They lived in a one-room apartment in the Jewish quarter of Buenos Aires. Large numbers of Europeans had immigrated to Argentina in the early 20th century, and among them were thousands of Eastern European Jews. Argentina, along with much of the Western world, witnessed the rise of vocal right-wing movements in the s and s, many drawing their inspiration from the success of Hitler in Nazi Germany. At 14 he joined Avuca, a Jewish youth organization, which spurred his interest in Jewish history and culture. Timerman became a strong supporter of the struggle for a Jewish homeland as a teenager, and his Zionism stood out as one of the central principles of his life and work. Although originally a student of engineering, Timerman turned to journalism in the s, a period of intense political turmoil in Argentina.
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He was The cause of death was a heart attack, his second this year, The Associated Press reported, quoting his son Hector. After he was driven into exile in , Mr. It was written in Israel, where Mr. Eventually, in , three years after the Argentine military dictatorship was overthrown, Mr. Timerman testified at the trial of some of his chief tormentors, notably Gen. Despite his usual impulse toward the humane, Mr. Timerman was of the opinion that all extremist regimes, left and right, were totalitarian.
He was a voluble and dedicated patriot, although Argentina was not his native country. Family accounts, rather imprecise and often colored by vanity, claim that the Timermans were prominent in the community and fought for Jewish rights. Timerman was born in Bar on Jan. When he was 5, the family fled Ukraine to escape the pogroms widespread there and settled in the 11th District of Buenos Aires, the heart of the Jewish quarter.
When he was 12, his father died, leaving his mother to support her two sons. They lived in a one-room apartment rent-free in exchange for serving as janitors of the tenement building. His mother, Mr. Two young friends in the group, who called themselves Socialist Zionists, were to have a lifelong influence on him, he said. Timerman joined the Youth League for Freedom, which backed the Allied cause at the time when the Argentine government was openly pro-German.
Ultimately, the police banned the league as a Communist front. Timerman was to maintain throughout his life that he was never a Communist. Timerman studied engineering in La Plata for a time. He started writing in , for several literary magazines. In he joined La Razon, a leading Buenos Aires newspaper, and soon won a reputation as a resourceful reporter with keen political insights.
A restless workaholic, Mr. Timerman also worked in radio and television, and, finally, with a group of other young journalists, founded a Time-like weekly news magazine called Primera Plana. He sold it in and founded Confirmidado, which also won popularity as a newsweekly, then sold it and founded La Opinion in May The newspaper, modeled on the liberal La Monde of Paris, was greeted with glee by politically minded intellectuals, many of whom welcomed its left-of-center stance, its profuse coverage of the arts and its pro-Israel politics.
La Opinion prospered, and when it reached a circulation of , in , Mr. Timerman sold a 45 percent interest in it to David Graiver, a young Jewish financier, who helped him build a modern printing plant and start a small book-publishing company, Timerman Editores. Timerman did, in any way, simplified his own political actions.
When Juan Domingo Peron returned from exile in and was re-elected president, the anti-fascist Mr. Timerman supported him. But his Peronist allegiance ended in after the death of Peron and the assumption of his office by his third wife, Isabel Martinez de Peron. Timerman continued to champion democratic institutions and human rights, irrespective of ideologies, taking positions that were to confound his interrogators later on.
Jorge Rafael Videla. But it soon became clear the military was to remain entrenched in power. Right-wing elements of the army embarked on a wave of terrorism, taking scores of dissenters into custody and killing thousands of desaparecidos -- the disappeared ones -- whose names Mr. Timerman regularly printed in his newspaper.
Gradually, the government began exerting pressure on La Opinion, withholding official advertising, harassing its reporters and even kidnapping some. Timerman regularly received death threats from the right and the terrorist left, often brazenly publishing responses to the threats on his front page. Early on April 15, , 20 armed men broke into Mr. He was held in three clandestine houses of confinement and two regular prisons for more than a year, during which he was beaten, given electric shocks to his genitals, put in solitary confinement under humiliating circumstances and interrogated endlessly.
During that time, and the 17 months of house arrest that followed, the reasons for Mr. Gravier, had used his international banking connections to help a left-wing terrorist faction called the Montoneros invest millions of dollars extorted through ransom.
The military further alleged that Mr. Timerman and Mr. Gravier were part of a Jewish-Marxist-Montonero conspiracy. Actually, Mr. During a period in which three separate judicial bodies cleared Mr. Timerman of all charges against him, his incarceration drew worldwide attention, with various people and institutions protesting the violation of his human rights. These included Henry A. After the Supreme Court for the second time ordered Mr.
He lived In Israel, in Manhattan and in Spain until , when the military dictatorship was replaced by a democratically elected government. Eventually, the government reimbursed him for that amount and he established homes in Buenos Aires and in Punta del Este, the Uruguayan resort. But he was beginning to come round, he added, and had begun work on his memoirs, writing in longhand for an hour or two each morning and afternoon. When he weakened, his son Javier said yesterday, he tape-recorded his remembrances with a co-author, Carlos Gabetta of Buenos Aires.
Timerman maintained his reputation for being an admirable but egoistic individualist, disinclined to mince words or shy from controversy. He also wrote dozens of magazine and newspaper articles. He is survived by three sons, Daniel, Hector and Javier, and eight grandchildren.
The family lived in the Jewish area of Buenos Aires , restricted by their poverty to occupying a single room. He met his future wife, Risha Mindlin,  at a Zionist conference in Mendoza. Her surname has also been reported as Midlin. In , Timerman founded Primera Plana , an Argentine news-weekly often compared to the American publication, Time magazine.
He was The cause of death was a heart attack, his second this year, The Associated Press reported, quoting his son Hector. After he was driven into exile in , Mr. It was written in Israel, where Mr. Eventually, in , three years after the Argentine military dictatorship was overthrown, Mr. Timerman testified at the trial of some of his chief tormentors, notably Gen. Despite his usual impulse toward the humane, Mr.
Jacobo Timerman, 76, the Torture Victim Who Documented Argentina's Shame, Dies
Argentinean journalist. Born in the small Ukrainian town of Bar, he migrated to Argentina at the age of five with his family. During the years —50 Timerman was a member of the editorial board of Nueva Sion, a Socialist-Zionist left-oriented biweekly published in Buenos Aires. He achieved his first great success with the newsmagazine Primera Plana —66 , followed by Confirmado —66 , both inspired by Time and Newsweek. Timerman condemned the arbitrary arrests and abductions by military forces, and published the writs of habeas corpus presented to the courts by the families of the desaparecidos the disappeared ones , particularly of journalists. In July Timerman was arrested, tortured, and held until , first clandestinely, then in a regular military prison, and finally under house arrest, although he was cleared by the judiciary of charges brought against him. Timerman was deported and stripped of his acquired Argentinean citizenship by the military Juntas.
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