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2023Jorge Semprun 1923-2011 - Set

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  • 20.11.2023
About Jorge Semprun 1923-2011

On November 20, 2023, La Poste issues a stamp on Jorge SEMPRÚN, Spanish writer and politician on the occasion of the centenary of his birth.

Spanish writer and politician, Jorge Semprún (Madrid, 1923-Paris, 2011) wrote most of his literary work in French.

Coming from a Spanish upper-middle-class family, young Jorge settled in France with his family in 1939, after the defeat of the Republicans. He completed his secondary studies in Paris, obtained his baccalaureate in 1941 and began studying philosophy at the Sorbonne.

Having joined the Resistance, he joined the Spanish Communist Party in 1942. He joined a clandestine network which received arms drops and distributed them among the maquis of Yonne and Côte-d'Or. Arrested by the Gestapo, Semprún was deported to Buchenwald. Shortly before the arrival of American troops, he participated in the camp uprising. Released in April 1945, he returned to Paris.

He remains an active member of the Spanish Communist Party. From 1953 to 1962, he coordinated the communist resistance to the Franco regime, making several long stays in Spain under false identities. He joined the central committee of the PCE in 1954 then the political bureau in 1956 and carried out several missions in Eastern countries.

From 1988 to 1991, Semprún served as Minister of Culture in the socialist government of Felipe González.

He died in Paris on June 7, 2011 and was buried “in the Spanish Republican flag”.

Jorge Semprún is the author of novels, autobiographical stories, plays and screenplays (for Costa-Gavras, Resnais, Losey, etc.) for which he has received numerous awards. A recurring theme in his work is the denunciation of the horrors of war. Many of his works are thus a testimony to the terrible experience lived in the clutches of the Gestapo and at Buchenwald. Others retrace his clandestine journey during the period of Francoism. Finally, a significant part of his work concerns his life in exile in France and the post-Franco years: L'Algarabie, La Montagne blanche and Federico Sánchez salutes you well.