French anti-nazi fighter tops bestseller list


This video says about itself:

Stéphane Hessel – Time for Outrage

28 September 2011

Thom Hartmann talks with Stéphane Hessel, diplomat, ambassador, concentration camp survivor, former French Resistance fighter and BCRA agent. Born German, he became a naturalised French citizen in 1939. He participated in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Author of several books, including “Time for Outrage” (recently published for the first time in the U.S.) , about the [duty] for people to stand up and fight for their liberties.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Political essay by 93-year-old tops Christmas bestseller list in France

Resistance hero Stéphane Hessel stuns publishing world with 30-page work that calls on readers to be outraged about society

* Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
* Sunday 26 December 2010 21.05 GMT

Proving that age is no boundary to publishing success, the French book world has been taken by storm by a surprise Christmas bestseller: a political call to arms by Stéphane Hessel, 93.

The unlikely publishing sensation is a former resistance hero whose 30-page essay, Indignez-vous!, calls on readers to get angry about the state of modern society.

Launched in October by Indigène, a small publisher working out of an attic in Montpellier, southern France, the book had a tiny first print-run, 6,000, and sold for €3, unprecedentedly cheap in a country where book prices are regulated and kept high by the law. …

The book’s soaring sales reflect a general mood of French exasperation at the social inequalities of Nicolas Sarkozy‘s presidency. But the phenomenon is mostly down to Hessel’s charisma and his life story.

Hessel was born in Berlin in 1917 and emigrated to France aged seven. His free-spirited mother, Helen Grund-Hessel, inspired the novel Jules et Jim, which became Francois Truffaut’s film about a love-triangle of two male friends and a woman who loves them both. During the Nazi occupation of France, Hessel joined the French resistance, was caught, tortured and and deported to Buchenwald and Dora concentration camps where he escaped hanging. After the war, he helped to draft the universal declaration of human rights and later became a diplomat.

Hessel’s book argues that French people should re-embrace the values of the French resistance, which have been lost, which was driven by indignation, and French people need to get outraged again. “This is an appeal to citizens, young and old, to take responsibility for the things in our society that don’t work,” he said. “I wish every one of you to find your own reason for indignation. It’s precious.” Hessel’s reasons for personal outrage include the growing gap between the very rich and the very poor, France’s shocking treatment of its illegal immigrants, the need to re-establish a free press, protecting the environment, the plight of Palestinians and the importance of protecting the French welfare system. He calls for peaceful and non-violent insurrection.

The full title of Hessel‘s book is Indignez-vous ! (pour une insurrection pacifique).

1 thought on “French anti-nazi fighter tops bestseller list

  1. Pingback: Vidal Sassoon, anti-nazi hairdresser, dies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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