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Editorial

Gene was the stalwart of stalwarts at L’Humanité in English

Farewell Eugène Zbikowski

Translated Tuesday 3 November 2015, by Humanité in English Team

Gene Zbikowski, militant and faithful contributor to l’Humanité in English,
always one of out most talented and careful translators, died from cardiac problems, while bicycling not far from his home, on 31 October.

Gene has been the stalwart of stalwarts in our project of translation to English of articles drawn from l’Humanité.

His faith in the working class, in the labor movement, the peace movement, and in education was unshakeable. He always took care to select for translation the most crucial and dynamic articles on these subjects. During difficult periods, Gene was always
there for us, ready to work. Our "editors" always "pounced" on his articles, from the list of those to be approved, because his translations were invariably "sans-faute", impeccable, and they could be approved for translation in a few seconds.

Looking back at the translations Gene wrote during our eight years of joint work on this project, 640 articles in all, over one-fifth of our entire production, we find that his first article, in 2007, concerned the visit of the newly appointed prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, to the NATO headquarters,in the context Abe’s plan to remilitarise Japan, to support the US plan to transform NATO into a global police force, and to use Japanese soldiers for US wars in the middle east. This translation by Gene set the pace and style for an admirable militant engagement.

Since our work is carried out over the world-wide web, few of us had the opportunity to meet Gene in person, but we all had a keen sense that Gene was a dear friend and faithful comrade. Fortunately, he and Hervé did have a chance to meet during a trip by Gene to Paris.

Exchanging remarks with Gene by electronic mail was a delight. We will miss him, and send our condolences to his family and friends, with sadness, and with deep respect for a fine and principled man with whom we were privileged to work.

May You Rest in Peace, Gene.


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