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France's spirit of resistance, Stéphane Hessel, dies at the age of 95


Stéphane Hessel, the French resistance hero, diplomat and writer who became an icon of anti-capitalist protests, died today in Paris.

Hessel, 95, inspired the “Indignant” movements in Europe and the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in the US with his 2010 book, Indignez vous! (Time for Outrage), which sold more than four million copies worldwide. He urged young people to resist the “insolent, selfish” power of money and markets.

Born in Berlin in 1917, Hessel emigrated to France when he was eight. He was arrested by the Germans as an agent of Charles de Gaulle’s Free French in July 1944 but survived the Nazi concentration camps.

After the war, he had a 40-year career as a French and UN diplomat. The French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said: “In France, in Europe, in the world, Stéphane Hessel was the spirit of resistance incarnate.”