TorrèS, Henry

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TORRÈS, HENRY (1891–1966), French lawyer and politician. Born in Les Andelys, Torrès practiced law in Bordeaux and in 1919 moved to Paris. A communist in his youth, he published Histoire d'un complot (1921) protesting against the arrest of militant communists after World War i but later joined the Socialist Party and was a radical socialist deputy from 1932 to 1936. He became famous for the fiery eloquence of his advocacy as a defense counsel. His reputation reached its peak in 1926 with his successful defense of Shalom *Schwarzbard, who assassinated the Ukrainian leader Simon *Petlyura. By using the evidence of the pogroms initiated by Petlyura against the Ukrainian Jews, Torrès obtained Schwarzbard's acquittal. After the Nazi invasion of France, Torrès fled to the United States. In America he campaigned against the Pétain regime in France, publishing La France trahie: Pierre Laval (1941; Eng. tr., 1941) and La Machine infernale (1942; Campaign of Treachery, 1942) and edited La Voix de France from 1942 to 1943, a political journal for French refugees in New York. After World War ii, Torrès returned to France and from 1948 to 1958 was a Gaullist senator for the Seine department. Vice president of the High Court of Justice from 1956 to 1958, he was also president of the French broadcasting authority (rtf).

Torrès was the author of several political and historical works, among them Le Procès des Pogromes (1927) describing his defense of Schwarzbard, and France, terre de liberté (1940). He also wrote plays with a legal background including French versions of the Trial of Mary Dugan by Bayard Veiller (1928), and Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie (1956).

[Shulamith Catane]

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TorrèS, Henry

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