison, à l'âge de 22 ans. Par malchance, un gardien se mit entre un prisonnier et lui pour les séparer lors d’une bagarre et  il prit son poing dans la figure. Condamné à un an supplémentaire pour cela,  il fit une grève de la faim, demandant son transfert dans une autre prison.

Il fut envoyé à Haguenau, un ancien hôpital militaire et bourgeois, devenu une prison de femme en 1822 et n'aurait connu qu’une sombre époque durant la guerre, quand l’armée allemande y avait enfermé les résistants et prisonniers politiques.  Après la guerre, Haguenau était redevenu une prison de femme, puis serait devenu une maison d’arrêt mixte en 1957, pour les présumés innocents en l'attente de leur jugement, selon les historiens.   

Les prisonniers y auraient bénéficié d’activités sportives journalières suivies de douches obligatoires, de cours, d'atelier et de séances de cinéma dominicale. Un quartier disciplinaire au sous-sol aurait été une "cellule sans télévision". Une annexe de la prison aurait été réservée aux psychopathes, peu nombreux, que le personnel pénitentiaire était tenu de considérer comme des personnes normales. Il y avait des miradors, et les gardiens avaient ordre de tirer sur les prisonnier qui tentaient de s’échapper, mais ceux confinés à l'isolation n’avaient pas droit aux promenades collectives.  

En 1970, il n'y avait aucune femme à Haguenau, pas même parmi le personnel. Le prisonnier était accueilli par le psychiatre qui lui posait cinq questions, puis le faisait attacher à un lit durant quinze jours, en complète isolation. Il était injecté des neuroleptiques matin et soir, maintenu dans un état semi comateux,  jusqu'à ce qu'il accepte le remplacement de la piqûre par un verre plein de neuroleptique buvable, qu'il devait prendre jusqu'à la dernière goutte devant le gardien. Il pouvait alors tenir sur ses jambes et rejoindre la promenade collective.   

Tous les prisonniers étaient sous les mêmes doses massives de neuroleptiques. L’immobilisation de longue durée est une torture physique et mentale considérée inhumaine dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques, dés lors qu’elle excède de deux à trois jours. Il s'agissait d'un "lavage de cerveau chimique", seul traitement capable d'obtenir que la totalité des prisonniers acceptent la drogue.   

Le prisonnier allait en suite apprendre que les médecins choisissaient certains pour évaluer les limites physique et mentales humaines : qu'en cas de bonne conduite, il suffisait de dire "non merci", pour être à nouveau attaché à son lit durant quinze jours. 

Il a  entendu un homme gémir qu’il était en train de mourir, et qui est mort sans qu’un médecin ne vienne le détacher. Il a entendu un autre homme crier qu’il devenait fou, jusqu’à ce que ses paroles n’aient de sens et qu'une ambulance l'emmène, preuve qu'il n'y avait aucune annexe réservée aux psychopathes. Il a vu  des hommes manger des cuillères tordues pour pouvoir se reposer à l'hôpital. Il a entendu un gardien dire à un autre:- "Voilà un bon médecin".  

"Je n'ai pas connu la période 'Club Med' de Haguenau. Je n'ai  jamais été informé de 'séances de cinéma dominicale' ou 'd'activité sportive'. Il était interdit de jouer au football dans la cour et les prisonniers ne pouvaient prendre de douche que le dimanche. Il n'y avait pas plus de télévision dans les cellules que dans le quartier disciplinaire. J’y ai été attaché, injecté des barbituriques durant quatre mois et demi, soit environ un quart de ma peine passé à Haguenau", dit-il.    

Les travaux forcés en France étaient alors indissociables de la peine de prison jusqu’à la loi du 22 juin 1987, réduisant les prisonniers à l’esclavage, dans ce qui s'appelaient des "ateliers". Un prisonnier projeta de l'essence sur lui et l'immola, preuve d’un savant contrôle des neuroleptiques.  De retour de l'hôpital, le corps entièrement brûlé, il fut attaché à son lit. Il était détaché matins et soirs pour être ramené à l'hôpital afin de changer ses bandages, preuve qu'il ne s'agissait pas d'une prison hôpital. Le psychiatre lui dit alors qu'en vue d'éviter qu'il ne se venge, celui qui l'avait brûlé garderait le traitement ordinaire, et il resterait en isolation, jusqu'à la fin de sa peine.

Il fut relâché avec plus de neuroleptique que de sang dans les veines, sans désintoxication préalable.  Son corps s'est rapidement dérobé dans de violents tremblements.   

La prison, un monument néoclassique construit entre 1783 et 1788, a été fermée et  en 1986, un an avant l'abolition de l'esclavage des prisonniers, puis partiellement détruite  en raison d’un "champignon dans la charpente".  La partie centrale du bâtiment, apparemment sans champignons, a été transformée en une ludothèque, inaugurée en 2001.

C'était une prison sèche, assure le rescapé de Haguenau, qui  n'imagine pas qu'un champignon ait pu s'y plaire, ou soit invincible au point de justifier la destruction d'une prison (et bâtiment historique vieux de 200 ans) alors que la France manque autant de cellules pour ses prisonniers.  

Les historiens ne parlent que de l'époque où la prison ne détenait que des femmes, dont Violette Nozière, célèbre dans les années trente pour avoir empoisonné son père incestueux, mais également sa mère, dans le but de lui épargner la honte, la culpabilité et les remords d'avoir fermé les yeux.   

Le silence qui entoure ce qui s'est  passé là sous la houlette de médecins  français, du nombre de prisonniers transformés de force en cobayes de laboratoire involontaires, on imagine que la véritable raison de sa fermeture cache autre chose.

It happened in 1970. He was young and reckless. A Belgian guy had shown him the way to burgle houses, what he saw as a game, which led him to a three years of prison sentence whereas he was 22-years-old. By bad luck, a warden came between him and another prisoner at the time of a brawl, and his fist accidentally hit his facet. Sentenced  to an additional year for that, he made a hunger strike, asking his transfer in another prison.  

He had then been sent to Haguenau, a former military and bourgeois and hospital, according to historians', which would have known just one gloomy period during the war, when the German army used it to lock members of the underground army and political prisoner. After the war, Haguenau returned to a woman' prison, then would have become a mixed prison as from 1957 for the alleged innocents in waiting of their judgement, according to the historians.   

The prisoners would have benefited from daily sports activities followed by compulsory showers, from studies, from workshops and Sunday film shows. A disciplinary district at the basement would have been a "cell without television". An appendix of the prison would have been reserved for the psychopaths, very few that the penitentiary staff was to treat as normal people.  There were watchtowers, and guards had order to shoot at any prisoner who tried to escape, but those who where confined to isolation did not have right to the collective walks.

In 1970, there were no women at Haguenau, not even among the staff. The prisoner was greeted by a psychiatrist who asked him five questions, then had him tied to a bed for two weeks, in full isolation. He was injected nerve sedatives morning and evening, maintained in a semi coma until he accepted the replacement of the injection by a glass full of drinkable sedative, which he had to take to the last drop  in front of the warden.  He would then be able to hold on his legs and join the collective walk.    

All the prisoners were under the same massive doses nerve sedative. Long period immobilization is a physical and mental torture considered inhuman in the psychiatric hospitals, for as long it exceeds between two to three days. It acted of a "chemical brainwash", only possible treatment that would enable to obtain that all the prisoners accept the drugs.   

The prisoner was then going to learn that the doctors would chose some to evaluate the human physical and mental limit, and in case of good conduct, it was enough to say "no thank you", to be tied back to his bed for two weeks.

He has heard a man moaning that he was dying, and who died without a doctor coming to untie him. He has heard another man shouting that he was becoming mad, until his words had no more sense and that an ambulance came to take him away, proof that there was no quarter reserved to psychopaths.  He has seen men eating twisted spoons to be able to rest at hospital. He  has heard a guard saying to another:- "That is a good doctor".   

"I have not known the 'Club Med' period of Haguenau. I was never been informed of 'Sunday film shows' or 'sports activities'. It was forbidden to play football in the yard  and the prisoners could only take a shower on Sunday. There weren't any more television in the cells than in the disciplinary quarter. I was tied, injected sleeping medicine for four and a half months, thus around a quarter of the time I spent at Haguenau", he said.   

 Forced labour was not dissociable from the prison sentence then, until the law of June 22, 1987, reducing the prisoners to slavery in what was called "workshops". A prisoner had thrown benzene at him and immolated him. Back from the hospital, his entire body burned, he was tied to his bed for weeks. He was untied every morning and evening to go back to hospital and change his bandages, proof that Haguenau was not a hospital prison. He was then told that in order to prevent he might want to take revenge, the man who had immolated him would keep the normal treatment, and he would stay in isolation until the end of his sentence.

He was released with more nerve sedatives than blood in the veins, without previous treatment to cure the intoxication: his body quickly withdrew in violent shakings. 

The prison, a neo-classic monument built between 1783 and 1788, was closed in 1986, a year before the law abolishing the slavery of prisoners, then partially destroyed due to a "mushroom in its wooden frame".  

It was a dry prison, assures the Haguenau survivor, who cannot imagine that a mushroom could have settle there, invincible at the point to justify the destruction of a prison (and 200-years-old historical building), whereas do not have enough cells for its prisoners.  The middle part of building, presumably without mushroom, was transformed into a game library, inaugurated in 2001.

Historians just talk of the time the prison detained only women, among which Violette Nozière, famous in the thirties for having poisoned her incestuous father, but also her mother, to save her from the shame, the culpability and the remorse of having closed her eyes.

The silence that surrounds what has happened there under the guidance of French doctors, the number of prisoners  transformed by force into unwilling laboratory guinea-pigs,  one imagines the true reason for closing hides something else.

Histoire officielle de la prison de Haguenau.  Official history of the Haguenau prison

 http://www.netcomete.com/prison.html

Publié dans FR - GB - IT

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Brian Douglas 14/04/2007 19:32

The History of this Prison clearly demonstrates the terrible abuses that are all to often heaped upon prisoners against their will. These are not punishments but cases of outright torture and Human Rights abuses.
I might add that in the World today it is beyond doubt that there are many cases of inhumane treatment carried out on prisoners and every case needs opening up, plus the culprits need also bringing to justice for their crimes.
I am delighted that the Princess de Croy foundation is again leading the way in openly exposing these Human Rights abuses and you are assured of my continued support.

Jacqueline de Croÿ 15/04/2007 08:32

Thank you Brian, it is good to have you with us.
These men have been brainwashed that they had no rights. They were taught they were no more men, not even numbers.
None of the Haguenau prisoners were alleged innocents in waiting for their judgment. No judge could possibly have condemned the vegetables they became in a couple of weeks. All had already been condemned, thus no more likely to raise the sympathy of the press.
If those “historians” have retained this lullaby about prisoners in waiting for their judgment, it might be to justify the unusually short period prisoners would stay there: an unusually high percentage deaths and those who definitely lost their minds had to be sent to a psychiatric hospital. One can also imagine the accidents that happened, with those men working with tools, yet saturated of nerve sedatives. Many might also have been sent there to “teach them a lesson” for having complained about another prison and asked a transfer.
They were subject to all sorts of accusations, which aimed at justifying the treatment they endured. Most of them had hardly gone to school and thought of having wrongly been diagnosed psychotic, not realising it was no hospital, or else there could not have been forced labour.
Our survivor has a strong character, and is naturally very outspoken, but when he talks of Haguenau, he becomes incredible quiet, as if it still hurts secretly.  I believe him very bright, yet he seemed surprised when I told him that the case had all the characters of crime against humanity: mass and collusion.
We are definitely going to file a complaint to the EEC, but we don’t know where it is going to end, as we’d need more means: lawyers, detectives to find other survivors, etc. Most organisations and journalists don't care for those "old cases". France obviously tries to hide what has happened.
Here is the translation of the only comment found on Internet of a former prisoner (who is not our survivor), on the site that makes the Haguenau prison appear as a holiday camp:
“…For having been there three times, I do not have such an idyllic vision of the place. For Haguenau Dr. Mr., ex doctor of the prison and Dr. W, ex psychiatrist could have testified... ALL the prisoners were under nerve sedatives with amounts that you cannot imagine... yes, yes! The under-ground floor was the cooler. I step foot there once, it was worthy of the Spanish inquisition under Torquemada, yes, yes! ..”