- A German by birth, he was imprisoned in Nazi camps during World War II
- At the camps he was waterboarded during torture sessions
- Time for Outrage became an inspiration for Occupy Wall Street movement
MailOnline, 27 February 2013
Stephane Hessel, the concentration camp survivor who inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement has died aged 95.
Mr Hessel who was a member of the French resistance passed away overnight in Paris according to his wife.
As a spy for the French Resistance, he survived the Nazi death camp at Buchenwald by assuming the identity of a French prisoner who was already dead.
As a diplomat, he helped write the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
And at age 93, after a distinguished but relatively anonymous life, he published a slim pamphlet that even he expected would be little more than a vanity project.
But Mr Hessel’s 32-page Time for Outrage sold millions of copies across Europe, tapping into a vein of popular discontent with capitalism and transforming him into an intellectual superstar within weeks.
Translated into English, the pocket-sized book became a source of inspiration for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
In the book, Mr Hessel urges young people to take inspiration from the anti-Nazi resistance to which he once belonged and rally against what he saw as the newest evil: The love of money.
This controversial, impassioned call-to-arms for a return to the ideals that fueled the French Resistance has sold millions of copies worldwide since its publication in France in October 2010. Rejecting the dictatorship of world financial markets and defending the social values of modern democracy, 93-old Stéphane Hessel — Resistance leader, concentration camp survivor, and former UN speechwriter — reminds us that life and liberty must still be fought for, and urges us to reclaim those essential rights we have permitted our governments to erode since the end of World War II.
“This slim but powerful volume answered the public’s need for a voice to articulate popular resentment of ruling-class ruthlessness, police brutality, stark income disparities, banking and political corruption, and victimization of the poor and immigrants.” (The Nation )
“INDIGNEZ-VOUS! is creating the sort of stir in France Emile Zola did in 1898, when he published J’Accuse!” (The National Post )
“Like a song you hum or a film you recommend to friends, INDIGNEZ-VOUS! crystallises the spirit of the time. To buy it is a militant act, a gesture towards community and participation in a collective emotion.” (Liberation )
‘The book urges the French, and everyone else, to recapture the wartime spirit of resistance to the Nazis by rejecting the “insolent, selfish” power of money and markets and by defending the social “values of modern democracy”. (The Independent )