Rue Rollin

Arrondissement 5

Number: 4

Moving often around cheap rooms Zola lived for a few months in 1860-1861 in one at No. 4 after being thrown out of his Rue St Victor room for non-payment of his rent.

Henri Curiel, the major Egyptian-born internationalist activist, a supporter of the Algerian FLN and founder of the Sundanese-Egyptian Communist Party, also lived here on the 7th floor. He was assassinated coming out of the lift there on May 4 197 after the right-wing press mounted a campaign against him, claiming he was ‘a terrorist boss’.

Two far-right groups using the code Delta claimed the murder, but no-one has been tried. It is also possible that the murder was carried out by the French state, at the time very close to the apartheid regime in South Africa.

On April 25 2019 a ceremony was held in the Rue Rollin where a plaque to Curiel was unveiled, but by late 2019 it has not yet been fixed to the wall at the bottom of the Rue Rollin staircase where his son and campaigners have wanted it placed.

In the 16th century this ancient narrow road was called the Road of the Windmill, although this changed several times before being renamed in 1867 after the 18th century university rector Charles Rollin.

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