Julio Fernández Baraibar julfb at SPAMsinectis.com.ar
Tue Nov 16 19:48:34 MST 1999

If there has been a man who is the symbol for the peculiar ideological mix
of the "progresist" middle class in Argentina and the clear expression of
its abstract cosmopolitism, this man was Jacobo Timmerman: a man of
undoubted and evil talent.
He founded two of the most influencial publications in Argentina: the weekly
magazine Primera Plana, in the beginning of the '60, and the daily La
Opinion, in the beginning of the '70. The two publications had the
characteristic that Timmerman imposed to his products: "Center in politics,
right in economy and left in culture". He came from a very poor jewish home.
His parents and he had born in Odessa and he spoke spanish always with the
typical russian-jewish pronounciation. He get a non religious education
based in socialism's ideals, because the parents were socialist. As young he
left his home and lived several years as a kind of homeless in the ways of
the country, what we call "linyera". Of course, he was member of Federacion
Juvenil Comunista, the comunist organization for youth. From this time is a
completely forgotten book of poems.
With the years and after the fall of peronism he became journalist in the
evening newspaper La Razon. Simultaneously he began his relations with
imperialistic interests, above all of jewis origin. In such way he became
press man for "Banca Loeb" in Argentina. He became too a fervent sionist.
In the 60's he founded Primera Plana, the first magazine in Argentina that
imited the style of Time or Newsweek (three columns, very elaborated
articles, prestigious collaborators,) a kind of journalism that Argentina
didn't know. And there began his political influence and his relations with
the militar chiefs, above all the group of chiefs that belonged to the Blue
tendency (this is a very special story, and the explanation can take several
messages but it is so: after Peron falls the Army was leaded by the most
wild antiperonistic sector of generals, the so called "gorillas". The
imposibility of such irrational politics produced a division en the militar
leading, with the result of several "coups d'etat" and militar
confrontation. Because they have no serious political differences they
called themselves as "Colorados" (red) -the most irrational reactionary- and
"Azules" (blue) -who intended to reintroduce the peronism in the political
scene, but without Peron-. The colours were those that the Army uses in its
training maneuvers).
In this time Argentina has as president Dr. Humberto Illia, from the Radical
Party. He had won the elections thanks the proscription of peronism and
after having said that he never would accept this proscription. OK. So is
the history in my country. Anyway Timerman's magazine was the voice of the
militar coup against this no legitime president, conspiring with the blue
militar chiefs.
So was how Illia was derrocated and came General Ongania. One of the result
was that Timmerman's magazine was closed by the stupid general.
The influence of this magazine in the urban middle class of the biggest
cities was very strong.
The story of the other great creation of Timmerman, daily newspaper La
Opinion, was similar but more tragical. The newspaper was founded with the
hold of, the then  president, General Lanusse. This had called to free
elections and Peron should be candidate after 18 years of proscription. The
newspaper would cover the left wing of the militar president. Its lay out
was the same as Le Monde, without photos, with long textes and with the best
journalists who there were then in Argentina.  The newspaper was successful.
It became the bible of each progresist petit bourgeois in Buenos Aires. Not
to read La Opinion was absolutely imposible  for each one of us who wanted
to be well informed about almost everything.
He took contact with Montoneros and it seems that he became a kind of
financial agent for them, placing the money produced by the kidnappings and
other interesting activities that Montoneros practiced.
After the death of Peron, the newspaper began to conspirate again with the
militar chiefs that wanted to fire Isabel Peron from Casa Rosada. The
newspaper was again the voice of the civic and militar conspiration.
When she was fallen, the story repeated itself. The most extreme right and
antisemitic wing of the generals kidnapped Timmerman, torture him and took
the newspaper, under the accusation of complicity with Montoneros (those
little financial affaires).
After several months in prison the american preasure get to free him and he
went to USA and Israel.

When the constitutional system was restablished in 1983 he came back as
supporter of Alfonsin and I don't know exactly how, but surely a no clean
way, he took the evening newspaper La Razon holding the government.

But he never was the same. The old golden hours were over.

Julio F.B.

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