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New Left Review 64, July-August 2010


adolfo gilly

Interview

‘WHAT EXISTS CANNOT BE TRUE’

How would you describe your background and political formation?

I was born in Buenos Aires in 1928. My father was a lawyer, though he had been a lieutenant in the Navy before that; my mother was a housewife. My paternal grandfather was an Italian immigrant, with the surname Malvagni. Gilly was my mother’s maiden name, possibly of French origin; I later adopted it as my nom de plume, since in Argentina your mother’s name doesn’t appear on your passport. My first political activity came in 1943, when I joined the local Comité de Gaulle, without really knowing what it was, out of sympathy with the Free French. France always had a large cultural influence on Argentina, and de Gaulle of all the leaders had not surrendered to the invaders. The first political demonstration I went to was to celebrate the liberation of Paris in August 1944, at the age of sixteen. The following year, there was a general strike in Buenos Aires, with mass mobilizations of workers in October that forced the military government to call elections, which the Junta’s Labour Minister, Juan Domingo Perón, won in February 1946.

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