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"If the enemy triumphs, even the lifeless is not going to be protected …"

Qbarely eighty years separate us from these phrases – which right now sound sinister. After'escape recreation ("Escape recreation") "Portbou 1940" so as to save Walter Benjamin "- an obscene role-playing recreation which invited the contributors to relive their final days -, right here got here the darkish time, far more critical, of a totally totally different order, the time for a brand new instrumentalization of the destiny of the German thinker who killed himself to flee Nazism. A betrayal of a totally totally different scope.

Try and dediabolize, then normalize the RN

Certainly, on the flip of this system of Louis Aliot, deputy of the Nationwide Rally, and elected mayor on the city corridor of Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales), we uncover not with out shuddering his want to reopen the Walter-Benjamin artwork heart, right now closed, to make it a devoted place "To the creation and the obligation of reminiscence (organising of exhibitions, conferences, artist residences, in situ creations …)". Will we enable Walter Benjamin to grow to be a booty, a trophy, a struggle catch within the huge try and demonize, then normalize the Nationwide Rally which, for this function, doesn’t hesitate to evoke, along with Jewish reminiscence, the Gypsies and the tragic story of the Spanish Retirada (the exodus of 1000’s of Spanish Republicans through the civil struggle, from 1936 to 1939) ?

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Reminiscence and historical past oblige. They oblige us to recall and to do not forget that the social gathering of Mr. Aliot is positioned within the heritage of the nationalist political actions which, within the 1930s and 1940s, first in Germany, then in France and in Europe, compelled Benjamin to flee, persecuted him and in opposition to whom he all the time stood up. One in all many "anonymous" who should testify for them.

It’s pressing to wrest the title of Walter Benjamin from the fingers of the far proper and all those that rewrite historical past

It’s pressing to recollect them, their struggles, and to take the complete measure in our current of this horrible sentence: "If the enemy triumphs, even the lifeless is not going to be protected. And this enemy has not completed triumphing. "

It’s pressing to tear out the title of Walter Benjamin – to make it protected – from the fingers of the far proper and all those that rewrite historical past, as soon as once more, in ink with yesterday's oppressors whereas 'They stigmatize, in all its varieties, the foreigner and the migrant.

Learn additionally Walter Benjamin, a thinker in France

We’re satisfied that the reminiscence of what was performed in Portbou for Walter Benjamin as for therefore many others, a stone's throw from Perpignan, obliges us to react with the best readability. "No pasaran" (reference to the slogan of the republicans through the civil struggle). It’s on this spirit of resistance to all types of forgetting and manipulating our collective reminiscence that we firmly oppose, and by all out there means, that the title of Walter Benjamin be related to the reopening an artwork heart in Perpignan, below the mandate of a mayor belonging to the Nationwide Gathering.

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