Maurice Olender, a vigilant anti-racist


Maurice Olender, the erudite historian and literary editor, died in Brussels on October 27th at the age of 76. Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel pays tribute here to his friend, a free thinker born into a family of survivors of the WWII genocide of the Jews, who unceasingly sounded the alarm over the gangrene of racism and those behind it.

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Maurice Olender died in his sleep at his home in Brussels on October 27th, at the age of 76. The night before, just hours before he closed his eyes forever, he sent me an email in which he wrote of the “metaphysical pathology” he suffered from, this idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, in which “idiopathic” signifies an illness of which the cause is unknown or uncertain. As such, it manifests itself “without being the consequence or the complication of another pathology”.