Tribute by Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, to Jorge Semprún

With Jorge Semprún, we lose both a major writer and a great witness to our time, its struggles and its dramas.

Exiled, resistant, deported, this man who often put his life on the line, this writer who knew how to take the risks of his commitments, will have also experienced the joy of being recognized by his contemporaries – both in Spain, where he was a minister of culture passionate about his task, that in France, where the major author he had become had chosen the French language as his second homeland.

The brilliant novelist elected to the Goncourt Academy was also a remarkable writer, one of some of the most beautiful films by Alain Resnais or Costa-Gavras, “War is Over”, “Stavisky”, “Z”, “Confession”. For cinema, as in his novels, Jorge Semprún knew how to transpose magnificently what was at the very heart of his concerns and inspiration: the freedom, dignity and honour of the human condition. Jorge Semprún, for whom «the unspeakable is what cannot be silenced», will remain for us all one of the most beautiful figures of the thinker committed to the service of the European ideal.