Joseph Rovan

French philosopher and politician (1918-2004)

1918   -   2004

country of citizenship: France
languages spoken, written or signed: French
educated at: Lycée Carnot
occupation: journalist, historian, politician, university teacher, French Resistance fighter
award received: Bavarian Order of Merit, Order of Merit of Baden-Württemberg, Legion of Honour, Broquette-Gonin prize, Deutscher Nationalpreis

Joseph Adolphe Rovan (born Joseph Adolph Rosenthal in Munich, Germany on July 25, 1918, died July 27, 2004), was a French philosopher and politician, and is considered a spiritual father of post-war Europe. Initially born into the Jewish faith, on Whitsunday 1944 he was received into the Catholic Church. Rovan was active in the French Resistance during World War II and was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de la Résistance for his services. In 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo and survived 10 months in the Dachau concentration camp. It was during this time that he converted to Catholicism. In 1945, after his return to France, he wrote in the magazine Esprit the article "L'Allemagne de nos mérites," where he suggested that the creation of a democratic Germany on the ruins of the Third Reich was the responsibility of the Allies. Rovan has also been awarded the Legion d'Honneur, the Ordre National du Mérite, the German Order of Merit with Star, and the Bavarian Order of Merit. He died in a swimming accident in France.
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