Ravachol

On trial for murder after a series of bombings, Ravachol attempted to give the following speech, not to deny his guilt, but to accept and explain it. According to contemporary accounts, he was cut off after a few words, and the speech was never delivered. He was guillotined shortly afterwards.

…We will quickly understand that the anarchists are right when they say that in order to have moral and physical peace, the causes that give birth to crime and criminals must be destroyed. We won’t achieve these goals in suppressing he who, rather than die a slow death caused by the privations he had and will have to put up with, without any hope of ever seeing them end, prefers, if he has the least bit of energy, to violently take that which can assure his well-being, even at the risk of death, which would only put an end to his sufferings….

On the morning of July 11, 1892 Ravachol was executed. The following telegram was sent announcing his death.

Justice was done this morning at 4:05 without incident or demonstration of any kind. He was awakened at 3:40. The condemned man refused the intervention of a chaplain and declared that he had no revelations to make. At first pale and trembling he soon demonstrated an affected cynicism and exasperation at the foot of the scaffold at the moment preceding the execution. In a hoarse voice he sang a few blasphemous and revoltingly obscene lyrics. He didn’t pronounce the word anarchy, and as his head was put in place he gave out a last cry of “Long Live the Re…” Complete calm reigned in the city. Report to follow.

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