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Blowitz, Henri Georges Stephane Adolphe Opper de

BLOWITZ, HENRI GEORGES STEPHANE ADOLPHE OPPER DE

BLOWITZ, HENRI GEORGES STEPHANE ADOLPHE OPPER DE (1825–1903), French journalist. As chief Paris correspondent of The Times, London, in 1875, he originated the technique of interviewing celebrities (among them Bismarck, the sultan of Turkey, and Pope Leo xiii). In 1875 Blowitz, by now influential in European political circles, exposed plans of the military party in Germany for a second invasion of France. Three years later, he obtained the full text of the Berlin Treaty while it was still being negotiated, enabling The Times to print it the day it was signed. Blowitz was born Adolf Opper in Bohemia, but in 1860 added the name of his birthplace to his surname. He left home at 15, traveled, learned several languages, and taught for some years at the lycée in Tours and then in Marseilles. He wrote for the Paris newspapers and though sometimes in conflict with the French authorities, became naturalized after the Battle of Sedan. At the close of the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), he helped to suppress the Commune at Marseilles by maintaining a private telegraph line to Versailles. Blowitz showed an excessive desire to remain detached from the Dreyfus Affair. He wrote short stories, comedies and My Memoirs (1903).

bibliography:

F. Giles, Prince of Journalists (1962), incl. bibl.

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