A Renault belonging to famed Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld exploded at their home in France on this day in 1979. The Klarsfeds had been the target of a car bomb planted supposedly by ODESSA, an international organization established by SS Nazi officers. The bomb missed their target and the Klarsfelds went on to continue seeking out Nazi officers to bring them to justice for their war crimes. The couple, a son of a Jew killed at Auschwitz and the daughter of a Wehrmacht soldier, pursued infamous Nazis such as “Butcher of Leon” Gestapo member Klaus Barbie, Vichy French civil servants Rene Bousquet and Jean Leguay, and French Nazi collaborator Paul Touvier, to seek prosecution against them for war crimes. The Klarsfelds once attempted to abduct Kurt Lischka, a former Gestapo chief from Cologne, West Germany, in order to hand him over to French authorities for prosecution. The couple was convicted of felony charges and sentenced to two months in prison for the abduction attempt, however, the sentence was overturned due to international protest. Lischka in indeed captured and was later convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison.
The Klarsfelds’ activism regularly endangered them on this day in 1979 they became the target of a car bombing. Their Renault was parked at their home in France when the bomb detonated, which destroyed the car. No one was in the Renault when the bomb detonated, and no injuries were reported. ODESSA claimed responsibility for the attack and demanded the Klarsfelds stop pursuing former Nazis. However, many people think it is unlikely that ODESSA was behind the attack.