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!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • 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.