Ernesto Sabato


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Writer Ernesto Sabato, who led the government's probe of crimes committed by Argentina's dictatorship, has died at 99.

The writer died of complications of bronchitis, his friend and collaborator Elvira Gonzalez Fraga told Radio Mitre.

Sabato was a widely admired 73-year-old intellectual, author of works such as "On Heroes and Tombs," when President Raul Alfonsin asked him to lead an investigation into crimes committed under the soldiers who led Argentina from 1976 to 1983.

He called his work of helping to document the murders, tortures and illegal arrests committed by a regime he had initially supported a "descent into hell." The commission's report, "Never Again," served as the basis for prosecuting key figures in the dictatorship after the return to civilian rule.

Official and independent agencies estimate that 12,000 to 30,000 were killed by government forces seeking to wipe out leftists.

Like many Argentines, Sabato initially welcomed the coup that overthrew President Isabel Peron following mounting economic problems, social turmoil and clashes with leftist guerrillas who carried out kidnappings and killings.

He joined other writers in a meeting with dictator Jorge Rafael Videla shortly after the takeover and described him as "a cultured man, modest and intelligent."

Even as government repression reached its height in 1978, Sabato said in an interview that "many things have improved: the armed terrorist bands have been put, in large part, under control." He grew critical by 1979, denouncing censorship.

Sabato was born June 24, 1911, in the city of Rojas near Argentina's capital of Buenos Aires.

While studying physics, he joined the Communist Party's youth wing and rose to become its secretary in the early 1930s, but broke with the party in 1934 over purges by Soviet leader Josef Stalin. It was the first of "the three fundamental crises of my life."

Returning to his studies, he earned a doctorate in physics and went to Paris to work on atomic radiation at the Joliot-Curie laboratories, where he said he suffered a second personal crisis.

"In Paris, I assisted in breaking the uranium atom, which was being disputed by three laboratories: the 'race' was won by a German. It thought it was the beginning of the apocalypse."

The third crisis emerged from his friendship with surrealist artists such as Roberto Matta, Wilfredo Lam and Andre Breton, and his growing disenchantment with what he saw as the misuse of science. He turned instead to writing.

Sabato published his first book, "One and the Universe," in 1945 and his first, brief novel, "The Tunnel," which was praised by Thomas Mann and also by Albert Camus, who had it translated into French.

"The Angel of Darkness" — "Abaddon el Exterminador" in the original Spanish — was honored as the best foreign book of the year by the French book industry in 1976.

He received the French Legion of Honor, the Medici Prize of Italy and Spain's Cervantes Prize, the most respected award in Spanish letters.

He was also a painter, and his works were displayed at the Pompidou Center in Paris.

He was married for more than 60 years to Matilde Kuminsky-Richter, who died in 1998, and they had two sons: politician Jorge Federico, who died in 1995, and Mario, a documentary filmmaker.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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HE was one of the best,sorry to see you go.Thank's for the good music it will be around forever.

Un ser excepcional que dio mucho para sanar las heridas de su pais y del mundo. Que sus seres queridos encuentren consuelo. Un gran abrazo para ellos y todos los argentinos que amen la verdad y la justicia.

May the God of all comfort be with you 2Cor1:3,4

Juan 5:28 "No se maravillen de esto, porque viene la hora en que todos los que están en las tumbas conmemorativas oirán su voz 29y saldrán, los que hicieron cosas buenas a una resurrección de vida, los que practicaron cosas viles a una resurrección de juicio."

To the family of Ernesto Sabato, you have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved one. Our heavenly Father is with you, and He will revive your spirit and crush heart-Isaiah 57:15. (Erma L. Davis, Park Forest, IL.)

To the the family of Ernesto Sabato - May God give you peace and comfort through his word and the Lord Jesus Christ during this time of sorrow, I know that he will be missed by many.

I am very sorry for your loss. In this time of loss it is comforting to remember God is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection. (Proverbs 18:10)

I am truly sorry for your loss. God's word the Bible provides the greatest comfort of all Thinking about the Bible-based hope ofa ressurection can be the greatest comfort while grieving the loss of a loved one.