Streets, passages, neighborhoods and even a subway station in the City of Buenos Aires bear the name of Jean Jaurès. But who was and what did this historical character, who receives so much homage in our daily lives, do? Let’s see.
In 1914, the First World War began and a coldly executed crime helped precipitate the conflict. Because a single match can set a forest on fire. It was the murder of one of the most lucid men that France gave to humanity: Jean Jaurès.
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A criminal hand extinguished forever the multifaceted life of this journalistbut also politician, orator and philosopher.
An illiterate person can throw a stone into the sea and a thousand wise men could not recover it.
Almost in the middle of the 20th century, the assassinations of Gandhi in 1948, Kennedy in 1963, and Luther King in 1969 occurred. But the story of Jean Jaures, a total idealist, deserves a separate chapter.
Jean Jaures doctor of philosophy. He was a young man, still single, 26 years old, when he assumed the position of deputy, something unusual for the time. Journalism also attracted him. Very young he traveled to Algeria, then a French colony. The word colonialism always seemed to him a denial of the most sacred thing that peoples possess: the right to their freedom.
But the combative leader that guarded his personality had not yet crystallized, along with a standard-bearer of morality and dignity, as he was later. It was the time of the conviction and exile of Captain Dreyfuss, who was falsely accused of having supplied military secrets to the German government.
Jean Jaures was worried about France and its institutions. And he had some doubts about the legitimacy of the Dreyfuss trial.
One day in January 1898 –at the age of 40-, Jean Jaures set out to read –like every morning- the newspaper “La Aurora”. An eight-column title that read – “I Accuse” – impressed him.
Emilio Zolathe great French writer had begun the battle for the dignity of the human being, in this circumstance Jean Jaures read the article that was actually a copy of a letter from Emilio Zolá to the president of France, in which he denounced the sum of vested interests to convict Dreyfuss.
He sensed where truth and justice lay and made the decision to line up next to Zolato whom the minister of war had already initiated a criminal trial.
Jean Jaures made an appeal – let us remember that he was also attorney– before the Chamber of Deputies, in favor of Dreyfuss’ claim and requested to also testify in the process against Zolá.
There for thirty minutes electrified the crowd that occupied the court. He knew that his intervention would put the enemies of the light on their feeble shoulders.
A microbe can push a slander and a giant will not be able to stop it
Jaures voluntarily chose that path. the way of the dignity, which is such a noble feeling, that it compensates for the losses it causes. She knew that the fight could take her. What Jean Jaures could not do was accept a reproach from his conscience. He was not unaware that the whole thing was a veritable mock trial.
The result – the non-claiming of Dreyfuss and the sentence to the writer Zolá to a year in prison – had been dictated in advance.
In 1903, at the age of 44, while still a deputy, he was elected vice president of the Chamber. In that room, he revealed to French public opinion decisive data regarding the most scandalous judicial process of the 19th century, which would culminate in the total and final acquittal of Captain Dreyfuss.
Eight years later, Jean Jaurés would visit Argentina, where he gave several conferences.
And he arrived in 1914. He was 55 years old. On July 31 of that year, a criminal murdered this illustrious intellectual. His death was possibly one of the triggers that ignited the spark of the First World War. With him, the “Belle Époque” concluded.
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Perhaps history does not show us a more perfect example of coincidence between the end of a man and the beginning of a sad stage of humanity. He was one of those beings who fought for the impossible. And they made it possible.
And this man, who fought for truths that were born breezes, but that were cyclonesbrings to mind this aphorism.
“A single outbreak of justice justifies plowing a desert.”