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Stéphane Hessel

Stéphane Hessel

Stéphane Frédéric Hessel (born 20 October 1917) is a diplomat, ambassador, writer, concentration camp survivor, former French Resistance fighter and BCRA agent. Born German, he became a naturalised French citizen in 1939. He participated in the editing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

In October 2010, his essay, Time for Outrage! (original French title: Indignez-vous!), was published in an edition of 6,000 copies. It has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into Basque, Catalan, Italian, German. Greek, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, Croatian, and Hebrew. Translations into Korean, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish and other languages are planned. In the United States, The Nation magazine's March 7–14, 2011 issue published the entire essay in English.

Hessel's booklet argues that the French need to again become outraged, as were those who participated in the Resistance during World War II. Hessel's reasons for personal outrage include the growing gap between the very rich and the very poor, France's treatment of its illegal immigrants, the need to re-establish a free press, the need to protect the environment, importance of protecting the French welfare system, and the plight of Palestinians, recommending that people read the September 2009 Goldstone Report. He calls for peaceful and non-violent insurrection.

In 2011, one of the names given to the Spanish protests against corruption and bipartisan politics was Los Indignados (the outraged), taken from the title of the book's translation there (¡Indignaos!). These protests, in conjunction with the Arab Spring, later helped to inspire other protests in many countries, including Greece, Israel, and Occupy Wall Street which began in New York's financial district, but has now spread across the United States and numerous other countries.


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