Forward Thinking

Terror on the Rue des Rosiers

By Robert Zaretsky

  • Print
  • Share Share
getty images
Terror in the Jewish Quarter: Onlookers gather after a terrorist attack killed six people at a Jewish deli in Paris in 1982.

Thirty years ago today, a terrorist commando exploded into the famed Jewish restaurant Jo Goldenberg’s, located on the rue des Rosiers in the Marais district of Paris. Spraying machine gun fire and grenades, they killed six people, wounded nearly two dozen others and escaped by foot into the neighborhood’s dense warren of streets.

None of the hooded terrorists has ever been identified, much less caught by the French authorities.

The attack occurred just two years after the bomb blast at the synagogue on the Rue Copernic, which tore apart both worshippers inside the building as well as, in Prime Minister Raymond Barre’s unhappy phrase, “innocent French” bystanders. As with the attack at Jo Goldenberg’s, those responsible for the four deaths at Rue Copernic have been neither arrested nor identified.

In both cases, the French police and intelligence services pursued two lines of inquiry: a shadowy network of white supremacists—in particular FANE, the acronym for a group of Nazi sympathizers well to the right even of the National Front—and a spidery web of clandestine organizations sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

While the inquiries have led to little more than speculation and conspiracy-mongering, they nevertheless cast in an odd light another anniversary: 10 years ago, the octogenarian Jo Goldenberg announced his support of Jean-Marie Le Pen in that year’s presidential elections.

By then, M. Goldenberg no longer owned the delicatessen that still carried his name above the dull red bunting. Over the next few years, it encountered more mundane, yet perhaps more serious threats to its existence. A series of health code violations forced it to shut its doors for several months. While the owners finally dealt with the rats and roaches, they were powerless to halt the demographic and economic changes in the quickly gentrifying neighborhood. The deli finally closed for good in 2007.

Three years later, Le Temps des cerises, a woman’s clothing store, opened for business. Goldenberg’s name is now long since gone. But along with a commemorative plaque, there remain the holes in the façade left by the assassins’ bullets. Perhaps in another 30 years, they in turn will seem as ancient as the Egyptian relics at the Louvre


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: terrorist, paris, rue des rosier, jo goldenberg, anniversary

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.