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Pierre Goldman, (Lyon, June 22, 1944 – September 20, 1979 in Paris) was a French left-wing intellectual who was convicted of several robberies and assassinated mysteriously. It has been suspected that the Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación (GAL) death squad was involved in his murder. His half-brother Jean-Jacques Goldman is a popular French singer.

Contents

Biography

Pierre Goldman was born near the end of World War II, the illegitimate son of Alter Mojze Goldman and Janine Sochaczewska, who were active in the FTP-MOI Resistant movement composed of immigrants [1]. After the Liberation, his parents separated, and his father kidnapped him with a group of former FTP-MOI members. Thereafter, he only had contacts from time to time with his mother, who returned to Poland. In travel there, Goldman visited Auschwitz [1]. Excluded from various high-schools and boarding schools, he obtained his baccalauréat and followed, as an independent auditor, courses in the Sorbonne. In 1963, he integrated the Union des Etudiants Communistes [1]. In 1966, he refused to do his military service, and travelled to Cuba, where he heard Fidel Castro at the occasion of the Tricontinental Conference in January 1966 [1]. Still in La Havana for the funerary eve after Che Guevara's death, he then met Venezuelan guerrilleros through the intermediary of Régis Debray [1].

Returning to Paris, he remained distant towards May '68 activism. In June 1968, he returned to Venezuela, and spent there a year in guerrilla activities. On June 11, 1969, After the attack of an arms depot, his group withdrew in the sierra, and then lost all support from Cuba who had rallied to the Venezuelan government's side. Goldman's then robbed the Royal Bank of Canada in Puerto La Cruz on June 11, 1969, taking 2,6 million Bolivars (the biggest hold-up of that year [1]), a robbery later claimed by the FALN guerrilla [1]. Of his comrades, only Goldman was not identified, and he fled afterwards to Paris, in September 1969 [1].

Having quickly spent his remaining money, he staged several robberies of small businesses, in December 1969 and January 1970. During this period, he reportedly considered kidnapping the writer Jean-Edern Hallier, whom he profoundly disliked. [1]. In 1974, he was given a life-sentence by the Paris cour d'assises, after being convicted of a bloody robbery on December 19, 1969, on the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir near Place de la Bastille in Paris, in which two pharmacists were killed. He denied having committed this robbery, although he admitted to three earlier robberies [1]. He was condemned to 12 years in prison for the other three robberies and given a life sentence for the December 1969 assassination [1].

During the five years he spent in prison, he studied philosophy and Spanish, and wrote a book on his own case, Souvenirs obscurs d'un juif polonais né en France (Obscure Memories of a Polish Jew Born in France), published in 1975. The impact of the book on some French intellectuals and personalities, including the actress Simone Signoret, the writer Françoise Sagan, Jean-Paul Sartre and Régis Debray, etc. [1], plus many inconsistencies recorded during the investigation led to a second trial, which started on April 26, 1976. He was finally acquitted for good and freed in October 1976 [1]. Afterward, he contributed to left-wing newspapers, joining the Temps Modernes and Libération [1].

September 20, 1979 assassination

On September 20, 1979, he was assassinated at point-blank range in Paris. Eye-witnesses described three Spanish-looking persons. The police first suspected the Mafia, however the murder was revendicated to the AFP news agency in the name of an unknown far-right group, Honneur de la police (Honour of the Police). Pierre Goldman's funeral was followed by 15,000 persons. A few hours after his death, his wife Christiane gave birth to a son, Manuel.

The perpetrators of Pierre Goldman's murder haven't been found. Various theories exist. The most serious one points to Marseilles' criminal underground, which would have assassinated him on behalf of the GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación), a death squad set up by Spanish officials to fight ETA in the 1980s. Pierre Goldman allegedly was helping ETA get weapons and planned to create an organization to fight the GAL. On the other side, VSD magazine points out toward the French secret services — while the former police officer Lucien Aimé-Blanc, in charge of the Narcotics Department, also pointed out to the presence of a SDECE officer.

In April 2006, Libération published an interview of former police officer Lucien Aimé-Blanc, who stated that one of his informants, Jean-Pierre Maïone, had admitted, a few years later, having killed Goldman on behalf of the GAL:

Marseille boys members of GAL killed him with Maïone, who also talked about a commandant, former member of the SDECE [French secret service], without revealing me his identity. [2]

Bibliography

  • Souvenirs obscurs d'un juif polonais né en France, Le Seuil, 1975.
  • L'ordinaire mésaventure d'Archibald Rapoport (1977)

Books about him:

  • La vie rêvée de Pierre Goldman by Antoine Casubolo (2005, ISBN 2-35076-007-3)
  • Pierre Goldman, le frère de l'ombre by Michaël Prazan, (2005, ISBN 2-02-067895-0)
  • Matricule 518.941-2.87 : prison de Fresnes : correspondance d'un prévenu avec son professeur, Amnassar (2005, ISBN 2-35073-044-1)

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Michaël Prazan, L'assassinat de Pierre Goldman (2005) - film documentary
  2. ^ " 'Mon indic a flingué Pierre Goldman', entretien avec Lucien Aimé-Blanc" in Libération, April 20, 2006 (French)

External links

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